(This is Part 1 of the Coach in Your Head series. Read the Introduction here.)
Most people I know, including me, tend to dominate themselves. Let me explain.
Do you bring high support and high challenge?
In my organization, GiANT Worldwide, we use a simple but profound visual tool called “The Support-Challenge Matrix”. It’s a way to show that in all of our relationships we want to strive to be people who are “liberators”–those who bring high support and high challenge. When that happens, we get the best out of people, creating cultures of empowerment and opportunity. We strive to be Liberators, but by nature we’re something else. By nature, many of us “dominate” ourselves. That means we bring high challenge–but low support.
Watch your private language and inner thoughts. If you regularly chastise yourself when you fall short, or when you’re facing something daunting, you’re slipping into domination. It’s an insidious habit, but it’s replete among us. “You loser!” “You did it again!” When I slip into self-domination I harbor thoughts and use words (sometimes out loud) that I’d never use toward another person.
The coach in your head can help you escape self-domination, and one way is to get that coach to start bringing you support (along with the challenge you already experience) through verbal reminders and encouragement. This can be tricky, because it’s up to you to get yourself to speak liberation to yourself!
I have a friend who has been a life-long self-dominator, and a few years back she took the bold step of speaking supportive words–out loud–around her home. She says, “Good job, Honey!” “I like how you did that!” “Everybody makes mistakes–you’re awesome!” “You’re doing well. You’ve got this.” My friend has become one of the most humble and secure people I’ve known. She laughs when she talks about her kind words to herself, but she does so without regret.
So, get that coach in your head to:
- Practice words of encouragement, out loud, daily.
- Post words of encouragement in key places in your life, like the bathroom mirror.
- Memorize quotes that bring life.
- Memorize scripture texts which remind you that you are loved. Here’s one: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- Pray for God to help you crush self-domination.
Next time: Part 2. We’ll talk more about what the coach in your head can do to bring you to self-liberation.