Think about what inspires you to get out of bed every morning. Are you excited about the day? Do you feel energized about your life? If you can’t answer with a whole-hearted “yes,” perhaps something is missing. Maybe it’s because you feel like your life is off-track or maybe you’re tired of living on autopilot.
Achieving a successful career and family life comes with many benefits and rewards. But that success also comes with an equal amount of sacrifices. For some, success means living by society‘s rules and focusing on your responsibilities to others. This traditional view of success often leads to putting your life’s most ambitious dreams on the back burner.
We all encounter circumstances in life that lead us away from our desired path—family needs, work demands, health issues, etc. And as the daily grind plays on a repeat, you realize that you stopped pursuing your goals, and life feels incomplete. Then regret slowly creeps in, leaving you feeling disappointed and frustrated.
You don’t have to accept life as is. There’s still time to create a path to living your dreams.
Getting back to your goals requires the right combination of skills and knowledge to overcome your distractions. That’s why I want to help you identify what’s holding you back from living the life you want, not the life others expect of you. And, this is why I want to teach you the skills you need to remain focused on achieving your life’s dreams when responsibilities pull you in a different direction.
Self-Coaching—The Key to Living Your Dreams
Your brain is a complex organ. As your personality developed, you probably noticed that you have a particular style of thinking.
You might be like me, a big picture person who doesn’t like a lot of details. Or maybe details excite you, and you enjoy getting lost in the minutia. Either way, you developed a specific pattern of thinking that was shaped by your surroundings over time.
Like it or not, some of your thought patterns prevent you from reaching your goals. These thinking patterns work against you, leading to what I call thought errors. And that’s where self-coaching comes into the picture.
Self-coaching is the ability to tap into your own inner wisdom and experiences to determine what's best for you. When you learn how to self-coach, you take the lead in probing and directing yourself as a coach would in the traditional modality.
I believe that self-coaching helps you correct thought errors—negative self-talk, catastrophizing, black or white thinking—that leave you feeling disempowered and accepting life as is. In a future post, I’ll explain thought errors more.
5 Essential Self-Coaching Skills
Now that you understand self-coaching let’s focus on some of the skills you can practice. I’ve narrowed the list down to the 5 skills you can use to develop your self-coaching practice.
1. Listening—requires engaged, active listening that’s free from judgment. Listening is more about observing your internal conversations. The goal of listening is to learn which thoughts to pay attention to and which thoughts to ignore.
2. Observing—focusing attention on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Observing requires you to pay attention to cause and effect relationships that are occuring in your mind. For example, how do you feel when you spend countless hours working on a project at a job that you don’t feel passionate about? Do you feel energized or exhausted? Observing refers to your ability to notice the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
3. Asking questions—investigating what lies at the heart of an issue or challenge. Practicing curiosity is a necessary component of changing your mindset. Asking yourself questions can lead you to discover what’s creating your challenges and sets you up to take the actions necessary for change.
4. Empathy—the ability to understand another person's experience. If you’re overly critical of yourself, you could be lowering your self-confidence and hindering the belief that you can create the change you want in life. Self-coaching allows you to practice empathy by humanizing your unique life experience.
5. Reflection—involves processing the outcomes of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Reflection is critical for gaining insight into what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change in your life.
There are many skills that coaches use, but let’s stick to these for now. In a future post, I’ll explain the benefits of self-coaching and how practicing self-coaching moves you along the path to realizing your dream life.
If you’re feeling like you’re just going through the motions in life, and you’ve lost sight of the direction you want to take, try tuning into your internal conversations. What are you telling yourself about your ability to make the changes you desire? What voice do you hear—yours or someone else?
I challenge you to listen and observe deeply BEFORE attempting to fix anything.
Get in touch with your thoughts first. Once you are clear about the messages flowing through your mind, you can move on by asking questions to get to the underlying issues. It takes practice to learn how to listen deeply without judgment. Give yourself some time to make progress.
If you want to learn more about the skills I discussed in this post, listen to my podcast.
Need More Help?
If you’re ready to discover your path to living a more gratifying life, join my private Facebook group—The BOLD patrol.
We’re a group of like-minded professionals who thrive on self-discovery and personal growth and developing the courage to take BOLD (Big, Overarching, Life-Enhancing, Decisions) actions that create a path to living a more fulfilled life.
So, if you’re unsure about where life is taking you, and you’re ready to take control of your life’s destination, join our community of like-minded people who are making BOLD life changes. Join us!