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Only You Can Be Your Life Coach

Life coaches hold no magic powers. They just know the right questions to ask you that guide you to find your path.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

If you have ever thought to yourself, “I need a life coach,” then this article is dedicated to you. I was a life coach without calling myself one before I studied how to become a certified life coach. It was merely in my personality to encourage people to figure out how to make their own lives better.

It seemed as though it was a natural passion for me, and in 2018, I decided I would become a certified life coach and make a living out of it. So, I studied the courses available, watched tons of videos on YouTube (especially Tony Robbins), and calculated how I would pay for the certification process.

I soon realized that most of the life coaching industry focuses upon dolling out simple questions (albeit seemingly elusive to most of us) that inspire us to find our own answers to our problems. Instead of relying upon a life coach to help guide you in finding the answers you seek, learn the techniques they use, and apply them to yourself or your loved ones.

After all, just because the methods are somewhat shallow, it doesn’t mean they are entirely ineffective. Incorporating them into your life can have a significant positive impact! Just keep your expectations realistic.


Thinking You’re “Unlucky” is a Fallacy

Luck doesn’t exist. We might find ourselves thinking someone else has all the success in the world, but that thought process is a fallacy. Richard Wiseman pretty much proved it in the book (free PDF version) “The Luck Factor when he conducted an experiment that sought to provide evidence of whether a person is lucky or unlucky.

I won’t spoil it too much, but the gist of it is that he gathered participants and asked them to classify themselves as lucky or unlucky. He then gave them a newspaper and asked them to find a specific announcement.

However, he secretly placed a second announcement in it that instructed the participants to notify the researchers if they saw it to receive a bonus reward. All of the participants found the requested statement, but only those who self-identified as “lucky” found the secret announcement and received the bonus reward.

Each participant received the same opportunity to find the extra reward, so, was it “luck” that helped the “lucky” ones receive the bonus reward? No. Luck had nothing to do with it. In short, it is their mindset. Those who see themselves as “lucky” tend to examine life with a broader scope. Even if they unconsciously do so, they continuously scan their surroundings for opportunities.

If you want to improve your “luck,” you must first learn how to remove the blinders that keep you focused on one direction. Expanding your view will help you better recognize opportunities to improve your life.

Of course, there is a caveat to this logic. Extenuating circumstances that you have no control over can dictate the opportunities that come your way. However, everything that happens in your life is the result of your choices and how you reacted to other people’s choices. You must learn to recognize the difference between your choice and your reaction to their decisions.


The Techniques

A life coach isn’t supposed to give you answers to your most pressing questions. Instead, they use different questions and techniques that help you arrive at your solutions.

The Clarification Technique:

During a coaching session, you may layout a lot of scattered information about how you are feeling. The clarification technique is simply rewording your problem to make it more concise and help the coach make sure they understand your challenge.

You can use this technique on yourself by writing out your frustrations, then reviewing it to pick it out the critical information to more clearly define the problem. For example, you may write out something like this:

I feel like I am stuck in a rut every day. My kids aren’t paying as much attention to me as I would like them to, my spouse and I have been arguing a lot lately, and we’re just not making enough money to cover the bills and save for our dream vacation.

There is certainly a lot to unpack there. So, let’s pick out the fundamental problems and reword them to help us later define our goals. It may look something more like this:

I would like to have a little more adventure in life

I want to communicate better with my children

I want to communicate better with my spouse

I want to figure out ways to make more money or manage my money better

We have clarified the frustrations you are experiencing in more concise statements. From here, we move on to the next technique.


Envision the Future & The Reward

Envisioning the future and the reward realistically is sometimes a difficult task, but it gives you a vision of where you want (and need?) to be to feel more fulfilled. Once you have a clear view of what you want for the future and the reward that lies therein, you can work your way backward to determine the steps you need to take to get there.

Just make sure your vision for one or five years from now is realistic. Don’t expect to become a millionaire by next year, but it may be achievable in five or ten years. Now, create the roadmap to achieving that goal by halving the timeframe. For example:

Twelve months: “In one year, I want to have $5,000 saved up for my dream vacation.”

Six months: “I would need to have saved $2,500 by doing this and that. Perhaps I would have a side-hustle to help.”

Three months: “I will find a side-hustle, cancel these subscriptions, and stop going out to eat.”

One month: “In the first month, I will research interest-bearing savings accounts, ways to maximize those returns, research side-hustles, and do the math to figure out how much money I can set aside each month.”

It may sound counter-intuitive, but as you work your way backward, you will find it easier to figure out the first step. As time goes on, review your plan and tweak it as needed to ensure you’re staying on track and as new opportunities and ideas come to mind.


