Teachers in Business

How to Be Your Own Coach

February 23, 2021 Sara Torpey
Teachers in Business
How to Be Your Own Coach
Chapters
Teachers in Business
How to Be Your Own Coach
Feb 23, 2021
Sara Torpey

Having a coach is great - for me it’s an essential part of business.

But it’s ALSO essential to know how to be your OWN coach. To learn how to see when and how you are in your own way. To learn how to give feedback to yourself.

This week I’m teaching you the handful of simple steps needed to start coaching YOURSELF right now.



Show Notes Transcript

Having a coach is great - for me it’s an essential part of business.

But it’s ALSO essential to know how to be your OWN coach. To learn how to see when and how you are in your own way. To learn how to give feedback to yourself.

This week I’m teaching you the handful of simple steps needed to start coaching YOURSELF right now.



Welcome to Teachers in Business. So this week we're going to talk about how to be your own coach. Having a coach is is great really, for me, it's been a an essential part of business, it's been absolutely vital. But I think it's also essential to know how to be your own coach. Because even if you have a coach, it's an hour a week, and you have to figure out how to manage yourself and your thoughts and all the things in between. becoming your own coach is learning how to see when and how you're in your own way. It's learning to give yourself feedback that allows you to grow just like you'd give a student or a colleague or a friend who came to you for help. So this week, I'm going to teach you the handful of simple steps that you need to start coaching yourself right now. The reason we're talking about this this week is one of the things I've noticed about my most successful clients is that one of the things that they learned from working together is how to coach themselves in between sessions, they learn how to see their own issues, to identify them to see their doubts and their worries and their fear for what they are. And to just really notice what's happening in their own minds. They learn how to use coaching and the tools and techniques that we use together on their own so that they can grow even faster. 

 

And this is what I'm going to teach you to do this week to do for yourself. Maybe you have worked with a coach before and maybe not, that doesn't matter, this is still something you can do. So for me, there are four ingredients required to being your own coach. The first ingredient is a tiny pocket of time quiet. For me, when I first started really learning to coach myself, this pocket was like 10 minutes, maybe 15. At this point, a couple years into really concentrating on building these muscles. I give myself 20 to 30 minutes most days, but I worked up to that over time. The second ingredient is pen and paper. And listen, I hate to be the one to tell you that you have to journal because I have all the same thoughts about journaling, when people say journaling, like part of me is like ooh, pretty notebooks. And the other part of me is like, Oh my god, I don't have time, it sounds painful. It's not fun. I'm not 12 year old, I don't want to write down all my feelings. But listen, I get it. And in this case, what I'm advocating for is not like 12 year old write down all your angst. The version of journaling that I really advocate for is very specific. It's very targeted, it's very manageable, and into that targeted manageable bite is magic. But before we like get to how that actually works, we're going to get the other ingredients. So ingredient number three, is a good question to write from or more than one. And there are lots of like thinking prompts out there. But good questions for me are ones that help you go like oh, or Whoa, whoa, something I write in my own journal all the time, I'll write something down. And then I'll just write whoa next to it. Because it like fell out of my brain. And you think like, Oh, my gosh, I didn't know I was thinking that like Yikes.

 

