First, I don’t really recommend life coaching yourself. I’m not sure if that’s even possible since we only see the world through our own eyes, and not able to hold up a mirror and a flashlight to ourselves.
We change through others. A new perspective. An inject of hope. A map. A guide. Encouragment. Processing. Accountability. And of course, the relationshp itself can be therapeutic and healing. That’s how we move forward, accomplish goals, grow, evolve, and start living closer to our potential. We are meant to grow through each other so this idea of life coaching yourself falls flat. But I would like to show you an example of the process.
It’s only one example.
There are endless ways of coaching someone with his or her life. It’s not a one fits all obviously. Under the umbrella of life, there are so many categories that branch off into endless conversations. Work, relationships, dating, breakups, all the life transitions, whatever one feels he or she needs coaching on. All returning back to self and connection with self, in my opinion. And there are layers to be explored from each session that I can not predict and write down in a blog post.
I have no idea where this quick session of me coaching myself is going to go. The art of coaching is asking questions and questions can lead to many different conversations. This is just one train of thought. One angle. But I’ll break the fourth wall and drop a note, explaining why I asked myself that question.
Second, I realized after writing this that it can appear egotistical. It seems like I’m just interviewing myself which wasn’t my intention. I’m trying to show you an example of the coaching process. Really.
Okay, enough with the disclaimer. Let’s move on.
The world can get noisy very fast. So today I’d like to start with that. Noise, especially our mental chatter and how that impacts us. And since I’m life coaching myself, I will use I statements.
When my thoughts get noisy, I get distracted and pulled into different directions. Nothing drowns us faster than our thoughts. Remember, our thoughts are chemically charged and behind each thought is an emotion. Simply put, positive or negative. They create anxiety, fear, and in some cases panic. They f*ck me up, get me stuck, throw me off my game, my path, and disconnect me with myself. ← The red flag.
Whenever the red flag is thrown – feeling disconnected with me, I know I need to stop. I know I need to get back on track and kill the noise (everything that’s distracting me from who I am (connection to self) which leads to where I’m going (purpose). I believe these two jumper cables can reboot and realign yourself pretty fast.
Okay so John, you’ve been feeling disconnected a bit due to your thoughts and thinking. Is there an event or something that happened in your life that’s causing this anxiety or noise?
No, there’s no event. My life is pretty stable and it’s been for a few years now so maybe that’s why I feel stuck sometimes. Maybe it’s too stable. Maybe it’s too routine.
What connects you to you? Before you answer this, I want you to pull way back for a second. Don’t tell me motorcycle rides or fitness. What’s the big major life thing that connects you to yourself? It’s usually what really matters to you the most in your life.
(Note: Getting your client to pull back is helpful because we all fall into the trenches so fast. By getting your client to pull back, you are helping him see the big picture. You are starting with a clean canvas.)
What really matters to me is the vision I have for myself and my contributions to the world. To me, that comes before anything else. Yes, even before family, friends, and partner. It doesn’t mean my personal relationships are not important. They are extremely important and crucial to me being happy. But I can not put them above my purpose or I lose my path. My spine. What allows me to live a through-me life.
To-me life — victim mode- the most powerless state.
Through-me life — something greater working through me- the most power-filled state.
So living a through-me life is what connects me to me the most, if that makes sense. It’s in this state that I feel like my life has the most meaning.
Okay, so the next question is how are you living a through-me life these days?
By creating a dialogue to help others.
(Note: You want your client to describe in action how they are living, how their thoughts translate into action and behavior. Have them be specific.)
And how are you doing that? What are you doing in action?
Writing books, blogs, podcasting, coaching others, teaching our Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive. Engaging with our community. Anyway I can be a catalyst in someone’s life.
And do you feel that you’re not doing this?
I do it every day. Maybe it’s not happening fast enough. I don’t know.
(Note: A client will sometimes say a belief or a statement that is the source of their stuck. I call them false beliefs because they’re usually beliefs they have about themselves or life that are not true. They can also be called themes or thinking patterns. In this case, it’s — “it’s not happening fast enough”.
If something isn’t happening fast enough, that means it’s not happening on your terms. So is there anxiety because what you want doesn’t match reality right now?
Sure. I think that’s a big part of it.
(Note: Show the client the disconnect.)
But then you’re not living a through-me life. You’re living a by-me life.
So what would be the reframe or mindset be to live more a through-me life?
