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Julia Stewart

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This is How New Coaches Set Their Fees

Posted by Julia Stewart

Professional Coach Setting fees

You've decided to become a coach. Congratulations!

You're getting coach training. Smart! According to research by the ICF, nearly all successful coaches are well trained in their profession and most are certified. Trained and experienced coaches also make more money.

But at every step along the way to becoming a professional coach and launching a successful business, new questions arise. None is more important, or more intimidating, than setting your fees.

Are you stumped on setting your fees? Help is on the way! Read on...

The first thing to realize is that you will set and reset your fees many times during the course of your coaching career. So you need to get comfortable and confident with it.

Most coaches are confronted by Imposter Syndrome each time they raise their fees. They ask, "Am I worth it? Will my clients all quit? Will I make less money if I am over-priced?" First, no matter how much you charge, you will always be worth more than your fee. The "Am I worth it?" question, along with all the other doubts related to imposter syndrome, are products of your brain's negativity bias. We all tend to focus on the negative when we are stressed, uncertain, or feel vulnerable. That's one more reason why working with your own coach is so valuable. Second, your clients won't quit, if you handle setting and raising your fees well.In fact, you may wind up with even more clients!

One of the secrets of setting your fees is to find the fee that attracts the clients you want. Here's a quick story that demonstrates one effective approach to setting fees:

I was lucky. The Founder of the Coaching Profession, Thomas Leonard, helped me set my fees, 20 years ago, when I was a brand-new coach. Here's how...

My dilemma was that coaching paid more than the profession I was transitioning out of and I had a hard time justifying the higher pay to myself. I was a new coach and the clients for my first business were likely to become my first coaching clients. Previously, I had been a dancer and college professor who became a personal trainer while I transitioned into my next career. I lived in New York City where the going rate for personal trainers was $60 per hour. Life coaching starts around $100 per contact hour (business and executive coaching pay much more). How could I attract the same clients and get them to pay more for a new service?

Thomas said, "Why not just charge them the same to start and raise rates later?" Then my coach helped me flesh this out into a real strategy. I offered each of my personal training clients a free month of coaching (three half-hour sessions per month) to see if they liked it. Several of them took me up on it. The ones who wanted to continue, I charged $60 per half hour, or $180 per month. Since personal training clients usually paid me $240 for four one-hour sessions, the monthly fee for coaching was less for them, but I was making $120 per contact hour, a respectable starting rate for life coaching AND I used this strategy to attract my first coaching clients. It worked!

I found other clever strategies to raise rates over the next few years to build a solid living with coaching.

This approach may work for you, or if your situation is different, it may not. What I can guarantee is that getting expert advice and/or working with your own coach, will make setting and raising your fees a lot less stressful and attracting clients will get easier for you.

Would you like expert advice on setting your fees?

After coaching and training coaches for twenty years and working with literally thousands of coaches, I am an expert. Do you have questions for me about setting your fees? Would you like some valuable answers to those questions? What if you could attend a live Coaching Clinic and by the end of that webinar you could confidently announce your new coaching fee? How much more money will you make when you have set your fees with confidence and grace? How much more will you enjoy your coaching business? How many more clients will you help reach their goals and their full potential?

A smart fee structure creates a virtuous cycle for all.

Join me for the upcoming Coaching Clinic: How to Set and Reset Your Coaching Fees on Monday, July 12th, 3-3:30 PM Eastern/New York Time. It's FREE to current members of the Certified Positive Psychology Coach and Certified Neuroscience Coach programs. If you JOIN one of those programs by July 12th, you'll get it free too, PLUS you'll save an additional $500 by joining before tuition goes UP. That's $550 saved. Gee, you really are a smart coach! ;-)

If you aren't a member, no worries. You can still join this career-changing clinic for just $50USD. You'll still learn how to raise your fees in a way that is attractive to clients. It will help you make more money and coach more clients. PLUS everyone who registers for this clinic will get EARLY access to the new and improved version of our most-popular free eBook: Life Coach Salary

 

Ready to set your fees with confidence and attract more clients?

 

Register for the Coaching Clinic: How to Set Your Fees

 

Topics: webinar, coaching success, ICF, life coach salary, Thomas Leonard, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Life Coaching, new coaches, certified neuroscience coach

How Empaths/HSPs Can Stop Attracting Narcissists

Posted by Julia Stewart

A bird sitting in a tree - Believe in Yourself

Empaths, also known as Highly Sensitive People, often have problems with Abusive Narcissists.

