I’m feeling a little ashamed and very disappointed myself following an argument I had recently. When conflict or other challenges arise in my life, I like to spend time with myself – my Inner Coach – and review what happened. I look at my part in the event and how I could have dealt with it better. Upon reflection I realised that my voice was raised and insistent, and the words I used were inappropriate choices fuelled by anger and frustration. Deep down I know that speaking this way didn’t help my ‘case’ and was not the most effective way of seeing through differences.
I was feeling anxious and frustrated! I didn’t feel heard! It is such an important issue. I must have my say!
My feelings, driven by a typical ‘fight, flight or freeze’ scenario expressed themselves openly through my voice, exposing my vulnerability, dissolved my credibility and held no respect for the other person. I was driven by my brain’s fear reaction, not my heart’s reasonable approach.
Had I been able to call in my inner coach before the incident, the whole scenario would have played out differently!
It is both wonderful and human to feel. With feelings come emotions that are fired by the brain – producing the physical effect of the feelings – in the physical body responding to the brain. These emotions are very powerful, and our bodies and brains respond willingly. Unfortunately, they don’t serve us well if we want to communicate well and speak our Truth.
… Enter my INNER COACH! …
What is my INNER COACH?
You’ve heard of personal coaches, business coaches, lifestyle coaches, and you know what they do. An inner coach does the same.
Your INNER COACH is unique as it resides within YOU as part of your psyche. Your Inner Coach is one of what is called an archetype. Our psyche’s hold numerous persona that are archetypes. So, for example, if you decided to be the funny person at a party, you would be ‘a clown’ or if you became angry and stood over your disobedient child, you would be putting on your patriarchal parent. Understanding archetypes is material for another blog! It’s enough to say that we fall into using archetypes that have been modelled in our conditioning. However, we all have the ability to consciously choose which one to use in any situation.
Your Inner Coach
o knows your goals and mission in life and helps you to achieve them.
o knows your values
o knows how you want to present in the world.
o champions what is best for your welfare above all else
o draws upon the processes and strategies you have learnt and helps you to create/learn new ones.
o holds you accountable for all of the above
Your Inner Coach is a reliable guide that helps you make choices that are true to who you are, behave the way you want to be in the world and keep you on track to achieve your dreams.
A coach has no use unless you properly engage with him/her, and it is your self-responsibility to do this. A coach doesn’t do the work for you. It’s your job to take action and your coach’s job to back you up, show you techniques and processes and support you.
So, when your feelings are strong, and emotions are flooding your body, what do you do?
You can either fold and succumb to your emotional overwhelm (victim), become aggressive (warrior), or you can listen to your inner coach and respond with integrity (wise woman/sage).
Like anything, listening to your Inner Coach takes training and practice, practice, practice! Eventually your inner coach will be your constant companion guiding you in the way you want to be in the world.
How to Call on Your Inner Coach
You know that gut feeling you have when things are happening the way you want them to?
Or when you are making choices where either decision is agreeable, but one choice is the one that you know is best for your well-being? (chocolate or strawberry?)
Have you ever had a function to go to and thought, “I don’t feel like going” … along with many other excuses and gone anyway. Then afterwards being thankful because you had a good time or met someone important for your journey?
Hard decisions! What does your inner coach say?
o Remember your goal to lose weight?
o Now is the time to make a decision that will support that goal.
o What will happen if you choose the chocolate?
o What is the better choice for me right now in the present moment? (If your blood sugar is low and you can’t think straight, chocolate may be the best way to go! – your inner coach agreeing with the added advice – in moderation)
To call in your Inner Coach, you need to do this consciously. The really beautiful thing about this is that you get to choose and be in the driving seat for the whole process.
Develop Conscious Awareness
When you are consciously aware, you take notice of your body, your mind and all aspects of your environment. You notice how your body responds. You notice the words in your head and you notice the atmosphere of your environment and what is happening there. You also are aware of how you are behaving and the impact you are having on all that is around you. Begin by simply stopping and noticing.
Commit to being self-aware.
You will need to be serious and make a commitment to be aware in the present moment – to be ready to listen to your body and your mind and know what is going on there.
Choose the voice and tone of your Inner Coach.
It is helpful to consciously decide upon the voice and tone of your Inner Coach. For example, do you want a ‘bootcamp’ over-bearing inner coach or a wise sage? For some, the former has the effect of bringing out the ‘rebellious child’ archetype, which is the outcome of having a strict authoritarian upbringing, or from being a victim of Dickensian style schooling. You don’t want to be rebelling against your Inner Coach! On the contrary, some people have learnt to ‘snap to’ and respond instantly to this kind of authority. So, the personality of your Inner Coach needs to match the personality you respond to most easily and at the same time holds the wisdom and knowledge about what is best for you and your welfare.
Conscious awareness only happens when you make a habit of tuning-in on a regular basis. Breathing, Grounding and Scanning are ‘The Building Blocks of Self-Care.’ These skills help you to tune into your body and mind, helping you to become self-aware and giving you the space to check in with your Inner Coach.
How often will you check in? Three times a day? Every half hour? The ultimate goal is to be tuned-in most of the time! Whenever you are questioning or assessing, this is when you call in your Inner Coach.
Learn New Life Skills
Life skills are an essential part of living that have been sorely overlooked in growing children into adults. The learning of these skills hasn’t been specifically taught and unless one actively learns and practice these skills, parent’s role modelling to children isn’t always a good example. A Catch 22 situation. The key to using good life skills is to listen to your Inner Coach.
Simple? It’s as simple as committing to being consciously aware about tapping into your Inner Coach.
When you are unaware – your decisions, quick answers, on the spot opinions – the way you are in the world – is informed and driven by the conditioning you have received through your life experience. You flow with this tide.
When you practice awareness, you come to notice that what you truly believe, what you value and what you truly want in your life may not be reflected in your words and actions. You may find that the person that is you in the world isn’t showing up as the person who is truly you – your spirit.
This is where your Inner Coach comes into play, guiding you to be your authentic self. Guiding you to live up to your values, your goals and who you are truly meant to be in this world.
Connecting with your Inner Coach is one of ‘The Building Blocks of Self Care’ described in Betsy’s book. If you would like to connect with your Inner Coach, there are two options that would help you with this. One is to purchase Betsy’s book, ‘The Building Blocks of Self Care: what everybody needs to know’. Most effective is to have a ‘Calm and Connect’ session with Betsy either in person or by Zoom Conference.