I always have believed that as a coach, the only way to create lasting behavior change in a client is to understand and improve her thinking. Once you get inside a person’s head, it is easy to connect the dots and understand her unique beliefs, perspectives, and reactions that prevent her from reaching her greatest potential.
Do you see how journaling and coaching can go hand in hand? Once I identify the beliefs that are holding a client back, I can challenge those beliefs and teach the client how to trade unproductive thoughts for ones that are far more useful.
Let me show you how much you can learn from just one journal entry. Below is an excerpt from a real client’s journal. I invite you to read this entry and respond in the comment section with questions or thoughts that help you to access more data about this client’s outlook. The questions after the journal will focus your responses.
“Lately, my mind has been focused on the ‘why.’ There are so many things that I adore in life, yet I don't feel motivated to do them. I have self-doubt, lack self-acceptance and confidence, and sometimes I just get stuck in lazy habits. Sources all around me keep telling me, ‘If the why is big enough, the how will show up.’ I spent countless hours reading articles about discovering your purpose. I have tried to expand my idea of what is right and what is necessary. But I am getting nowhere, and I feel sad. Sad that my talents and dreams are going to waste. Sad that I can’t find the answer myself. Frustrated that there are so many people in the world who seem to know their ‘why’ and their purpose… but I am left out. Why is this happening to me?”
Pretend you are this client’s coach. What would you say to make an impact on the coaching process? You can use these questions for guidance:
What is the overwhelming feeling that you notice in this journal?
What is really going on for this client?
How can you help this client move forward?