If you are a coach, you have a high likelihood of being an HSP. Find out here if you have this genetic trait. If you are an HSP, and you've ever had problems with difficult, or even dangerous people, you most likely were dealing with people who have narcissistic issues.

Is any of the following familiar to you?

Relationships with narcissists usually start out great but almost always turn sour. Their common relationship pattern is to idealize, then demean, then discard people. Sometimes they repeat the pattern over and over with the same person. Other times they stay stuck on the demean stage for years. That can ruin their target's self-esteem.

They are the office mate who always needs a favor, takes advantage of your kindness, then steals your ideas. Or the romantic partner who goes to great lengths to woo you, but once you've fallen in love, starts cheating on you, right away. Or they are the "best friend" who steals your job or your spouse. Ouch.

You may have wondered what you did wrong in these instances, but HSP is a normal trait that seems to attract abnormal people. If you're an HSP, or have had problems with a narcissist, or if you are a coach with clients who have had these problems, read on for how to handle these vexing issues and live happier...

Most information available about this topic is geared toward self-defense for Empaths/HSPs because narcissistic behavior is so common.

That's good and necessary. But great coaching focuses on solving problems at their source so they never come back. And that got me thinking...

  • What if you were impervious to narcissists?
  • What would that look like?
  • How could you do it?
  • What if you could recognize narcissists before they notice you?
  • What if you stopped attracting narcissists, at all?
  • How could you do this using your HSP strengths?
  • What if you became unattractive to narcissists?
  • Would that make you less attractive to everyone?
  • What if you kept your empathy and compassion but couldn't be manipulated with it?
  • What if you stopped rewarding narcissists for their abusive behavior?
  • How might the world become a better place because you grew into a better version of you?

Those last few items are ultimately the most powerful.

These questions sent me on a journey of research into both narcissism and HSPs/Empaths. That brought me to Narcissistic Abuse, which I have personally experienced (probably you have, too). I've read a ton of research and also books by therapists who specialize in HSPs or Narcissistic Abuse but it's almost impossible to find anything on these topics written from a coaching perspective of creating solutions vs. healing problems after the damage has been done.

One of my gifts is making connections between bits of information I get from various sources. This leads to insights which lead to new approaches. Which lead to new learning modules because I like to help others by sharing what I've discovered. This is one of those topics.

HSPs are virtually the opposite of narcissists. At the other end of the sensitivity spectrum are those who are very insensitive. They are more prone to disorders on the narcissistic side, such as psychopathy and conduct disorders. They tend to regulate themselves with the emotions of others and therein lies the key.

The best way to share the details of this discovery is in a class, so I've created an in-depth class that meets on June 7th.

It's free. In it, I will share with you details on how HSPs attract narcissists and how to stop. I'll also share resources and the research behind these ideas, so you can continue your learning. Armed with some knowledge and a positive environment, you can hone your strengths and believe in yourself. That's freedom.

It could dramatically reduce the amount of pain you experience in your lifetime. As an HSP, negative experiences have a greater chance of causing you to languish. While positive experiences have a greater likelihood of helping you flourish.

So it matters a lot.

From a big picture perspective, helping HSPs avoid the Narcissism Trap can help change the world for the better. Because Narcissists are responsible for much of what ails the world.

You can flourish in a narcissistic world as an HSP. You can also help the world become a little less narcissistic and that's good for everyone.

 

Will you join me? Register for this free one-hour class now:

 

How HSPs/Empaths Attract Narcissists and How to Stop

 

Topics: become a coach, webinar, Free, HSP

Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? Take This In-Depth Test to Find Out

Posted by Julia Stewart

Sensitive Man Enjoying the Scent of Flowers

Highly Sensitive People have an opportunity to flourish even more than other people.

HSP is a popular term for a well-researched inborn trait called Sensory Processing Sensitivity that impacts 20% of the human population. Several gene variations have been identified that are associated with HSP and like any trait, HSP brings both advantages and disadvantages to the individuals who have it. If you are an HSP, you will notice more about your environment and process it more deeply, which can help you excel in intellectual, emotional, creative, or intuitive areas; as well as in relationships, and even in sports and business. But all that extra information can overload your nervous system, causing stress and overwhelm, so you'll pay a higher price for putting up with negative circumstances, but you'll profit even more from a positive environment than others will.

