I have learned a secret about achieving goals in my ten years of being a life and career coach. Before you can determine what your goal is or how to manifest it, you better understand who inside you actually wants to achieve it.

We all have many selves inside.  You know what I mean. One part of you wants to finish your work project on time and the other part wants to fart around on Facebook. One part of you wants to power watch your favorite shows on Netflix and the other part is determined to make that evening yoga class. My teacher Jon Eisman aptly calls this the “inner committee.” And don’t they argue a lot?

When a client comes to coaching with a goal.. to get a new job, leave their marriage, move to Asia, or launch a creative project… I start with helping them clarify the members on their own inner committee to understand who is in charge of the particular mission. Often we find that they are stuck, stalled out or confused because they have differing selves running the show.

In our clarity work, we sort out the committee members into two groups: the “Big I” and the “little i.” Your Big I is the wise, expansive, inclusive aspects of you. Some people might call this your Higher Self, your inner knowing, or your True Self. The little i is the contracted, limited, habitual selves. We don’t dismiss or neglect any of these aspects of self. Rather, we listen compassionately and understand their motivations. This helps the coaching client to move more into a sense of wholeness rather than fragmentation around their goals.

Our best tool in coaching is mindful awareness.  We track these aspects of self by paying close attention and noticing thoughts, feelings, belief patterns and body sensations. By becoming more conscious, the client is able to notice which self they are being and shift into a Big I self to have more clarity.

And not surprisingly, sometimes the goal itself changes just by doing this important depth work. So if you feel conflicted around something you think that you want or need, it might be time to sort our the Who in You!