5 tips for being a good coach for yourself

Will believes you can be your own coach in change. You have the potential to create a life for yourself that makes you happy. You will have to be brave sometimes, confront yourself, push your limits and practice a lot. We are very honest about that. But with the right methodologies and tools you can really change your life. We give you those tools. You can coach yourself with the help of our online programmes

My eldest son was quite an easy baby. At 7 weeks, he slept the whole night through. But from 4 months, he woke up more and more at night. Not from hunger or a dirty diaper, not even wanting attention, but because he needed his pacifier to get back to sleep. At first it was 1 or 2 times a night, but that became more and more. Our night's sleep was interrupted several times and that started to weigh more heavily on our mood. I had already made several attempts to change this myself, without success. As soon as he started crying, I felt like a bad mum and gave him his pacifier anyway. When I really got tired of getting up ten times a night, I looked for help. Online programmes didn't exist yet. I went to a sleep expert, who taught me how to do things right. If I did what she suggested, we could all sleep through the night in a few nights. I trusted her expertise and I knew exactly what to do at any given moment. That gave me the strength to persevere during difficult times. After two nights, peace had returned.

Just like that sleep expert assisted me then, our online programmes can also guide you on your journey to happiness. Get it right with these 5 tips. 

Tip 1 – Start with the right mindset

'If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten' 

You need this mindset to be a good coach for yourself:

  • Open-minded

    If you feel resistance, you're not open to learning new things. Try to listen with wonder and curiosity. Our experts have years of experience. They know what works and what doesn't. Be willing to accept and try new ideas.
  • Healthy criticism

    This one may be at odds with the previous one but be critical of your old habits and beliefs. Dare to question and investigate the obvious.
  • Be honest with yourself

    This may seem obvious, but sometimes we fool ourselves and stick our heads in the sand. Often under the guise that it's not better elsewhere or that it isn't that bad yet.
  • Conscious

    Did you know that we live on autopilot more than 90% of the time? This means that our habits are very strong and largely determine our behaviour. If you make conscious choices, your results will change.

If I apply this to my son's story, it becomes recognisable. If I wanted restful nights again, I had to open up to what the sleep expert said. We lived in a flat, so I didn't want to let my baby cry too much or too long, because what would our neighbours think? Plus, I felt like a bad mother if I let my baby cry without doing anything. But it couldn't go on like this, so I was open to new strategies. What really helped me then was that the sleep expert could also predict how things would go. My baby was going to cry, but I had to let him cry for 2 minutes. I was given a manual that I had to follow closely. And that brings us to the next tip. 

Tip 2 – Believe in yourself and in your goals

'I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.' – Pippi Longstocking

A good coach sees the potential and the talent in the coachee. They see what the coachee is capable of if they were the best version of themself. They guide the coachee from where they are now to their goal. If you want to coach yourself, you need a certain amount of self-confidence, motivation and perseverance. A coach motivates and encourages. If I as coach would say to you: “Idiot, it's always the same with you, you can't do anything, you simpleton, this will never work, loser!”, then you would probably fire me immediately, and rightly so! If you're going to coach yourself, this also applies to you. Do you recognise these voices in yourself? Then be extra aware of this inner self saboteur. 

It may happen that things get worse before they get better. As soon as you start to change, your environment will resist. After all, they aren't used to this from you! But even then, keep moving, keep faith in the process and persevere. I promise you that if you do, wonderful things will happen. Not only your environment will revolt.Voices will also start yelling in your head. They'll turn up again and again during this process. And this can feel very uncomfortable. Be aware that you are at the beginning of something completely new and unknown.  And that creates various feelings: sometimes you 'll feel strong and proud after a successful experience and be itching to continue, but you'll also make mistakes or be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Mistakes and fear aren't there to hold you back but to learn from and to become better, a better version of yourself. 

A trick to always make the right choice is to distinguish between what is happening now in the short term and your long-term goal. If you make that choice consciously and keep your goal in mind, you will succeed. But if you give in to short-term workarounds, it will take much longer to reach your goal. 

When I heard my baby crying, I quickly wanted to give him his pacifier. In the short term, that was the solution to calm him down so he quickly fell asleep. But then I'd have to get up several times at night to do the same thing. My long-term goal was to teach him to sleep without a pacifier so everyone had restful nights again. By relying on the guidance and manual of an expert, I felt empowered to listen to the crying for a bit. 

