A Coaching Model By Camila Azevedo, Self-Discovery Coach, SINGAPORE
Inwards Coaching Philosophy
The Inwards Coaching model is designed for individuals looking for self-discovery as a path to transformation. As we learn more about ourselves and how we interact with the world, our focus shifts towards finding healthier and more meaningful ways to connect with ourselves and others, as well as finding unique perspectives regarding life and the situations that move us forward. Inwards represents a journey; one designed to unlock potential by helping people understand themselves, beyond the conditioned mind.
It is a blended coaching model called Therapeutic Coaching focused on one’s inner-self. The shifts in our thoughts, emotions, perspectives, beliefs and consequently behaviours that transforms us happens inwards. Focusing our intentions on uncovering our vast inwards world is what empowers us to grow and evolve into our authentic selves, leading to a healthier and happier life. The blended approach engages the common intersections between therapy and coaching to create magic. The self-discovery process is grounded on the Coaching Competencies defined by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and is enriched with knowledge from psychotherapy, positive psychology, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Behaviour Coaching (CBC), Analytical Psychology and Mindfulness. This therapeutic coaching model aims to support clients by creating awareness, acceptance, and responsibility; an empowered self-discovery journey, led by each client’s inner wisdom, creating an individualized path to transformation.
Even though this model could be applied to anyone looking for self-discovery, we are focusing on women and more specifically, mothers. As mothers access their inner-self and wisdom, they will pass these insights onto their children, by teaching them how to regulate their emotions, shift perspectives and about the worth they have in this world, all through example. Society would benefit immensely from all the authenticity, awareness, responsibility, empathy, and love; therefore, healing mothers is a way to heal the world.
So many women experience hardships as they grieve their old lives while struggling to define what their new life will be, as motherhood is an unknown territory that is constantly changing. Finding one’s identity as a mother is a goal while understanding the fluidity of that identity as one age, is key. It is not about defining oneself as a mother but instead allowing motherhood to play a role in how one defines their inner-self.
In this coaching model, we are committed to facilitating growth, discovery, and change in an emotionally safe environment based on acceptance, compassion, and empathy. Through the principles below, our goal is to help individuals:(i) realize their potential, (ii) understand, accept & regulate emotions, (iii) honour their authenticity, (iv) increase awareness and (v) strengthen their connections. Inwards focuses on the following areas:
The basis of this coaching model is INNER, which focuses on each client’s inner-self and their journey within. We also recognize how a client’s internal world is impacted by the external environment. However, we can only work on things we can actively change; therefore, understanding who we are allows us to choose healthier perspectives. Our philosophy is rooted in the belief that the most positive changes occur when individuals work from the inside, out. Care for your inner-self and your inner-self will, in turn, care for you. Our inner world includes our thoughts, feelings, perspectives, beliefs and characteristics that comprise our unique self. Our behaviour is merely an externalisation of who we truly are inside and in several situations, we lack the necessary awareness to understand that our reactions are reflections of unknown parts of ourselves. Freedom of choice comes from knowing, accepting and finding healthier ways to work with all parts of ourselves, including the light and the shadow one carries as well – all are necessary for our progress and transformation.
Inner is such an important part of the coaching philosophy and will flow through all the other aspects, creating Inner Awareness, Inner Responsibility, Inner Acceptance, Inner Wisdom and Inner growth.
Your understanding of your inner self holds the meaning of your life. Leo Tolstoy
Evoking awareness is the primary intent of this model and together with the inner focus will help clients regain their inner power. Responsibility, acceptance, wisdom and growth comes as a result of awareness.
Creating awareness is the start of the transformational journey; as the client internalises the awareness being developed about their inner-self, they can challenge how they define themselves. It is the process of finding as many pieces of ourselves as possible, deconstructing all we know about who we are to then reconstruct ourselves using the same pieces back, but this time putting them in a shape that results more healthily and happily of living, with deeper and more meaningful connections leading to life with real purpose. Awareness is about discovering who we are, what we feel, how we think, and the lenses we choose to see the world around us. As Dr Prem Jagyasi said, “Self-awareness is all about questioning one’s truths, analysing them and choosing only truths that are beneficial to our inner-self.” Awareness gives individuals a choice, empowers them. Once awareness is there, individuals are no longer in the unknown or the dark reacting to everything, suffering and using blame as a means of escape. It brings clarity to individuals, showcasing potential choices on how to best respond to their inner selves and the external world around them.
The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. -Nathaniel Branden
The client’s intent to access their inner-self and inner-awareness will support them in accepting who they truly are. Inner acceptance is about embracing all parts of who we are, both the good and the challenging, equally as one. As they stop running away from their shadows, they can use that extra energy to support themselves by finding healthier ways to express their inner-self. Carl Jung transformed the idea of “acceptance” when he invited us to accept all of ourselves, including our “shadows”, or darker side: “the source of our creative and destructive energies”. (McLeod, 2018). Our path to transformation revolves around accepting our flaws and mistakes and embracing them as much as we do with our good qualities and success.
We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.-Carl Jung
As we move forward in our coaching philosophy and transformational process created, the client won’t be able to transform, progress, or even execute the decisions they are aware of, unless they develop responsibility for their choices in life. Self-responsibility is an essential ingredient to the transformational journey because it translates into both internal and external changes. During our coaching model and concurrently in life, one can only transform what they are responsible for. Choosing to be responsible for their thoughts, feelings and behaviours create a dynamic where blame is used less frequently. This provides an individual with the power to gain control over their lives, resulting in real change internally that automatically changes one’s external actions. We also don’t subscribe to blame, as responsibility leads us to a more compassionate way to live, focusing on finding healthier solutions to our challenges.
