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Coaching to a Mirror. The Pros & Cons of Being Your Own Life Coach

You're the only coach I need

Here's a puzzle

The coach is the "one who coaches all those, and those only, who do not coach themselves". The question is, does the coach coach himself?

We'll give you a moment . . .

. . .

. . . . . .

Okay that's enough time. Spoiler alert, there is no solution! Like the above though experiment, self-coaching proves to be a paradoxical concept.

Self-coaching exists in this weird state of coaching and not coaching. A superstate if you are being optimistic. Problematic if your are a bit skeptical.

This week on CLCI Live we debate with Lisa Finck (A.C.C.), Brooke Adair Walters (M.C.P.C.), Jerome LeDuff Jr (M.C.L.C.), Anthony Lopez (M.C.P.C). to see if you really can coach yourself and what problem and benefits you might encounter when you look into the mirror and coach yourself.

The Case against Against Self-Coaching

We're putting self coaching on trial

Let's pretend to be coach-lawyers for a second. Let's fret the minor details, be overly semantic, and as rigid as possible with our definitions.

Evidence #1: The ICF Definition

If we cite the definition of coaching per the ICF, it reads:

“Coaching”—partnering with Clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. -ICF Code of Ethics

Partnering with a client necessitates there are at the very least 2 people working together towards a common goal. Case closed. Boom. The end. I rest my case.

Jokes aside, when most people think of coaching, they typically understand that there is a coach and a client in one room together, not a client and a coach in one body.

But why couldn't someone self-coach? Plumbers plumb their own houses. Barbers are allowed to cut their own hair. Mail men/women probably deliver their own mail...probably. Coaching is just a process and a skill that you learn and utilize, why not apply it to the self?

Evidence #2: The Lack of Objectivity

One of the greatest benefits of coaching comes from the fact that coaches remain objective parties who are not emotionally invested in the lives of their clients nor the outcomes of a clients goals.

A coach tries to understand what does success look like, what the client considers failure, and how they can move forward and grow as individuals.

By being an objective party, you can also ask questions or give perspectives that the client would have never thought of or considered before and combine it with their subjective experiences to open up new potentials.

But what happens when you remove the subjective-objective relationship? Can an individual be objective to themselves?

Unfortunately not. People are constantly influenced by their own personal feelings, opinions, biases, desires, and blocks. It seems that self-coaching lacks one of the most essential parts of coaching.

Evidence #3: They won't be considered paid coaching hours

If you want to be accredited by the ICF and earn your ACC, PCC, or MCC, you'll eventually have to log hours of paid coaching experience and provide audio recordings for a performance evaluation. Could you be your own client for this purpose?

To answer this question, we participated in some undercover investigative journalism and got the scoop with the ICF about what they thought about using yourself as a client.

There you have it. You can't pay yourself and call yourself a client, even if Google thinks self-coaching is legit.

The Case In Favor of Self-Coaching

This is what blows all our previous arguments out of the water.

If you strip coaching to its bare essentials, anyone can do it. You may not be officially considered a "coach" in a professional sense. But applying the skills you've learned to yourself is a great way to achieve personal goals.

If you follow the GO LEARN structure of a session you can very easily:

  • Greet: Create that safe-space for yourself, switch gears and relax.

  • Own: Explore and take accountability for previous action plans

  • Layout: Set your session contract. Identify what your outcomes are

  • Explore: Figure out the best path towards short/long term goals. Empower yourself and use tools to clarify thought.

  • Action Plan: Set a definite action plan and outline steps needed to accomplish your goal

  • Reassess: Make sure you stick to your own session contract, did you honor what you set out to do by self-coaching?

  • Next Session: Pick a time and place where you will check back in and self-coach. Making sure you are consistent in your self-practice.

When you put it this way, self-coaching is an incredibly viable option if you want to maximize your own personal and professional development.

Self-coaching is a great alternative for those who face financial strain, cannot easily access coaches, or just prefer to do things themselves.

Plus another great benefit is that you are always present with yourself. There is no need to set aside just 1 hour every week. You can self-coach, explore, find your why anywhere and anytime. Take a self check-in during your commute, or on your 15-minute break. Do it before going to bed every night.

While it's still important that we seek out objective viewpoints and partner with others to maximize our potential. Don't let the naysayers fool you. Self-coaching is a legitimate practice and a valid way of achieving your goals.

So go forth, look into a mirror, and coach the person you see!


CLCI Has Been Nominated!

We want to let you all know that Certified Life Coach Institute is being nominated for the Champion of Women Award! This award is ceremony is hosted by the Connected Women of Influence and the 2021 National Women of Influence Awards,

The Champion of Women Award recognizes a company or organization that provides internal programs and initiatives that are unique, cutting edge and specifically designed to support the advancement and acceleration of women in the workplace.

We would like to invite all of you to support CLCI in our nomination and join us for the virtual award ceremony on November 4th from 11:30am - 1:30pm

To join in the celebration of Women’s Achievements and Accomplishments in Business and support CLCI, register for your virtual seat here.


Thank you,

Lisa Finck, Brooke Adair Walters, Jerome LeDuff Jr., and Anthony Lopez!

Join us every Tuesday at 4 pm PST/7 PM EST for our CLCI Live Facebook Demos.

We now stream from our site! Watch by clicking here

We also now stream live on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel and don't miss out!

Don't miss out on our 3-day life coach classes, it's an education that is beneficial for life, not just for life coaches! Want to learn more click here.


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