How helpful is your inner voice?
Does it help you out or bring you down?
Your brain is always offering something to you.
- In fact, it generates about 60,000 thoughts a day.
- Research suggests that 80% of those thoughts are negative.
- 98% are the same thoughts you had yesterday.
You will take your inner voice with you to your death. Isn’t it time to take responsibility for how it is talking to you?
Self Coaching is How You Train Your Inner Voice
I started self-coaching myself more than 3 years ago.
- I feel better about my life and who am I am than ever before.
- I more easily identify what I can’t control and I focus more on what I can control.
- I feel better equipped to handle the problems and challenges in my life.
- I know what to do next and say no to distractions faster.
What is Self-Coaching?
What does it mean to coach yourself?
The goal is to gain awareness of your thoughts, not to turn you into an automaton who only thinks positively, or never makes a mistake or never does things you regret.
Our brains are best at scanning the environment for threats. What’s our situation? What should be different? How do we avoid pain?
The goal of self coaching is to become more aware of how we interpret what our thoughts tell us is happening.
Head — Heart — Hands
The core of mental health is to understand the connection between our thoughts (head), emotions (heart) and actions (hands).
How we label things (think about them) creates our feelings. Those feelings drive our actions.
The labels have infinite possibilities. We can choose the labels that serve us best.
We must be willing to look at what’s going on inside our brains with curiosity, become the Neutral Watcher.
Are our thoughts useful? Protective? Challenging them helps us become more aware of how they affect us.
When we acknowledge our thoughts and the emotions they create, we can get authority over them.
- Nothing is wrong.
- Redirecting is an option.
- Choosing something more useful can be, but doesn’t have to be, the next step.
But when we hurry to get somewhere else, we may miss what is happening now.
Why Self-Coaching Should Be Part of Your Personal Care Routine
Taking a look at what is happening inside your brain is how you get control of your life.
We keep trying to feel better, achieve results and minimize problems by controling what’s going around us. That’s what our brain was designed to do. To protect us from our environment, keep us fed and part of the group.
It’s the most exhausting and least effective way.
The easiest way is to own your role in everything. Look at your brain, your thoughts, your creations, and you get complete power over your results.
I choose who I want to be in every situation when I coach myself. I measure success in terms of how I show up.
Let me explain.
Our brain is like the pilot in our life. It has both auto-pilot and inner-pilot settings.
- We use autopilot settings when we are in default mode.
- We all have autopilot settings, like instincts. Some we inherited from our families, like our personality traits. Our cultures inform so many others.
- Inner-pilot settings are those we choose intentionally.
Picture yourself with a new cell phone. It comes with a ring tone, wallpaper and background and a bunch of factory settings. We could use the phone with these settings, but we’re more likely to customize the apps, wallpaper, notifications, add a screen saver, and put it in a case. These customizations help the phone meet our individual needs.
When we think about our brain as if it were a smartphone, we see how it could accommodate us on default. But when we customize it to meet our specific needs, it can serve us even better.
So the fine-tuning, the customizing of our brain, how we intentionally choose to respond in certain situations, creates who we want to be. Our brain can help us solve problems, craft and achieve goals our own way.
The most successful people coach themselves in some way, whether they call it coaching or not.
As successful people, they are achieving their goals and enjoying the process. They manage their thoughts so they enjoy the whole experience, confident as they handle setbacks without drama and overwhelm.
They are regular people experiencing a lot of joy in their lives. Plus they are good at feeling negative emotion, knowing that both sides of the coin are part of the human experience.
They look at themselves regularly and check how they are showing up.
That’s why self coaching is so important in a healthy, wealthy, wise life.
When Should I Coach Myself?
You choose when to coach yourself.
If you haven’t established a reliable self-coaching habit, I recommend that you coach yourself twice a week to start. Of course you can do it every day, maybe every morning.
If you want to coach yourself more often, that’s great. But the minimum you need to do it is twice a week to start to see some payoffs and build a consistent habit of it.
Twice a week, schedule a time to sit down for 20 to 30 minutes to take a look at what is happening in your mind.
Anytime you notice some resistance coming up, if your notice yourself ‘getting hooked’ as Pema Chodron calls it, or if you are facing a bigger life challenge, take time to note what is happening so you can coach yourself during your scheduled times.
The other time I use self-coaching is when I notice I’m not moving forward on a goal I’ve set. If I’m not taking action or not working on it, I stop and coach myself.
Remember, the goal is awareness.
Please also coach yourself when things are going well. It’s important to become aware of all your thinking. Savoring the good feelings your thoughts inspire brings joy into your life!
How To Self-Coach — An Example
Here’s a simple three-step process and an example of how I coach myself.
Step 1 // Do a thought download.
Take a subject. Something that has been going on in your life lately. Brainstorm all the thoughts going on in your head onto paper.
You can write on a scrap piece of paper, on the Notes App on your phone or in a journal. It doesn’t matter.
You can keep it to refer to later, or you can throw it away. Some of us won’t want others to read our thoughts later, so throw it away or shred it : ) when you are done. No rules here.
Just jot everything down as if you were telling a friend. Or if you were telling me, your coach, what’s going on.
Here are my thoughts about deciding on the moms to focus on in my coaching practice. I notice that I’m not making progress on this topic. I’m stuck and spinning.
- I want to find a problem that mothers need to solve that is urgent and compelling.
- My HWW GPS solves how to build a meaningful life.
