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Coaching Yourself Through This Tough Time

third-person self-talk, self-coaching,
third-person self-talk, self-coaching,
Coaching Yourself Through This Tough Time – with a special technique

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal a simple technique to coach yourself through difficult times or challenging situations.

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
Are you heartbroken, angry, lost, lonely, confused, depressed, or pining over your ex? How would you like to benefit from personalized advice, action steps and revelations? Take my free breakup test and get your own personalized report.

Beware of Immature Men
Immaturity in a man: he stays stuck as a boy, failing or unable to evolve into manhood.
What is maturity? What mistake do women make? Watch the video 

Now, let’s talk about a simple technique to coach yourself through difficult times or challenging situations.

You have an important event coming up – a job interview, asking someone out on a date, a difficult conversation with someone, or you are trying to deal with the pandemic.

How do you prepare yourself? How do you deal with the thoughts? How do you make the right decision?

Do you rehearse? Do you tell yourself, “I am great, I am confident…”?

And what do you do if you are feeling nervous or afraid?

Do you just tell yourself, “I am not feeling nervous…I am confident…I am courageous…”?

None of those techniques work.

Why not?

You respond with greater receptivity and less resistance when someone else coaches you versus when you coach yourself using, “I am…”

You embrace words of encouragement when someone says to you, “You can do it” more than when you say to yourself, “I can do it.” You respond with more acceptance of the encouragement when someone says to you, “I believe in you” than when you say it to yourself.

When someone coaches you and tells you, “You are strong, confident…” and adds evidence to it, then you feel encouraged, inspired, motivated, and validated.

When you coach yourself using, “I am…”, you encounter resistance, doubt or flat out denial.

The way to effectively coach yourself
However, when you coach yourself using third-person self-talk, you immediately lower resistance and you uncover things that you didn’t consciously know about yourself.

As I will explain, when you use second and third-person self-talk, you become the observer and you have no resistance because you are talking about a third person. It is akin to you coaching your best friend or speaking positively and openly about that best friend.

For example, let’s say that you are preparing yourself for the job interview, and perhaps you are experiencing doubt or nervousness. Instead of saying “I am talented, I have lots of experience…etc.”, respond by saying aloud, “(Your name), you are talented, you have lots of experience, you are (list your positive qualities.)

Try it right now.

Pause and describe your qualities as second and then as a third person. Say them aloud or write them down. For example, “Mary, you are (kind, sincere, intelligent, strong, independent, honest, etc.)”

“Mary is (kind, sincere, intelligent, strong, independent, honest, etc.)”

Notice how different that feels when you say, your name and “You are…” versus “I am…”

Notice that there is less resistance and that you are able to list more positive qualities than when you are using “I am…”

Now, use the same exercise to complete the following sentences to engage in greater self-discovery:

“The greatest challenge for (your name) is…”
“The greatest skills that (your name) possesses are…”

Of course, many people encourage you to try to change your beliefs about yourself by telling you to repeat affirmations such as “I am great…I am thin…I am confident…I am lovable…I am worthy…”

If this approach worked (and scientific studies reveal that it does not – see below), then we would all magically transform ourselves on a regular basis to be exactly what we want to be. (Yes, I used to teach this same thing until I discovered the effectiveness of the third-person self-talk which I incorporate into my SRTT sessions.)

When you stand in front of mirror (or not) and you declare “I am worthy”, if your subconscious mind does not believe that you are worthy, you will only create resistance. If you are overweight, stand in front of a mirror and repeat “I am thin” and notice the response you get from yourself.

Affirmations simply don’t work when you are trying to change negative thoughts.

“Repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, but backfire for the very people who ‘need’ them the most…Positive self-statements seemed to provide a boost only to people with high self-esteem – those who ordinarily feel good about themselves already – and that boost was small…if people who believe that they are unlovable repeat, ‘I’m a lovable person,’ they may dismiss this statement and perhaps even reinforce their conviction that they are unlovable.”

Positive self-statements: power for some, peril for others

If you want to change negative thoughts and discover more of who you really are (your strengths, talents, abilities, and challenges and fears) and if you want to generate greater self-confidence and belief in your own capabilities, use the third-person self-talk.

Thus, if you are feeling nervous or doubtful ahead of a job interview, a date, or a particular event or conversation, coach and encourage yourself this way:

“John, you are (list qualities)…John, you are feeling nervous because you doubt yourself, but John, you are/have (list more qualities) and they are significant because (list reasons), and John you can do it because I believe in you…”

Practice this exercise. I did it live with an interviewer during a podcast, and she was so amazed by the revelations and insights she had about herself. She easily identified her abilities and talents, and when I said to her, “What is Mary’s greatest challenge?”, she paused and said, ‘Mary doesn’t believe enough in herself.’

“Why should Mary truly believe in herself?”

Mary began to list reasons that validate her self-worth. At the end of this 5-minute exercise, Mary stated that she felt much more grounded, secure, and confident.

The observer component helps you to identify things that you don’t consciously recognize, and by distancing yourself, you can also take control of your emotions and thoughts. Accordingly, you can use this same second and third-person self-talk to coach yourself through negative or self-destructive thoughts, habits, and emotions.

Encourage yourself, build yourself, reinforce your talents and worth, express compassion to yourself during this tough time via this exercise of second and third-person self-talk!

If you need help to transform and let go of old habits, or if you need help with fear, anxiety, trauma or the past, book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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