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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

The Delimma of Coaching Yourself


I’m always looking for good content to aggregate for the For Impact tribe.

Here’s a really great article from 99u (Insights on Making Ideas Happen) titled The Future of Self-Improvement: The Dilemma of Coaching Yourself. Author and researcher, Joshua Foer, talks about the ‘OK Plateau’ where we gained enough skill for our needs … and then stop pushing ourselves.

He identified these four principles that he saw experts (masters in my words) use to keep learning:

  1. Experts tend to operate outside their comfort zone and study themselves failing.
  2. Experts will try to walk in the shoes of someone who’s more competent than them.
  3. Experts crave and thrive on immediate and constant feedback.
  4. Experts treat what they do like a science. They collect data, they analyze data, they create theories, and they test them.

Read about Bill Bradley and his unparalleled work ethic and practice schedule!!!

Then, read and re-read the notes from Atul Gawande, a best-selling author and highly accomplished surgeon, as he talks about the struggle with self-improvement if you already feel like you’re at the top of your game.

Spoiler Alert: Gawande makes an exceptionally strong case for OUTSIDE COACHING/EXTERNAL COACH who can help make the Quantum Leap to mastery.

Every top athlete and top sports performer (think Olympics, golf, tennis, etc.) has an EXTERNAL COACH that pushes, cajoles, challenges, observes, provides feedback and much more.

Who is your EXTERNAL COACH???

Or, are you happy at the ‘OK Plateau’?