#47: A Self-Coaching Mindset

Welcome to the Mind Set For Life podcast. This is Bethanie your coach from DrBCoach.com. Coaching with power, purpose, and practical tools to help you show up with confidence.

Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for joining me today. I’m very excited to talk to you about a self coaching mindset.

Last week, we talked about a coaching mindset. Some of the key points I brought up centered around this whole idea of curiosity—genuinely being curious about other people. In order to coach anyone we must actually care about what they think, how they filter things, what their experience is like. It’s so critical that we have an openness and curiosity. Ultimately, that is going to serve those people that we’re coaching the best.

It could be that we’re coaching formally. Maybe we’re professional coaches. It might be that we’re coaching as managers and supervisors and leaders. Or, it could be that we are coaching children or our family members. Whatever the source of the coaching, true curiosity and an attitude of learning, where we don’t come assuming that we know all the answers, is going to help us the most.

So, when we think about self coaching, what does that bring? Why would anyone coach themselves?

It’s interesting. When you go to Coach School, you learn a lot about how you need to keep growing as an individual. You need to seek out others to coach you. You need to constantly be engaged in self-growth, self-development, and self-learning. It’s critical to actually practice what we’re preaching.

So, if you’re actually thinking that coaching is a useful thing for your clients, it’s definitely useful for you as well.

As you continue to learn as a coach, then you have thoughts about where to go. You’re always learning something, and you always have a mindset of curiosity.

So, coaching yourself. Let’s think about this idea. Can you really coach yourself? If you’re truly curious about things, it’s definitely possible to coach yourself, right?

You can ask yourself all kinds of questions. You could do this and write through journaling and reflection.

You could do this out loud, you could talk to yourself. Some people really do this and have quite lengthy conversations out loud. Some people speak to themselves as they’re driving in the car. Some people talk to themselves when they’re just walking around the house. I myself am not person who talks to myself out loud, I think to myself and I write to myself. But I don’t actually talk to myself out loud. However, there are lots of people who do it, and it’s a very normal thing to do.

One of the things I advocate in professional Coaching is to create what I call your “personal evaluation plan.”

I have noticed lately in my coaching of other people, I’m hearing a lot of people who really want more feedback.

Several of my coach clients have complained that their managers do not give them enough feedback. I’ve also spoken with people who need more feedback about personal issues, but they don’t really think it’s appropriate to ask their family members for feedback. And they’re not really sure how to go about it.

If you’re looking for more feedback and are not sure where to go…. First of all, of course, I always recommend a coach.

Coaches are generally not biased about your life. They don’t come at you with a lot of judgement or criticism. They tend to have openness and a lot of curiosity and a total desire to help you go where you want to go.

What if you’re not able to find a coach, or if you just don’t want to work with a coach?

Self coaching is a great opportunity to work with your issues or your concerns or your gifts and talents, whatever you’d like to do and to continue moving forward.

So if you’re like many of these folks I mentioned who really want the feedback, increased feedback from others, or are not sure how to get it or not sure that you really want to ask for it, giving yourself feedback and being truly brutally honest with yourself is a great opportunity to give this feedback that is wise and already sitting there waiting to come out of you.

I created my own personal feedback form fairly recently. I did this presentation. I was very excited about it. I spent hours putting it together, and when I was finished with the presentation I wondered: how did it go?

And I didn’t get any feedback from anyone who saw the presentation.

It wasn’t really the kind of experience where it was appropriate for me to go back and ask for the feedback, either.

So I left that experience a little bit deflated. I thought about how I needed to know what I did well. If I needed to improve something, I wanted to know that too. But I wasn’t ever going to find out.

I sat down and I created a form that I could use. I have lots of copies of this for any opportunity, event, project, presentation, or even a conversation. I can pull out the sheet of paper and go through my questions often, write my reflection, and really think it out. And then I can produce for myself excellent feedback.

At the top of the form, I’ve got a little space that asks, what is the event or Project? What is the date? What are the details? I can identify for myself basically what it is I’m writing about.

Then, in the first round big box, I have my personal mission statement.

I’ve worked very hard on my personal mission for life, and I have written my personal mission statement here as well as a little reminder to keep myself encouraged.

Here’s what it says:

“This is what I came here to do. I’m a Creator and a teacher, and I seek to put good out into the World by becoming the best version of myself, by seeing and loving others as they are, and by helping people learn, do, and become, so that they can do the same thing. I did not come this far only to come this far. This is what I came here to do.”

I include that personal mission at the top of the form so I can remind myself of where my focus really is.

And as I answer the two questions next, I’m thinking about my mission: How did I live it? How did I fail to live it?

