How “WHY Self Coaching” can help you find your own solutions to challenges.

 

The idea of "Coaching" has been around since the dawn of time. Coaches help find solutions to challenges you are facing. Historically village elders or religious leaders provided these services, more recently coaching has become a recognized profession. The philosophy behind coaching is that people have the answers within them, they just need help drawing them out. Trained Coaches do this by using a combination active listening and powerful questions. Coaches are tremendously useful in helping people find solutions to challenges so they can reach their goal. But what if you don't have a coach you can talk to?

 

Try "WHY Self Coaching" to find your own solutions. “WHY Self Coaching is a series of powerful questions you can ask yourself to find solutions. The three parts of “WHY” are What, How and Yes.

 

“What.”

 

What is the current situation?

Start by asking what the current situation is. Be as factual as possible when describing it. Answer this question as if you were telling someone who doesn't know anything about the situation. 

 

For example: "I currently don't exercise. We have had a family gym membership for several years but I never go.

 

What would the ideal outcome be?

Then ask what would the ideal outcome be. What is it that you would you like to happen in the end? Focus on what you do want versus what you don't want.  

 

For example: "I want to start going to the gym three times a week."

 

What is stopping you?

Now ask what is stopping you achieve the outcome you want? Why aren't you there yet? 

 

For example: "I never get around to going to the gym."

 

What is the real issue?

Finally ask what is it about this challenge that is preventing you from reaching your outcome. The first response is rarely the true reason. Ask yourself “why” five times. This will help you to get to the heart of the issue and find the real cause. 

 

For example: "Why? I don't think about going to the gym until its too late." Why? I don't remember to go. Why? It's not in the calendar. Why? I don't don't know when the exercise classes I want to go to are. Why? I have never tried to find out." 

 

“How.”

 

Once you know what the real issue is, ask yourself how could you could overcome it. “How” is a powerful question because it assumes there is a solution. Your brain will answer whatever question you ask it. So when you ask “how” you will find potential ways to overcome the real issue. List three potential solutions. There are always at least solutions to every problem. There is always a solution, its just a matter of time, money or opportunity cost. Ask yourself what the wisest person you know would suggest that you do. Avoid putting self-imposed limits on these ideas. The sky is the limit. Sometime the crazy ideas end up being surprisingly sane. Sometimes the crazy ideas spawn another less crazy idea. If you think of an idea and immediately dismiss it, ask yourself why it wouldn't work five times. Don't stop brainstorming until you have three possible solutions.

 

For example: "1. I could subscribe to the gyms weekly email newsletter. 2. I could print out the schedule and put it on the fridge. 3. I could look at the schedule when I take my daughter to swim practice."

 

“Yes.”

 

The last step is to ask yourself which of the possible solution you are you going to say “yes” to? Pick one from your list and go try it! Decide which solution you think you will most likely follow through with - and do it! Increase your chances of success by leveraging the power of implementation intentions. People who decide in advance what they will do are 2 to 3 times more likely to follow through.

 

For example: "I will subscribe to the weekly email newsletter and when I receive it I will add three classes to the calendar when I read it."

 

 

The experience of talking through a challenge with a trained coach is profound however it is not always possible to do this. Next time you have a challenge to overcome and you can't talk it through with a coach, try “WHY Self Coaching.”