- Over eating and over drinking are two problems that need to be solved within a HWW Life.
- Over doing anything (porn, shopping, social media, video games) can be solved, too.
- Relationships can become healthier.
- Finding the right way to break through all the noise on the internet is taking a lot of time.
- I worry that moving from Chaos to Clarity isn’t compelling
- Or moving from reactive to responsive
- Living everyday motherhood isn’t ordinary or easy.
- Mothers of middle schoolers are most likely to get depressed.
Step 2 // Pick any thought and plug it into the Thought Model.
Situation: Niche Validation Exercise
- The situation is neutral.
- Only the facts belong here.
- Your situation statement must be specific and provable in a Court of Law.
- If it is a situation with someone else, you can write down exactly what the other person said, as that quote is provable.
Thought: Finding the right way to break through all the noise on the internet is taking a lot of time.
- How do I feel when I think this thought?
- What is the word you feel best describes it.
- It is one word.
- If you feel more than one word, you likely have more than one thought.
Action: Not making a decision. Spinning. Staying in confusion and overwhelm
Result: It takes a long time.
NOTE: The result connects with the thought.
Now it is time to clean up my brain. Are you with me?
Question all of the thoughts you entered into the model. All of these thoughts are optional.
My brain thinks this is reality, but I am creating it so it can be changed in an infinite number of ways.
The first question I ask is, “Does my brain recognize that this situation is neutral?”
- In my case, it is easy to see that the existence of the Niche Validation Exercise in the course is neutral.
- But not all situations are easy to see neutrality.
- For example: My son said he is an alcoholic. Notice that our brain quickly forms opinions about whether this circumstance is good or bad.
- Another example: My father said my IQ is lower than my brother’s and my sister’s. It’s hard not to quickly feel anger, shame, denial when I remember that situation, but it is possible to recognize what he said as only his thought, not a fact, and therefore neutral.
- It’s so easy to think of many of my thoughts as ‘true.’ But I’m learning how to think of them as thoughts only, not facts. Someone else could think about it differently, so it is neutral until I have a thought about it.
I also ask, “Is it possible that I can be wrong about this thought?”
Why do I think it is taking long? Why am I rushing? Maybe I do want to get it done, but does it really need to get done quickly? Maybe it is possible that I can loosen up this thought. There are other options that I could think about this situation. What is the math? Out of my lifetime, how much time am I spending on this exercise? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe taking my time doing this exercise will payoff in the long wrong. Can I loosen my grip on this story?
“What am I doing in the feeling line?” I ask myself. Am I resisting this feeling and trying to escape it? Can I breathe into this feeling and just experience it? Do I recognize that feeling anxious is not really a problem. I can do anxious and survive very well. It’s just a vibration in my body that I can locate, describe and name.
Notice that when I really examine this thought, I don’t really have to do a new model. I can shift from anxiety into something more useful just by questioning my ‘unintentional’ model.
This is just like my cell phone on default. It’s how my brain operates unsupervised, when I’m unaware of how it’s working.
Step 3 // Create an Intentional Thought Model
Situation: Niche Validation Worksheet.
- It is the same situation as in my unintentional model.
- Keep the situation the same because we want to work on it.
I can start anywhere in the model when constructing my intentional model.
I can start with, “How do I want to feel about this situation?” Or, “What actions do I want to take in this situation.” Or, “What result do I want?”
I don’t usually start with the thought because it can be difficult to find a new one in the middle of this process.
In this case, the result I want is to be working on identifying group of moms who have a compelling desire to undo the overwhelm they face with a system they can use step-by-step, repeat when necessary, and teach their children so they all craft their best lives.
So I start with, “What kind of action do I want to be taking?” So I want to get busy calling moms and sticking to the schedule I created.
Next, “What emotion do I need to be feeling to drive me to take this action?” I can pick anything. I pick, confidence, as that serves me really well. Love is another emotion that always drives me to actions that serve me. But in this case, confidence works best.
My thought is easier to find. “I know exactly what to do.” I will call the moms I know and ask their thoughts about my coaching practice.
I like to test this new thought by asking myself, “Do I believe this new thought, even if it is only a little bit?” It’s not the thought my brain offered at first, but I can believe it.
The second question I ask is, “Does it generate the emotion that will be useful to me?”
It does make me feel confident. I know exactly what to do.
The beauty of thoughts is that we can choose them.
Since I get busy making calls and choosing my niche, I create all kinds of evidence that my thought, “I know what to do,” is true.
I’m going to keep reminding myself of this new thought. I’ll write it on my daily To Do List. I’ll include it at the top of my affirmations I say out loud every morning.
I practice redirecting my brain to this thought until it becomes natural.
Summary of The Three Steps to Self Coaching
Step 1 // Do a Thought Download
Step 2 // Pick any thought and plug it into the Thought Model
Situation: Always Neutral. Just the Facts.
Thought: Pick one from the Download.
Emotion: One word.
Action: What do I do when I think the thought and feel the emotion?
Result: What happens when I act this way?
Step 3 // Create an Intentional Thought Model
Download the Thought Model Worksheet.
I’m so excited to teach you the self coaching model. It has made an incredible difference in my life and I know it will help you, too.
Download the 5 Steps to Self-Coaching Worksheet and save it in your Notes App so you have it with you whenever you want to look at any situation.
I recommend you coach yourself at least twice a week.
Please share any of your questions below. Let me know where you are getting stuck in your own self coaching. I will give you my best answers.
Let’s do this.