Categories

Search

18. What’s Self Coaching? Part 3 of 3

Updated: Mar 23


Clouds IV. Watercolor on paper. Discovery Bay, Hong Kong. April 2020.

Many of us are used to thinking of mental health as being associated with common disorders such as anxiety or depression. And while we still see some degree of social stigma in this realm especially in certain cultures, there is growing recognition of the importance of addressing psychological needs, whether in schools or in the workplace.


Just as with physical health, mental health exists across a very broad spectrum, ranging from serious conditions that require medication and hospitalization, to every day phobias about spiders or clowns.


Just as with physical health, mental health exists across a very broad spectrum, ranging from serious conditions that require medication and hospitalization, to every day phobias about spiders or clowns.


Mental hygiene


Self coaching is an excellent way to maintain mental hygiene, which is defined as the practice of maintaining one’s psychological well-being proactively. By doing our thought downloads regularly and running them through models, we are examining our thoughts and feelings in a structured way that becomes more practiced and effective over time.


I often use the analogy of physical health when describing the difference between coaching and psychotherapy: a coach is like the personal trainer at the gym, and a therapist is like the physical therapist working on a specific injury or problem area.


While there is considerable overlap, psychotherapy or counselling tends to be oriented to bringing clients back to a functioning capacity, with a focus on feelings and healing past traumas. By contrast, the coaching approach seeks to empower by examining thoughts that cause feelings and actions that will impact the future.


So to continue the analogy, if the coach is like a personal trainer at the gym, self-coaching is like being able to do the weight lifting or whatever training program on your own..


Benefits



When I started training in Medicine in the 1980s, mental health was considered to be a completely separate field of study from physical health, a legacy of Cartesian mind-body dualism that dates back before the 17th century A.D.


These days we are seeing increasing evidence for the intimate link between our mental and physical health. We have all experienced the reverse, that emotional lift that can come from a brisk walk or time spent physically with nature. It should come as no surprise that performance, resiliency and health outcomes are all impacted by mental health,


Emotional agility


Self coaching using the CTFAR Model is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is based on the premise that our thoughts cause us to have feelings that then drive our actions. The CTFAR Model is just one of many techniques that can be used to manage thoughts and emotions that drive us to actions that lead to results that we want in our lives.


Becoming aware that our thoughts are at the root of many undesirable actions is like having a light turned on in a cluttered attic.

Dr Susan David coined the term Emotional Agility to describe how to approach our thoughts in a mindful, values-driven, and productive way. Becoming aware that our thoughts are at the root of many undesirable actions is like having a light turned on in a cluttered attic. You begin to see that there are layers 0f beliefs that go way back to childhood. The good news is that we can simply discard outdated programming and choose new thoughts in order to effect the changes that we want


Our knowledge-based economy is changing so rapidly that we must learn to accept that change is inevitable. Our primitive brains tend to prefer the safety of certainty and predictability, but actually we need to embrace adaptability. Reaching beyond the emotional intelligence (EQ) skill set of the past decades, emotional agility will be a critical personal skill to cultivate for the future.






Resources


David S and Congleton C. Emotional Agility. Harvard Business Review, Nov 2013.

Brief article summarizing benefits of managing thoughts and emotions, and why such work can be beneficial in work and life.


Chesak J and Legg T. The No BS Guide to Organizing Your Feelings. Healthline, Aug 2018.

Simple model for managing emotions, with a simple step by step approach for how to do it.







Related Posts

See All

Archive