10 Self Coaching Fundamentals

by in Discipline, Guest Posts, Kitchen Sink, Life Coaching, Lifestyle Tips, Motivation, Zen Thinking November 24, 2008

PhotobucketBy Tim Brownson

Author of Don’t Ask Stupid Questions – There Are No Stupid Questions

I was talking to somebody the other day about fluff. I’m not referring to the stuff that finds its way into your belly button, but book fluff or filler. I could easily distill several of the seminal self-development books into a few paragraphs if I was so inclined.

The thing is though, nobody spends $20 on one piece of mass produced paper no matter what words of wisdom are printed on it. So writers have to bulk their books out to deliver perceived value and get people to hand over their hard earned cash.

I’ve decided to unbulk the coaching process and invent a new word into the bargain. Here are ten tips that if you follow will guarantee an improvement in the quality of your life, or I’ll give you your money back.


#1 Align With Your Values

Unless you know what your core values are you will struggle with blocks in your life. All your decisions are based around your values and what you consider imperative to your life.

For example, if you have a number one value of integrity and work for a business that rips off its customers (even if you are not involved in the actual process) then you will feel uncomfortable either consciously or unconsciously.

There are also away from values, things that you move away from at all costs and again you should know what these are as they can frequently be the reason why you just can’t follow through with somethings no matter how hard you try.

#2 Happiness is Internal

Yeh, yeh, yeh, I know, it’s a cliché. I don’t care though because it’s true. Chase money, possessions, titles as much as you want, but realize that they wont bring you happiness. You already have that if you can be bothered to dig around and look for it. Being in complete alignment with your values will help you find happiness.

#3 Beliefs Aren’t Real

Your belief system is something that you’ve built up over your life. It comes from your parents, your friends, your colleagues and many other sources. It is evolving and changing all the time.

You probably believe in the tooth fairy, but somebody told me only last week, she really doesn’t exist. Disappointing though that is, especially as I have been stock piling my new puppies teeth for a big payday, we just have to accept reality and change the belief.

What false beliefs about your abilities are you holding onto that are holding you back? When you know they are, undermine them, look for counter examples and replace them with more empowering beliefs. After all, if you think you can, you probably can.

#4 The Map Is Not The Territory

This is a presupposition of NLP and critical to understanding and making changes. Just because you view something one way doesn’t make it so. Everybody has his or her own map and theirs is just as accurate as yours. Adopting that one belief will remove conflict from your life.

#5 Use Perceptual Positions

If in moments of introspection you can take a step back and view your life or any given situation from a watchers point of view you will often see things that you can’t see from your angle. It can also be useful to take the 2nd person position, which involves seeing you through the eyes of the person you are talking to or involved with. Most people resist this especially when coming under attack, be different.

#6 Write it Down

Whether it is goals or simply ideas you have on trying to improve your life put them on paper. The sheer act of writing something down sends a message to the unconscious mind that you are serious about what you are doing that it need to get to work on bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.

#7 Every Action has a Positive Intention

This is another NLP presupposition. Even when you do what sometimes seem like ridiculous things there is always a positive intent behind it. It may take some digging to get to it but it is there.

Taking smoking as an example. It can seem self-destructive and often smokers that want to quit will refuse to see the benefits, but they are there. By accepting that your actions are not there to harm you (even self-harm fits into this category) you are infinitely more likely to be able to make changes

#8 Model

If you are unsure how to do something copy somebody that is proficient. This is how children learn to speak and it is how we get good at something quickly. Too many people are frightened of asking for help because they think it makes them look weak. In my not so humble opinion, not asking for help makes you look stupid.

#9 Make Mistakes

Mistakes are feedback, they are nature’s way of telling us we need to adjust to take stock and reconsider. They do not mean we are failure as a person just that we failed at a task. Relish mistakes, hug them, caress them and thank them for dropping by because they are helping you to learn.

#10 Be Kind To Yourself

This is so important to get a handle on. There really is no need EVER to beat yourself up, be kind to yourself like you would a loved one. We all make mistakes, even the super successful make mistakes, try and learn from them and move on. Too many people seem to be great at beating themselves up and terrible at praising themselves. Give yourself some credit from time to time, you deserve it!


Tim Brownson is a UK qualified Life Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and certified Hypnotherapist and author of Don’t Ask Stupid Questions – There Are No Stupid Questions.

He coaches both face-to-face in Orlando and over the telephone with clients all over the United States, Canada and ‘back home’ in the UK.

Subscribe to Tim’s free life coaching blog, and stop by his bookstore for more life coaching motivation.

Related Reading:

What is a Life Coach?
How to Quit Smoking
How to Transform Fear

  1. Writing it down really helps me. Great points!

  2. What a fantastic list. This is really the basis and basics of coaching. Thanks Tim 🙂

  3. Hey Tim,

    Good list.

    Can I add a few more 🙂

    * Decide what you really want in your life.

    * Do things in a Kaizen way. Which basically comes down to Making small improvements on a consistent basis.

    Have fun


  4. I wonder what people did in the old days before the huge industry of “Life Coaching” sprang up? Just got on with I suppose which has always been my philosophy! Oh, and don’t take yourself to seriously.

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