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You Can Learn More Effectively By Being Your Own Coach

You Can Learn More Effectively By Being Your Own Coach

Professional coaching bears a lot of great benefits. For example, through professional coaching, participants gain a new outlook on their personal challenges, as well as gain enhanced decision-making skills, and better confidence. People who undertake coaching also experience significant increases in productivity, as well as fulfillment with everyday life and work. From Fortune 500 CEOs to Hollywood celebrities to Oprah Winfrey, people are doing better, all thanks to coaches.

Sadly, very few people have the finances to work with a life coach. However, think about this: There are people who would like to work with a personal trainer, but because they cannot afford it decide to put matters into their own hands. Therefore, if it’s possible to take training outside the gym and under your roof, hence it is possible to be your own coach,[1] and achieve something yourself, and do it better.

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Here is how being your own coach can help you learn more effectively:

Nobody knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you do

Because you are the one who wants to change, you can easily identify areas you know you are weak, and areas you are strong and adjust accordingly. This in turn will help you stay in tune with yourself as well as make honest assessments of where you are, and make the required changes in your own life.

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You discover how to become your own motivator

You’ll need to find motivation to get yourself out the door for a workout session, if for example your goal is to lose weight. Not because you have a coach to answer to, but because you made the decision. By motivating yourself, you will discover that the dependency on other people to create motivation for you tremendously reduces. This can be very helpful in difficult times when you have just yourself to depend on for that kick.

You know why you chose to achieve your goals

In coaching yourself, you will have to ask the question ‘why?’ Instead of doing something without understanding the purpose, you know the reason for each effort you put in by coaching yourself. By being your own coach, you are better connected to your short-term goals, which will in turn help you realize your long-term objectives, which will in turn help you make the choices you want in your life.

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You can take credit for your own success

Getting yourself across the finish line after self-coaching results in great returns, such as a boost in self-confidence and a great feeling of personal fulfilment. This sort of success can also help you deal with other challenges in your own life.

It is free

One definite benefit of self coaching is the fact that it is free. Although definitely worth the cost if you get a coach, doing so can be pricey. By being your own coach and achieving the outcomes you want, you can actually avoid many of these costs, which in turn helps you focus on improving other aspects of your life. This will not only help you learn better, but you would have saved yourself a whole lot of money.

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It Can Be Fast

Since you’re not depending on anyone, you can make the process as fast as you want. The nature of coaching is process-based, which usually takes time, particularly when you consider the vital step of getting to know your coach and letting him/her know you. But nobody understands you better than you do, and self-coaching enables you to speed up the process, and eventually you learn more effectively and faster.

Finally, accepting your own self is ultimately the most important aspects of being your own coach. While a desire for change may begin our self-coaching endeavours, the inability to embrace as well as love ourselves—today, as we are, with our imperfections intact—condemns us to never-ending cycle of discontent. Let’s break that.

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Joseph Chan

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

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