When it comes to coaching, a fresh pair of eyes provides a new perspective and shows us our blind spots and obstacles.
This is one of many reasons a good coach is very helpful and often irreplaceable.
However, I believe it is possible to coach yourself to a certain extent. Although it does come with certain challenges and works for a particular type of personality.
Everyone is on their personal journey, and our needs can vary greatly.
The challenge is really in how honest can you really be with yourself. Self-coaching probably may never be a replacement for a great coach!
Here are some questions which you can ask yourself to understand if self-coaching would work for you:
- Are you able to follow through on tasks that you set for yourself?
- Are you able to hold yourself accountable at all?
- Can you keep good habits?
I don’t personally know anyone that can positively answer ‘yes’ to all these questions 100% of the time.
We’re human after all and go through periods of discipline and times when we’re not as motivated. A good coach can help encourage us when we’re losing hope.
But you can try self-coaching, there’s certainly no harm in giving it a go. And what’s more, you’ll quickly figure out what’s missing and what you’ll need to do to progress further.
In my personal experiments, one technique that I found as being particularly effective for self-coaching is the process of journaling. As you’ll learn below:
Journaling – Writing the Story of Your Life
Did you know that many of the world’s greatest minds kept journals including Leonardo Di Vinci, Marie Curie and Charles Darwin to name just a few?
Journaling is a very useful practice and is essentially a process of self-reflection and thinking on paper.
Exploring thoughts and feelings in the form of writing has numerous benefits including reducing stress, understanding our experiences and as a technique for self-exploration.
The process of journaling differs from individual to individual, as it’s often the case of experimenting and finding what really works best for you.
One study in 2005 on expressive writing (Baikie, K. A., Wilhelm, K. 2005) found that expressive writing which is related to journaling was found to be particularly therapeutic and beneficial.
The study found that participants who wrote about stressful, traumatic, or emotional events were much less likely to become unwell and were ultimately less seriously affected by trauma than those who didn’t journal.
Dr. J Pennebaker, is a leading expert in expressive writing. Pennebaker says that journaling increases the strength of the immune cells called T-lymphocytes and has been shown to be linked with a reduction in depression, anxiety, and boosting positive moods, social engagement, and the quality of close relationships.
Because journaling is such a useful tool for self-reflection and understanding yourself better, it’s also a valuable tool for self-coaching too.
You can explore problems, look at potential solutions, express creative ideas, ask questions, and process experiences in so many ways through journaling.
The most effective way is to journal regularly.
You can set a time every day, or whenever possible where you spend some time just with yourself and your journal.
It could be for a shorter period, like 15 mins or sometimes you could do a longer period like 1 hour.
This extra time can give you the space you need to allow you to think more deeply and creatively.
Journaling is something that you can get better at over time, here’s the reason why…
It’s kind of like having a one-to-one with yourself and checking in. How are you doing and what’s happening in your life currently.
What happens as you begin to journal, is you start to write the story of your life.
Also, you can look back and reflect on how you’ve changed.
Find a system of journaling that works for you and keep a journal as you go through the ideas and exercises in this book.
You’ll be amazed at the potential of journaling!