"I'm My Own Worst Enemy" and Other Pitfalls of Being Your Own Coach


Most of us have heard the phrase, “I’m my own worst enemy.” Indeed, many of us can probably relate to this idea. To be one’s own worst enemy is a common human pitfall because we are ultimately the one in control of our actions. Some of the decisions we make may satisfy us in the short term but harm us in the long run, like ordering pizza instead of cooking those vegetables in the fridge, or avoiding that phone call. We can defeat ourselves more easily than any mustache-twirling villain could attempt.

Some of us, however, have a hard time admitting this inherent and common flaw. We claim that we don’t need external influences to guide us on our way or prevent us from making poor choices. While some people are more self-aware than others, everyone can benefit from having a coach in any aspect of life. Being your own coach comes with a number of caveats that can stifle or even harm your progress. This is especially true when it comes to leadership development. Let’s examine some of these pitfalls of self-coaching.

The Pitfalls of Being Your Own Coach

Falling Back Into Bad Habits

We all form habits in our lives and they both serve us and stunt us in significant ways. These habits allow us to operate efficiently, but mindlessly. For instance, one may wake up at 6 AM every day, shower, brush their teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, and head out the door, but do it all without a moment of reflection. And this normal morning routine just outlines a neutral habit.

Bad habits are those that we fall into at our lowest moments, or that negatively affect us in some way. These might include avoiding difficult conversations, smoking a pack of cigarettes each day, or spending too much time on social media at work. Whatever they may be, bad habits can be difficult for a person to notice, admit, and/or change on one’s own. If you’re your own business coach, you’ll have a much harder time breaking or even recognizing these regular behaviors.

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Limitations of a Single Perspective

No matter how much empathy we have, we’re ultimately restricted by our own point of view. Reading, listening, attending conferences, and speaking with others helps one gain perspective and perhaps address personal shortcomings. But by avoiding external leadership coaching, one has a much harder time seeing oneself in an objective light.

Having a business coach greatly helps us improve ourselves and our leadership skills. It gives us an additional perspective that calls out our bad habits while showing us another way of operating. We can use our mentors as exemplars of better behavior.

Lack of Direction

Even if we discover our bad habits, eliminate them, and manage to gain perspective without having a dedicated coach, there is still a problem: where do we go next? The hardest part of achieving lasting leadership growth on one’s own is seeing a clear path forward. We can set goals for ourselves, but they may not be the best goals or the right goals at that moment.

We Need Someone to Challenge and Push Us

Again, an outside perspective is invaluable for development of any kind. We can’t exactly give ourselves a proper performance management evaluation. We need a coach to point out the places where we’ve improved, and the places that could still use some work. By focusing on the latter, we can map out the best direction for continued growth and success.

In other words, an outside coach will challenge us, pushing against our bad habits and calling us out when we try to make excuses. Both our actions and our ways of thinking need to be kept in check. This is both a short- and long-term project. A good coach will keep us on our toes on a daily basis. This daily accountability will add up and eventually become a successful routine. By challenging our negative thoughts and habits, an outside coach can ultimately transform our actions in the long-term.Everyone needs a coach to help defeat our own worst enemies. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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