Self-Coaching: “Structure with Process” model and 3 A’s for Personal Development

Self-Coaching is all about reaching and fulfilling your potential, by uncovering strengths and blind spots that block fulfillment of meaning and purpose in life. It requires the hard work of self-awareness, setting goals in critical life spaces and living a more deeply committed and connected life based on values, beliefs and constructive action.” MWH  

Self-Coaching requires a more open and flexible way of thinking and acting which means more living on purpose and trust of self and others. Sure, life can have difficulties and is sometimes be unfair but not jumping-in with both feet can leave us “sleep walking” and on automatic pilot which leads to boredom, loneliness, and an unproductive life rather than a spontaneous and open life.

Some will feel this is a reckless way to live, but that’s only because they have so little trust in their ability to respond to life from a source other than control and narrow mental maps. But once you step out of control’s grip and realize a whole new world of excitement and adventure is awaiting you; you have crossed the Rubicon for living a meaningful and self-directed life. Yet in order to live this self-direct life will require new learning and hard work. The core of this new approach is based on what I call the 3A’s of personal change and development.

It begins with the three A’s of change–awareness, acceptance and action—

  • Awareness. In order to dismantle insecurity, you must first be aware of how it manifests itself in your life. Insecurity speaks in the form of doubts, fears, and negatives. These are tip-offs to insecurity and it pays to be on the lookout for this type of thinking. The power question to answer for this first A is –Know yourself–Clearly seeing who you are and what you feel and do. Know Yourself gives you the “what” – when you Know Yourself, you know who you are, your strengths and challenges, you know what you are doing, what you want, and what to change.Emotions are relevant data, and knowing yourself allows you the freedom to accurately collect information that will help you answer these two essential power questions:
  • Acceptance. Changing your attitude and challenging fears and insecurity will often cause some discomfort. You may feel unsure, intimidated, or anxious. It’s important that you’re willing to accept some degree of discomfort if you’re going to break the habit of insecurity. Just keep in mind that it’s not at all unusual for change to feel initially uncomfortable. This isn’t because change is bad, it’s only because insecurity likes to cling to the tried and true “status quo.”
  • Action. Choose to change! You can think about changing your attitude. You can think about being more open, resilient and more adaptable, but unless you actually change your thoughts and attitudes, you’re just spinning wheels.

There’s no doubt that some people are more adaptable and resilient, when it comes to life’s challenges, while others are challenged by the simplest break in their routine. The underlying variable that determines whether you are adaptable or not is your level of insecurity. What is insecurity? Insecurity is a learned habit of vulnerability. Let me explain. Insecurity is an inevitable by-product of living in an imperfect world. Since no one grows up in a perfect world, no one gets to escape illness, suffering, frustration, and so on. To some extent, we all have insecurity–it’s part of the human condition. Simply stated, insecurity is the anticipation of vulnerability.

Depending on your baseline level of insecurity, too much change can bring on feelings of vulnerability, loss of control, stress, tension, anxiety, or even a depressed mood. Since, we all have some degree of insecurity and fear, we most likely have had the experience of being overwhelmed with painful and challenging situations: your spouse is abuse and does not respect you, you did not win the sale, your boss is all about self-promotion and not rewarding you for good work , you need knee a breast biopsy, your mother called and she needs money, your just loss your license for a DWI–when bad things take over your daily living , even the most resilient can be brought to their knees. The longer that such a struggle persists, the more depleted you feel—physically as well as emotionally. The depleting effects of stress are felt not only emotionally, but also physically. Your perception of reality can be altered by brain chemistry and thinking not by the overwhelming circumstances of your life, but by your interpretation of these circumstances.

This is a critical point—it’s not life that depletes us, it’s how we interpret and react to our lives! Sure it’s hard to manage bad times, but I have a friend who maintains a posture of resilience and optimism in spite of the agonizing ordeal of chemotherapy. And yet I have patients who become distraught if their five-year-old isn’t invited to a birthday party. Bottom line: the ability to tolerate change is directly proportional to your degree of insecurity and to your attitude. Here’s why.
If you are easily challenged by life and find yourself stuck, you need to recognize the importance of actively choosing to break the habit of insecure thinking and perception. Just because you have a emotional reactions to life’s difficult problems does not mean you have to remain in this downward spiral and depression about life. You can choose to do something about how you handle your life and your challenges. 

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