I often tell people that, “I am my own best client.” Being an Executive Life Coach gives me the privilege to meet an amazing array of successful leaders, from business owners to executives. Together, we establish new patterns of success, explore more effective ways to approach challenges, and set up strategies to stay on track.
And although a lot happens during a call, a large portion of the work happens outside of a coaching session –namely the client has to engage the motivation to take action and implement the strategies from the call. Here are 7 simple strategies you can use to coach *yourself* whether or not you are in fact working with an executive coach.
1- Stop for a few moments every morning and reconnect with your life’s purpose, truths and desires. Take a look at the big picture of what you want to create, your mission, purpose, and desires for the future. Really focus on getting to your place of truth of what you most desire. Go deeper than, “win the lottery, get a date, take my kids to school and relax tonight watching tv.” Find a moment to reflect on the inner truths of your life. It will serve and guide your decisions and actions the rest of the day.
2- Make a list of the top 3-5 very specific things you are fearing, procrastinating or just plain old scared to death to do. They should be things that are moving you towards your purpose, truth, mission, and desires from step #1. I often ask myself, “If I were to die tonight, what would I do today to die a whole and complete man, knowing that I lived my purpose? What small challenges would I overcome for my own personal triumphs?” Remember the 80-20 rule? That top 20% is the sum of the small action items where you are currently out of integrity because you may be fearful and procrastinating.
3- Move your body to motivate yourself to kick some ass: personally and with others. Pick up that old song, move your body and sing at the top of your lungs. You have to move if you want to create energy. Remember, force = mass X acceleration. If you never move your mass, you will never start to accelerate your life and it will never have any energy. You have to move! We are made to move. Drop the expectations of hours at the gym, do something simple, stretch, walk, and find a way to move! Listen to that song, put your chin up and shoulders back, take a deep breath from down in your diaphragm. Enjoy the feeling!
4- Break the rules. Even yours sometimes! I’m not talking about doing something to get youself in jail but if you would never roll down the windows and sing at the top of your lungs…do it. Break some small rules to experience that little emotional “Yeah” (I repeat, nothing against the law! :D) People stuck in their lives of hum-drum will just tell you to be quiet and keep things even keeled, but emotional moment sticks with you!!! So bring in the passion! Dare to go against expectations, take a risk or buck conventions a bit!
5- Find a peer group to create leverage to complete items #1-4. We all need some outside support to achieve our dreams. I have three very close people (besides my wife) who help to keep me focused, energized and accountable to what I say I am going to do. It is great to have a full life and share it with others. You guys know who you are and “YOU ROCK!” They are my greatest cheer team and they also hold nothing back in terms of direct feedback! Remember, no one stands up and the Oscars to accept the award and says, “Yeah man, I deserve this. I worked my butt off and no one helped me at all. I am the man.” Instead, they always have people to thank for their success. Who would you thank?
6- Learn something new that is of interest to you and apply it. Read all you can and immerse yourself in developing your personal interests. It will build into your life creativity, mastery of skill, and it will become not what you know, but who you are. And, remember to apply one thing you learn everyday until it is mastered in your life.
7- Last and best… Remember to work from you places of strength, not weakness. Remember the basic principles that define who you are and how you want to live your life. Remember that while you may be driving to fix and change something in your life, you are also perfect the way you are now. Remember to stay focused on your basic strengths and use them. If you are a person whose strength is mastering a single task, then become the first chair soloist. And if you are a big picture strategist, become the conductor of the orchestra. Both need each other! Stay focused on who you are and what you can become. Stay away from focusing on what you are not and what you “should” become.
There might be a time when you decide that you need the support and expert guidance of an executive life coach, but there are many times when you can take the task on yourself. These 7 steps can help you to coach yourself.
To your continued success,