How to coach yourself

Life coaching has changed my life forever.

So much so that I became a Certified Life Coach through The Life Coach School last year.

In a few short months, I’ll have my own coaching program out, called Grow You. It’s for high achieving women who want to love their lives as much as they thought they would when they were kids. If you’re interested in learning more, you can reserve a spot on the waitlist here.

Not only is it amazing to get coached by a professional life coach, but it’s also (and equally) as important to coach yourself.

Coaching yourself is one of the most powerful ways to change your life.

If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — How To Coach Yourself.

Why Coach Yourself?

There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to coach yourself.

Here are some of the reasons why…

  • Coaching yourself brings awareness to your thinking
  • You can use self-coaching to feel better
  • You’ll be able to solve your own problems
  • You’ll learn how to think more deliberately
  • You’ll learn how to accomplish new and different things in the future (and how to manifest them easily)
  • You’ll learn how to process negative emotions without obsessing and spinning out
  • You’ll learn how to tell a different story about your past
  • You’ll learn how to create positive emotions

So, yea… self-coaching is a life changer.

 

When Should You Coach Yourself

I’m often asked when you should self-coach.

I suggest self-coaching at the following times…

  1. As part of your daily, weekly, or monthly routine
  2. When you have a goal that you haven’t made progress in
  3. Whenever you have a problem

I like to self-coach and make it a habit, so I self-coach every weekday morning. It takes about 10-20 minutes.

I think anytime you can make something a habit, you really hone the skill and see the results in your life. I know other people who self-coach two days per week, instead, though, and this also works just fine.

Another time you really want to make sure you self-coach is when you have a problem or have a goal where you’re not seeing progress. For example, if you have been “starting an online business” for a few years and haven’t seen consistent growth in your business, you would want to self-coach to see what’s really going on.

 

The Tool To Use To Coach Yourself: The CTFAR Model

The coaching tool that I teach (and use) is the CTFAR Model.

I’ve talked a little bit about The Model in other posts and podcasts that you can reference here:

The CTFAR Model is the main coaching tool I learned in coach training at The Life Coach School.

The Model is based on the following… 

  • You cannot control the world.
  • Nothing outside of you has the power to make you feel good or bad.
  • It is not the circumstances, but your thoughts about the circumstances, that create your experience.
  • You attract what you think about.
  • Emotions are vibrations that lead to action.
  • You can’t permanently change your results without changing your thoughts.
  • You don’t have to get anything to feel better; you can feel better right now.
  • Being conscious and choosing your thoughts are the most important components to feeling better.
  • When you think a thought, you feel a feeling. When you feel a feeling, you take action (or not) because of how you feel. Your actions (behaviors) create your experience in the world and ultimately what your life looks like—your results. If your thoughts suck, your life is going to suck. The circumstance triggers the thought that gets the cycle started. The negative thought leads to the negative feeling, then action, then result. Other coaching programs attempt to “fix” the problem by focusing on changing the actions and results without changing their cause.

The CTFAR Model is a life changer. Truly, it has changed my life forever and improved the way I experience the world.

CTFAR stands for: 

  • C: Circumstance is something that happens in the world
  • T: Thought is a sentence in your head (this is where you self-coach)
  • F: Feeling is a vibration in your body (caused by your thoughts)
  • A: Action (or inaction) is what you do or don’t do, which is caused by your thoughts.
  • R: Results is what happens as the effect of your actions or inactions

The CTFAR Model is what I use to coach clients with and it’s also what I use to coach myself with.

 

How To Coach Yourself

You can use The Model to coach yourself using the method below…

Here is the process to coach yourself.

 

Step 1: Do a thought download

The first step is to do a Thought Download (TD).

The way this works is that you write (or type) your thoughts about a circumstance for about 10 minutes. 

Write without analyzing what you’re writing.

You have to write, though. No doing this in your head.

You should also do it about a specific instance, not something general. For example, you might write about an instance where you felt scarcity because you thought you couldn’t go on vacation like your other friends. You would not want to write about how you’re “always in scarcity.” The more specific the circumstance, the better. 

This is basically a journal entry or brainstorm.

 

Step 2: Put a thought in an Unintentional Model

Once you’re done with the Thought Download (TD), pull any thought from what you wrote down and put it in a Model.

You’re going to put it in what’s called an “Unintentional Model.” This is showing what happened already. It’s what’s going on in your head about the past or right now. (Below you’ll do what’s called an Intentional Model to plan for the future).

You can pick any thought for the Model that you want. It doesn’t need to be “deep” or the best. Any thought will work.

Put your circumstance in the C line followed by the thought in the T line. Then complete the rest of the Model.

 

Here’s an example of filling out a CTFAR Model: 

  • C: My husband forgot my birthday.
  • T: My husband doesn’t care about me.
  • F: Lonely
  • A: Give husband cold shoulder; avoid husband; have attitude toward husband; am mean toward husband.
  • R: I don’t show love and care about my husband.

