5 Steps To Developing Self-Belief As A Coach
By Josh Roche
Becoming a Coach and the Importance of Self-Belief
The process of becoming a well-paid, professional coach, who is balancing all the moving pieces of personal and professional life, can be a journey indeed.
In the beginning it can feel daunting to take on clients who are putting their trust in you; to bring them through potentially challenging terrain and produce outcomes and breakthroughs that could look a little unlikely as a new Coach.
How do we step out into the coaching space and become that expert we see ourselves being? How do we navigate those first months and years of building the business while we develop our skills and refine our niche?
There are many parts to this equation. In this article I want to focus on the importance of self-belief.
If there is any instability in our self-belief, we can find ourselves wavering in any of the parts of building a thriving coaching business. We may acquire the skills but put them on the shelf through lack of belief in our abilities.
Poor self-belief can impact in any number of business decisions, from website design to marketing material. From initial meetings and calls with potential clients through to charging appropriately for your services. We may organise sessions and then back off because our lack of belief is impacting confidence in the techniques. We can struggle to launch our business because we think “who am I to claim expertise in this realm? There are so many others who are far more amazing.”
Low self-belief plays out in individual sessions where the coach may be perceived by the client as ineffective and unclear how to direct the session to create insights. As coaches we must work to create a strong self-belief, or we may find ourselves in conflict with ourselves about going forward with our plans to become an amazing coach.
Developing, and later mastering, self-belief before we begin the journey into our chosen coaching space is time well spent. It is a high value skill and is also highly transferable into other areas of life.
So, how can we develop self-belief?
Firstly, we must assess the commitment levels we are bringing to the coaching business project. If we are rock solid in our certainty, then we have a reliable foundation stone in place. This helps to revisit certainty regularly to reinvigorate it, get fresh motivation and refine our niche.
Good coaching has a high skill component. If you feel shaky on any of the skills, practice them. Get friends and family on board and go through all the techniques you can, become proficient with them. Repetition produces the mastery of all the subtleties and nuances that come with working intimately with diverse people. Set practice targets and achieve them, for example, complete a minimum of four trial sessions with friends on the Neurological Levels Technique before it becomes part of your active skill set. Remember, you should feel both competent and confident; if you are neither then practice until you are. You should be able to seamlessly apply your techniques in any given session knowing the effects, what kind of insights and breakthroughs can be produced and how to best utilise that information going forward.
Using previous experiences to build from can really help. If we can look back over our lives and access any times where we needed to believe in ourselves to achieve something, we have a fountain of ideas. Take learning to drive a car for example. Think carefully about how that was achieved: who was involved? Where did the first two or three practice sessions take place? How many times a week did the driving sessions occur and how many practice sessions did you have in between? How did that first drive feel? Were there some funny stories? Who was training you? Was there some fear? If so, how did you get through the fear? How did it feel to pass the formal tests? And so on. Now, consider how can you replicate the best parts of that previous process to create success in the current endeavour? There is a very rich and deep set of learnings here that is highly personal, accessible and able to be utilised.
4. Take Action
Taking actual steps in the realisation of any goal just feels good. By doing so we produce real and recent memories of success and understanding; we create all important momentum that keeps us in the game and motivated. When we make mistakes that we can learn from, we build confidence in ourselves and our abilities as coaches and we are interacting with clients. We are winning all around!
If we have any fears around making mistakes or poor performance, addressing these issues directly is essential.
All too often we find ourselves almost phobic about making mistakes. In many cases this can be traced back to experiences at school or with parents where mistakes or poor performance brought with them an association of shame, embarrassment or ridicule. With enough repetition these experiences may have solidified the idea in our minds that mistakes are painful and are to be avoided at all costs; we let fear win the day.
Reconfiguring our relationship to making mistakes provides great relief. If we welcome mistakes, then we remove a huge amount of fear and tension that can hold us back. Utilising the phrase “no failure, only feedback” is a very powerful way to reverse our perceptions around poor performance. If all we are doing is seeking information about our clients AND ourselves in any given coaching session, then we are being far more confident and dynamic coaches. We are now capable of making mistakes because they provide insight instead of embarrassment, and empowerment instead of shame.
Building statements that support self-belief can be very powerful, especially when we know and understand the compound effect. Applying a well-chosen statement over time can be extremely effective in reversing low self-belief and negative self-talk. For example, “I am now experiencing un-shakeable self-belief!”
Self-belief is there for all of us, it can be trained just like any other skill until it is part of us. It has massive personal and professional effects, is very rewarding and a great comfort to have.
I wish us all every success in our current endeavours.
This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.
Josh began his leadership career in the military where as a parachute trained reconnaissance specialist he was mentored buy some very inspired natural leader’s, a number of who served in the NZ Special Forces.
Josh is now a trainer with NZ Life Coaching and run’s his own courses on Leadership, mindfulness, confidence building and creating authentic self.
He can be found at www.joshroche.com