Do-It-Yourself Coaching Exercise

Here is an easy exercise to keep you growing on a regular basis and help keep you honest with yourself.

One of my all-time favorite books is Leadership & Self-Deception, by The Arbinger Institute.  I also like the sequel, The Anatomy of Peace.  I read “LSD” at least once a year, and usually deliver a few workshops on it, as well.  If I could have coaching clients read just one book, this would be it!  I think it’s that important.

I designed this exercise to keep the concepts top-of-mind.

You’ll have much better awareness to do this exercise if you’ve read Leadership & Self-Deception, but you can still derive good value if you haven’t.


  1. Create a document on your computer titled, “Self-Deception.”
  1. At the top, type the question, “In What Ways Do I Deceive Myself?”
  1. Type today’s date.
  1. Create a stream of consciousness list of all the ways you’re deceiving, kidding, or BS-ing yourself.
  1. Hit “save” and save someplace easy to remember and access.  😁
  1. Do this once a week and note your progress.
  1. If you find yourself repeating an item or five for many weeks, create a plan to work on it.  Or call me, and I’ll help you to create one.


Examples of self-deception:

  • I’m an “open door leader” who creates safety in my organization (but no one brings up anything risky with me).
  • My relationship is in great shape (and we don’t seem to talk about anything of substance or grow each other).
  • I care about fitness (and I’ve worked out 3 times in the past month).
  • I’m better at XYZ than these other people (and I don’t really fully understand their strengths and weaknesses).


Book Recommendation:

If you’re not one of the 20+million people who have watched Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability, check it out here.

Brene’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, is another winner.  A researcher, this is her project on Living a Wholehearted Life.  Who doesn’t want that?!

Lastly, as we near the end of Q1, check in on your goals for the year – have you moved the needle?  Are you efforts aligned with your goals?  Let me know how I can help.

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