Sanjeev Kotnala: The midway problem of giving up on yourself

04 Jan,2017

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Happy New Year.

It is the time when you have so many brilliant thoughts. When you are dedicated to change things and be more positive. In some time, these thoughts mellow down and practicality sets in. Like a stretched rubber band, you come back to your original self, as if nothing ever changed. That is the stage when you give up on yourself. Think again.

We all are natural coaches. Check out your last three-month interactions and you will see moments where you have acted as a coach. Oh yes, you have been coached too. Here, I am focusing on a third dimension, YOU BEING YOUR OWN COACH.

Coaching oneself is such a satisfying experience. You enjoy the success. You live and appreciate issues. You give your 100% and more. However, there are instances when motivation is lost and energy drops. The signs are there to see. You lose interest. One of the primary reasons is the goals set at the start. It may have shifted, no longer relevant, seem too distant or impractical.

It is possible to enhance successful execution? Yes, if you understand the cause. If you can see what makes you give up their dreams? What stops you from self-improvement? Why do the resolution and the fire to succeed fizzles out? What is causing disappointment? Why are you not finding it effective? You will agree that the one person you completely understand and are in control of, is YOU.

CHECK 1. While being your own coach setting up those lofty resolutions, you have missed at some critical elements. Have you at the time of Goal Setting, Progress Monitoring and sustenance been as charged and disciplined as you should be? Have you underestimated and erred in time estimation, dedication, distraction, result and sustenance efforts required?

REMEMBER. It is you, who makes the change. It is not the plan and the dreams but the adherence, implementation and practicing that make the difference. Hence, every one of your effort is set to fail from the first day, unless you willingly subscribe to the idea, process and result. It is your responsibility to look inward than finding scapegoats and excuses outside.

SELF-MOTIVATION is one of the prime pillars for you to succeed in your endeavor of coaching yourself. You need to commit yourself to act. You need to believe in the process. And you have to be patient with the results. You do not start any act as a possible test ride. If you ever enter in that frame of mind, you will see it as an experiment and a formality. Soon, you will find that you do not own your objective and process, and you will give up.

SELF-COACHING is all about helping yourself. It is action oriented. It is aimed to achieve something that is inside driven. It is not something where you are imposing things. It has to be willful dedication to the cause, benefit and result. In case you find a flaw somewhere, it is better to redraw the path than to unwillingly drag yourself.

OVERSTIMATING capabilities and UNDERESTIMATING the time required is a genuine human problem. It is true for anything that we attempt. It is always at a later stage when we realise it takes longer. We are forced to re-evaluate the time-effort-output benefit. And here we do so from a biased viewpoint.This is where we most likely give up.

Take a VERY PRACTICAL VIEW of the possibilities and rightly estimate the time required to get the desired result and impact. It is essential that you take into account your own habits and work ethics, your behaviour and your decision-making process. Layer it with criticality and importance of the change you want and the result you are striving to get.

YOU CAN’T WISH THINGS AWAY. It has taken you so long to be wired the way you are. There is no real switch that you can trip to change the way you think and act. It is never easy to overwrite the already smudged slate.

We all also Like UNDERESTIMATE THE DIFFICULTY of the task, change and impact. Thinking wishfully, dreaming requires no efforts. Planning and execution are two different things. It may look too easy and simple while planning. However, it could be real tough to execute.

YOU DO KNOW. How easy is to stop smoking? It is about keeping a smoke handy. It is simply about not lighting one and not bending your elbow or not taking the drag. However, it is tough to do. Results are always long term. Expecting instant gratification is a fallacy.

EXECUTION NEEDS PASSION, COMMITMENT AND DISCIPLINE. Just the desire is never enough. Hence, you will do yourself a favor if you examine the difficulties at the start. Stop being casual in your efforts and taking too much on your agenda. Take delta steps but in the right direction.

REMEMBER ANYTIME IS A GOOD TIME TO START. So what if you failed, and your conviction on self is hanging by hope. Regroup your energies, think again, evaluate of goal, process, impact, time-effort equation, layer it with your behavior traits and redesign the perfect plan. Real changes require real efforts.

There are many DISTRACTIONS IN LIFE. There are changing priorities that will place that extra pressure in your capabilities, passion and time. Things will be there that will pull you away from the path that you so brilliantly designed and had every intention to follow. You are human and a social being with a personal and professional life. There is no way you can possibly think of all the crisis, challenges and distraction. Hence, it is impossible for you to plan for all of them. You can’t build all the downtime you will require in your schedule.

You are aware if them. Maybe it is time that you do seek an FRIEND, COACH OR MENTOR, who in spite of your distractions will help you remain focused and committed to your plans. For this, downtime needs to be built-in the process. If you do so, you will realize coaches facilitate your efforts. They help you set up realistic timelines and ensure that you achieve the results.

You are EXERIENCED. You know what the biggest challenge is. It is not to think, plan and start. It is to maintain the changed process, habit, behavior or relationship. You would most likely have friends who have left smoking for a long period and then started again. And that is a good demonstration of what it is all about.

THERE IS NOTHING CALLED HALF-PREGNANCY. You have to remain focused and maintain the new desired planned process, habit and behavior. It is you, who has to be passionate and committed to it.


Coaches have a definitive responsibility in telling their clients that it is they who have to do the work to get to the goals they have agreed. Coaches are just facilitator and nothing more.


Sanjeev Kotnala with 28 years of corporate experience is the founder of Intradia World; a Brand, Marketing & Management Advisory. His focus area includes Ideation and Innovation; he also conducts specialized workshops like IDEAHarvest, Liberate and InNoWait. For soft skill training, he follows SHIFT (Specific High-Intensity Frequent training), a process of continuous training with frequent shorter sessions. Email tweet @s_kotnala web:


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