How to Be Your Own Life Coach

Becky Mollenkamp
6 min readMay 2

Can’t afford to hire a coach? Don’t give up. Here are some tactics and tools to help you coach yourself through life’s ups and downs.

By Becky Mollenkamp, PCC

Hiring a coach, especially a good one, is a big financial investment that typically costs thousands of dollars.

As a life coach myself, I certainly think coaching is worth every penny (that’s why I’ve invested in coaches for myself). That said, I also recognize it’s not within everyone’s budget.

Just because you can’t pay for a coach, doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from coaching.

It’s entirely possible (though a bit more challenging) to coach yourself. It involves thinking about your situation in a new way. That’s easier with an outside perspective, of course, but it’s possible to dig deeper with yourself using these self-coaching tips.

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Self-Coaching Strategies

Perhaps the most common self-coaching tool is using a self-coaching model. The most common is CTFAR, which stands for Circumstance, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, and Results.

A famous coach trainer (whose beliefs do not align with mine so I won’t share her name) popularized this method, but didn’t create it. It’s based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which has been practiced since the 1950s.

In short, CTFAR says that there is a circumstance, about which we create thoughts. Those thoughts create feelings, those feelings drive us to take action, and those actions create the results in our lives.

Under the CTFAR model, most circumstances aren’t inherently good or bad. We attach meaning to them based on our own past experiences, current mood, values, and more. And we can make choices about how we think, feel, and react to them.

Note: I have strong feelings about how CTFAR can be misused and damaging. As an intersectional feminist coach, I think it falls very short of addressing systemic inequities that create objectively bad circumstances.

I re-wrote the model to fix the privilege problem, and you can find that here: Rethinking “The Model” as a Feminist.

How Do You Use the Self-Coaching Model?

Becky Mollenkamp

Accountability coach for feminist founders.