As an HSP, you need to pick your environments wisely or even create new environments to elicit your gifts while minimizing the costs.

Start first by identifying whether you are an HSP with the in-depth test below. Next, educate yourself about your trait so you can optimize it. The research into this personality trait is fascinating and may upend much of what you previously thought about personality, well-being, and mental health. But there is no diagnostic test for it, only a short scale used mostly by researchers. If you are a coach, holistic healer, artist, writer, or researcher; those careers are common to HSPs. Read on for how to identify your trait and get started optimizing it...

DOES is an acronym used to describe the main features of HSP. The D stands for the key feature of this genetic trait: Depth of processing. HSPs take in more information from their environments and that leads to both advantages, such as making better decisions, and disadvantages, such as suffering from over stimulation. O stands for over-arousability which can lead to upset or overwhelm, one of the downsides of HSP. Next is E which stands for Emotional intensity and Empathy. HSPs feel more intensely than others. This means greater highs and deeper lows. Plus, they are finely attuned to others and feel other people's emotions. The latter can create havoc if an HSP spends too much time around people who are emotionally disregulated, but it can be an asset at work and in most relationships, when smartly managed. Finally, S stands for Sensing Subtleties. HSPs are aware of subtle changes or differences that don't register for nonsensitives. The ability to notice subtle changes is an asset in many situations.

"Empath", by the way, is a self-identified trait that overlaps quite a bit with HSP but is not well researched. Hence, definitions of the Empath trait vary according to who the writer or speaker is and may include psychic abilities. But generally, there are enough overlaps between Empath and HSP that they may be the same trait. So if you think you are an Empath, take the test below. Both the test and this article are based on the writings of Elaine N. Aron and others, such as Michael Pluess, who research Sensory Processing Sensitivity ...

Because HSP is inborn, it will show up from birth and you will always have it.

So, in addition to taking this test, check with your parents about early indications that you were more sensitive as an infant. It is unlikely you will answer "Yes" to every question in the test, even if you are an HSP, because of independent personality factors or because you learned to subdue some of your sensitivity to blend in better with the majority who are nonsensitive. Likewise, you may not be an HSP but still answer "Yes" to some of these questions because you have developed sensitivities or strengths in some of these areas at some point in your life. Finally, a few of these questions may sound like traits that could show up in either HSPs or nonsensitives, but the key here is why they show up. Is it a product of sensitivity or not? If it is caused by sensitivity, it may be a normal trait for HSPs.

Take this 6-minute, 50-question test to know if you're a Highly Sensitive Person:

Answer "Yes" to the questions below if they are either "Sometimes" or "Always" true for you. You can also think of them as "Moderately" or "Very" true. If the majority of answers are true for you, you are likely an HSP. And if only a few of them are true but are "Always" or "Very" true, you probably are an HSP, although this test is not intended to be an official diagnosis. If you have this trait, take responsibility for it by doing everything you can to optimize it for your own benefit and for the benefit of your loved ones and others who come in contact with you. Otherwise, they and you will miss out on the rich possibilities of your trait.

