In my first post about coaching yourself, I talked about the five components of self-coaching: Building awareness, Acceptance, Practice, Interrupting thoughts, actions, and feelings and Learning. Then I expanded a bit on the first three.
In the second post, we concentrated on practicing all kinds of things.
Today, we’ll finish this series with the last two components: Interrupting the cycle and learning.
4. Interrupting the Cycle
Cycles always run their courses. They always do unless you interrupt them.
You know how when you accidentally stub your toe, you have a learned response to it? It probably is a mixture of expletives and “You’re so stupid, oh my god, I can’t believe you did that,” followed by feeling stupid and angry. This is the cycle playing out on its own.
Interrupting the Self-critic
You know that what you think will determine how you will feel.
So what if you simply interrupted your self-critic?
What if stubbing your toe did not have to mean anything about you? You will actually find out that the stubbing hurts a little bit less when you don’t add the negative emotion of annoyance or irritation on top of the physical pain.
In Small Ways
It’s very useful to practice interrupting yourself in small ways. Like for example what you say to yourself when you catch your reflection in a mirror.
It takes being aware of what you say to yourself, really acknowledging it and then deciding that you are not going to say that about yourself any longer.
Your thoughts are optional. You cna choose to not have negative self-talk.
Really pay attention to the language that you use. Language really matters.
If you have practiced saying “I have to,” or “I should,” you probably have practiced feelings of overwhelm and dread, because “I have to” and “I should” never create a positive emotion. There is no upside to it. You are free to interrupt that language and replace it with “I get to.” the thoughts that you think create how you feel.
Self-coaching is very much about self-discovery and learning. If you can look at your thoughts, feeling and actions as an opportunity to be curious about yourself, you will find yourself on a fascinating journey of growth.
Practice curiosity. Open your eyes. Wonder.
So, my friend, what are you ready to interrupt in your life? Let me know so I can cheer you on! And as always, share this blog post with your friends; I bet you know someone who needs it.