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Catch your inner coach to develop self-awareness and change negative thinking

When you want to develop greater self-awareness and transform negative thoughts, you can use a skill I call catching your inner coach. What I mean by catch your inner coach is to become aware of your thoughts especially your thoughts that are coaching you internally. Your inner coach is the self-talk or what you are saying to yourself inside you mind that is directing your behaviors and emotions.

How to Catch Your Inner Coach

Step 1 – Intend to catch your internal thoughts. Decide you are going to pay attention to the thoughts you are thinking about yourself and the directives you are giving yourself. Intention to pay attention jump starts the process of catching your inner coach.

Step 2 – Pay attention to your thoughts. Turn your attention inside and listen to the voice that is talking to you. Start to notice what your mind is saying. Be curious about the inner coaching that your thoughts are giving you. Is your inner coach saying, “Great job” or is it saying “That was not perfect so not really a good job at all!”

Step 3 – Write down what you inner coach is saying every time you catch its voice. Writing down the thoughts you catch helps you evaluate whether your coach is supportive or unsupportive to you. It concretizes your inner coaching.

Step 4 – Change the negative coaching to positive coaching. Rewrite the negative thoughts so they reflect the kind of inner coaching you want to hear. If you aren’t sure how to do this, simply ask yourself what you would tell a close friend.

Step 5 – Repeat the positive coaching thoughts out loud and internally multiple times a day. Carry the paper on which your positive coaching thoughts are written. Look at the paper four times daily and say them out loud. After three weeks, your inner coach will have learned the positive thoughts and started to say them to you internally.

Step 6 – Stop your negative inner coaching abruptly. When the inner coaching is bad, stop your thoughts and say “No, not that”. Immediately replace the negative coaching with the thought you want to hold as your truth.

Fire Your Bad Coach and Hire a New One

The process I just described helps you create a new inner coach that supports you in living life successfully. You can also play with firing your old coach and hiring a new coach.

Imagine what a truly supportive inner coach would be like. Visualize your ideal coach. Maybe your inner coach wears a cap and blows a whistle, or maybe your inner coach is a positive mother or father figure. Once you can visualize your coach, listen to their voice. What does his or her voice sound like? Is it powerful and forceful or gentle and soothing? Or Both!

Hire your new inner coach and put him or her to work. Invite your new inner coach to participate by asking questions. “How did I do?” “What should I do?” You’ll likely be surprised at how effective and supportive your new coach is.

If your inner coach is already supportive, acknowledge yourself for having a great inner coach. Give your coach a pat on the back. You’ve either worked hard for it or you had some great people in your life who coached you well.

Another Resource to Transform Negative Self-Talk

I’ve written extensively about how you transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk. It’s actually Chapter 6 of my book; It’s Your Time to Shine: How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking, Develop Authentic Presence and Speak from Your Heart. You can also get a copy of my article; Self-Talk: What You Say to Yourself Determines Your Experience. This article gives you detailed instruction on how to change negative thoughts. It identifies the kinds of negative thoughts to catch and gives examples of what to say to change negative thoughts.

I hope this blog post has been helpful. If so, let me know how it helps. Visit my website www.self-expression.com to write me.

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