Self Coaching in 7 steps

I was delivering a workshop on coaching recently, and one of the participants said, “but you can’t coach yourself can you?!”

As a coach myself, I’m tempted to say, “no, of course not”!  However, whilst a business coach (or life coach) can be worth their weight in gold in terms of helping you to clarify direction, purpose and actions, investment in a coach can seem like a luxury to
many small businesses.

The truth is, if you allow yourself the time and space to think in a structured way, you can go some way towards coaching yourself.

This article (and the 37 page e-book ‘Take Yourself to Success’ that’s FREE to download at ) focuses on 7 steps that will help you to self coach your way to setting and achieving your goals.

1) Know what you want to achieve

It sounds like a statement of the blindingly obvious, but you wouldn’t BELIEVE how many people find it incredibly difficult to focus for any length of time on what they actually want. Left to their own devices, they’d spend the entire coaching conversation talking about the current problems and situations that they face, rather than what they want to achieve.

Crucial to self coaching is to REALLY know what you want to achieve, not just what you want to avoid. So think carefully – what is it that you really want to achieve? What will success look like when you get there?

2) Tighten up your goals and aspirations

Many people think that they have goals, but these aren’t real goals at all – they’re aspirations.

There’s a big difference between thinking “I want to be rich and famous” (or whatever), which is a rather vague aspiration, and being clear about how you might become rich and famous (by becoming a Hollywood star? A successful business person? A
criminal?!)  or indeed understanding WHY you want to be so.

Consider any vague aspirations that you might have for the future, and distil them into clear goals.  What EXACTLY do you want?

3) Pin down some real actions

Many people have goals and aspirations, think about them often … but don’t actually do the spadework required to make something happen.  Consider your goals carefully, and work out what you actually need to DO to make them happen, and when you need to do it.

Be aware that most people will stop right here … they know what they want to achieve and they have a reasonably clear idea what they need to do. They just don’t do it.

If this is you, revisit and clarify your goal and the reasons why you want to achieve it, so that it becomes an inspiration to you.

There is almost always more than one way to the top, so how might you achieve your goals? What are you going to actually DO?

4) Build the confidence to achieve

This is one of the reasons that many people don’t achieve their goals, whatever they are: they simply don’t believe that they can, or (crucially) that they deserve to.

Have confidence in yourself and your goals. If anyone can, YOU can.

Do you believe in yourself? What do you have to do to become the person who will achieve those goals? What’s holding you back?

5) Assess your abilities; learn new skills

As evidenced by many fairly ordinary individuals who have risen to the top of their fields, inability in a given area needn’t put the kybosh on your endeavours, because you can either:

a) LEARN to do something new, in order to achieve your goal, or

b) get someone else to do it.

Let’s imagine that you want to set up in business as an interior designer. You’re great at interior design… but are you good at managing money, or promoting yourself – crucial areas if you are to succeed in business?

You could either learn to do this yourself (and you WILL have to learn a minimal amount at least) … or pay a book-keeper or marketer to do it for you.

Focus also on the skills, abilities, attitudes and values that have worked well for you in the past. How will these carry you forward? What do you need to change? What do you need to do differently? What will you need to learn?

6) Maintain momentum and motivation

I hardly need say that goals aren’t achieved overnight – it can take perseverance. Look back at your past at times when you’ve thrown in the towel (maybe a little too soon?) What can you learn from this experience? What (or who) causes you to
lose motivation?

Recognising what de-rails you is an important step in self awareness – if you KNOW what’s likely to pull you off track, you can take pre-emptive steps to ensure that it doesn’t do so in the future.

7) Start now!

You don’t have to wait until there’s a fair wind, conditions are perfect or YOU are perfect before you take your first steps towards your goal.  Once you’ve established your goals and decided on a clear course of action, just get on and do it.

Take action. Doing something – almost anything – is far better than doing nothing at all.

After all, what’s stopping you??

The  e-book ‘Take Yourself to Success’ is available to download free at


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