So underneath the Mission, I have the next row as areas for future development and improved performance.

As I think back to that opportunity where I presented and I didn’t get any feedback, I’m thinking about, well, what did I think didn’t go so well? How can I keep growing in this area? How can I become more capable and more prepared next time? Is there anything that really seemed to go poorly that I want to improve? And that’s where I’m going to write that stuff. I’m going to think about it from my own perspective because obviously I can’t think about it through someone else’s perspective if they didn’t really say anything.

The next row is the other side of things. What were the wins and new learnings I want to celebrate? These could either be professional performance, personal attributes, anything in that area. So I could tie it back to my personal mission statement by saying, how did I see them as they are and help them? How did I create something new? How did I put good out into the world and help others to do the same? What about this helped me become a better version of myself through this event, project, or process? I’m really going to think about it and write down all that I think came to me through that experience.

And the more often I do this, the more I’m going to appreciate both my strengths and my weaknesses. My successes and my failures. Being able to see all of those things as a complete picture is a huge win when being able to evaluate one’s self is something much of the world doesn’t ever do.

It’s so helpful to keep growing there.

You have the first two rows. Write areas for development, improve performance, and the wins and new learning to celebrate.

The next two sections on my form include the values I embrace and strengths I used.

Which values did I embrace? And in the box next to that, I have listed my top five values, which are spiritual strength, autonomy, influence, relationships, and wellness. And then I have, which strengths did I utilize? And I have listed my top ten or fifteen strengths from the VIA character strengths inventory. Any of these that show up in my performance or my presentation or whatever the thing was. I’m going to circle them.

the last line on my list for my self evaluation page is gratitude. In almost every situation, I am filled with gratitude just for being there. For the opportunity to help someone else, to be involved, to be engaged, to stretch my limits, and to do something new. I have a ton of gratitude, and I’m going to write it all on this form.

And as I write it out, I’m always going to be thinking, to whom do I need to send a message to thank them?

A lot of times, I might forget to express my gratitude to people, so it helps me to recap that on paper. And then I’ll actually send a follow-up message.

If you’re interested in coaching yourself and it continuously improving in your performance, I highly recommend creating a form like this. It really has three sections where you’re going to write a few answers and those two sections about your strengths and values where you’re going to just circle things.

It’s fairly simple. But over time you start to see real trends. And what’s even better is that you start to notice growth. Furthermore, you can strategically plan to improve in areas that don’t go well or in your weaknesses.

As you target those areas and continue to grow them, you can totally master things that used to be real problems for you, over time. That’s a great way to be someone who is continuously improving.

In our education settings, in our business, and in all areas of life, we want to see continuous Improvement, don’t we?

As we continuously improve ourselves, our own ability to judge, reflect, and praise our own performance, we continue to move forward in becoming a better version of ourselves all the time. As we do that, we have so much more to offer. And our experience becomes increasingly satisfying in every aspect of life.

One of the things I hear a lot about is that people don’t feel like things are within their control.

How would it be to go through life feeling like nothing is under your control? Like you can’t make choices at work? You can’t make choices in your relationships? Other people always do things or cause things? I don’t think it’s a very empowering place to be.

And if you’re there right now, I certainly don’t blame you. It’s a very normal place to feel and think from. If we evaluate our own good performance and areas to improve, the more we start to see our own control over things. We start to take more initiative. We bring the locus of control over our own experience back into ourselves where it belongs.

This kind of activity can become very empowering.

If nothing more, if you’re not a person who likes to reflect or plan or set goals, if nothing more, this kind of like self coaching activity can really strengthen your ability to feel that there is much within your control.

And it will, over time, give you a lot more confidence the more you feel about things you can control. The more you see that you’re in control, and the more confidence you feel about it, the more you’re going to be making better decisions. And you’re going to be feeling like when opportunities come to you, you’re ready to go. You have things to offer.

I highly recommend considering this kind of self coaching form.

Now if you’re a person who doesn’t like to write things down, you could certainly type up the questions and simply have them like on an index card and talk to yourself about them.

You could narrate on an audio recording on your iPhone, for example, whatever method you choose.

I choose to write. You might choose another way, but whatever method you choose, I recommend trying to do this least once a week until you get into a pretty regular habit of thinking, reflecting, and thinking about how to tie things in for the future growth.

I guarantee you’re going to learn something new every time and you’re going to gain confidence along the way.

I appreciate you being here today.

Thanks for thinking along with me about self coaching. And I hope as you try this strategy, you will learn to become increasingly curious and reflective about your own experiences and your own growth.

Best wishes this coming week becoming an even better version of yourself.