With the year being nearly over, isn’t it time for reflection and transformation?
Good resolutions are a common thing in this early festive season. But to keep up with your objectives, you need a little more than good intentions!
Sometimes, you need to find ways to coach yourself. Sometimes, you need help.
The ones who can answer your call are specific people: coaches. I can’t think of any athlete, entrepreneur, executive or even political figure who has achieved outstanding success without being coached.
Coaches have that magic way to show how to take risks and step in the unknown, keep you both on track and accountable, and push you to go above and beyond what you can do.
Not ready to go that far? Not a problem.
Here are 10 awesome questions to coach yourself (and others).
What’s the benefit of this problem?
Usually, you reach out to a coach because you’re stuck. But if you want to coach yourself, you’ll need to know the problem intimately. Can you make your issue a growth friend, and see the positive outcomes?
If you don’t change, what’s the cost in the long run?
What do you really want to achieve?
Setting specific and measurable goals is the starting point of any transformation process.
A vague intention (“I need to be better at public speaking”) will never bring as much commitment as a clear cut objective that you can assess, measure and track (“I will present within the next 3 months”).
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What’s missing for you to go there?
Sit quietly, undisturbed, and go on a journey of introspection. Be honest with yourself. What is it? (Really…).
A fierce coach could question you on “why is this happening?” for hours. Say you want a new, better paid job? What would radically change for you if you got that job? Right now, do you miss the money or recognition from your boss?
We often stop when we see symptoms. To coach yourself efficiently, go on a quest to find the root causes. Do you experience toxic distractions that undermine your leadership?
What do you need to give up to create space for change?
You need space in your life, your mind, and even around you, for transformation to happen. You can easily coach yourself to detect distractions that won’t serve you in the long run.
Explore the habits, beliefs and things you do without thinking that suck the energy and time you need to evolve.
Want to be more creative? Maybe it’ll take breaking some mental patterns, or forming new habits to see things from a different perspective.
Which of your core values does your goal express?
You never really change with your head. You change with your heart.
Say you coach yourself to quit smoking. You know it’s bad for you already. But you’ll decide to stop once you feel it’s bad for you, or others around you.
Your personal values, what you believe in, or what matters to you, are the inner drivers you need to achieve any transformation. Don’t know where to start? Check out How to Define Your Personal Core Values.
What are the options?
When you jump to the conclusion, you often carry a perception of a “you” who’s smaller than you really are.
Listing down your options is key to exploring what you’re capable of doing, be it right now or in the future. A great place to start is to embrace innovative thinking and risk taking.
How often do you say “it’s not an option for me” because you don’t trust that you can do it? Which leads into…
What part of this you can do?
For some of us, the transformation we expect to see is far too large to be taken in one go.
“Too hard”. “Unachievable”. “Not for me”. You get defeated before you even start. And then you quit.
Use this small trick to coach yourself and get negativity out of the way: can you deconstruct the process instead?
Say you’re trying to improve the way you engage with your team at work. You won’t get results overnight. But how could it shift things progressively? Creating an ecosystem to inspire and motivate? Giving praise once a week? Harness the power of Emotional Intelligence? More feedback?
What’s the plan to get there?
A good coach will give you a hard time with planning. They will hold you to your word, and ask you to set timelines for progress.
If you don’t have anyone to regularly discuss progress with, there’s no reason for you not to do it on your own! A little bit of discipline and an accountability buddy can be enough to keep you on track. Or why don’t you try one of these 13 Accountability Apps?
What does success look like?
Transformation is a marathon. To keep going, you need to acknowledge when success knocks at your door.
Success isn’t necessarily material or financial. What are the simple things you can celebrate, because they are obvious signs of you being on the right path? Can you celebrate at least one individual, and one team success?
Revisit the “what part of it you can do?” section. What part of it did you achieve recently?
If you weren’t scared, what would you do?
Fear is universal. I don’t know anyone immune to fear. But I know many people who can act in spite of it, and overcome their fear of failure.
One day after the next, you can do more than what you can see. Most of the time, what keeps you in the dark is your own fear. Always remember that if you’re changing, you’re growing.
Navigating change easily is an adventure where hopes, setbacks, iterations, and breakthroughs are waiting for you. But that’s the best part of it!
Coaches model skills that are highly valuable when it comes to leadership. And adopting their powerful questioning techniques can help you overcome limiting beliefs and make the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’!
The right questions to coach yourself (or others) are the fuel for you to go above and beyond what you can do. What’s left for you to ignite positive change (or help others do so)? The confidence that with the right time and the right amount of effort, anything is possible.