  1. As a child, were you precocious in some areas but lagged behind your peers in others?
  2. Did adults sometimes assume you were shy or frightened because you paused before joining in at a new school, party, or activity, but you were really just taking it all in?
  3. Were your parents proud of your accomplishments but worried because you were so sensitive?
  4. Did your sensitivity ever make you a target for bullying, teasing, or taunts by other children with names like: Crybaby, Sissy, Nerd, or Teacher's Pet?
  5. Did your parents and teachers push you to shrug it off, toughen up, or fight back; but that was very hard for you to do (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  6. Have you ever wished you were more like other people and/or secretly preferred your sensitivity?
  7. Do you love subtle or complex colors, flavors, scents, or music?
  8. Are you more sensitive than most to the effects of caffeine, alcohol, or medication?
  9. Have you always felt an affinity for animals or nature?
  10. Are you highly intuitive or have accurate gut feelings?
  11. Are you responsible and conscientious?
  12. Are you creative or innovative?
  13. Do you have a rich, complex inner life?
  14. For fun, do you prefer small gatherings of friends, going to a seminar, spa or spiritual retreat, or spending time in nature; but find big parties, loud concerts, nightclubs, or major sporting events too much (Answer Yes to this one, if the first part is true, even if the reverse was true in your teens and twenties)?
  15. Do you love helping others but do your best work one-on-one or in small groups?
  16. Do you take your time processing and assimilating new information and then make good decisions, have useful  insights, find solutions, or have new creative ideas?
  17. Do you find busy city streets, stadiums full of people, or being around highly emotional people exhausting, upsetting, or overwhelming for you?
  18. Are you easily bothered by too much heat, cold, wind, or humidity, or by loud noises, rough fabrics, certain smells, or too little sunlight?
  19. Are you intensely spiritual or religious, and/or do you find meaning in secular philosophy, science, math?
  20. Have you become an expert or master in at least one area of your work or life but don't brag about it or expect much acknowledgement for it?
  21. Do people value you for your gifts but complain you are too sensitive or you expect too much?
  22. Are you highly emotional or have one or two very strong emotions?
  23. Do you ever wish you weren't so sensitive?
  24. Do you love spending time alone even if you are an extrovert?
  25. Do you need peace and quiet to be at your best?
  26. Are you more interested in improving yourself and less interested in competing with others?
  27. Do you feel shy or overwhelmed in new surroundings even though you are neither when in familiar surroundings (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  28. Have you ever gone through a painful period when everything felt hard and you couldn't seem to keep up with it all, but have you also had periods of great happiness when it felt easy to succeed at your goals (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  29. Do you feel like you've known more than your fair share of abusive narcissists (a.k.a. toxic people, emotional vampires, or high conflict people)?
  30. Do you love experiencing intense positive emotions but dread equally intense negative emotions?
  31. When something painful happens, does it seem to stay with you longer or do you have more trouble shaking it off than others do?
  32. Are you more easily hurt than most people by the things others say?
  33. Do you cry easily, or did you used to cry easily but have learned not to cry in front of others?
  34. Do people complain that you overreact?
  35. Have you spent most of your life acting tougher than you really are and has that cost you emotionally and/or physically (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  36. Have you ever walked into a room and sensed that something was wrong even though no one said or did anything to confirm it, and did it turn out that you were right (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  37. Do you intuitively know what others need and automatically try to provide it even if it wears you out?
  38. Is setting boundaries harder for you than most because you are so aware of what others' need?
  39. Do you sometimes need to withdraw temporarily from relationships, to recover, and do others feel hurt by this and sometimes punish you for it?
  40. Do you pick up subtle signals from others and adjust yourself to accommodate them?
  41. Do you have strong emotional empathy and deep compassion for others?
  42. Have you ever felt depressed or anxious around certain people or circumstances, but felt fine once you changed your environment (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  43. Do you love being close to other people but still need your alone time (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  44. Are you choosy about who gets to be close to you?
  45. Do you find it harder than others to let go if you get close to the wrong person?
  46. Do you feel especially alive when you are in a forest, near the ocean, or in some other natural setting?
  47. Do you love traveling and sight seeing but in smaller doses than most people (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?
  48. Do you find your life is dramatically better when you pay attention to your self care?
  49. Have you noticed that enough sleep makes a huge improvement in your life?
  50. Have you built your life to accommodate your sensitivity and have you noticed your life has improved tremendously because of it (Don't answer Yes to this one unless the second part is also true)?

Again, if you answered "Yes" to most questions or answered "Yes" to fewer questions but your answers were "Very" true or "Always" true, you most likely are an HSP.

This is important because HSPs benefit more from positive people and environments, and are also harmed more by negative people and environments.

To enjoy greater happiness and success, HSPs must accommodate their trait and communicate to important nonsensitives why they are the way they are. If you skip this, your life will likely be unnecessarily difficult and painful when it could be both joyful and successful.

The good news is you have more to gain from positive psychology coaching than most people and can enjoy what researchers call, Vantage Sensitivity. Vantage sensitivity is the ability to excel because of the HSP trait, sometimes beyond what nonsensitives accomplish, but only if your life is well designed to optimize your trait.

Because of Vantage Sensitivity, it is well worth your while to invest in coaching and become your best self, especially if you are an HSP.

Would you like to develop your Vantage Sensitivity? Download Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People and pick one idea from it. Then perfect that idea. HSPs are gifted at over-responding to problems. When you focus that gift on over-responding to your own needs, you create capacity, strength, and the ability to do almost anything! This is just the beginning...

Are you ready to give Vantage Sensitivity a try? Then start upgrading your self-care.

