Coaching is a process for enabling self-knowledge. And, the first step in coaching involves YOU taking personal responsibility. In really taking ownership of your life.  

What is self-knowledge? 

Self-knowledge is about, you, attuning to yourself as a person and how you show up. To your thoughts, behaviours and innermost feelings. To your non-conscious beliefs, blind spots, deep desires and fears. In short, to the entirety of who you are. So, at its core is a radical awareness of yourself — NOW —in this very moment. And, that will naturally include future moments too. For, all future moments must necessarily become the present moment when they arrive. 

Some might wrongly view such a self-enquiry as being too inward looking. Or, perhaps as being not very practical. But, such views beg a fundamental question. What is the difference between so called practical matters ‘out there’, and your knowledge of yourself ‘in here’? Are they not one and the same? Do all things not rely on your inner experience of them and how you relate to them?  

For, how will you enjoy whatever you are supposedly chasing, if you don’t know where you are coming from? How can you expect to know it when you find it, if you don’t know yourself today? For, ‘it’, must pass through you — your inner experience. Inner experience, which you can become more awake to through self-knowledge. Self-knowledge that becomes the basis for skilful living in all its practicality.

To rush ahead blindly, then, is only to risk running and running, but never finding. 

Personal responsibility 

Why stress personal responsibility? Is that not obvious? For, who would seek a coach, counsellor or therapist if they haven’t taken responsibility? Well, there is pretending to take responsibility and there is really taking responsibility.  

The difference lies in recognising that the coach or therapist or whomever is only a tool to support self-knowledge. Of course, some tools are more effective than others, but they are still tools. You must use them. Remember that coaching is not like getting your house painted, where the decorator comes along and does everything while you are on holiday! It takes courage and the will to look within.

Coaching is a process for enabling self-knowledge 

If coaching is a process for enabling self-knowledge, it is one amongst many. Indeed, I view coaching as being part of an age-old tradition. The coach, in my mind, is like the man or woman in the village whom you go to when you’ve got a difficulty. So, coaching does not have a monopoly on enabling self-knowledge. In fact, I am sceptical of much of the coaching field with its Hollywood-style self-development ideas and fortune cookie theories. 

In the end, self-knowledge is about YOU knowing yourself and how you relate to the world. It doesn’t matter whether that process is enabled by reading a book, a coach, or a random conversation with a stranger. The important thing is that you engage in the enquiry! 


life coaching londonHarsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.

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