Tip 3 – Look your fear in the eye

'If you dare, your courage grows. If you hesitate, your fear grows' – Mahatma Gandhi

Fear is something you'll most likely encounter during this process. You'll be challenged to do new things, to get out of your comfort zone. Fear is, as it were, the wall around that comfort zone. So it's actually completely normal to encounter that fear. 

In order to deal with that fear, I want to explain something to you. Fear is not a feeling. Fear is in your head. It's a little voice to warn you that you're entering unfamiliar territory. Don't let that little voice take over your control. If you let the voice speak very loudly, you make things more difficult for yourself. It's better to accept that fear and allow it to be there. Accept that the voice is there to warn you, even thank the voice. Talk to it and ask the question: what's the worst that could happen? Are you prepared to bear those consequences? What is the probability that the worst-case scenario will actually happen? And what do you get in return? What do you get when you face your fear and do it anyway? Don't wait for the fear to go away, because it won't go away. As long as you stay in your comfort zone, the fear won't change either. It's by getting out of your comfort zone, facing the fear head on, that you 'll experience freedom. That brings us straight to the next tip.  

Tip 4 – Act

'You don’t cross the ocean just by looking at the water'

If certain things in your life don't make you happy, act. If you wait for your situation to change or for the other person to change, you could be waiting for a very long time. Do you really want to let your happiness depend on someone else's actions? That's a source of frustration, disappointment and feeling powerless. Do you want to let fear hold you back? It's your choice. Again, you can distinguish between short and long term. If you stay in your comfort zone or let your fear hold you back, you'll have short-term peace of mind but nothing will actually change. If you break out of your comfort zone with a scared heart, it may cause unrest and chaos in the short term, but shortly after taking action you'll feel the kick, the freedom and it brings you closer to your goal and to your happiness. Challenge yourself and push your own limits. This will make your comfort zone larger. 

When my son woke up more than 6 times a night, I had had enough. I didn't want to wait months more for him to be old enough to find his pacifier in bed himself. I also didn't want to have him in bed with us, because then we would have to solve new problems later. A good night's sleep is crucial for everyone. The faster a child learns to fall asleep independently in their bed, the more normal and safe they find this. And the better they'll sleep for the rest of their life. That was my long-term goal. I chose to act and after 2 nights we had already gotten results. This example still often inspires me and my coachees. 

Tip 5 – Evaluate yourself

'A mistake is only a mistake if you learn nothing from it'

If you act, you'll probably make mistakes as well. Even when we consciously make our choices, sometimes we still make the wrong choice or take the wrong action. Nothing is worse than continuing to make the same mistake. Think back to tip 1: be honest with yourself. Did you make a wrong choice? Then make a new one. Did you take the wrong action? Correct it and take new action. Did you know that an aeroplane is off course 90% of the time? An aeroplane has to constantly adjust its route slightly to arrive at its destination. And to stay in the aviation language: only by giving full power can it take off. Trying just a little won't work. You have to go all out. Be gentle when it comes to mistakes, both to yourself and to others. Someone who makes mistakes has at least tried and can learn from them. At that moment you know more than if you hadn't tried. 

But, in order to see your own mistakes, you need to evaluate yourself. Otherwise we just walk around like a chicken with its head cut off, a bit of trial and error. Hoping that fate and good luck are on our side. Not gonna happen! Learn to look at your own behaviour and its consequences. Only then will you be able to adjust your actions and make new choices. Questions such as “Why is this happening now and not at some other time? Why me and not someone else? What is this saying to me? What can I learn from this?” are very valuable. Coincidences do not exist. Everything you come into contact with contains a lesson for you. You decide whether you want to see and learn the lesson or not. You always have that free will. If you can't figure it out yourself, talk to someone who can help you. 

If you act, you'll also achieve success. Celebrate these moments of glory. Enjoy the success, no matter how big or small. Be proud and proud of yourself, because you've achieved it! Be your own biggest supporter, because that's what your coach would be. 

Patsy Vanleeuwe

Patsy Vanleeuwe

Patsy Vanleeuwe is a life coach and trainer, a mother and a wife. In her coaching practice, she's guided many people to a happier and more successful life. Her knowledge of online platforms and years of experience as a life coach form the perfect combination for creating online programmes for personal development.