The hamster wheel inside your head spins as you mull over a challenging situation. Friends tell you to “think positive,” so you try an affirming mantra that works for a little while, then the negative self-talk starts up again: You can’t do that. It won’t work. It’s going to fail and what will others say or think? I’m going to feel humiliated. And so on! It’s your inner gremlin, who, according to Rick Carson in Taming Your Gremlin (2003), is that little persistent negative voice constantly inducing self-doubt. How do you to stop the constant stream of chatter that creates self-limiting beliefs? This requires changing your perspective. And self-coaching can help you do just that!

How can you empower yourself using self-coaching? Think about a particular challenge. Perhaps it’s a difficult relationship or an obstacle related to your work or your business. Self-coaching lets you have an honest, yet compassionate conversation with yourself and helps you to realign with your values. Let’s look at how to apply self-coaching to the following scenario: the deadline on a project is approaching and you are having difficulty deploying; you’re feeling frustrated.

Start by being truthful. Ask yourself what is really behind your lack of motivation. Are you questioning your success? I am afraid that I won’t do a great job. People will not be pleased with the final result. Uncovering your truth brings you into alignment with your integrity and with your authentic self.

Now ask yourself, what makes finishing this project so important. Will you feel better, gain self-esteem, get closure? Tell yourself that you deserve to successfully complete this project and check it off your To-Do List: Completing this task well is important because I want to do my best work. Finishing this will free me up to do xyz, which I am really looking forward to. I can do xyz because I have the knowledge and competence. Remember that inner gremlin? Just acknowledge anything negatively distracting. Stating your positive belief connects you with your intention.

What inner resources do you bring to this task? Recall other situations where you pushed through and got the job done: I can certainly do this. Last year I organized a fundraising campaign. I planned my wedding. I wrote that report. Get the picture? Endorse yourself!

Now state your vision for achieving your goal. See yourself already starting your next project. Ramp it up: I want completion of this project. It’s finished and people are giving me positive feedback about xyz, and I’m going out for dinner with friends to celebrate. I’m well into my next project and enjoying it. You’re behaving “as if” this has already occurred. And the body, mind and soul believe you. Alignment is happening.

Call yourself to action. Break your action plan down into small manageable pieces and hold yourself accountable: I will take these steps right now to get this done: First I will do x, followed by y tomorrow and z the next day. Tell someone your plan. Start small. Painting a whole room begins with one wall.

Now drive it home by clearly stating your intention: I am giving this project my ALL. You’re there—you’re primed and ready to complete the job!

My own life coach reminded me about the monsters we create when we resist. According to Sonya Johnson, “What we resist persists.” Think inner gremlin. Self-coaching is about speaking your truth, affirming your desires, stating your intentions and recalling your successes, while being gentle with yourself. BE your own champion and empower yourself!

Is there a challenge or situation that’s eluding you where applying self-coaching can give you traction? Here are some strategies to get you started; try these practical self-coaching tools to create instant and sustainable changes in your life:

· Write it down: commit your goals to paper
· Ask the question, then be patient
· Promise less then deliver more—to yourself and to others
· Learn that “No.” is a full sentence
· Own up to your mistakes and learn from them
· Adopt a less is more approach
· Reach out and connect with people
· Replenish yourself
· Remember: Baby Steps
· Let it go, let it all go—don’t force situations, solutions or success
· Celebrate yourself
· Practice gratitude

Of course, working with an executive/life coach offers one of the surest strategies for getting traction in your life and work.

About the Author…

Kelly L. Howarth, M.Ed., PPCC, Executive/Life Coach helps individuals, teams and groups leverage what they learn about themselves through transition to be more effective in their work and life. As your Empowerment Coach-Transition Partner, Kelly accompanies you on that archeological dig of the self to get clarity and align with your professional or personal vision and goals. For a complimentary 30-minute discovery session, call: 514-996-2414. Visit and Kelly’s blog: