I just finished my twelfth hour of coaching, a core component of my Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology.
Frankly, I feel elated. But when I thought “I’ll write a blog about this feeling,” my inner critic leapt up and shouted “OI! You should be doing coursework! Don’t let one victory make you complacent! You are still WAY behind!”
This reaction made me laugh, because the aspect of coaching that has resonated most with me so far is the concept of ‘performance inhibiting thoughts’, or PITs. We all know them, those cranky little digs we give ourselves about the things we ‘should’ or ‘must’ do, or the reminders that we are ‘always’ doing this, or that someone else is a big fat so and so, and as far as you’re concerned that’s that.
Since I’ve learned about them I’ve been calling myself out a million times a day. The above examples are just a few of the many ways our inner critics seek to sabotage us on a daily basis.
The key to moving past them is as follows:
- Notice when you do it – all the times you label yourself or someone else, the times you overgeneralise or catastrophise situations, the times your views are rigid. Just catch yourself, make a mental note, or even write it down if you like (that’s a great way of internalising it and means you are more likely to succeed in conquering it).
- When you have a quiet moment, sit down and read through the list of PITs you have picked up on.
- For each one, challenge the assumption, and reframe it in a positive way. Write the new thought down beside the old one.
- Next time you catch yourself doing it, recall the associated Performance Enhancing Thought (PET).
- With practice, you will re-train your brain!
Thus ends today’s lesson in Cognitive Behavioural Coaching. You’re welcome 😉