For as long as I could remember, my first response to anything was introspection. Or to put it simply, the examination of my own mental, emotional, or physical processes. Growing up I always believed that anytime there was conflict, I was the one at fault. So, by examining what I did, I hoped that I could figure out what went wrong and try to fix it. Because if I could fix it, then I could potentially have less conflict.

Great goal but I did not have the proper tools to achieve it.

So, this would often lead me to be “checked out” or “in my own little world” or, in general, disengaged with the world around me. My inner critic would always point the finger back at me saying, “you are the one to blame because you do not know how to talk to people.”

In comes DSWA Coach Excellence Express. One of the many tools they teach is self-coaching. Self-coaching allows the user to ask questions that confront, motivate, and/or usher them to development and advancement. This skill allowed me to ask open ended questions so that I could look at any situation with more clarity. It also allowed me to get to the root of any problem much quicker. This enabled me to be more intentional with my relationships because I no longer had to process what was going on for lengthy periods of time.

While conflict will always occur, how I respond is what matters most. Further, I can also understand whether any given conflictual situation was actually because of my contribution or because it was from someone else’s contribution. By using this tool, I could better understand if I was truly the one at fault. It also allowed me to help serve others because I was no longer held back by my limiting beliefs. It also gave me clarity on how I may have contributed to the conflict. After all, any given conflict is rarely because it is solely one person’s fault. One party could have acted in one way that caused the second party to act, or react, poorly in response. Both parties have contributed to the conflict.


I am no longer the person who gets instantly offended or someone who automatically assumes the worst. I could trust my own actions were indeed altruistic in nature and have deep relationships that last. I could silence my inner critic with what was actually true.

It really is elevated introspection.



Jon Vajko has been married to Carrie for over six years and is a father of two children. He enjoys playing disc golf, playing/watching soccer, and playing board games; all enjoyed with others. Carrie and Jon have been utilizing their coaching skills as they raise their kids and coaching couples. He loves being able to use his skills he learned from coaching to serve the church in multiple facets and the audience of their podcast, Couples Becoming Intentional.