In my first post about coaching yourself, I talked about the five components of self-coaching:
- Building awareness
- Interrupting thoughts, actions, and feelings
Then, I went through the first two: awareness and acceptance. If you are still with me, today I’ll talk a bit about Practice. What is it? How do we do it?
By now. you may have the framework to understand why you do what you do, but if you are anything like me, you probably would rather jump right to the end, thinking that understanding is sufficient for to “get it,” but it is no.
You and I only develop a new habit with practice. New thoughts need to be practiced. Once they become a part of us, they then can drive new feelings and new actions.
You wouldn’t sign up for a marathon and show up at the starting line without having practiced running, right? You and I cannot skimp on practice.
Asking Powerful Questions:
By asking questions, we can redirect our brain to see a situation differently. A great one to start with is, “What thought am I thinking that makes me feel this way?”
When we do this, we are asking our brain to identify the thought and not the circumstance creating how we feel.
Doing Scary Things
When we practice doing things that scare us, we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and teach our brain that we can survive difficult things. We are learning that it’s okay to feel negative emotions and that we will get to the other side.
When we practice mindfulness, we become mindful of what is going on in our minds and we find out where we tend to go in our thoughts.
Take waiting in line for example. You can practice waiting without anu distractions (like your phone). You might find your mind filled with thoughts like, “How much longer? Why did this person cut the line?” You might realize that even though you are free to think about whatever you want to think during that time, your brain wants to dwell on a specific thought. This will help you understand where your thoughts naturally go, and then you can decide if you like that direction or not.
Thoughts are always optional.
As we practice new thoughts, we create new feelings, which bring about new actions and results. As we practice new thoughts, we create new neuro-pathways in our brain and begin to incorporate them in our life.
A lovely way to practice new thoughts is to email them to you daily or use them as passwords that we have to type in every day. This forces our brain to make it more of a habit.
Two weeks from now, we will finish this series about self-coaching. For now, start practicing some of these things, and tell us in the comments how you are doing with it! And as always, please share this blog post with anyone who might have need of it!