The power of TED: creator, challenger and coach

The last couple of years have been an amazing journey for me. Creating this article is a good example. It all started with a previous article on victimhood on my Dutch site Patrick Schriel Coaching & Training which was picked-up by a local radio station. They asked me to do a radio interview about people who complain all the time, victimhood and the drama triangle. To prepare I a bit I wrote the drama triangle: persecutor, rescuer and victim article, which I also posted on this site.

Shortly after that I received a comment from someone working for David Emerald team letting me know there is a book called The Power of TED (The Empowerment Dynamic). One thing led to another and I agreed to do a review on David Emerald’s book.

Drama triangle

In the drama triangle: persecutor, rescuer and victim I concluded that there is an antidote to the drama triangle: the winner’s triangle, Instead of being the persecutor you can become more assertive. Transform victimhood into vulnerability and take responsibility for your own life. And once you stop being the rescuer you can become caring towards others, helping others only when they ask for it.


The Power of TED takes on another approach. TED (The Empowerment Dynamic] is an antidote to the drama triangle. David Emerald presents TED to us as a story in which the lead character David is taking some time off at the beach to contemplate on his life, his divorce, and all the things that went wrong in his life. He wants to find an escape from his own victimhood. It is there where he meets Ted who introduces him to the creator, challenger and coach roles.

As a story the power of TED is brilliantly simple, as all good things are in life, but the message and examples are very recognizable, uplifting and can lead to real transformation. I’ve seen other explanations of the drama triangle before and how to escape from it, but Dave Emerald takes this to a whole new level. His message is simple but clear: Most people are living their lives from within the victim orientation seeing all the things that are happening to them as problems. As they try to solve then, what they get in return are more problems in their lives to solve.

Once you find an escape from the “dreaded drama triangle” you can take on the role of creator, focusing on your goals and visions. At this point the drama triangle transform into TED where creator is the opposite of victim, challenger the opposite of persecutor and coach that of rescuer. You now focus on solutions instead of problem.

If you enjoy books like Who move my cheese?, The one minute manager and Leadership and self deception you will definitely like The power of TED. It’s written in the same style with the potential to change your life.

If you want to know more about David Emerald, please visit his site The Power of TED.

The power of TED is highly recommended!

Live your own life with energy and passion

Part of my job as a life coach is to assist my clients on their path towards a more conscious way of living: knowing who they are and why they act the way they do. True independence means you are the director of your own life; thinking for yourself, taking your own decisions and doing the things you love to do. But if we have to be honest, how many of us are living this way and how many of the decisions we take are actually our own?

In our life we are influenced by our parents, our friends, our work, the country or society we live in, our religion and the media. The impact by others is enormous. There is a good chance that a big part of our life is based on what others would like us to be. There is nothing wrong with that if you like it that way. But if you don’t, and the things you do don’t give you the energy and passion you are looking for, maybe it’s time for a change and regain control over your life.

Let’s do a little test, Have a look at the list below and check how many of these where your own choices or decision and not someone else’s. Also check if you were influenced by someone else and by what level.

  • The work you do
  • The choice of your friends
  • Your spouse
  • The car you drive
  • The clothes you wear

Try to be as honest as possible. Can you honestly say that you, for the full 100%, made all those decisions by yourself?

As mentioned above, the impact from others is enormous. Our mind works like a huge hard drive, recording everything we do, see and hear. In a sense our mind works like a computer, which is constantly being reprogrammed with all this information. Most of the decisions we take are influenced by our sub-conscious.

But does that mean we don’t have a choice in everything? Of course not, we still have a choice but we have to be aware of this process taking place and keep asking ourselves: Is this what I truly want? Does this make me happy?

Design your own life

If you want to design and live your own life, the first step is to be aware of the influence by others. The next step is to know what it is you’re passionate about and then, consciously, redesign your life. This process is actually quite simple. Make a list of everything going on in your life and mark the things you like to do (or people you like to be with) and which give you energy with a plus and then mark the things you don’t like, and are energy drainers, with a minus.