Learn From the Past to Shape the Future

Try to recall similar situations from your past and how you overcame it. If you did not overcome it, reflect on why you didn’t. Hindsight is 20/20. We can often look back and think of what we would have done differently to change the outcome.

But, use this technique sparingly as you don’t want to get stuck in the past and thinking about mistakes. Just try your best to recall similarities in the problem and the potential solutions at hand to see if they will work in the current situation.

For example, if you want to work out more often, think about why you don’t work out now. Then, try to recall if there was a time when you found a way to overcome the block. Perhaps you discovered a relaxed dance class where you made new friends. Your motivation may lie in working out with other people. Therefore, you could look for group activities or classes to join that will motivate you to move.


On a Scale of 1 to 10

Our minds find the use of numbers and percentages easier to digest when trying to figure out complex situations. So, don’t be afraid of reducing a question down to “on a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied am I with…” to help you prioritize which problems, ideas, and solutions you should focus on:

  • Life Purpose & Direction
  • Career Direction & Fulfillment
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Time Management
  • Self Development/Learning
  • Organization
  • Financial Situation
  • Relationships
  • Health & Image
  • Confidence & Self-Esteem
  • Spiritual Path

Once you determine which concepts are higher or lower on the scale, you can arrange them in order of significance to give a clearer picture of which direction to go.


Correct Your Language

Speaking more positively is a simple concept, but challenging to make into a habit. Stop using terms like “trying” or “I hope” when discussing your goals. Instead, use action-affirming words like “doing” or “I will figure this out.” It’s easier said than done, but it is one massive step toward training your brain to look differently at the world around you and seek out opportunities.

As any writer knows: Passive voice kills a good story. The same goes for your goals. Passive thoughts and words don’t inspire the desire to move forward.


Only You Can Validate Yourself

In many instances, you probably know exactly what you want or need to do to achieve a goal, but you have some sort of wall or block preventing you from pushing forward. We often seek outside validation for our actions, and if we don’t receive it, we think it must not have been a good idea.

Remember that no one can validate you. You must validate yourself. If you want to start a business, you don’t need anyone else’s approval. Find the reasons deep down why you feel so passionately about it to validate yourself and go for it. If you fail, so what?! You gave it a try and undoubtedly learned a lot of lessons.


A Personal Power Statement

Call it a power statement or mantra or whatever you please. Develop a personal statement (or several) to remind yourself of when times are tough. Use powerful, uplifting words. Pick ten positive words that describe you:

I am strong… intelligent… eager to learn… intrepid…

Whatever it is, it should feel you with a sense of power and motivation each time you say it. Develop a routine to repeat your power statement to yourself in the mirror after you get out of the shower, during your commute to work, or right before bed, and anytime you need a pick-me-up.


Extra Questions to Ask Yourself
  1. Where am I experiencing the most dissonance in my (life, job, family, etc.)?
  2. What are three things I can do… (to make it better, to overcome this, etc.)
  3. What are three words that describe… (your childhood, your personality, your relationship, your job, etc.)
  4. What can I do better to…
  5. What is the risk if I do/don’t…
  6. What is the reward if I do/don’t…
  7. How comfortable am I in… (my home, job, town, relationship, etc.)
  8. What mental/emotional/spiritual effect did this situation have on me?
  9. What is the most significant positive change I can make right now?
  10. What is the most significant potential mistake I can make right now?
  11. What makes this move worth it?
  12. What about this inspires me?
  13. How can I apply that inspiration to my life?
  14. What about this triggers me?
  15. How can I better handle that trigger?
  16. What is my most prevalent emotion? Why?
  17. How can I better express my thoughts/feelings on a topic?
  18. Who am I?
  19. Who am I not?
  20. What do I want my legacy to be?
  21. What is difficult for me to talk about?
  22. What is easy for me to talk about?
  23. What is my life purpose?
  24. What does money mean to me?
  25. What does leadership look like to me?
  26. What do I deserve? Why?
  27. What are my weakest areas?
  28. What are my strongest areas?
  29. What scares me about… (growing old, dying, living, making a move, etc.)
  30. What inspiration can I find in… (growing old, dying, living, making a move, etc.)

Your Worldview is Your Choice

Do your best to choose positivity as often as you can because there is truth in the idea that your thoughts shape your worldview, opportunities, and influence. This doesn’t mean you need to ignore all negative thoughts. They serve an essential purpose in life. But, finding a balance between the positive and negative will ultimately lead you to expand your horizons and your worldview.

While there will be roadblocks and circumstances you can’t control, you indeed are the designer of your future to an extent most of us fail to realize. Everything in your past has served the purpose of showing who you are or are not, what you deserve or don’t deserve, and what you need to do to make yourself stronger.

Own it!

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