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BE YOUR OWN COACH

"Fetch your dreams"

“What do you dream of?
Good for you if you have an immediate answer… But don't despair if you don't; you, too, have dreams, and they are just waiting to come out...

“What are your long- and short-term objectives in your professional and private life? What is your goal for this month?

-Don't say, "What long-term, what plan are you talking about when I'm so busy?"

“What about the harmony between your goals and values? Is your circle of life balanced?

I can almost hear you say,

- "What harmony? What circle?"...

I am sure the questions above ring a bell with those that are into personal development because all of these questions address the need for “development” which is one of the fundamental motives of a human being, as well as the goal of coaching, the rising practice of recent years in particular, geared to “guiding, sharing the journey on the way to change for the better”.
In fact, my objective in writing this essay is to emphasize that one can achieve their goals and dreams by “being one’s own coach”, and that this self-coaching is even “essential to continuous development”. It does not matter whether your area of development is your professional or private life – the philosophy and system of the process is identical.
Therefore, I would first like to go a bit into the philosophy of coaching, and then share with you how we can turn our dreams into goals, and our goals into reality by being “our own coach”.

Highlights of the Coaching Systemz

  • The Willingness to CHANGE: Everything in the coaching system starts with the willingness to change. No matter if you will be your own coach, or ask for the support of a professional, first you need to be willing to change.
  • DREAMS First: We all have dreams, so we all have development goals even if we are unaware of them. In order to turn your dreams into goals, you first need to draw your “circle of life”*, and identify “your dream points”. This is the moment for the most critical question: “WHAT DO I WANT?”
  • Then come GOALS: Turning dreams into goals is the slightly more tactical and methodic part of the process (quite easy if you use SMART** principles). The critical point here is to first identify long-term (10-year span) goals, flesh them out for the medium term (5-year span), and enable their execution within the framework of a 1-year plan.
  • “OUR VALUES” are the Drivers: Values are “our constants” that run in our veins. These are abstract concepts such as “integrity, being creative, or always doing better“… Having said that, unless each of our goals has a strong connection to our values, it is rather hard for us to make progress on our goals. It is an extremely striking and shocking exercise to remember our value set against that backdrop, and to assess to what extent we live those values being loyal to them. A good start to strengthen our bond with our values would be at least to look at our goals, and ask the question “Why is it important for me to achieve this goal?” several times for each goal.
  • “SHELVE” All Old Beliefs, Habits: Our beliefs can be positive (I will succeed if I work hard) or negative (I am not lucky) rules in our lives… Our habits (rising early, working by a plan or spontaneously), on the other hand, are the “balance factors” of our life that are formed at a younger age. Whenever a significant change is called for, we need to get rid of our beliefs that restrict us, bring those that strengthen us to the forefront, and definitely acquire new habits so that our new goals are viable.
  • Do Something Now! – “AND DO IT DIFFERENTLY”: In order to trigger change with new habits, it is important to set tasks around the new goals, execute them regularly, and make headway by focusing on the learnings of the trial period rather than the result of the newly tried task. To give you an example for “doing something differently”, you could acquire simple, new habits, for instance by starting every day with the question, 

    - “For which goal am I going to make the most progress today and how?” and then end the day by asking yourself,

    - “Where am I vis-à-vis my goal compared to this morning? What can I do differently tomorrow?” on the way home.
  • Listen Without Judging, Take DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: Of course, listening skills are very important, however this takes more than a mere “I am an outstanding listener” – this is about the capability to listen with pure and focused attention, without making generalizations or passing judgments about the other person… Doing this requires, in addition to good intentions, considerable training. It is quite useful to meditate to be able to internalize this philosophy because it is not that easy to listen in a nonjudgmental way. It takes a lot to “disengage the clutch of the thinking engine” inside you. The foundation of taking different perspectives, on the other hand, is becoming a “master of 4 perspectives”, which are, 1. my own realities; 2. the other person’s perspective (that’s where coaching comes in); 3. an outsider’s look at these two; and 4. “an assessment of the cultural/physical environment including these two people”.

Being Your Own Coach First

As we grow old, all of us become someone’s coach without even realizing, be it in our professional or private life. We guide people we are responsible for, and support their development.
Alright then, while we are doing that,

  • To what extent can we keep our own development plans and experience alive and kicking?
  • Do we listen to our inner voice regularly, turn our dreams into balanced goals, and try to execute them day in day out?
  • What do we do to continuously refresh our competencies and knowledge?

In short, can we implement the principles I mentioned above first in ourselves, and be “our own coach”?
To cut a long story short, to me, the broad definition of coaching is, “first and foremost, one’s continuous renewal of oneself on one’s own, and being supportive to one’s environment while doing that”. Naturally enough, there are differences from one coach to another (professional coaches, life coaches, sports coaches, etc.); there might be times when there are issues that one cannot cope with alone.
However, particularly if it comes to our professional life, it is possible to develop on our own, and maintain our success by focusing on our competencies and asking ourselves the right questions. When we succeed in that, the icing on the cake will be the added value we generate by presenting a real example of leadership and development for our environment.

Regarding Your Life as a Masterpiece

This quote inspires me a lot:

Regarding our life as a masterpiece, and working on it with care and enthusiasm...

And being passionate about realizing our dreams...

What a bliss if we can also be a good example for our environment while doing that!

Reference: "Coaching with NLP: How to be a Master Coach"; O'Connor, Lages
* Circle of Life: In short, it is the visualization of all the important and basic items in our life as a whole circle.
** SMART is short for "Specific, Measurable, Accepted, Realistic, Timely"