Now have a look at the list you just created and see if there is a pattern. How many of the things you marked with a plus or minus have been initiated by yourself? How many have been other’s ideas? Are there things you can do less, or stop doing? And can you increase the activity of the plusses; the things which give you energy and you are passionate about? Not everything will be possible on the short term but you will see that with some small changes a lot can be done.

Self coaching for lasting change

The name of this blog, Authentic Self Coaching, actually means two things: Authentic Self Coaching and Authentic Self Coaching. One of the goals I have with this blog is to question why we act, feel emotions, believe and think our thoughts the way we do. Once we are conscious of this we have the power to change. This is the essence of self coaching. I will use this article to explain what self coaching is and what is necessary for it to lead to lasting change.

What is self coaching?

In self coaching people are coaching themselves. As there is no coach available, you have to be very open to listen to your own feelings and emotions, and be motivated enough to work on yourself. There are no upcoming coach sessions to remind you of the fact that you have to work on your goals and no money lost if you don’t show up for a session. All you can rely on is you and no one else.

As a life coach I know the value of my role as coach. A coach can give valuable feedback and has many tools available to facilitate the personal development process of his clients, see my article what is a life coach. Another positive aspect of using a coach is that coaching sessions doesn’t come cheap. This may seem paradoxical as money is one of the reasons why people will choose self coaching, but it’s a fact that once people pay money for something they are more motivated and take it more serious.

Take action

If you want self coaching to be effective, reading personal development books alone is not enough. You can read as many books as you want, but if you do not take the necessary steps in your own personal development process, nothing will happen. You have to be willing to go deeper and deeper into yourself until you get to the core of your being. That’s where you can find the keys to lasting change, not on the surface. If you are not willing to do this, and go all the way, self coaching will not work.

There are many personal development and self coaching books available. If you go to my recommended books page you will find some good examples. One method I highly recommend is The Work by Byron Katie. The Work consists of four basic questions and a turnaround to question your beliefs and is one of the most effective personal development methods I can think of.

Goal setting

Setting personal goals can be extremely useful to accelerate your growth; to define what you want to get out of life and who you want to be. Set goals for short term (2 months), medium term (1 year) and for longer (5 years from now). Be as specific as possible and write your goals down as if they are happening now. See my article on personal development goal settings.


If you want to learn new behavior, you need to practice. Research has shown that our brain needs 21 days to learn something new. After that period things become a habit.

Do you remember how it felt when you learned to drive a car? Everything was new and you needed to focus on every little detail. Gradually you learned and driving became easier. Nowadays, if I drive my car I’m not even aware of all the things I do. I just start the engine and drive to wherever I want to go. Driving has become a habit.


Self coaching can be a good alternative for coaching if you are short on cash or may feel uncomfortable with discussion your issues with a coach. Self coaching will work if you can motivate yourself enough to start, and continue, the process and are willing to go all the way. And remember the ego has many tricks to delude you. So do not stop at the first obstacle you encounter, but continue with the path you have chosen. There will be many rewards along the way.

What is a life coach?

Many people ask me: What is a life coach? What is it that you do as life coach? Let’s use this article to give some answers to these questions; what it is that I do as a life coach and what can people expect from a coaching session.

There are many different coaches out there. To name a few: personal coaches, mental coaches, team coaches, spiritual coaches, NLP coaches and executive coaches. Choosing the right coach can be an ordeal if you are not sure what to look for and what to expect.

Most coaches work in the business environment and the issues they work with are, most of the times, business related: How can I be a better team player, improve self-confidence, how can motivate myself better or how can I improve my leadership skills?

A life coach is different as the central theme a life coach works with is the client’s own life, and how to get the best out of it. This means I will not only coach business related issues but coach ones private life as well.

