An approach to self-coaching

Coaching is something that one can spend one’s entire life trying to understand in new and different ways. Each person experiences coaching differently, whether or not they’ve ever actually been coached. Someone who says “I don’t need coaching” has experienced coaching, without actually being coached.

A coach is a person who is available to hear what’s on your mind, and to be a sounding board to help you to work through your own thoughts and feelings about something. The coach isn’t there to solve your problems for you. This, I believe, is a fundamental understanding one has to embrace when discussing coaching.

What happens when my coach isn’t available? How do I work through what’s on my mind? Enter self-coaching.

The self-coaching model

Many coaches will teach their own model for what self-coaching looks like. Generally, these all end up being the same abstract, as the structure of the model is always built on facts which are always true, regardless of the model they’re fitted into. Here’s a model I use to self-coach, and which I’ve shared with others who have resonated with this as well:

Everything in life is either a circumstance, thought, feeling, action, or result. When you’re confronted with something, start by writing the following on a piece of paper, and fit the “thing” into the appropriate section:

C – A circumstance is a fact. Something which can be proven in court, for example. It’s not an opinion, and no two people can see this circumstance differently, as it is what it is. For example, “Jenny said she didn’t like my outfit”.

T – A thought is an opinion we have about a circumstance. For example, “Jenny is so stuck up”.

F – A feeling is a direct result of a thought. For example, “I don’t like Jenny, because she’s so stuck up”.

A – An action is how we act based on how we feel. We may snub Jenny, act off-ish to her, or say nasty things behind her back.

R – A result is the outcome we create, which is driven by our actions. Results also validate thinking. For example, Jenny may hear what we’ve said, or detect our attitude towards her, causing her to act uncomfortably around us.

In the above crude example, we can see how the result we’ve created confirms the way we think about Jenny, whether it’s actually true or not. In this cycle, it’s a truth we’ve created out of thin air. Could we have created a different result? Certainly!

Start by placing the “thing” which happened/thought/felt into the appropriate line. Then fill in the gaps in the other sections.

When you find yourself in a pickle, or catch your mind thinking thoughts or feeling feelings you’d rather not feel, try this model on for size, and see how it works for you.

The above is my interpretation of Brooke Castillo‘s “The Model”.

3 Comments

  1. Hey Matty! Howzit?
    The model of thoughts and feelings based on them, resonated with me. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle operates with the same terms and it worth reading. I believe you’ve read or at least know about it.
    The idea of self-coaching and periodical self-reflection sound great!

    1. Thanks Timur! Great to hear from you, and to read your feedback. 🙂

      I’ve heard of “The Power of Now”, yet haven’t read it. I’ll add to my reading list. Thanks for recommending it!

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