Self-coaching: The Beaty and The Beast

Self Coaching
“Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it” – Polly B. Berends

Today I had a conversation with my grandad about me doing this Ironman and how he thought it was great that I got my act together while I don’t have a coach. Since it’s a topic that has ‘haunted’ me throughout this year, let’s talk about it.

As mentioned in a previous post, the fantastic unvoluntarily decision to not get a coach is more based on the fact that nobody wanted to coach me *cries softly* rather then it was about me not wanting to get a coach. I am that ugly black little baby swan that no grown mother swan wants to have, something like that.

During this year I’ve heard  many people give their opinion about me self-coaching. On the one hand you have the people who think it’s awesomely-crazy, on the other hand you have the people who think it’s awfully-crazy. I think it’s funny because those people represent me.

No but for real, I agree fully with both of the groups, simply because they are both right.
Is it awesome to self-coach? YES
Do I think I will get the maximum potential out of myself with self-coaching? NO
Sometimes all I want is an angry 40 year-old with marriage problems shouting at me furiously because I don’t swim like Michael Phelps, ride a bike like Lance Armstrong on drugs or run like an average Kenyan. But hey, you can’t have it all.

Besides the fact that I won’t reach my full potential with self coaching there is also another thing that makes self-coaching so hard: you need to find everything out by yourself.
See it like this, with a coach you’re like a robot: coach tells you what to do and when to do it and then you just do it, life has never been so easy.
When you self-coach it’s more  like this:

  1. What do I need to do? (ask Google)
  2. How do I do that? (ask Google)
  3. When should I do that?  (Google again)
  4. Encourage yourself to do it (YouTube videos for this one)
  5. Do it
  6. Reflect on what you just did
  7. If changes need to be made, what should you change? (Goooooooogle.)
  8. Repeat

When you have a coach, step 1,2,3 and 7 are totally for your coach. step 4 and 6 are shared responsibilities and step 5 is only for you. When you self coach you get the total VIP package which include all the steps with nobody to help you.

For this year I don’t know what would have been better, a coach or no coach. Ofcourse when you look at it from a race perspective it would have been better to have a coach because he would have helped me reach my maximal potential. However when you look at it from a life perspective I think self-coaching was the way to go because I learned a tremendous amount about who I am as a person and I don’t know if that would have happened if I would have had a coach.

In the end I’m just happy that I’m getting to the end of a 1 and a half year journey and that the end of that journey will be marked by the words: “YOU”RE AN IRONMAN!”

Be grateful for the help you get, but if you get no help be able to help yourself


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