There are many definitions of what a life coach exactly does, but I believe the main goal is to make people more conscious and more authentic. More conscious of who they are. More conscious of the issues they face in life, what the root causes are and how to resolve them. More conscious of the relationships we have with others and how our own behavior affects everyone around us. I always compare this process with pealing an onion. You remove layer after layer until you reach the core, the authentic self.

Before I begin to coach a client, I always setup a pre-meeting to see if there is a good match between myself, as a coach, and the client. I also check what issue a client wants to resolve and if there is a deeper question or issue beneath it. Once the client agrees to have me as a coach, and I feel confident I am the right person to help and the client does not suffer from a mental illness, we will agree on the number of sessions and setup the first coaching session.

The coaching session

In a typical coaching session I will use the issue(s) the client wants to work with as guidance, but will work with anything that comes up during the session. Most clients deal with issues they are not consciously aware of. There is a good chance these issues will come up during coaching. Getting to the core of someone, the authentic self, means you need to acknowledge and work with everything, good or bad, that is stored in someone’s sub-conscious.

In essence, what I do is listening, using my empathic listening skills, and ask open question. This will facilitate the client’s own process. I also use a number of coaching tools, depending on the issue(s) at hand and what I think will work the best with a client. The most frequent coaching tools I use during a session are guided visualizations, NLP, Voice Dialogue, Body Drum Release (a simplified version of EMDR), RET, Transactional Analysis and body work. Sometimes I use tools like The Sedona Method or The Work (Byron Katie). All designed to make the client more independent, more conscious and more authentic.

Life coaching doesn’t limit itself to coaching sessions only; It’s an ongoing process. I always ask a client to send me a summary of the session, what issues came up and what it has brought him. Most of the times I give the client an extra assignment; which can mean writing one’s own biography, creating a list of goals, or doing something which is outside the clients comfort zone (this could be meeting new people of someone is shy and wants to overcome this).


Life coaching is not psychotherapy and certainly not a replacement for medical treatment. Let’s compare this with a tree. As long as the tree is still standing (and reasonable healthy), I can work with a client. If the tree has fallen down, then a client is better off seeing a specialist.

The drama triangle: Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim

In previous articles such as stop blaming others and take control over your life and stop complaining and be thankful for the things you have I talked about victimhood and how to regain control over your life. As being a victim is only one piece of the puzzle, I will use this article to discuss the drama triangle and how to step out of it.

When you’re a victim life is difficult and not treating you fair. Once you experience something good, you can bet on it that something will happen that puts an end to your, temporary, well-being. Life is mean and a struggle for the victim. Victims seem to attract bad luck, but maybe one day, when they used up all of their bad luck, fortune will come their way.

There’s always something happening to the victim and they make sure everyone knows about how pitiful they are. Victims can be found anywhere: at work, among our friends, in our family, or maybe even closer: our spouse. We all know someone who is playing the victim.

It is quite easy to identify and blame a victim. They are easy to spot and, let’s be honest, they are doing it all to themselves. If they want to play the victim role, well let them be, they deserve it. It’s no wonder they won’t make it to the top. Victimhood is a way of life.

These are pretty harsh words, which I usually don’t write down like this. You may have reacted a little angry as there may be a victim inside you as well. Or you totally agree with me: finally someone who speaks the truth! Or maybe you feel sorry for the victim as they don’t deserve to be treated like this. These poor victims; all they need is some extra attention and you’re the one that is providing it to them.

This may come as a shock but a victim is never alone. You could be part of the drama keeping victimhood alive. You may even play a bigger part in this drama than you realize. Welcome to the drama triangle between the persecutor, the helper and the victim. The drama triangle is a model of dysfunctional social interaction created by psychotherapist Stephen Karpman. Let’s have a closer look.

The victim

As mentioned above, the victim is on the defensive side of life, always trying to survive. Things are always happening to the victim as they feel helpless in a world that is threatening them. Victims get their needs met when they get enough attention.

Victimhood can have a huge impact on our well-being and some victims identify so much with their role that they even develop physical illnesses to get, and keep, the attention they need.

