What I’ve done in this post is attempt to self-coach myself through an issue, in writing, and in real time. It is possible to self-coach and it can be highly effective at times. At other times, it’s incredibly difficult. This will give you an example of what this conversation in your head (in writing) might look like.
This was a real moment for me and a quick experiment at a coffee shop downtown Madison. It happened to go fairly smoothly, but I’m sure there was a deeper level to explore. Some of this was written quickly and then grammatically revised afterward.
The topic was my hesitation around publishing a blog. This isn’t the first time I’ve been coached around this topic. Not that exciting of a topic, but real, nonetheless!
So, here we go…
Me: There is something coming up for me around writing this blog. Something about the idea of sharing my thoughts and ideas, at one point in time, permanently. Sure, I can delete posts later, but that’s not the real issue here.
The issue is that I’m constantly growing. I’m constantly changing my mind and looking at things in a different light. I feel like I have a lot of intrinsic knowledge, and less experience. Therefore, I might end up writing things that sound immature down the road. One of my favorite quotes is, “Strong opinions, weakly held.” I have some very strong opinions.
Self-Coaching: OK, what’s the real issue here? Bottom line it.
Me: I want my blog and my writing to reflect the truth about things, and I don’t want to get it wrong.
Self-Coaching: What do you mean by “the truth about things?”
Me: I mean, I don’t like spreading misinformation. I don’t want to generalize in ways that are unproductive and hold us (people) back. But the fact is we do this all the time. Most things come down to beliefs, and a few facts.
Self-Coaching: What’s the concern?
Me: Take this post for example. If this is published, I could be sharing thoughts that don’t really reflect how I feel or what I think 24 hours from now. Yet, it’s “written in stone” so to speak. There’s a feeling of being authentic, and potentially being misperceived.
Self-Coaching: How does being authentic and people’s perceptions of you relate?
Me: I’m concerned I’ll agree with their “misperceptions”, which would then mean that I wasn’t being authentic to begin with.
Self-Coaching: What is authenticity to you?
Me: Putting it all out there – the good, the bad, and especially the ugly. Even right now I’m literally thinking about how my self-coaching probably isn’t good enough on paper! Sheesh. I guess when it comes down to it, I want to be authentic in ways that benefit others. And if I’m being honest, probably the ones that make me feel safer as well. Hm…
Self-Coaching: I’m hearing you say you’re going to get it wrong. That’s authentic. How authentic do you want to be?
Me: As much as I need to be to keep growing.
Self-Coaching: And is publishing your writing what you need to keep growing?
Me: Yes. I believe my thoughts will be improved by articulating them for an audience. Even if they’re not “accurate”. Or I change my mind.
Self-Coaching: What else is here?
Me: I need to fail at this. I mean, I don’t intend to completely bomb, but I need to take this risk to cultivate the type of self-expression I want. I want to be able to communicate more clearly through language. People will relate to it or they won’t. It helps to remember that nothing is permanent.
Self-Coaching: What have you decided?
Me: ……… The blog will happen. It’s a good test for me. It makes me uncomfortable, but something keeps pushing me towards it. It’s not being forced, it’s being resisted. And thus, it persists! It feels good to articulate this.
OK, I think we can end the coaching session here. 😊
This happened to be a simple, yet effective self-coaching conversation. Again, there was likely more to explore, and if I was to do it again I would probably ask different questions.
Part of a coach’s job is to help you learn to self-coach in your daily life. Believe me, there are endless opportunities for all of us!
If any of your own coaching questions came to mind when reading this post, I would love to read them in the comments.