What do you think of when you hear Relationship Coaching? Some might think of couples, helping them achieve their goals together. Others might be thinking about getting along with co-workers, managers and professional peers. All these are part of it. But many overlook the most important relationship of them all: the relationship with ourselves. So today, we're asking you to join the #CourageouslyYou challenge and start Spring with developing the Relationship with Yourself!
You might have heard the aeroplane analogy many times before: put your oxygen mask on before you try to help others. Another community favourite is ‘make sure to fill up your cup first'. These saying might sound like clichés but they hold a powerful truth behind them – you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
Can you honestly say that you are taking care of your needs without compromise? Think back to the last stressful situation you were in or the last time you felt tired/ exhausted/ depleted.
Did you keep going because someone else needed you to? Did you keep pushing yourself even though you knew that there’s not much left to give? And if you look at the situation objectively, you will notice that this isn’t a situation that developed out of nowhere, it was a series of actions where you gave, and gave, and gave, and didn’t take the time to 'refill that cup’.
So what can you do so you don’t end up depleted? How can you work with your clients to help them make changes in their lives and develop better the relationship with themselves?
Self-care is invoked in the media and pop culture as the holy grail of solutions, but is it enough? We’d argue that self-care needs to come from self-knowledge. And that self-knowledge comes from strengthening the relationship with yourself.
We encourage you to try this method as a one month challenge and take small and powerful steps every day to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. You’ll be amazed at the changes you will notice at the end.
Day 1. Accept where you are
This is going to be the most challenging. Take a deep breath and notice where you are without judgement and without taking action. If you practice meditation, meditate on this. If you enjoy writing, write it down. Perhaps you prefer a long walk in the fresh air.
Whatever you choose, take a deep breath and listen to what your mind and body are telling you and accept it. It might not be easy, but it's worth it.
Day 2. Think of 3 words that encompass how you want to feel this month
How do you want to feel this month? Sometimes it’s difficult to reach for a goal when you don’t even know where to start looking for one. That’s why it can be easier to start with your wish to feel, instead of what you wish to do.
Do you need to slow down? Do you need to feel more energized? Do you need more love in your life?
Do you need to feel joyful and impulsive? Or do you need to feel comforted and at ease with yourself? Google a list of feeling words and pay attention to what calls to you.
Take your time with this exercise and let yourself open up to what you feel you need. This is not about what you ‘should’ be feeling, listen to all of yourself and choose what you need the most.
Day 3. Think of some ways you will accomplish that
This is a brainstorming exercise so jot down all the things and the activities that will help you feel how you wish to feel.
Pay attention to all areas of your life, and see how you can feel the feelings you need within: your personal life, day to day, with family and friends, at work, within your living environment, etc.
Then create a reminder. Pinterest boards and vision boards are perfect for visual people. If you are an auditive person, you might prefer a Spotify playlist. If you are a tactile person, create something to remind you of the way you want to feel and the things you can do to feel that way.
Day 4. Make a self-care plan
Once you know how you wish to feel, make a self-care plan for yourself.
This is probably the most important step in getting to know yourself. There are so many things we think we need, or that we think will make us feel better. We see and hear about self-care all across the media but often it stops at “pampering yourself”.
Self-care is loving yourself enough to figure out what you need to thrive. Self-care is reflection, it’s the courage to choose yourself when needed, and it’s the confidence to say ‘this is not working for me’. Self-care looks different for everyone and it needs to be celebrated.
Don’t fall into that trap and don’t let your clients fall into that trap either.
Make a plan keeping in mind your own needs.
A great long walk might sound great for someone looking to feel ‘curios’ but you might be looking to feel ‘touched’ and so a self-soothing foot-massage might be just the thing you need.
Day 5. Connect with yourself every day
Take the time to connect with yourself every day, whether it’s part of your morning routine or your evening routine. If it’s part of both, even better!
Connect with your mind and your thought through meditation, journaling or simply taking 5 minutes to talk to yourself in front of a mirror. Read something that nourishes the mind and the soul. Have deep conversations and develop a gratefulness habit.
Connect with your body. Move. Take a long walk, do some yoga, do an intense HIIT workout. Take a mindful shower. Give yourself a massage. Take care of your skin and use a nice lotion.
Connect with your gut. Eat food that nourishes you. Ask yourself ‘does this bite serve me today?’.
Day 6. Review
Now that you have been focusing on what you truly need, review your week. What worked for you? What would you change?
And most importantly, what are you grateful for discovering about yourself?
Day 7. Go deeper
It would be fantastic if we could get a manual about ourselves, similar to the DISC profile assessment, that would tell us all we need to know. But DISC profiles evolve as well because we evolve, we change.
And so self-knowledge is a journey. It is a practice of checking in with yourself every day and periodically for deeper exercises.
It might look like a journaling prompt or shadow work. It might look like conversations with your family about your childhood and how you saw yourself and the world back then. Maybe it looks like inner-child work. Maybe, it’s actually working with a coach to develop a better relationship with yourself.
Whatever it looks like to you, take the time to go deeper with yourself. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing yourself, implicitly trusting yourself and fully loving yourself in this life.
Once you finished the first week, put it all into practice. Connect with yourself every day, put in place things you need to feel the way you wish to feel, then review and go a little deeper. Repeat weekly. Repeat monthly. Make it a lifetime habit.
If you wish to learn more about Coaching your clients through the relationship they have with themself, the Relationship Niche Coaching Workshop might be for you. There’s still time to enrol, find out more here.
This week's Coach in the Spotlight is Dijana Juric, who turned her passion for psychology into a full-time career helping people live the best life they can imagine. Enjoy her inspiring story!
This week's Coach in the Spotlight is Susan Graves, who chose to become a life coach herself after working with a life coach. As a successful Project Manager, Susan decided to seek out the help of a coach to help design her dream life and found that she was passionate about empowering other professional women. Today she helps them build their confidence at work. Enjoy her inspiring story!