The rescuer

Every victim needs a rescuer. Rescuers love to help, even when they are not asked to do so; helping others is what makes them happy. When there’s no victim around, the rescuer will not rest before he can found one to take care of. It will not come as a surprise that the victim will welcome the rescuer with open arms: finally someone to take care of him. Rescuers and victims reinforce each other’s behavior.

The Persecutor

Persecutors blame and criticize victims and rescuers without providing real solutions. They feel superior and with their behavior they are in fact affirming the roles of the victim and the rescuer. With their blaming towards the victim, the victim will feel smaller than he already his, reinforcing the feeling that he is going to get hit and desperately needs some help as he is not up to the responsibility.

The persecutor feels also superior to the rescuer as he cannot understand that the rescuer is stupid enough to help a victim. The most likely response from the rescuer is that he will increase his helping efforts even further now he knows the persecutor is not going to help as he only blaming the victim. After all, someone needs to take care of that poor little victim.

The drama triangle

Now you know the players in our drama, you should have seen how they each re-enforce and need each. It is not uncommon that players in the drama switch roles. A rescuer, after years of helping without getting the recognition he needs, may become a persecutor blaming others, especially victims. Or a victim, thinking he stepped out of that role, is now giving meaning to his new mission in life: helping others.

The winner’s triangle

There’s a way out of the drama triangle and it’s called the winner’s triangle. First you need to be aware and recognize which role(s) you play in life. Be conscious what your behavior is towards others and how you can assist them in becoming more independent, instead of making them dependent on you.

Instead of being the persecutor you can become more assertive. Transform victimhood into vulnerability and take responsibility for your own life. And once you stop being the rescuer you can become caring towards others, helping other only when they ask for it, making sure they can stand on their own two feet knowing everyone is responsible for their own happiness. Sometimes the best help you can offer is to do nothing.

How to change a belief with life coaching

The more I coach and train others, the more I realize I am just a facilitator. The less I do, the more my client is able to go through his own process. That’s the power of coaching. Being present and guiding my clients is the most important thing to get the job done. 70% of what I do has to do with making the right connection, being present; the remaining 30% is about discussion techniques and coaching tools.

Life coaching is about making people more conscious. I cannot think of a job that is more rewarding than helping my clients to become more authentic: assisting them to get in touch with their true feelings and unraveling all the false beliefs they have about themselves and others. In this process they are teaching themselves to change their reality: internal and external. It’s like pealing an onion. After one layer is removed you work with the next one, getting closer and closer to the core.

Part of this process is a realization that what you believe and think on the inside will influence all that happens on the outside. This means once we change a limiting belief the reality around us will change as well. This is an amazing process to witness. But how does this work?

Our mind is an iceberg

Our mind is divided into two parts; our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. Our conscious mind is what you are using right now reading through this article. You may have an inner dialogue going on, or you are thinking about a problem which you need to solve. Our subconscious mind works more subtle, on a deeper level, and this is where our beliefs and fears are stored.

I often compare the human mind with an iceberg. The conscious mind is the part above water. The subconscious mind is the part below, much bigger and not visible, but responsible for most of our behavior, beliefs and acting as a huge filter in how we see and interact with the world around us.

Someone who rationally knows he can be as important as anyone else, may hold a deeper limiting belief about being and feeling unimportant. This person can think and act as if he is important but without eliminating the belief “I’m not important” nothing will change. In coaching I use wide range of mental and transformational tools to reach the subconscious mind on a deep level.

Once a limiting belief has been removed, the reality one is facing will change as well. It is important to know that real change starts from the inside out. Many people believe that they need something outside of them to be happy. Good luck, winning the lottery, getting the right job or meeting the right mate. People often feel depressed, hoping for a better life. It may be a difficult message to share but it’s actually their state of mind that is responsible for most of what’s happening to them and keeping them from reaching their full potential.

