Be Your Own Coach: What is Self-Coaching?

By Upskill Coach, On Jul 23rd 2020

Career, Performance, Personal Development, Business, Life Coach

Melisa Canevelli

I'm a certified Life Coach, with an MSc. in International Management and extensive leadership experience in business. I have coached people in America, Europe and Asia and speak Spanish and Italian as well as English.
Book Me

You may not know it, but you’re a coach. Your self-coaching stems from your ability to harness your inner wisdom and experiences to make good choices.

You may not know it, but you’re a coach.

You may not be certified, but you’ve been coaching yourself since you can remember.

As a child, you coached yourself how to get back on the playground after you fell off the climbing bars and scraped your knees.

Later, you coached yourself how to pick up the pieces in your life after your first bad breakup.

Your self-coaching stems from your ability to harness your inner wisdom and experiences to make choices that are best for you. 

In this post, we’ll learn more about how you can coach yourself, especially with a more defined routine, to develop the habits and behaviours to live your best life.

What is self-coaching?

Self-coaching isn’t hard to wrap your head around. You’ve probably done some self-coaching before without even realising it.

Self-coaching is when you cultivate your own personal development by accessing your inner wisdom.

While you could get an outside expert opinion from a psychologist or a mentor, you could also just trust your instincts and be your own judge! After all, no one knows you better than yourself.

Don’t think that just because you coach yourself, it means that you’re weak or insecure. In reality, no one is complete – no matter what life stage they’re in. There’s nothing wrong with viewing yourself as a work-in-progress. You’re simply at one stage in a very long journey toward self-improvement and development. In fact, if you have the confidence to recognise your goals and abilities, it’s a sign that you’re comfortable in your own skin, not the opposite.

Self-coaching in practice

So what does self-coaching look like?

It can be anything from coming up with an action plan, listing your strengths and weaknesses, reading a self-help book, or enrolling in a night class to supplement your learning. These are the types of activities that you’d do with a professional contracted coach. Working through the exercises on your own means you’re doing some self-coaching.

Imagine that you’re interested in learning to quilt. Where do you start? Do you do an online search or head to your local library for some research? Maybe you ask a friend that you know is knowledgeable about quilting.

Guess what? All of those actions are part of a self-coaching routine. There’s a really good chance that you’ve done something similar in your life – it just may not have been about quilting!

Once you know what self-coaching is, you’ll see it working in almost everything you do.

5 ways to self-coach:

Here are some easy ways to self-coach:

  1. Identify your interests. To start your self-coaching path, the first step is to figure out what you want to work on. However, that might not come naturally for everyone. We know a few exercises that can help, like the wheel of life, the why-finding activity or the Johari Window. We’ll take a closer look at each one a little later in this post. 
  2. Set goals for yourself. Outline the actions that you need to accomplish to make your dream a reality.
  3. Create a personal development plan. A good self-coaching routine starts with a plan. There are some easy steps that you can do to make your own plan here.
  4. Educate yourself. Learning is a core tenet of self-coaching. The good thing about having a plan and a routine is that you’ll be ready to study in an impactful way. You’ll do it not necessarily on an academic or technical level but for a deep and intellectual purpose, which enhances personal growth.
  5. Hold yourself accountable. Part of any great coaching plan is to incorporate accountability mechanisms. You can do this by setting up milestones, tracking progress and celebrating your successes. Don’t forget to learn from your defeats, too!

Self-coaching exercise: the wheel of life

There’s a coaching technique that’s so simple and effective that many business and life coaches use it as an exercise with their clients.

It’s called the wheel of life, and it’s a great exercise that you can do at home to get a handle on your self-development.

All you have to do is consider how you currently spend time in your life and how satisfied you are with each activity during your day-to-day schedule.

It should include any area that’s important to you. That includes financial, career, family, social, health, romance and hobbies. You can probably think of even more categories than that.

Here comes the “wheel” part – categorise your activities into a circle, like a pie chart. Each slice of the pie is an important aspect of your life.

Now, score your sense of satisfaction for each category. You can use a numbered scale from 1-10 or some other way to rank them. Rate them based on the level of reward you feel and the amount that each one excites you. 

Once everything’s ranked, it’ll be easy to notice which areas of your life need the most work.

The goal of the exercise is to get a snapshot of your current satisfaction in life. It’ll provide you with some details about where to start your self-coaching journey. Through self-growth, you’ll find ways to raise the scores until they’re balanced to acceptable levels based on how you prioritise each one.

Self-coaching exercise: finding your why

Another really great exercise that you can do on your own, at home, is to find your why.

Your why is a fundamental part of your coaching process because if you find it, you can use it to your advantage to stay motivated and accomplish your goals. Read our motivational blog to find your why.

Your why is your deepest-rooted passion. It’s the fire in your belly, so to speak. If you have a goal in mind, simply ask yourself “why do I want to accomplish this goal?” The answer is usually associated with powerful emotion. 

Then, ask yourself again. And again. And again!

It sounds tedious but it can actually be pretty fun and enlightening. Eventually, you’ll get to the bottom of it all and unlock your deepest motivator. 

Let’s look at an example: 

  • If you want to learn how to dance Flamenco, ask yourself “why?”
  • If the answer is “to learn how to dance”, then keep going: why?
  • You might realise that the reason you want to take dance lessons is to spend more time with your husband or wife. But don’t stop there! Why do you want to spend more time with them? 
  • Eventually, you might realise that your desire to dance is rooted in an emotional longing to connect with your husband or wife for fear of growing too distant from them.

As you can see, the “why” sequence can help with some amazing introspection. Now that you know more about the emotions that drive your interests, you can plan accordingly!

Your why will be the anchor to nearly all your self-coaching and development success.

Next up

Try out some of the exercises, above, and get into the routine of self-coaching. It can be a great supplement to the other development activities you do, such as your work with a mentor or coach or working on the goals in your career plan.

If you’ve gone through the exercises and still feel like you’re hitting a wall with your self-development, there’s plenty more you can do to help stay on track. Did you know that your mindset plays a huge role in your ability to grow as a person? For more information, try checking out our post on self-belief and how a strong self-belief system can help you accomplish your coaching goals.

Ready to take the next step?

15-minute free call

Book your 15-minute free discovery call today

Laura Linehan

Laura Linehan

Performance, Life, Career Coach

I am professionally trained as a Life Coach and an Executive Coach with 3 years coaching experience….

Career, Performance, Personal Development, Business, Life Coach

Melisa Canevelli

I'm a certified Life Coach, with an MSc. in International Management and extensive leadership experience in business. I have coached people in America, Europe and Asia and speak Spanish and Italian as well as English.
Book Me

Are you a coach or professional expert?

You can schedule appointments, meet clients and manage payments all in one place.

We list professional coaches and experienced mentors

The path to success will never be convenient. We believe coaching should be.