Become Your Own Mentor and Coach Yourself to Success

by Certified Life Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

I admire the mentoring and coaching culture of Northwestern Mutual. So many of you are very giving of your time and talents to other FRs even though you are very busy running your own practice.Have you ever considered “mentoring" yourself?For example:

I just can’t get over my discomfort with phoning.

I usually forget to prospect even though I say it’s a priority.

I feel intimidated by older clients.

I can’t keep up with my case notes.

I’m overwhelmed trying to run my practice.

I can’t find my motivation.

Next, pretend that YOU are your own mentor. Listen carefully to your own concerns and worries. It may help to write them all out or say them aloud in privacy. Treat your struggles with the same care and concern you extend to your own mentees. Ask yourself some questions:

Say more about your struggle.

When did the struggle begin?

Has it changed at all or been this way all along?

What are you feeling?

What ideas have you already tried?

What other solutions have you considered?

How is this affecting you and your practice?

Why do you want to change this situation?

Treat yourself with the utmost respect and compassion—pretending you’re talking to another FR if that helps. Listen to your concerns, even if they are irrational. Try comforting yourself:

I know you have the answer inside you.

You can do this.

I believe in you.

Everything is going to be okay.

You will figure this out.

How can I support you?

What do you notice when you treat yourself as well as you treat others (or better)? Are you able to do this exercise or is your inner critic getting riled up? If so:

Ask your inner critic to give you a few minutes alone with your mentee (you!).

Tell your inner critic thank you for his/her concern.

Go back to coaching yourself to uncover the answers within. Guidance has been there all along and will always be there. Running your practice from a place of self love and compassion will impact the way you treat yourself and everyone around you. Try being your own mentor—the “compensation" is the best there is in the business.

Coaching Tip How do you talk to yourself most of the time? Try listening to yourself to get a sense of the general tone. Notice if you are supportive and kind or negative and critical. Just observing your inner dialogue is a powerful step. The thoughts in your head will always be there. You do have the option change them, but not until you can observe them.