I recently watched an interview with Rory McIlroy, one of the world’s top professional golfers. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that Rory has a coach—one who helps him not only with the physical aspects of the sport, but also with the psychological aspects of winning. In sports, the right coach can make all the difference, but coaching isn’t just for athletes! Most – if not all – of us can benefit from receiving some guidance on our careers and our lives.
But what if you don’t have the budget for a coach (and your company won’t pay for one)? Easy. Become your own coach! If you’re up for the job, here are three insights to get you started.
Define your goals. A good coach begins by helping you identify your priorities. What do you want to achieve (or become) in the next 6-12 months, and why? Your first assignment is to develop a crystal-clear understanding of your desired ends. Take a look at each area of your life – health, relationships, finances, recreation, career – set some life-altering goals.
Establish accountability. Coaching is effective because it reminds you what reaching your goals will mean to you. It also gives you someone that will hold your feet to the fire – in a good way! – when you begin to entertain reasons why you can’t make good on your word. How do you build accountability when your coach is, well, you? Find a trusted friend or coworker to share your goal with and update periodically on your progress. Your primary accountability should be to yourself, but a little extra support can go a long way.
Stretch yourself. To reach your version of success, you have to stretch yourself. We can’t cling to our current beliefs and behaviors and expect anything to change. What are you doing to challenge yourself on a regular basis? When is the last time you took a risk? Coaching yourself means demanding more of yourself, even if you risk making mistakes along the way. Only by pushing yourself can you discover how far you can go.
The bottom line? Not having a coach doesn’t let you off the hook when it comes to self-development, growth, and transformation. You can be your own coach. Look at your goals, build an accountability system, and add one goal that you don’t think is quite so realistic—just to prove yourself wrong. What are you waiting for? As any good coach will tell you, the best time to start is now.