1. START with a Personal ASSESSMENT

Personal assessments (like CoachU's Clean Sweep or the Coach Training Institute's Wheel of Life or Retirement Options' Retirement Success Profile)* can help you determine which areas to coach yourself in order to improve your life. There are other assessments that will help you identify your needs (Needless), clarify your values (TruValues), discover your preferences (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), determine your self esteem level (the Multi-Dimensional Self Esteem Inventory), examine your readiness to take risks (Risk Assessment) or even determine your readiness for coaching (Coachability Index). Taking an assessment is a good place to start when you decide to coach yourself. (for a list of these assessments and more, see my website at or contact me - - for a comprehensive, descriptive assessment list or for a copy of any assessment. Also see newsletter issues #57 (Assessment Tools), #36 (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), #48 (Self Esteem Assessment), #113 (Risk Assessment) also at my website.


Powerful questions are the cornerstone of coaching; all coaches use them. Questions provoke you to look for an answer in a particular direction. A powerful (open) question (like "How") is expansive and opens up further avenues for exploration. Close-ended questions (like "Why") usually elicit a curt yes or no answer...there's no depth for further exploration. Powerful questions invite introspection, present additional solutions, and lead to greater sensitivity and insight. Powerful questions provoke people to look within for the answers to what they really want. The powerful question is powerful because it makes people stop and respond from the heart.
Here are some powerful questions you can use to help you coach yourself:

*Where do I want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
*What do I want to do when I retire? How can I best prepare for my retirement?
*What is the biggest challenge I have now?
*What is my most urgent problem? What needs immediate attention?
*If I could have anything, what would it be?
*What am I wasting my time with? What is holding me back the most?
*What am I putting up with? What am I tolerating? (What drains my energy?)
*What is my business vision? What is my life vision?
*What opportunities do I have now? What opportunities am I missing?
*What changes would I make now?
*What risks do I need to take? What am I waiting for?
*What are my goals? What are my priority goals?
*What does my ideal life look like?
*What are my passions? What gives me the most joy? What motivates me?
*What is my purpose in life?
*What skills do I most want to/need to learn?
*Where am I out-of-balance? Where am I stuck?
*Do I have enough fun in my life?
*How is my self esteem?
*What will I have regretted not doing at the end of my life? When can I do it?
*Who is my support system? Do I need a larger support system?

(for many more powerful questions and other coaching skills, see the book listed below: CO-ACTIVE COACHING)


It is so important to take care of yourself! Nurture yourself! Be Selfish!

Make a list of all the things you do daily to nurture yourself. Are you doing enough? Create more positive habits that will give you more joy and happiness and passion in your life. Give yourself permission to pamper yourself.

(see TAKE TIME FOR YOUR LIFE* or THE PORTABLE COACH* or THE PERMISSION SLIP BOOK* or contact me for 101 Self-Nurturing Tips or see my newsletter issues #42 (Delicious Daily Habits for De-Stressing) and #88 (Summer Vacation: Take Time for Yourself) at


Tolerations are events, people, or situations you put up with that drain your energy; your tolerations keep you from achieving your goals and enjoying life to the fullest. Tolerations are like holes in your personal success cup from which your energy pours out. Plug those holes so that your cup overflows with positive energy.
The best way to begin to reduce your tolerations is to list them. You can make a list of 100 tolerations (eg. a missing button, a spot on the rug, errands/phone calls that need to be done, a negative relationship...) Then begin to eliminate these tolerations one-by-one. It can help to find a friend who will support you in your efforts.
(for much more on Reducing Tolerations, see my newsletter issue #39 (Reduce your Tolerations) or #117 (Top Ten Reasons to Get Organized) or #38 (Virtual Assistance) at my website or take the CLEAN SWEEP assessment which helps you identify 100 potential tolerations)


Learn to attract what you want into your life. By attraction I'm not referring to physical attraction, but rather your ability to attract abundance into your life in the form of success at work and at home, more meaningful and fulfilling relationships, greater life satisfaction, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Attraction means being whole and present so that you effortlessly draw into your life what you want without having to sell, seduce, or promote yourself. Attraction is a skill set you can develop which will attract the best people, ideas, and opportunities to you; it is your magnetic energy field. You can learn the 28 Principles of Attraction in THE PORTABLE COACH* or at or read more about how to attract what you want into your life in my newsletter issues
#105 (Attracting What You Want into your Life), and #135 (Attraction) at


