How to Use The GROW Model to Feel Less Stuck

Carving out time for effective self-reflection is key to living a fulfilling life. When we reflect internally, our train of thought can end up unclear and scattered. Plus, any insights we do have are easily forgotten. This can lead to us feeling stuck.

An alternative? Self-coaching using The GROW Model.

In self-coaching, you are your own coach. It's a simple yet powerful way to increase your self-awareness and achieve positive change using an effective guided introspection process. This tool is particularly helpful for people who:

  • Feel stuck, overwhelmed or stressed
  • Are prone to overthinking
  • Struggle to take action and create long-lasting change

Key Benefits of Self-Coaching

  • Gain powerful insights into yourself and your life.
  • Achieve clarity on what you want and how you can get there.
  • Develop a stronger sense of life direction and purpose.

Planning Your Way to a Better Future

The GROW Model is a four-step system you can use to begin self-coaching.

Sir John Whitmore and his colleagues first outlined this model in Coaching for Performance back in 1991.

GROW is an acronym that stands for:





Step One: Goal

The first step in self-coaching is clarifying what is it you want to achieve.

It's about digging deep and discovering what it is you really want, as opposed to what you think you should want.

Example Grow Questions

  • Where do you most want to see change in your life?
  • What do you really want, in an ideal world?
  • What would your life look like if other people's opinions didn't matter?

Step Two: Current Reality

Step two of The GROW Model is vital for effective self-coaching.

It’s the part that’s usually missing from every day conversation, as we so often jump straight into our options.

Reflecting on the present helps you develop a greater understanding of your current situation. This often generates new insights, which then naturally feeds into your options.

Example Current Reality Questions

  • What’s happening right now?
  • What will happen if you don’t take action?
  • What are your reasons not to change? What are you gaining from how things are now?

  • Step Three: Options

    When you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and where you are at the moment, you move onto considering your possible action steps.

    Example Options Questions

    • What are your options?
    • What’s worked for you in the past?
    • What could be your first small step?

    Step Four: Will (or Way Forward)

    The final part of the self-coaching process is to decide on your small action steps for creating positive change.

    You also reflect on your commitment levels and consider whether there's anything you can do to feel even more committed.

    Example Will Questions

    • How committed are you to this on a scale of 1-10?
    • What do you think would need to happen for you to be more committed?
    • How can you break this down into small action steps?

    Check-in Sessions

    When practicing self-coaching, we encourage you to set timelines to check in with yourself and your progress.

    Here are some example self-coaching check-in questions:

    If You Completed Your Action Step If You Didn’t Complete Your Action Step
      How did it go?

      What worked well?

      What could you have done differently?

      What do you think prevented it from happening?

      What are your thoughts on your goal now?

      What’s the impact of not having done this?

Self-Coaching Guide

The GROW Planner (25 page PDF)

  • Like the sound of self-coaching? Begin your practice today with this practical tool included in The Mental Wellbeing Toolkit.
  • Use the GROW model to overcome personal challenges and plan your way forward.
  • Gain clarity and develop a stronger sense of life direction and purpose.
  • Keeps your focus small so you feel inspired and motivated – not overwhelmed.
  • Stay consistent and make change happen - includes phone reminders to give you quick and easy access to key information on the go.
Learn More
Are you a therapist or coach? This tool is for personal use only. You can access our professional license toolkit here.


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