 

Download Self Care for Highly Sensitive People below:

 

Download Self-Care for Highly Sensitive People Here

 

Topics: self care, Empaths, HSP

How to Eliminate Your Imposter Syndrome In 3 Easy Steps

Posted by Julia Stewart

Fraud Factor - Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome, sometimes dubbed the Fraud Factor, is on the rise.

I think the pandemic may be contributing. Because nothing says "fraud", to your brain, like sitting in Zoom meetings all day wearing business attire up top, and pajama bottoms down below. Admit it, you've fudged a little. We all have.

Now that the world is opening up again, let's reclaim our authenticity, our confidence, AND our expertise.

Here's how...

The first thing to realize is that everybody feels like a fraud sometime including your boss, your professor, your psychotherapist, etc. I know it's disconcerting to think the person to whom you shared your reoccurring dream of showing up naked at your high school reunion might actually be preoccupied with their own insecurities, but it can happen.

Imposter Syndrome is normal and you're not alone.

Second, you probably already know a handful of aphorisms that could help you with this (because so many people before you have struggled with feeling fake.) But you you may benefit from some assistance in applying these messages successfully, so read on.

Here are three aphorisms that might help:

  1. 90% of success is just showing up.
  2. We learn by doing.
  3. Act as if.

I learned that first one from a graduate-school classmate whose success I envied. I pondered it for years and I think she's right, because the second is based on research I learned from legendary Harvard professor, Tal Ben Shahar, in a course on positive psychology that I took. He said people develop their identities via their actions, not the other way around. We learn who we are by acting, so by just showing up consistently, we successfully develop new identities about who we are and what we do.

Finally, "act as if" is an old 12-Step approach to changing our behaviors and identities. If you are an alcoholic who wants to be sober, act like a sober person. If you need help doing this, choose someone who has succeeded in that transition and pretend you are them for a while. It sounds shallow, fake, and like it could never work, but as they say in 12-Step, "It' works if you work it."

Here's a short example story...

Decades ago, right after I got my MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, I was hired to teach dance at Westchester Community College. It was a dream come true that I had worked toward for years, so I was ecstatic, then nervous, then a little bit petrified. What if I screwed it up? What if my students realized how green I was?

So what did I do? I showed up and, for each course, Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz Dance, I pretended I was my favorite teacher in that subject. That got me through the first week. By the second week, I was 100% myself, the Professor of Dance that I clearly showed up as, every single day.

I continued to teach dance for years, until I discovered my true calling: Coaching.

In this new profession, I felt Imposter Syndrome all over again, especially whenever I had to tell someone what I did for a living. Then I recalled the easy confidence my coach exuded when I first met her. It was one of the reasons I decided to hire her to be my coach. So for a while, I stepped into her persona each time I told someone what I did. Before long, I was fully immersed in my new profession and felt like the coach I really was.

 

I had made it, no more faking it.

 

As the world of work opens up again, we all could use a little assistance getting back to our best. And a coach is the perfect partner to help you through the rocky places and get you back into flow. Plus, a trained positive psychology coach is skilled in helping you identify your Ideal Self and making that your true reality.

 

Stepping into your brilliance is the ultimate approach to eliminating Imposter Syndrome.

 

Find your positive psychology coach at the Find a Coach Here directory, below. (Oh, and put on some pants!)

 

Find a Coach Here Directory

 

Topics: Positive Psychology, FIND A COACH, positive psychology coach, imposter syndrome, ideal self

Join These 3 Free Webinars with Pioneers of Positive Psychology Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

.Webinar banner

I want you to be among the first to know about the new Pioneers of Positive Psychology Coaching Series. Graduating members of the Part 2, Master Level, Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program will be leading one-hour webinars on how they are coaching their niche/specialties with positive psychology.

This year there is a special focus on coaching through the pandemic.These webinars are open to the public. We have three coaches presenting this year.

Register for these fre*e webinars today...

Pioneer Series: Coaching Entrepreneurs Through Uncertain Times

Are you an entrepreneur who has been impacted by the pandemic? Or are you a coach who coaches entrepreneurs? Or are you interested in positive psychology coaching? You won't want to miss this fascinating webinar with positive psychology coaching pioneer, Shatay Trigère, CPPC.

This is the first webinar in SCM's 2021 Pioneer Series. Open to everyone for fre*e. Seating is limited. Register separately for each webinar in the series.