They are questions that allow you to pull things out of yourself that you didn't know, were there that were sort of like hiding in the weeds in your mind. I'm going to share with you some of my favorite questions, and a resource if you want access to it. But also know that it's not something you have to have a special set of to create you have good questions in your brain. Teachers are trained questioners. And really, you're just thinking about what you'd ask someone else. If they came to you for this kind of advice and help, like what would you ask them? Ask yourself? The other thing I would note here is that good questions and journaling and the next ingredient are never tools of self destruction. This is why people avoid journaling, right? This is not where you come to tell yourself, you're doing a crappy job. Like, think about that advice. Again, you're using questions that you would ask someone else but you're also never going to tell that person that came to you for advice honestly and out of curiosity, that they're a terrible person. You're not going to tell a student that you know they're never gonna make it. They're not doing a good job. They're, you know, they don't know how to answer the questions. All their answers are bad. You're not going to tell them that stuff. So when you use these questions for yourself, think about how you would treat someone else and then treat yourself that way. You want to bring kindness and compassion and formative feedback for yourself. Not, you know, self flagellation, basically. The last ingredient number four is honest curiosity. And it is both the most obvious and the most unlikely, or most likely to be left behind ingredient. I know it sounds kind of hinky. But it's the truth, you can certainly come to writing and coaching yourself without curiosity. But it's not going to work as well. And it's going to hurt. So maybe we don't do it like that. Okay, so collect your pen and paper, I'm going to share some questions. Bring your curiosity, stick it in your pocket, here's how it works, clear yourself 10 minutes, any 10 minutes at mine tend to be in the morning because I find writing at the very end of the day just to be impossible. Some people do it at night, some people do it to start the day, give yourself 10 minutes. And if you're feeling like anything, but this, that's fine. I actually started when I started doing this with seven minutes, for whatever reason, that seemed like a really doable amount for me. And so I set a timer for seven minutes, you're gonna open your notebook here, grab your pen, and you're gonna write the question at the top of a page. For me, I always use a smaller notebook, like a five by seven one. And my rule has always been instill is years into this, that when I get to the bottom of the page, when I get to the end of the page, or when the timer goes off, that I can be finished if I want. early on and learning the coach myself, a lot of the time I was done, I was like close the notebook piece out over this. Over time, I've built up the muscles and I've gotten a little more stamina.

 

So you know, however you want to start, just start if it's five minutes, or 10 minutes or whatever, that's okay. Whatever you do is the thing you need to do. So here's the thing, onto some questions to be able to coach yourself, you're really just as I said, before, asking the same kinds of questions you'd ask someone else. These are the way you do your own thinking. And they are relatively open ended. So here are some of my favorites. There's one I use a lot that came from my first coach, her name is Samantha suffering. And it was this on a scale of one to 10. How confident do I feel about most of the time blank? Most of the time right now I fill in my current goal? How confident do I feel about my current goal? Why is it that number like why did I give it a two? And then what would I have to think or feel or do to be a 10? One of the other interesting things that my current coach, her name is Simone soul added into the set of questions for me is when you give yourself the score, so like on a scale of one to 10 say I give myself a two and my confidence. Why is it not a zero? Because sometimes, like knowing you're not at the very bottom is kind of really helpful for me. It's like why not a zero? And why not attend? And what do you have to think to get to attend? Another question that I use a lot is what's possible today. I really like plugging into possibility in into, like, what, more and more as possible that I think I don't limit it to just work things. I think like, well, I might chat with a friend today I might reconnect with somebody I haven't seen in a while I might make my kids laugh. I might meet someone new that will become a client, I might sign a new client. There's all kinds of things just whatever comes to mind. Another question I asked a lot is, what am I feeling about my business today in my work? like am I feeling tired? And I feeling frustrated? And what am I feeling like energized? What are all the things I'm feeling and why? Another one is what what is the value of what I do? Like for me it says the question is often what is the value of a coach? And then what is my value? My Sarah value in that role? And what is the impact of what I do on others? Like I don't always get to know that my clients walk away sometimes and they don't tell me what they're doing the other you know, however many hours in the week all the time. They give me the broad strokes. They don't always tell me though, the actual impact. And I have two more. One is what am i resisting or avoiding or not leaning into right now? And how can I be curious about it? Sometimes when I ask myself this, the answer comes right away like a snap and I think like oh you know what I'm not doing I'm avoiding people or whatever. And then the last one is what am I afraid of right now? And what would happen if it happened? Sometimes I find it really useful to consider.

 