It is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are. – Allanah Hunt
This model is focused on the client’s inner self, which pushes them to access their inner wisdom. Wisdom will come naturally as a result of the inwards process and is used in our journey as well as on the connections we have with others and the world around us. We come closer to our inner wisdom when we can access our inner self. Intuition is wisdom in action –to access it, we must allow ourselves to navigate through the inner ocean inside of us with compassion, courage and intent.
There is a saying that I have embraced in my life and have helped me challenge my inwards world as it relates to the external challenges around me. It says the following: “Wisdom is the ability to know whether the problem needs to be solved, whether it is the right problem, and whether it is even a problem at all.” We can only answer those simple questions with honesty when we are aware of who we are, what choices we want to live by and what perspective we have chosen to subscribe to. Wisdom comes from our inwards knowledge.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.-Aristotle
Growth, as accessing our wisdom, is the ultimate result of the inwards journey. Through self-awareness, self-responsibility, and self-acceptance, we access and express our unique transformation into our authentic selves. Learning how to navigate the light and shadows of our lives healthily is what many would define as emotional intelligence, but I would rather think of it as “inner-power”. Wisdom is already inside us, and it is only a matter of learning how to access it. The Inwards Journey will help you get there.
All of the components of our coaching philosophy are uncovered during the coaching journey in no particular order. As the intent is the process inwards, each client goes through a unique journey that respects their moment and needs. Our philosophy guides our intention as we interact with our clients and shape the focus of our coaching model.
The InwardsJourney is imperfectly perfect, sometimes painful, but always transformational -Camila Azevedo
The Intent Coaching Model:
The Cambridge Dictionary defines INTENT as “giving all your attention to something”. Focusing on our intention as the building block for the coaching process grants access to the wisdom needed to empower ourselves as we move through the challenges within our minds and our lives.
The intent is the process we use to deliver our INWARDS philosophy. As you could see throughout our model, the intention of deep diving into our inner ocean with courage and compassion will guide us on achieving awareness, acceptance, responsibility which will allow us to access our inner wisdom resulting in personal growth.
Identify the Initial Goal and Objective
The first step in the coaching process revolves around setting goals and objectives concisely. This identification allows us to examine the importance of our objectives, as well as the desired outcomes. As the client connects deeper with their desires and the importance behind them, they develop more motivation to deeply dive into themselves and overcome any potential blockages.
- What are you keen to accomplish through this personal coaching sequence/session?
- What is the significance of this topic for you today?
- What are you looking to achieve?
- What is one meaningful outcome that will get you closer to your goal?
- What would tell you that you have reached your goal?
Navigate Through Exploration of Inner-Self and Situation
This step is about understanding more about the “who” of the client and how they interact with external environments. Self-discovery happens as we learn more about ourselves, therefore, we can help our clients using intentional and meaningful questions that will challenge them respectfully and openly. The focus here is exploration – deep diving on key and repetitive words/statements to understand them from a different perspective. We also strive to challenge the reality they are subscribing to while uncovering limiting beliefs and most importantly, helping them connect how their thoughts are impacting their emotions and behaviour so they can become more aware of their inner world.
- How is this topic making you feel?
- How would you like to feel about it?
- What does this mean to you?
- What thoughts are supporting that statement?
- How do the thoughts make you feel?
- What feelings would you like to have?
- What thoughts could help you feel that way?
- What is the meaning behind your difficulty?
- You have said [X]multiples time, what does it mean to you?
- What do you want?
Trust & Thrive
The partnership between the coach and client must be grounded on a basis of trust, respect, empathy, and support. Creating this sacred environment will allow the client to go deeper inwards and to create this environment, a coach needs to be fully immersed and present in the session to be able to pick up on and acknowledge all the significant verbal and non-verbal cues from the client. This will guide the coach on topics to explore further and encourage the client to go deeper inwards.
- I am noticing you’re feeling [X], what is causing this? Is there any way I can make you more comfortable?
- You mentioned this word/phrase repetitively, what does it mean to you?
- I noticed a lot of energy in this gesture, what is coming up to you?
- I am hearing you say [X], how does this connect to your goals for the session?
- How is this thought serving you?
- What do you feel when you think of [X]?
Establish Defined Client’s Learnings and Insights
Identifying the main insights from the session will help the client solidify and internalize them more effectively. It is also an important step because it helps the client acknowledge all the work they have done throughout the session. Focusing on how these new perspectives can be applied in their life is crucial to establishing a productive cycle of growth.
- What are you learning about yourself?
- How can this new wisdom be used in other areas of your life?
- What can help you solidify this information?
- What can you do to remind yourself of this new insight?
- What is this new perspective-shifting inside of you?
Navigate Through Action Plan and Necessary Support System
Once the client has new insights about themselves and the topic, the next step is inviting the client to brainstorm about the action plan, potential barriers and type of support they will need going forward.
- What actions could you do to support your goal?
- What other support might you need from me or the people around you?
Tell me about some resources that would be helpful. How or where might you acquire them?
Transformation Through Awareness and Responsibility
This is not a stepper say, rather the intention of the whole coaching process. The result of the awareness and responsibility achieved through coaching will lead to transformation through empowerment. Self-awareness and personal responsibility are the main ingredients needed if we want to transform ourselves into the best version of ourselves.
McLeod, Saul. Carl Jung. Simply Psychology. December
International Coaching Federation
Stein, M. Jung’s map of the soul: An introduction. Chicago: Open Court.
Gillihan, S. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple. California. Althea Press.