On a beautiful summer day several years ago, I set up a book signing table at a huge community event at a local park. Although I was simply one of many vendors, when my family arrived my seven-year-old nephew said, “Wow! Look at all these people who came to see my Aunt Monica!” Not long after, I was preparing to take a trip to visit his uncle. During a conversation with him I said, “I’m getting ready to go out of town. Guess who I’m going to visit?” He confidently responded, “Barack Obama.”
These innocent yet impactful statements reminded me that sometimes we limit our beliefs about what we see as possible for ourselves. When we are in transition, launching new products and programs, or going after our goals, we may find ourselves engaged in self-talk that questions or doubts our abilities. We may even go as far as talking ourselves out of things or submitting to self-sabotage to confirm our inner critic’s inaccurate assumptions.
But what if instead, we fired the inner critic and hired an inner coach who saw and spoke to us through the eyes and voices of our biggest enthusiasts? Here are some strategies to support you as you activate the voice of your inner coach.
Bionic Vision. Back in the day there was a show called the Six Million Dollar Man. The main character had bionic vision. This meant he could see far beyond the human norm. Our current level of vision may make it challenging to see beyond what we know or have experienced. As you train your inner coach, make sure that they are equipped with this unique ability to see beyond the barriers and ceilings that we create in our attempts to play small and stay safe.
Where does your vision for what’s possible for yourself personally or professionally need to be enhanced or expanded?
Values Voice. Early in the coaching journey I have my clients identify and define their personal core values. I do this so that We can return to them to use as a guide or filter whenever they are faced with a challenge, decision, or opportunity for which they are experiencing feelings of uncertainty. Let your inner coach be the voice of your values. As you embark upon new relationships, environments, and choices, have your inner coach run them through an alignment check against your values.
What does the voice of your values say?
Question Quest. One of the biggest components of what makes coaching work is the intentional use of powerful questions. I have a few staple questions that I ask all my clients often, so I’m sure they hear my voice echoing in their head when they are feeling stuck. Some of my go-to questions include, “Is it a Hell Yes!?”, “What does your soul say?”, and “How are you as a human first?” Create the questions you would want to be asked and assign them to your inner coach.
What conversation is it time to have with yourself?
This week I challenge you to hire, train, and onboard your inner coach to take on the role as your guide on the inside.
I am seeing myself through the eyes of those who love me unconditionally.
I am shifting the tone of my self-talk by giving voice to my values.
I am asking myself hard questions and answering them honestly.