If you change your beliefs, your filter to the outside world will change and your reality will change with it; not the other way around. You first need to be happy before your reality can change. Once you realize this you have the power to change anything.

How to build self-esteem and love yourself

This article is part of a series on insecurity, self-esteem and self-confidence. In feel insecure and build self confidence and use your insecurity as a guide to change I talked about (my own) insecurity and self-confidence. In this article I will cover self-esteem and how to build it so you can love yourself better.

Low self-esteem is often a deep negative believe about who we are, our self image, that people have which can limit them in every part of their lives. The difference between living a successful live and living an average life can often be linked to how people see themselves, their self-image. A negative self-image and low self-esteem can limit people in how they function in the world and withhold them from reaching their full potential.

Building self-esteem step 1: Know why you have low self-esteem

Knowing why you have low self-esteem is very important. Have you ever wondered who or what caused it? You have to find the cause for your own low self-esteem before you can improve it. Take some time for yourself and answer the questions below:

  • Do you have low self-esteem all the time or only in certain areas or situations in your life? If so, what are they?
  • Can you remember a time when your self-esteem was good?
  • If yes, what was the event that changed this? At what age?
  • Were there other people involved? If so, then who?
  • Do you have an inner critic? What is he telling you? Do you believe everything your inner critic is telling you?
  • Can you remember a situation in which low self-esteem is normally an issue for you, but in this case wasn’t? What was different this time?

I hope the answers to the questions above gave you some insight on why you have low self-esteem. Let’s continue with the next step.

Building self–esteem step 2: Recognize your own though patterns

You may have found the reason for your low-self esteem. But to improve it you need to change your thinking as well. Low self esteem has become a habit in the way you think about yourself, and talk to others.

I am too fat. I am too thin. I am ugly. I am not good enough. He is much better than me. Why do they ask me for this job, don’t they know I will screw it up? I never get this promotion. I can never pull this off. I’m not good enough to be loved. If you have low self-esteem you may recognize some of these thoughts. If you examine them and look a little bit closer, you will find that they have one thing in common: they are all based on a negative self-image.

In my article use the power of positive thinking to change your life I said that the way you think and speak is important for your own self-image. People with low self-esteem can often be recognized by how they talk to others. In general they speak with a negative tone about themselves and do not sound confident. As thoughts and words are instructions for the subconscious mind, people with low self-esteem are enforcing this all the time through their thinking and while talking to others.

Changing your thoughts starts with observing, consciously, how you think and talk to others. Listen to the words you use. Are they positive or negative? Can you see a pattern? Pay especially attention to limiting or controlling thoughts.

Building self-esteem step 3: Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

Once you have identified those limiting or (self) sabotaging thoughts you can replace them with better, more positive, ones. In the beginning this can be challenging, so allow yourself to make mistakes. You will see that you will get better once you get the hang of it. Don’t be hard on yourself.

After a while you will see that thinking more positive thoughts will become a habit. Once this happens you will see that your self-esteem will improve as well.

Building self-esteem step 4: The inner critic

You may have an inner critic in you that will criticize you with every opportunity it can get. Realize you inner critic is always looking at the worst case scenario. What is the actual change of this coming true? Can you think of any alternative scenario?

Another thing you should realize is that your inner critic is just a critic. If you look at magazines, newspapers or TV; do you believe them all the time? There is a lot of gossip. Is it always true what they say? It’s up to you to believe your inner critic or not. You are in control. If you don’t like what your inner critic is telling you, ask it to stop.

Listen to your body as well. What are your feelings telling you? Feelings come from a much deeper level than the thinking mind and are often more true than your thoughts tell you.

Building self-esteem step 5: Love yourself

Realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself. Accept yourself for who you are. Know you are a human being and are not perfect. You don’t have to be. Keep a good relation with yourself. Love yourself. Self-acceptance is the first step towards self-confidence.

True happiness comes from within. As soon as you realize you can be happy whatever the circumstances you are free.