Our environments are always affecting us: we respond and react to the people and things around us all the time. Therefore, why not be purposeful in creating environments that will affect us positively...that will help us grow to be who we want to be? Why not simply create home, at work, in other places... that will pull us forward to reach our personal/professional goals? It is possible to shape our environment to affect us in ways that will grow us...environments that bring out our creativity...environments that simulate our thinking...environments that challenge us to learn new skills... environments that de-stress us and relax us...environments that can evolve us. For example, if you want to be more creative, surround yourself with beauty or get involved with other creative people; if you want to be more skilled in computers, be around computers and people who know them. We can purposefully create or immerse ourselves in environments that support us in being who we want to be and in achieving what we want in life. (for more information on Perfecting your Environments, see newsletter issue #68 (Create Environments that Grow You) at


Do you have passion in your life? What is passion? For me it's that moment when I feel totally present...when time stands still and I am totally focused on the moment. I think of nothing else but what I am doing...whom I am with...I don't want to be anywhere else. I know I am happy...I feel glad to be alive. Athletes call it being in the zone others call it feeling bliss... ecstasy...having reckless abandon. What brings you passion? How can you find more passion? You can coach yourself to find your passion. Here are some ideas:

*Make a list of all the things you loved doing as a child; make a list of all the things you do NOW when you feel passion. Compare the two lists...what do you notice? How can you start doing again what you loved to do?

*Create a collage or make a list in a journal of all the passionate activities you want to/like to engage in.

*Notice people whom you consider are passionate: what are their traits? how can you emulate them?
(for lots more ideas on finding your passion, see newsletter issues #62 (Finding your Passion), 64 (Blocks to Finding Your Passion), 65 (Block Busters to Finding Your Passion, 70 (A Perfect Life) at my website;


What is self esteem? The official definition of the California Task Force to Promote Self Esteem and Personal & Social Responsibility defines it as appreciating my own worth and importance and having the character to be accountable for myself and to act responsibly toward others.

Can we continue to build our self esteem as we grow older? Is our self esteem ever finally settled? Dorothy Briggs, author of numerous books on self esteem, says that the process of building self...evolves throughout his/her lifetime. And Nathaniel Branden, author of THE SIX PILLARS OF SELF ESTEEM, states that a commitment to awareness - the will to understand - is the central pillar of positive self esteem.

I have developed a system for us to continue to coach ourselves to build our positive self esteem called the 8 A's of Building Self Esteem. Each A gives lots of information about self-esteem building: A-1: Acceptance. A-2: Acknowledgment. A-3: Achievements. A-4: Affiliations. A-5: Attraction. A-6: Attitude. A-7: Affirmations. A-8: Assertiveness. (see newsletter issues #130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 139, 140 at my website:

There are many other ways we can coach ourselves to build our self esteem: we can build our Emotional Trust Bank (see newsletter issue #83); we can build our Personal Foundation (issue #26); we can develop our EQ (Emotional Intelligence) (issue #50); we can incorporate Acknowledgment and Appreciation more often (see issues #86 (Are You Stroke Starved?), #87 (Acknowledgment and Appreciation), #106 (Ask for Feedback); we can become more authentic (see issue #118); we can take risks to build self esteem (see issue #15); we can silence our negative self talk (see issue #71 on Taming your Gremlins) and #124 (Blocks to Risk Taking); and we can commit to a healthy diet, daily physical exercise, and regular medical/dental checkups.

Finding ways to continually build our self esteem are perhaps the most important actions we can take to coach ourselves. Without high self esteem we will not have the courage or the ability to achieve our ideal life goals. Without high self esteem we will not be able to coach ourselves! (be sure to check out my new book: A GUIDE TO GETTING IT: SELF ESTEEM*)


Whenever we take a risk we learn something....we grow! Whether it's a small or a large risk, a physical risk or an emotional risk, when we risk we move out of our comfort zone into our learning zone. You can learn how to coach yourself to risk responsibly by following my model: The 8 R's of Responsible Risk-Taking. Each R gives vast information on how to risk for personal and professional growth.
(Research - Reserves - Relationships - Risk Muscle - Reduce Blocks - Relaxation - Rehearsal - RISK! - Review). (see newsletter issues # 119, 120 ,121, 122, 123, 124, 126, 127, 128 at my website:

Taking risks also requires getting over your fears (see newsletter issues #16, 94, 95); getting motivated ( #78); getting over The Edge (issues #17,93,128); dealing with change (#82); making mistakes (#67); finding risk role models (#110); overcoming cultural conditioning (see Women & Risk #77); and asking for what you want (#46).

