Is Self-Coaching Possible? by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC
There are many different types of coaches available for people working through professional, life, or other issues. Hiring professional, certified coaches is an excellent way to help achieve goals and make meaningful and strategic changes in your life.
Hiring experienced, certified, and recognized coaches is not the only way to take advantage of the coaching process. It is possible to use self-coaching strategies to learn to talk yourself through change, make the best decisions with the information available, and find ways to hold yourself accountable throughout those changes.
Self-coaching does require an understanding of the coaching process. There are several great books on self-coaching for leaders and executives, and there are also self-coaching books for dealing with personal or life issues. All of these books focus on how to ask yourself the right questions and create accountability for yourself in moving towards your goals.
Areas of Focus
Coaches are not consultants and are typically not subject matter experts. Rather, they are trained at how to ask the questions that help people to go deeper, to gain a better understanding of themselves and what they need to do to achieve their goals.
To be an effective self-coach, the first thing to do is to identify your goals. These goals can then be broken down into actionable steps by asking yourself, what is one thing I can do right now to move forward. Then commit to an action and set a time limit for making that step. SMART or specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals are easy to write and track.
Keep these goals simple and write them down, review them on a regular basis. Using a calendar to mark the timeline is a helpful accountability hack. Always focus goals on a positive desire, not something that you want to avoid in your life.
Typically, people lose ground in making changes by becoming stuck in old ways of thinking. If you find yourself doubting your ability or thinking in a negative or unproductive loop, consider asking why that looping is occurring. You could start by asking:
- What is the reality in my life at this time?
- What is preventing me from achieving my goal or staying on my journey?
- What is it that I will see differently or experience in a different way when I reach my goal?
- Why is this goal important in my life?
Take the time to explore the answers to these questions. If you find you are stuck or challenged in meeting your mini or big goals, hiring a coach may be the easiest way to build momentum and help you realize the changes you want to see.