 

Here are some notes to keep in mind for the CTFAR Model… 

  • C – circumstance
    • The circumstance must be completely neutral.
    • Do not put a thought in this line.
  • T – thought
    • A thought is a sentence in your head.
    • Thoughts are always optional. You get to decide what you think, and you have the option of thinking something that feels terrible or thinking something that feels great.
  • F – feeling
    • Must be one word.
    • E.g.: love, happy, joy, frustrated, sad, uncomfortable, excited, determined, productive, self-pity, ambitious, confident, annoyed, grateful, amused
  • A – action
    • What you do or don’t do.
  • R – result
    • The result is the effect you create in your life by your thinking.
    • The R line always ties to the T line.
    • It’s the result for you (not for someone else).
    • E.g.: I don’t show love and care about my husband.

Using the example above, if you have a different thought in the T line, you’ll get a totally different result, despite having the same circumstance.

New Model… 

  • C: My husband forgot my birthday.
  • T: I know my husband wants to help me celebrate my birthday.
  • F: Loved
  • A: Remind husband it’s my birthday and help him plan something.
  • R: I help myself have an amazing birthday by loving myself and my husband.

When you do your own Models, you simply bring awareness and attention to how you’re the cause of all your problems.

Your brain is wired to think a certain way and when you become aware of this, you will see that you can take responsibility for, and solve, your own problems.

 

Step 3: Question everything

After you’ve filled out your Model, you want to look back over the Model and question everything.

Ask yourself if you really think the thought in the T line is true.

See if you can wiggle it a little bit so you can bring attention to the fact that this is optional.

All thoughts are always optional and this is just good to know.

I like to think about whether anyone else in the world could possibly think a different thought given the circumstance. The answer is always yes, which shows me that I created that thought myself. If it’s causing a negative feeling, I can then decide if I want to keep that thought or not.

The goal is not to always feel good, but to know that it’s you who is causing your emotions.

If your spouse cheats on you, it’s likely you’ll want to think a thought that causes negative emotion.

It’s knowing that it’s your choice to think and feel whatever you want that gives you power. 

It’s having your own back and taking responsibility.

 

Step 4: Do an Intentional Model

Usually, as soon as you do an Unintentional Model, you’ll see that you’re creating negative thoughts at your own expense and want to change them immediately.

It’s really important and useful to stay in the Unintentional Model until you’re for sure ready to move on. This could be days or weeks of coaching on the same topic. You could even spend months if you need to. But that’s where the work is. It will change your life.

That said, at some point, you’ll want to move to what’s called an Intentional Model.

An Intentional Model is where you take the same circumstance from the Unintentional Model and decide how you want to think, feel, and act in the future. 

Start in the C line and write down the original circumstance from the Unintentional Model. Then jump down to any other line and decide how you want to feel. You can start with the R (my personal fave) or with the F, if you want to feel a certain way. I think it’s hard to go to the T line right away, but you can. Whenever you do go back to the T line (whether it’s first, second, or third), you have to make sure it’s a T you actually believe. You can’t put something in the T line that don’t believe.

Here’s another example.

Unintentional Model Example: 

  • C: She did not show up on time.
  • T: She does not respect me.
  • F: Rejected
  • A: Act passive-aggressive, make snide comments, don’t show up as a loving friend.
  • R: I don’t respect her as a friend; I’m not a good friend; I don’t respect myself.

Intentional Model Example: 

  • C: She did not know up on time (same C as above).
  • T: She must be busy, so I’m not going to take it personally.
  • F: Relaxed
  • A: Act kind and understanding; present during our lunch together; show up as a loving friend.
  • R: No negativity; I am loving.

The reason you would do an Intentional Model is so you can decide what you want to think, feel, or act like in the future, knowing that it will create certain results in your life.

The Intentional Model is where you can set goals and design the exact dream life you want in the future.

It’s the best tool I know of to get the results you want.

 

Step 5: Practice your new thought + repeat

Once you know what you want to be thinking (which you get from your Intentional Model), you should keep that new thought with you.

You can write down your new thought on a piece of paper that you carry in your purse or wallet, or you can put it in a note on your phone.

I currently have my new and best thoughts that I’m practicing on a huge whiteboard in the middle of my hallway. It’s awesome to see those thoughts every time I walk by.

Make sure that when you do this, you choose thoughts that are believable to you right now. If they’re too far of a stretch, you’ll end up trying to practice thoughts you don’t believe, which will have the opposite effect. But if you do it right, you’ll start to catch yourself when you default to old thought patterns and practice the new thoughts instead.

For example, one thought I’m working on right now is “making seven figures is easy.” I love this thought! It seems available to me and it feels really good, so I’m practicing it. I get to work and am super productive.

You’ll know you’re doing it right if the new thought you’re practicing moves you from a more scarcity-driven thought to an abundant thought. 

 

A Final Note!

Coaching yourself can change your life if you let it.

I heard this example from a fellow coach. She said that before self-coaching, you think the world is punching you in the face. After self-coaching, you realize you’re the one punching yourself in the face. The more you coach yourself, the less you want to get punched in the face, so eventually, you stop punching yourself.

Self-coaching is exactly like that.

You have total freedom in what you think and believe.