• Kerri Burchill, PhD

Self-Coaching 101

Updated: Oct 4, 2020


Sometimes you just have to put words on it. And when you do, things go so much faster.

One good thing about being a coach is you can use some of those coaching strategies on yourself and call yourself out when you know you need help. This blog is about just that – putting words on it and reaching out for help. Here are a couple of the coaching strategies that I use with my clients that I self-applied:


Coaching strategy #1: Identify what is new. I’m a long-time nail picker. That’s not new. When we finally finished our collective 30 years of university, I started treating myself to getting my nails done and my nails have been pristine ever since - that is until this week.

Coaching strategy #2: Recognize the behavior. The nail picking.

Coaching strategy #3: Put words on it. It took me some time, but the only thing in my world that is new, that shifts my behavior, is a decline in my Dad’s health. More importantly his response to his decline. Sure there's his health. Then there's his response to it. The real truth is that I’m angry that my Dad is getting older.

Coaching strategy #4: Find a way through the mountain. Most people have a hard time getting a plan on how to get through the mountain alone. I’m no different, so I called my Mom who happens to be a year younger than my Dad. Not wasting a second to process my admission of anger at Dad for getting old, Mom laughs. Laughs at me.

Take a second to process that.

It took me a few seconds longer to appreciate that her response was perfect.

The tough reality is that life does happen. As Mom said, “That’s what happens, Ker. We get old.” She put words on it, too, and took it to a deeper level using "we". When I heard her say that, I realized I have to settle in with it, accept it, and focus on the good. One example of good comes from these pictures, a day when Dad and I were in Lethbridge having a picnic together. I love these pictures because the setting seemed peaceful to me and it was a good day together. This is the space I want to be in when I interact with Dad . My anger at his declining health, resentment at Covid making an in-person visit impossible, shame at not being there to help - all of the variables that could cause static in my interactions with him need to be set aside.

Now that I have words on it, I can get through the mountain.

Whatever mountain you’re working through, reach out to someone. I’m here to journey with you.


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