Let go of what I want or at least hold it loosely and just focus on what I’m doing. Trust that things will unfold when and how they’re meant to.
(Note: Get the client to reframe their false belief.)
Yes, and I understand that’s easier said than done. But what are three things you can start doing to give yourself that mindset?
When I feel myself trying to trace blueprints…
(Note: Get the client to give you action steps so you’re not just talking about ideas. You want to give your client actionable homework.)
By the way, could that be where the noise is coming from? You trying to trace blueprints instead of being a conduit and just focusing on your craft. Is that a pattern in your life?
For sure. I’m better now but I used to always live in the future and obsess about why things weren’t happening.
(Note: Always look for patterns.)
What meaning did you attach if things didn’t happen?
That I wasn’t successful. I was a failure. A nobody.
(Note: Also look for what the client is attaching to their definitions.)
So if you’re not “successful”, it means what about you?
That I’m not worthy or valuable.
What’s your definition of success?
My old definition was the big house, lots of money, fancy cars, the beautiful wife. But today it’s impact and building a life on meaning. Living a Spirit-filled life and helping others. My definition of success is also having the freedom to design life the way I want. Basically, not punching a clock.
Then according to your new definition, one may argue that you are already successful.
Maybe but it doesn’t feel like it.
(Note: Challenge their definitions and perspective. Show them something they may not be able to see.)
So it sounds like there’s this inner conflict happening between your old definitions and ways of thinking (the old you) and your new ones (the new you). And I think that’s what’s creating anxiety and making you feel “stuck”. The tug from the old you, your shadow, is telling yourself you’re not “successful” based on your old definitions of success which mean you’re not → valuable.
Yeah. And also because I don’t have children and I just turned 45, I put all the weight on career. I’m also getting caught up in caring about what others think lately. Not necessarily with my career but just about me as a person. I haven’t felt this in a while. I used to give less f8cks. I feel like I’m going backward.
I wonder if that old tug is also triggering insecurities, giving you the feeling that people don’t like you or that people are judging you and your choices.
What were the consequences or results of the way you used to think and your old definitions?
I always had anxiety, wasn’t happy or able to be present. It put me in a chasing state and made me feel powerless. Also, I wasn’t able to be grateful. I always saw life as half empty.
(Note: Get the client to see the consequences of old ways of thinking or pulling from old definitions.)
So would you say that in that state, you felt disconnected with yourself?
One hundred percent.
(Note: Bring it back full circle to the theme of session, connecting with self).
Okay, so back to the three things you can do to reconnect with you, your truth, and start pulling from your new definitions?
One, when I feel myself trying to trace blueprints, stop my thinking and know that I am doing everything I can and that’s enough. Trust my path instead of trying to control it. Two, put more distance between me and my thoughts by meditating or watching videos or riding my motorcycle or whatever works for me. And three, try to care less about what others think, stop seeking validation and approval. People are going to have opinions about me. That’s never going to stop. And there’s one more, be f*cking grateful.
(Note: Instead of giving your client answers and telling them what they should do, ask them questions so they come up with their own solutions.)
I just noticed that all those lead more to a through-me life.
That is your homework. To actually practice what you just said. Daily.
Okay, will try.
(Note: Give your client homework so you have something you can make them accountable).
Knowing your story, I think growing up in Los Angeles where everyone is chasing shiny things and putting a lot of weight on physical beauty, money, “success”. Where there’s tons of competition and judgment. Since you grew up where everyone comes to “live the dream”, it may have conditioned you to think a certain way and gave you a lot of plastic definitions to judge and compare yourself with. And as long as you have something to say, people aren’t going to like you. People don’t like people with a voice or opinions. Because it stirs up their own framework and definitions, things in their own life.
(Note: Sum it up.)
You said you wanted to be more grateful. What are you grateful for today?
The opportunity to help others and the freedom to design my life and days. That I can write every day. Although I’m not in the best shape of my life, I can still move and I feel good in my body. That I’m a part of a thriving startup that teaches people how to help others as well as connects them with a supportive community.
(Note: Leave on a high / something positive to inject hope.)
As you leave the session, you’ll think about your own life. You’re meant to. Because you can always relate to someone’s story, no matter how different it is than yours because at the end of the day, we all go through very similar things, just different versions. And sometimes you’ll get just as much from the session as your client. And that’s okay. Because that’s how we grow, through each other.
This post was originally published here and is republished with permission from the author.
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