Self-Coaching: And Why You Can’t Tickle Yourself

Self-Coaching and tickling yourself, what do they have in common?

Have you ever tried to tickle yourself? If you have, then you know that tickling yourself doesn’t work. Even the famous Tickle Me Elmo kids toy had to be “tickled” by someone else.

And have you ever tried self-coaching? That’s when you try to coach yourself to change a behavior or habit you don’t want like anger management.

If you have, then you know self-coaching doesn’t work either.

It’s the same for coaching as it is tickling. It has to be done by someone else. But why is that?

Well, for a reasonably simple answer, I’ll say it depends on how your brain works.

You can’t tickle yourself because your brain is expecting your attempts at self-tickling. When your brain knows you’re going to tickle yourself, it goes on guard and defends against the tickle so that it won’t work.

When someone else tickles you, however, the contact is unexpected, and the sudden shock of being tickled contributes to the effect.

NLP Life Coaching, like the effects of tickling, can be instant and extreme – unlike tickling the benefits of NLP Life Coaching can last a lifetime!


A similar process happens when you try self-coaching to change a behavior or habit. Your brain knows what’s coming and goes on the defense to prevent you from succeeding.

And what makes it even harder with your behaviors and habits is the fact that they have become entrenched in your neurology. They act like deep ruts in a dirt road, making it impossible to go in any other direction.

And if you have ever tried to break a problematic habit or habitual behavior, then you know exactly what I mean.

But that doesn’t mean habits and behaviors can’t be changed. With the expert help from a good NLP Life Coach, anything is possible.

Tickling Robots?

If you are in desperate need of tickling and don’t have family or friends that will help, don’t despair. In 1998 British scientists developed a tickling robot that actually works.


Well, apparently, it’s because they built in a short delay between the command to tickle and the actual tickle from the robot. That way, your brain can still be surprised by the tickle.

Coaching Robots?

Fortunately for coaches, scientists haven’t created a coaching robot yet, and I don’t think you will see a working coaching robot on the market anytime soon.

But no worries there either because you can still contact us at Life Potential Developments for coaching help. Or get a recommendation for one of our students.

So, whether you need a good tickle or a behavioral change, don’t waste time tickling yourself or self-coaching.

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Bob Clarke

Hi I’m Bob Clarke, writer of most of these blog posts. I’m also the Co-Creator, with my wife Ronda, of the Most Comprehensive NLP Training and Coaching Program Online. Our purpose is to bring NLP to you, saving you time, travel and money.