Bring Out Your Inner Coach

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If you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
— 
Lao-Tzu

I’ve learned over the past few years that not only are trauma survivors hungry… they’re starving for relief, recovery, and peace. And through trauma-informed care, I believe we are starting to satiate that hunger. But the more I’ve learned about expressive writing/journaling as it relates to trauma and healing, the more I believe in the wisdom that we can teach each other how to achieve a level of relief, recovery, and peace that lasts a lifetime.

Expressive Writing and journaling are probably the most accessible, affordable, efficient and long-lasting ways to work through recovery.

But the key is learning how to leverage the process.

That’s where coaches like me come in. To help survivors learn the process and then implement it for themselves.

Disclaimer: I’m not talking about the saturated “hustle-bullet-morning pages-planner-journaling” that everyone seems to be abuzz about.

What I’m talking about is life-changing, to the bone, introspective questioning within the context of writing. It’s not easy work. It’s not pretty work, either.

But it’s honest, raw, gritty work. And if you can learn how to do it effectively, I swear to you, you’ll learn how to tap into your inner coach and get closer to your recovery goals.

How does it work, though?

This special way of approaching the page is powerful because it is very specific to you. The prompts or questions may be slightly generic sometimes, but the answers never are. Your responses are based on your life, traumas, bias, and perspective and will be completely different than what I would respond with.

But perhaps, more importantly, is the ability to use certain exercises and introspection to elicit a certain exploration or result.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that you’re having a particularly anxiety-riddled day. Even your anxieties are having anxiety. What can you do?

One of my favorite ways to attack my anxieties is to use the “Why Iceberg” exercise. Here’s what it looks like in action.

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Me: I’m not sure I’m going to pass my exam next week?

Why?

Because I haven’t had much time to study and when I look at the questions, I don’t feel very confident.

Why?

I’ve been spread so thin between all my work and obligations and I didn’t make enough time for my study sessions.

Why?

I guess I thought “good enough” would be “good enough.”

Why?

Because I’m not even sure I care about the exam.

Why?

Maybe I’m conflicted on becoming a {insert field here} in the first place. Maybe it’s not actually what I want…

It’s a simple technique, but it’s not easy, especially if you’re being honest with yourself. But even a technique like this can unlock information within yourself you didn’t know was buried. And once you know it’s there… you get to make the decision on what to do about it. Are you going to accept it? Take action? Are you going to keep it buried?

See, all you need to do to bring out your inner coach is a writing utensil and your vulnerability. Is inner coaching always going to work? Nope. Just like regular coaching isn’t always going to work for someone. But learning how to utilize and leverage your inner coach is one of the best ways to improve your self-awareness without spending a dime.