Career | Six Exercises To Help You Be Your Own Creative Coach
As a creative coach it’s my job to help my clients bridge the gap between where they are now and where they truly want to be in their creative work and lives.
Together we dive deep, think big, strategise, action plan, and wade through all of the noise, fear, self-doubt and overwhelm that has been holding them back along the way.
And I see, every single day, the power of this work. How so much magic can happen when someone decides to carve out space to no longer just run their business and live their creative life on autopilot but actually take intentional, meaningful, and purposeful steps forward in the direction of the life and business they truly want.
But what if you can’t afford a coach right now? Or the one you want to work with is really booked up? Or you just don’t feel ready yet to embark on that journey with someone else yet?
The thing is, you can carve out that space for yourself too.
You can hold space for yourself to dive deeper, to truly get to the heart of what is true for you, and to take the time to be intentional and purposeful with the decisions you’re making along the way.
Some of the most important work I do as a creative coach is to empower my clients to have the tools to continue to be the bravest version of themselves in their work and their life long after we’ve finished working together.
Here are six of the ways you can do that for yourself too:
SCHEDULE REGULAR MEETINGS WITH YOURSELF
One of the very best parts of working with a coach is having regular coaching sessions to check-in, dive deep, and have space to really focus on the things that matter most to you. But you don’t need to have a coach to be able to do that – you can schedule regular meetings with yourself too. In those meetings you can explore:
What’s feeling good right now and what isn’t
Your current goals and intentions
Any areas where you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed
Any areas where you’d like more space to develop and grow
Having regular meetings with yourself where you can have space to dive a little deeper and stay on track with your own goals and intentions in this season can be so powerful in helping you to live and work with as much intention and focus as possible. Try booking an hour or two out in your schedule every couple of weeks or month and hold space for yourself to dive a little deeper and move forward with focus and intention.
2. ASK YOURSELF PRODUCTIVE, OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS
Some questions lead to answers, and others can just lead to more frustration.
When you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or frustrated in your journey, try asking yourself productive, open-ended questions.
For example; maybe you’re struggling to book clients for your new business. An unproductive question would be: why is this so hard? Why will no one hire me?
A productive question would be: What can I do to make it easier and more exciting for my dream clients to want to work together? How can I continue to show up for my business moving forward?
We can either keep ourselves stuck, or we can keep ourselves moving forward – my advice to my clients is to always ask themselves better questions. Questions that are helpful, productive, and encouraging, questions that keep them moving forward in the direction of their wildest hopes and dreams.
3. GET TO THE HEART OF WHAT’S TRUE FOR YOU
I see time and time again that the thing that can hold so many of us back from living the life we truly want to is by chasing goals and markers of success that don’t actually serve us along the way.
We’re surrounded by so much noise each day that tells us how to feel, how to look, and what kind of life and career we should be building too. A whole lot of magic can happen when you get to the heart of what’s actually true for you, and ignore all of the noise that doesn’t serve you.
What does success actually look and feel like for me?
How do I want to spend my days?
Ten years from now, what do I want to have become known for?
What are my core values and beliefs?
How do I want to feel in my work and my life each day?
4. DIVE DEEPER INTO YOUR FEARS AND RESISTANCE
We all can face so much fear and resistance along the way, we’re living, breathing human beings after all. Some of the most important work we do as humans is to face those fears head on, to become the bravest version of ourselves in our work and our lives. If we run from our fears and refuse to face them, they will continue to hold us back along the way. But if we face them head on and dive deeper into what it is we’re actually afraid of, we then have the ability to move past them and learn to live alongside them too.
When fear and resistance creeps up for you, ask yourself:
What am I actually afraid of right now?
What has shaped and influenced this fear?
What would it look like to be the bravest version of myself in this situation?
What do I need to move forward with courage and intention?
5. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR BIGGEST HOPES, GOALS, AND DREAMS
A big part of the work I do with my clients is helping them to hold themselves accountable to their biggest hopes, goals, and dreams. Because it’s never just as easy as making a plan and following through on it – we have to continue to find the tenacity and courage to show up, do the work, and keep going even when things get hard along the way.
How can you hold yourself accountable to your biggest hopes, goals, and dreams? Do you need an accountability partner? Regular accountability sessions with yourself? Deadlines? A progress tracker? Time scheduled out in your calendar to do the work?
6. ACCEPT WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T CONTROL
This is an exercise I do with my clients whenever they’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, and unsure of where best to put their energy and focus. When we’re pursuing a new goal or dream – maybe you want to launch a new product, or a podcast, or write a book – it’s so easy to lose time obsessing about the things we can’t control.
For example, maybe you want to start writing a book but you’ve been losing time worrying about whether or not you’ll ever be able to find a literary agent, then a publisher, and then if it even would sell well or get good reviews. Your brain has jumped 10 steps ahead of you here – because the real work is to actually sit down with your idea and start to actually write the book. To bring it to life, to see how it feels, and to write the very best book that you can write before you go out there into the world and see if there’s a market for it.
Whatever your situation, try writing a list of the things you can control and the things you can’t – and then be super honest with yourself about where you’ve been focusing your energy and time on recently. If it’s on the things you can’t control, ask yourself how you can start to focus on the things you can control instead. Because that’s how we move forward and make things happen – by showing up and doing the work we’re here to do.
One last note of encouragement before we go:
I believe that within every single one of us is everything we need to move forward, make things happen, and build the creative work and life we’re dreaming of. By carving out space to dive deep, ask yourself the hard questions, and be intentional with your work and your life, you can cut through all of the noise and actually discover the path forward that will work best for you.