This is THE most important principle my classmates and I were taught during Life Coach Training.
It means, every time we feel troubled about anything, we must sit down and self-coach ourselves.
Yesterday, I was depressed because I lost my voice.
This is what self-coaching looks like.
First I state the circumstance, the actual fact about what is going on:
Circumstance: I lost my voice.
Next, I look at what the predominant thought or feeling I have about that circumstance.
Predominant feeling: Depression
Then, I look at all the thoughts that are causing that feeling. This is really important because, contrary to what most people believe, it is never the circumstance that causes you to feel bad. It’s your thoughts about that circumstance that causes you to feel bad.
I can’t coach
I have PTSD. The last time I lost my voice, it was gone for 9 days.
Why does this keep happening to me?
Next, I look at the actions that these thoughts are causing me to do.
Sit around and feel sorry for myself
Look to my husband to make me feel better.
Look to my sister for sympathy.
Finally, and most importantly, I look at each thought and literally punch holes in the stories that I am telling myself.
Thought: I can’t coach.
The actual fact is, I can’t coach by phone. I coached yesterday through emailing and I got the nicest email from that client saying how grateful she was and how much of an impact our session had on her.
And then I go a little deeper.
I can’t coach by phone, so what? What is the worst case scenario?
I will not be able to talk for 9 days.
Then I’ll coach by email for a week or two, and then I’ll go back to coaching on the phone.
I also like to throw in a few reality checks during my self coaching session.
Judy, you have a virus that knocked out your voice. It’s not a permanent thing. Just email your clients and let them know. This has happened twice before and your coaching practice survived both times. It’s going to be okay.
Thought: I have PTSD.
What is different from the last time you had this?
1. I’m home, not in Europe.
2. I’m not afraid of dying. I’ve already been to a doctor who listened to my lungs and said, “You have a virus.”
3. This isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s not new.
4. I don’t feel sick. Last time I was wiped out.
5. It’s summer, not winter. I can sit in the sun.
6. I am on the correct medication this time.
Judy, you just need to be patient.
Thought: Why does this keep happening to me?
Okay, it’s been 18 months since this happened to you.
This isn’t cancer and it is not life threatening. Most likely, you will not have a voice for a few days, maybe a week or two at most. There is nothing major going on in my life that I actually need my voice. My Master Coach Training doesn’t start for another few weeks, my son is not getting married for another 6 weeks, the wedding I am officiating at isn’t for another 4 1/2 months. If I am going to lose my voice, now is actually a pretty good time.
Okay my friends, recap time:
1. State the actual fact of the circumstance.
2. Figure out the predominant thought or feeling you are having.
If it’s a feeling, figure out the thoughts that are causing you to feel this way.
If it’s a thought, figure how how that thought is making you feel.
3. Notice what actions you are taking because of how you feel.
4. Punch holes in your story and do some reality checking.
This is what I do when I want to feel better.
Hope this process can help you next time you are feeing bad!