A Coaching Power Tool created by Allen Scott Tafoya
(Spiritual Leadership Coach, NEW MEXICO)
Would you consider yourself as generally having a positive outlook, attitude or perspective toward yourself or a negative outlook, attitude or perspective toward yourself? Are you consistently happy with yourself or unhappy with yourself? I believe your answer to these questions may hold a key to your success in virtually every aspect of life. Therefore, I have created this coaching tool to help you make an honest assessment of this and to help you take on a more positive attitude toward yourself.
Notice the focus of the attitude I am referring is toward yourself, not toward others or your circumstances or the world in general. It is not that our attitude towards people and circumstances outside our self is unimportant, but that our attitude toward our self actually controls and determines how we will respond and interact with our surroundings.
This is actually a biblical truth found in Proverbs 23:6-7 that has been confirmed time and again. The verse says,
Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye, nor desire his dainty foods; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he; (MKJV).
This verse describes how a person with an evil mind and heart reveals that intention and mindset in outward manifestations. As Norman Vincent Peale wrote,
Many of us manufacture our own unhappiness. Of course not all unhappiness is self-created, for social conditions are responsible for not a few of our woes. Yet it is a fact that to a large extent by our thoughts and attitudes we distill out of the ingredients of life either happiness or unhappiness for ourselves.
(p. 72, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, Prentice-Hall, New York, 1952) Finally Carol Kaufman makes this statement,
A key area that has received significant attention from positive psychology is the experience of having hope. Many dozens of studies have provided empirical support for the crucial role that hope plays in a person’s life. High-hope (vs. low-hope) individuals enjoy better physical health and have higher academic functioning, interpersonal effectiveness, athletic performance, psychosocial adjustment, capacity for emotional self-regulation, and superior abilities to face and overcome obstacles (Snyder, 2000). When the highly hopeful person’s progress toward a goal is blocked he or she is able to search for and find other pathways to the goal and maintain a sense of agency (sense of being able to act). In contrast, those low in hope tend to become confused, avoidant or ineffective when they find themselves thwarted; see Snyder (2002) and Snyder & Lopez (2002) for reviews.
(pp. 229-230, Positive Psychology: The Science at the Heart of Coaching, Carol Kaufman )
Affirmation of Self is having the general perspective toward yourself that you are capable and competent. It is the ability to trust yourself and trust your decisions. It is not the belief that you are perfect or incapable of mistakes, but the assurance of knowing that when you do make a mistake, you can learn from it rather than be bound to repeat it in someway. In light of that, you generally feel good and positive about yourself and are able to make decisions that move your day and your life forward. You are generally hopeful and positive in your attitude toward yourself, and as a result, towards others and life in general.
Criticism of Self is having the general perspective toward yourself that you are incapable and incompetent. At its core is a lack of confidence in your capabilities as a person to trust your own judgments or determine your own beliefs and values and take action on them. As a result decision making is a difficult. Indecisiveness has become a character trait. Forgiving yourself and the ability to let go of mistakes or failure is hard. In light of that you normally doubt, question and criticize yourself. You generally don’t feel good or confident about yourself. You are cynical, not happy and feel negative about yourself and even others. You normally see the glass of your day as “half empty instead of half full”. As a result, you consistently feel you are not moving your life in the directions you want in key areas. Sometimes that may be true and other times it may not be.
Exercises for Exploration and Change
Instructions-You will want to purchase a 3-Ring Binder so you can keep these exercises in one place and use for a significant period of time. It will take time to change your perspective. It may take the rest of your life, but some changes are worthwhile. You may purchase plastic inserts to hold your index cards, affirmations, etc.