You know, like, what's the worst thing that could happen? And probably I won't die from it, which is really interesting, right? And then you kind of go like, Oh, well, actually, I've already failed miserably at things in other parts of my life, and I didn't die. And I'm still here growing and okay. I was just telling someone a story the other day about when I was coaching teachers, I would start really regularly in new school buildings. And so I had to be the one at the start of the year, like, meeting everybody the first day with all the kids and whatever, in one year, you know, everybody's standing outside in front of the building, getting ready for the first day of school, the kids and their parents trying to come in and get ready. And as that was happening, I was brand new. I parked my car. And it was years ago, like 15 years ago now. Brand new, parked my car locked my keys in it tried to open the door, not knowing it. I was like wait, forgot my keys didn't realize the locked, it's set off the alarm had to be the brand new person working at that school standing outside the first day of school with like every student in the building in their parents setting off car alarm. And then I had to walk into the building and be like, Hey, my name is Sarah, I'm new here. I work in this building. Now, can I use your phone to call my husband to bring my spare key? And it was like, Oh, God, and you know, I didn't die from that. So we're all gonna be okay. And then. So if these questions are good, like often I use the same question for a month, or every day for a while you can use you can use that approach, or you can change every day. For me, I'm kind of lazy, in some ways, so don't like having to think up a new question every day. I like the idea that I can ask the same thing over and over and still learn new things about myself. So I have boatloads of questions where these came from teachers are trained questioners. But I have a really useful freebie called 30 essential questions that I created out of a Facebook challenge in my group that was in December, and I'm happy to share it. So it's in my Facebook group, which is Teachers in Business in the file section, if you want to come join us, or even just send me an email. It's sara@torpeycoaching.com and I'm happy to share it. So when you're writing your job is really to be curious. When I was working with Samantha and learning to do this, she's telling me that my job and writing was to write until I felt an emotional shift in a positive direction. And that's always my goal, my goal is to end going like Oh, okay. Or like, Oh, I feel better. Like, I want to uncover some things, I want to question what's happening, and I want to be curious. And really, that's it. And this is coaching yourself. That's the that's the that's it. Like, there's nothing more to it than that everyone can do this. And it's magic. So the magic is really in doing this regularly. I actually still don't do this every single day, I often don't do it on weekends. And then I find that I need like, a half hour on Monday mornings to because I haven't been there in a while to sort of think more clearly. And so I've really structured my business now, to give myself that time on Monday mornings, because I know I need it. This is how you practice getting your thoughts on a paper and seeing that sometimes what you're thinking doesn't actually make a ton of sense, you know, where you say it out loud to somebody and you're like, Oh, wait, actually, that's not a problem that I thought it was doing that on paper has the same effect. Sometimes what's going on isn't real related to your experience. You write it down? You're like, What? That's not real. I do that all the time, where I write something and think like, Oh, no, that's not going to happen. Okay, wait, I can I was worried about something that doesn't exist. Or you walk away and think like, Oh, it's super clear. Now have it like have it. But this is how you see what's happening. What's in your way what's actually possible. That's really it. So I would love to know how this goes for you. As you start to practice this, feel free to shout me out and tell me how it's going. And listening. Listen, for me, being my own coach is vital. But as I said at the start, so is having an actual coach that I pay. They're really like I can coach myself. But there is no replacement for having another set of eyes, in your business, in your work, that can see things that aren't making sense way faster than you like I get to stay plugged into what's possible for my clients, but without carrying any of their emotional baggage. And that makes it a lot easier to see what's going on. Like I don't have the fog of worry and fear that they have for their business in being able to spend an hour and a week. Having someone do that with you. is worth its weight in gold. Honestly, it's something I will always pay for. So here's the thing, even if you're not 100% sure about hiring me or a coach,

 

I know that I wasn't the first time. It's funny someone asked me the other day about my first experience. And the reason I ended up talking with her because I thought like, I'm in my own way, let me just see how this could work. Even if it's just out of curiosity that you have a conversation,that's good enough.

 

And the thing is, is an initial call, like I do with people doesn't mean you have to say yes, there's no pressure to do that. If it's a good fit, and you want to Super and if it's not, and you're ready to do other things. That's okay, too. But no matter what, when we have an initial conversation, you walk away clearer. What I do with people in those conversations is give them like, it's like shining a magnifying glass on their, on where they're going. It's like one of the ways I describe it a lot is taking a 16 lane highway that you're driving on, you're trying to get where you're going and reducing it down to a two lane road. That's like a nice gentle straightaway, would be really nice to get off the highway and get onto a nice country road, wouldn't it? So that is what we do in the first hour. There's no commitment to move forward. If you'd like to do that and get some clarity even if you're just curious about how this works. Send a message on Facebook or LinkedIn, send an email or just go to my website which is torpeycoaching.com and book a time to chat. I would love to connect. So from there, happy coaching. Have a great week.