As small business owners, we’re constantly being pushed to leave our comfort zones and face the unknown. The problem is, it’s human nature to resist the unfamiliar and avoid change. You may decide to hire a business coach or a life coach to help you navigate the challenging, confusing and uncomfortable changes and transitions you face as your business grows. A coach can provide tools, advice and support to make things easier, but did you know you can become your own coach?
As your own coach, you’ll learn to see yourself objectively as a work in progress, and you’ll develop new habits, learn new behaviours, and take the necessary actions to succeed in business, as well as any other aspect of your life.
Self-coaching requires you to view your own life from an objective standpoint, so that you can become as good at taking your own advice as you are at giving it to others. Here are the 10 steps to becoming your own coach in life and business.
1.Catch your inner critic
When you first begin to observe your thought patterns objectively, you might find that they are overwhelmingly negative in content. Awareness is the first step catching your inner critic, and the next step is to reframe your relationship with it.
Silence negative thoughts and frame everything in the positive – i.e., ‘I am’, ‘I will’, or ‘I can’. Your inner voice can either build you up or break you down, so take responsibility for what you’re saying to yourself.
The human mind creates 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day. An enormous 95% of these thoughts are reactive or subconscious. Our subconscious mind is where we store our belief systems that influence how we physically move, interact with others, make decisions, present ourselves and adapt to situations in our life.
Practice viewing your own life from an objective standpoint. Notice how you react to things that happen in your external world, as well as internal stimuli, such as your own thoughts.
2. Figure out your real values
In order to discover what your real values are, it’s essential to notice what your friends, family and culture value, so that you can take a step back from those values. Ask yourself:
- What is really important in my life?
- Where do I most want to see change?
- Who is the person I want to become?
- What is my gut telling me?
- What would I do if other people’s opinions didn’t matter?
3. Identify areas for improvement
This is one of the most important aspects of self-coaching yourself to success. Consider the areas in your life and within your business you’d most like to improve. Again, we need to keep asking ourselves very specific questions relating to our health, finances, relationships, spirituality, career, or any other aspect of life. Make sure your questions are focus on finding solutions, rather than problems. For example:
- If I already had X, how would I act?
- What would I being doing now if I’d already achieved X?
- How would I feel?
- What would I eat for breakfast?
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- What’s my plan for making that happen?
- What process will I use to make this happen?
- What are the skills I’ll need to use and develop?’
4. Set goals connected to your ‘why’
So how do you decide what goals to set? Your true goals aren’t what you think you should do, should have or should be. Great goal setting comes from introspection and insight, so dig deep to uncover what it is you really want.
Setting goals is an opportunity to explore and develop your talents, as well as identify new interests and personal values. Be very specific about each goal and ask yourself why you want that particular result. How would it make you feel? What would this mean for you? Your ‘why’ is very important; it’s what will keep you motivated.
5.Focus on the process, not the result
A goal is a result to which effort is aimed, and if you focus on your goals, you focus on the results. The effort aimed at the result is the process, which is where our focus needs to be because the process is what drives the result .
So here’s the thing – you can’t control the result. When our thoughts are always in the future, we can become anxious and start playing out worst-case scenarios in our minds.
However, you do have complete control over the process. When we focus on the process rather than the result, we can play in the present moment; not in the past, and not in the future.
6. Build one new habit at a time
Do you have any habits that are holding you back from where you want to be? Too much change at once is overwhelming and counterproductive, so just make one positive change at a time.
Consistency is key! It takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become an automatic habit. Nurture new habits that will support and empower you to reach the goals you have for your business, as well as you life outside of business.
Success can be found in your daily habits, so create an action plan that is all about leaving your comfort zone and getting familiar with the unfamiliar. Don’t just make yourself do the thing – make yourself like it. It’ll become part of who you are, not just a thing you do. Just remember that failing is so much better than procrastination, so be willing to fail and be prepared for setbacks. You will learn a lot from them!
7. Challenge your beliefs and stories
You’ve set your goals, you’re focused on your processes and you’re building new habits. Everything seems to be going great until suddenly… you self-sabotage!
Do you always procrastinate? What’s causing you to self-sabotage? What lies beneath?
Have you ever wondered what’s causing you to self-sabotage? Well – there’s something in our neurology called the reticular activating system, which causes us to seek evidence for what we believe and ignore the evidence for what we don’t believe. We don’t even notice good things that have been there all along if our deepest, subconscious beliefs don’t support it.
Here are just a few examples of limiting beliefs that might sound very familiar:
- “It’s too late to pursue my dreams.”
- “If I ask for what I want, I’ll get rejected.”
- “I’ll be judged for being myself.”
- “I’m not enough.”
- “I want something, but it’s not available to me.”
Create your own list of limiting beliefs and take some time to consider the actions you take (or don’t take) as a result of these beliefs. If it’s getting in the way of your personal and business growth – you no longer need it!
8. Journal for a birds-eye view
Getting things out of your head and down on paper provides a totally different perspective. When your thoughts are still in your mind, they can be overwhelming and almost impossible to analyse objectively. When it’s all out of your head and on to the page, you can see yourself as separate from your thoughts. Switching from a first-person view to a third-person perspective is essential for being your own coach in life and business.
Not only does journaling record your process and validate your progress, but it can also help you solve complex challenges and increase clarity around your purpose and direction. Check-in with yourself regularly, just as a coach would if you hired one. To assess your results and tweak your process, ask yourself: what’s working? What’s not working? What are some different approaches I can try?
9. Find a support network
Humans are social creatures, so other people naturally have a significant impact on our lives.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn.
Can the people you spend time with offer you helpful feedback, ideas and insights? Are they also on a journey to small business success?
When you’re self-coaching, a support network is especially important. Each of these steps will be more effective if you have a network of people who empower and inspire you to focus on your process and stay on track to your goals. Surround yourself with positive people, ask them for accountability and offer it back to them.
10. Celebrate every little win
If you were on a sports team, you coach would make sure you celebrate every win. You’d celebrate everything from the big wins, like winning the grand final, as well as all those little wins, like building a stronger sense of team spirit throughout the season.
Coaching yourself through small business growth should be no different. Celebrating the little wins, like getting more confident with your taxes, wires your brain for success.
You could say that celebrating your thorough and accurate small business tax return in 2020 is the neurological gateway to bigger and better business success in the future!
Talk to a small business tax specialist at ABA Tax today and get ready to start celebrating your success.