The Before Process

The Before is where you are now.

It seems obvious, but I guarantee you it isn’t.

Self awareness is the least common trait we have as humans.

We rarely have a hard look at our lives from the outside.

We are so busy living IN our lives, we rarely work ON our lives.

My whole industry (life coaching) is about stepping back and taking a look at our lives from the outside.

This process works best if you can pick something specific to focus on in your life.

For example:

Your Weight
Your Relationship
Your Career
Your Small Business
Your Drinking Habits
Your Productivity
Your Stress/Anxiety Level

So just pick one for now. I promise you can go through this process as many times as you want–but the more specific you can be each time, the better.

Here's my Here's my "before" photo of me 10 years ago. This was before I stopped drinking.

Let’s say you pick your career.

We need to define the “Before”, which is where we are starting from.

Everything we do at The Life Coach School is built around what we call the Self Coaching Model.

And the premise of this model is that everything breaks down into five categories:


So we can use this structure to define our current state or our “Before”.

Get out a piece of paper. (I really mean it.) Write down the answers to the follow questions.

1. What are the facts of your current situation?

For the career example, this would include where you are in your job, where you work, who your boss is, and what you do.  We only include facts when we discuss circumstances.  Make no judgements or opinions when answering the first question.

I work at Nordstrom. My boss is Janet. I’m a salesperson and I make 60k per year.

2. What are your thoughts about your current situation?

Now is when you can brainstorm all of your current thinking about your situation. What are your opinions and judgments? What are you unhappy with? What don’t you like? What do you wish could change?

My hours are terrible. My boss is a tyrant. I don’t make enough money for the long hours I work. I don’t feel as if I’m growing or fulfilling my potential. All my co-workers are deadbeats.

3. How are you feeling in this current situation, with these current thoughts?

This is where you access how you feel. Your feelings determine your level of satisfaction. Often we don’t pay enough attention to how we feel and can be just powering through something that we feel terrible about without even realizing it.

I feel frustrated and stagnant. I feel bored and totally uninspired.

4. How do you act and behave in this situation when you feel this way?

Now this is where it might get interesting. You want to step back and take a look at how you are showing up. If it’s your weight–how are you eating? If it’s your relationship–how do you act towards the other person? For your career–how do you show up at work?

I have a bad attitude at work. I gossip about my terrible coworkers. I do the minimum required just so I can get my paycheck and go home.

5. What is the result of you acting and behaving this way?

For this question, be honest about how your behavior affects the situation. Take as much responsibility as you can here to see what effect you are having in the situation.

My performance is low and my boss is always on my case about it. I don’t have a good working relationship with any of my coworkers. I dread being at work.

And there you have your BEFORE.

Once you have answered these questions truthfully, you will have a clear before photo of your situation in your mind’s eye.

Please do not just go through the motions of reading this. Actually write down all the five answers to the before questions.

The rest of this process will not be nearly as fun if you don’t have your starting point.

Even if it’s a bit of a bummer to reveal the truth of where you are starting, the next step is very fun.

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