Self-Coaching: Can It Work?


Is it possible to self-coach?

You read stories every day about someone with absolutely no experience learns how to build a complete house – structure, plumbing, electrical, everything – using only YouTube tutorials.

Or a rank amateur learns how to strip a 1952 car engine and rebuild it using what they learned from a car restoration program on TV.

My own son taught himself how to drive a manual car simply by studying YouTube videos and playing driving video games (I kid you not) – and a ton of practice of course.

It seems logical and certainly possible, therefore, that you could also coach yourself, doesn’t it?

The essence of all coaching is in the ability, desire, and appropriate action required to create positive change. You’ve probably already made some fantastic changes in your life without a coach, right?

Advantages of Self-Coaching

You should be able to take any circumstance, event, situation, or idea and think it through with enough depth and perception to move it from thought into action, and then into reality, without needing to involve anyone else, shouldn’t you?

You’ve done it before many times, right?

You’ve probably done some of these: read books, watched videos, said affirmations, and posted motivational quotes on your mirror.

Logic says that by coaching yourself, you have the advantage of really knowing what makes you tick, your history, and what your likes and dislikes.

Nobody is better than YOU when it comes to knowing all about YOU and how YOU feel about YOU.

Consider these other advantages of self-coaching:

  1. No time or location constraints. You always know where you are and what you are doing, so you can engage in the coaching process pretty much anytime, anywhere. You can choose the issue or the idea and start right now if you want.
  2. You can choose your own process. You can choose a free-flowing approach to tackling the issue or a more structured methodology.
    • You can sit your imaginary other self in a chair and engage verbally.
    • You can journal and make notes.
    • You can ride your bike or hike up a mountain.
    • You can even record your self-to-self exchange on your phone.
  3. You don’t have to conform. You don’t have to conform to someone else’s ideals or methods.
  4. No need for anyone’s approval. You don’t need anyone else’s approval to take the actions you determine to be most appropriate.

Advantages of Hiring a Coach

On the other hand, how are you going to challenge our own perceptions, beliefs, or old patterns of behaviour?

Will you ever be able to ask yourself challenging-enough questions to influence your thoughts and patterns to determine the effectiveness or efficiency of your strategies?

Then, there is the all-important action element. Are you more likely to take action on your own than you are when faced with the accountability of your coach?

Personal development books, affirmations, and motivational quotes will only get you so far.

As Albert Einstein whispers to us so succinctly – “You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.”

Self-analysis and self-understanding are critical but they can only get you so far.

If you really want change, if you really want positive outcomes, and you want them ASAP, by far your best strategy is to get a coach.

The coaching process is much more a cooperative, collaborative experience than a one-sided leader/follower arrangement (like your own mind).

You work through your challenges jointly.

You get so much more out of your coaching if you can share your insights with your coach. They’re much better positioned to steer you directly and precisely towards the outcome you really want.

Don’t get me wrong. Self-help is truly beneficial – I am a fan as well. However, rapid, permanent, positive change is even better – and who doesn’t want that?

If you want to get the very best out of yourself, if you want things to improve in all aspects of your life, hire a coach that is a good fit for you and the area you are working on. You’ll get further much faster.

Need help choosing a coach? Check out our Directory of coaches.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.