Here is what I've discovered about self coaching:
1. You get to channel your inner advisor.
She is the part of your psyche that can take care of you. You should understand her better. We all have a caregiver part of ourselves. She full of light, belief and self confidence. Sometimes she's hidden deep within our inner core. Self coaching is the perfect reason to let this amazing piece of our essence that is often suppressed come out and make things happen for you. She will baby you and push you all at the same time. She knows what you need to succeed and she will give you all she has to make it happen and believe in your ability to do so when you let her. She's that part of you who takes care of everyone. When you self coach she is responsible for you and she can be your best friend. She can guide your thoughts to the light. Name her. Love her. Argue with her sound logic but then let her lead you. Maybe I took that to the extreme but it's nice to relax and let her take over. She can destroy your inner negative chatter if you can just let her work that positive magic. Let her make you a priority.
She knows you better than anyone AND she knows what's best for you.
2. You realize how resourceful and capable you are. That builds confidence.
You are forced to problem solve. You must constantly learn and apply it all for your dreams to come alive. It can be extra work to chart your own course in the complex sport but it is worth it. How amazing would it be to achieve a goal and take full accountability and responsibility for it? Answer... It is completely amazing! Crossing the Shamrock Half in 90 minutes with an 11 minute PR and placing in the top 3 AG at FL 70.3 were huge breakthroughs and I get the credit. I love that! I did that. My inner advocate says I get to be proud of this.
3. You learn your own style and your unique quirks without the influence of an outside opinion or external voice.
There's no such thing as an "objective perspective." Coaches bring their own opinions and background. It can be overwhelming and confusing. You get to dive into the exciting world of self discovery when you self coach. You have to know yourself to effectively coach yourself. What drives you? What scares you? Where is your comfort zone? What differentiates you from the rest?
I've learned so very much in the past few months this season but that's between me and my "coach."
4. You obtain a deeper understanding of the training process.
You will become even more of a student of the sport than ever before with your own dreams on the line. You are a one woman experiment.
5. Your authentic relationships thrive.
You will find that though you train alone, you are never actually lonely when striving for your own goals in triathlon. When you are not tied down with some "training team" you'll likely discover those who are truly in your corner no matter what and those who genuinely support you. They may be in the sport or they may just understand passion in and of itself. It's very difficult to break out but you'll feel less lonely despite less company when you learn you must be "selectively" inclusive. This authenticity of your very own support crew and finding those who are worthy of your trust with your dreams is uplifting.
6. It's so flexible!
Work trip? Spontaneous opportunity to train with friends? Feeling fried? Have extra hours to train? No problem. You are driving! Nobody will complain or place blame. It is fun to adjust anything you want and train with anyone whenever and wherever. No rules.
7. You'll enhance your understanding of how your own mind, body and spirit interact together and how you respond to stress from training and outside pressures.
You'll do this by being hyper aware every single day. You aren't just an athlete. Now, you are also responsible for the training program. You are forced to learn this. You'll be a better expert in you.
8. You will know yourself, trust yourself and believe yourself.
Simple words but a tough and ongoing process to achieve this.
9. You'll probably find more enjoyment in being coached if you decide to do that again. The inner advocate coach friend of yours? Well, she will always be there when you need her as well as all of the lessons she's taught you. She is the light inside you, after all. That's an assumption of mine, anyway.
10. It's your dreams. It's your goals. It's your life. You own it. You will learn to own everything. You even own the success of the support network that you create and foster. Mistakes, victories, setbacks and obstacles overcome are yours alone. Own it. That is a beautiful concept.
Here is the shocking revelation:
That being said I also loved being coached (by another human being not just my imaginary inner coach advocate friend) for so many reasons and especially for the learning process. I'm an extroverted "learner" type and I learn best when engaging with others. I love the partnership aspect of building success and sharing the journey. I see value for many reasons. I clearly wasn't "ready" this season for a coach as I had healing and I had growth to do on my own in my journey as an athlete. I was ready to self coach though and I love it. This year, I could not let myself and my tri dreams be vulnerable to another but being vulnerable to myself was empowering and enlightening. I just wasn't brave enough before. I have concluded that I will work with a tri coach again though. It's like solo travel. You learn so much exploring on the independent trip but that doesn't mean you will always want to book a single ticket. I've proven to myself that I most definitely do not NEED a triathlon coach. I do want to use one as a valueable resource though, after TX. I think given my solo success, I'm finally positioned to trust again, now that I also trust myself very much in the training journey. I know with proven success that I can accomplish big things no matter what.