Coach yourself to get out of your comfort zone and risk to achieve the life you want! (and check out my workbook: RISK TO GROW! Or my chapter: Risk-Taking and Building Self Esteem in the Book: A GUIDE TO GETTING IT)


To thrive, indeed just to survive, we need warmhearted contact with other people...Like a vitamin deficiency, a human contact deficiency weakens the body, the mind, the spirit. Its ravages can be severe (depression, physical illness, early death) or they can be mild (underachievement, fatigue, loneliness)...We all need a daily dose of Vitamin C=Connection! By Dr. Edward Hallowell*

How strong are your connections? You can coach yourself to create stronger, more loving support system!
Make a list of all the people you know (at least 200!!): family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, service providers, physicians/dentists, therapists, teachers... Examine the list to determine who supports you and who doesn't; who nurtures you, who drains you? who builds your self esteem, who diminishes it? Be more conscious about whom you want to be around and whom you want to avoid. Try to get the negative people out of your life...and spend more time with the positive people. Seek out more positive people...and positive role models/mentors.

Strong, positive, nurturing relationships will support you in coaching yourself to success, so build your support system!
(see newsletter issues #2 (Difficult People), #11(On Connection), #33(Affiliations), #134(Affiliations), #122 (Relationships and Risk Taking) #37 (Networking) at my website:

When you consider these Top Ten Ways to Coach Yourself do you feel overwhelmed or STUCK? There ARE ways you can coach yourself to become UNSTUCK! (See newsletter issues #114 (Getting Unstuck!) and #115 (Getting Unstuck -Again!) or #124 (Reduce Blocks to Risk Taking) at my website:

As more and more people are discover the value of coaching, they will want to learn the benefits of coaching. Coaches help people find greater fulfillment and happiness in their lives by identifying their goals and then prioritizing them, taking action and then being held accountable for their actions. You CAN learn the same powerful coaching techniques and skills that coaches use in order to create the life you really want to live. Go for it! Coach yourself to success!
Copyright. All rights reserved. Laurie Geary. 2003



all by Laurie Geary:

RISK-TAKING and BUILDING SELF ESTEEM:my chapter in the book A GUIDE TO GETTING IT: SELF ESTEEM. Ideas and Tools from 12 Life and Business Coaches to Help You Live Your Life's Dreams, edited by Marilyn Schwader

RISK TO GROW! CREATE the LIFE YOU WANT through RESPONSIBLE RISK-TAKING: a collection of articles, top tens, models, poems & quotes, and exercises

GAMES & INITIATIVES for NETWORKING, ENERGIZING & TEAM-BUILDING...and just plain FUN! a booklet including over 75 experiential activities for trainers, learned from my years of working as an instructor for Outward Bound Professional Development Programs.

**To order any of my books, email me ( or go to my website (**

COACH YOURSELF INTO ACTION: How to Get What You Want with 7 Simple Strategies, by Mary Lou Johns

COACH YOURSELF TO SUCCESS, a workbook by Talane Miedaner

MASTERFUL COACHING - Extraordinary Results by Impacting People and the Way
They Think and Work Together, by Robert Hargrove

THE PORTABLE COACH: 28 Surefire Strategies for Business and Personal Success,
by Thomas Leonard

All by Cheryl Richardson:
*TAKE TIME for YOUR LIFE: A Personal Coach's 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want
*LIFEMAKEOVERS: 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life One Week at a Time
*STAND UP FOR YOUR LIFE: Develop the Courage, Confidence, and Character to Fulfill Your Greatest Potential

TAKE YOURSELF TO THE TOP: The Latest Trend for Executive and Entrepreneurs, by Laura Berman Fortgang

CAPTURE THE RAPTURE: How to Step Out of Your Head and Leap into Life, by Marcia Reynolds

CO-ACTIVE COACHING: New Skills for Coaching People toward Success in Work and Life, by Laura Whitworth et al

BECOMING A COACH: The CoachU Approach, by Thomas Leonard

CONNECT, by Ed Hallowell




Subscribe to Gear Up For Success, a free email newsletter filled with support and inspiration to help you Get Your Life in Gear!