By Caroline Smith and the Mind Tools Team
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Coach Yourself to Success

Learning to Help Yourself

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Be your own personal coach.

Why do so many people use personal trainers to help them get fit? After all, this level of one-to-one attention costs good money!

One reason is that an experienced professional can help you get more out of the time you spend in the gym, by suggesting what you should work on, and by motivating you to work hard on this. The same is true of working with a career or life coach.

But stop a minute! Despite the popularity of personal trainers, large numbers of people can be seen working out in gyms, or running through parks on their own. They've worked out what they should be doing for themselves, and they've motivated themselves to get out there and do it.

You can take this self-coaching approach to career or life issues too. In this article, Mind Tools coach Sharon Juden shares the steps that many professional career and life coaches help their clients take – so that you can apply this approach to your own life!

(Of course, anyone who is determined to reach the highest performance levels would be well advised to work with a professional, and this applies to career and life issues as well as personal fitness. For these, there's no substitute for working with professionals.)

Step 1: Know What You Want

It's very easy to identify things you're NOT happy with and to get stuck in that negative state of mind. At this stage, coaches often hear comments like "No one at work takes me seriously" or "I need to lose weight, but I can't" or "My boss is so frustrating."

But if you want things to change, then you need to identify what you DO want and WOULD be happy with.

Unfortunately, while "know what you want" is easy to say, a surprising number of us really don't know this – and simply telling us to figure it out won't help. However, if we don't know the direction to take, where we end up may be no better than the place we left!

Others have only a vague idea of what they want, and they never take the time to be more specific. So they have a certain amount of success, but, because they're never fully committed to one particular direction, they can only get so far.

One approach that coaches use to get over this hurdle is ...

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