Fri, Apr 30, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Register for Coaching Entrepreneurs Through Uncertain Times

 

Pioneer Series: Nutrition Coaching Through an Intuitive Eating Lens

Have you been eating to soothe your anxieties through the pandemic? That is extremely normal, but leads to added stress around weight gain, body image, feelings of being out of control and negative self-talk. If you're curious how a positive psychology coach and dietician assists her clients through these issues, you won't want to miss this informative webinar with Dr. Leigh Wagner, CPPC.

This webinar is part of SCM's 2021 Pioneer Series. Open to everyone for fre*e. Seating is limited. Register for separately each webinar in the series.

Fri, May 7, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Register for Nutrition Coaching Through an Intuitive Eating Lens

 

Pioneer Series: Becoming Positively YOU

During this presentation you will be introduced to a coaching framework and personal development workbook called Positively YOU. Positively YOU describes someone who understands and appreciates what makes them unique, and empowers them to live into their perfect and whole self. The goal of Positively YOU is to provide insights that will move individuals from living by default to living with intent. Don't miss this exciting webinar with Positively YOU creator, Stephanie Scott, CPPC.

This webinar is part of SCM's 2021 Pioneer Series. Open to everyone for free. Seating is limited. Register separately for each webinar in the series.

Wed, May 12, 2021 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT

Register for Becoming Positively YOU

 

I know you will want to attend and learn from these exciting webinars.  And they are fre*e! Register right away to reserve your seat.

Want to become a positive psychology coach? Here's what our graduates have to say about our programs. Join Part 1 of the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, become a great coach with a thriving business with 125 ICF hours and move up to Part 2, the master level, for an additional 85 ICF hours, when you are ready, and become a leader in positive psychology coaching. Visit our site for more info or make an appointment here to find out how you can join.

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

Topics: webinar, Free, ICF, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Positive Psychology, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, positive psychology coach, positive psychology coach training, become a positive psychology coach

Here's What Happened When I Quit Social Media

Posted by Julia Stewart

social media apps on iphone

My name is Julia and I am an addict.

I am addicted to social media. This was inevitable because social media is designed to addict us so it can keep us engaged and change our behavior. Then we buy more and more stuff via their ads and they make billions.

Wondering if you are a social media addict? Do you visit social media everyday? Do you participate on more than one site? How many minutes/hours per day do you spend? Have you ever bought anything via an ad on social media? Have you ever found a fake news story there? Do you ever get upset at things your friends or others post? Have you ever caught yourself mindlessly scrolling through your feed without curiosity or enjoyment? Have you caught yourself doing that more and more?

That last item is telling.

Mindless scrolling is like watching bad TV at 3 AM because you're "too tired" to go to bed. TV is just as addictive as social media and for the same reason. Mindless scrolling is also like binge drinking when you really don't want another drink.

What I discovered after I left my last social media site surprised me. And it led to other important changes in my life. How I got off is a bit amusing but the ramifications are huge.

Read on for how I escaped and what happened next...

I won't bore you with details of my history with social media. Long story short, I all but gave up on it long ago as a viable marketing strategy. I still use LinkedIn a bit for that but I spend almost no time there. And some sites that I used to enjoy, like Twitter, are so overrun by bots, propaganda, advertising, and toxic politics that I had long since given up on them. But Facebook was the one site where I still connected with colleagues and out-of-town friends and relatives so I made an exception for it. I thought the good outweighed the bad.

Then Facebook became a problem.

A few years ago, a friend who teaches a college course on social media marketing told me she quit Facebook because she had become addicted to it. I should have known it would happen to me, too. Was it the noxious politics that drove me away or the belligerent posts by friends of friends that woke me up? Nope.

In my efforts to control my addiction, I accidentally locked myself out.

Like an alcoholic who thinks they can control their addiction by avoiding bars and keeping booze out of the house, "except for special occasions," I removed all Facebook apps from my devices, then logged in on my iPad with a new password that I did not save. This way, I could only access Facebook on that one device. However, that did not limit the time I spent there. I still found myself mindlessly scrolling and gradually became more disenchanted. Then one day I accidentally closed Facebook.

To my surprise, I couldn't be bothered to retrieve my password.

Did you know retrieving your Facebook password is more onerous than it is for your bank account? At first, I thought that was what stopped me. Then I said I would go back to Facebook after the presidential election. Then I pushed that back until after the inauguration. With each passing deadline I was less willing to return. Why?

I felt so much happier after I left.

I was no longer triggered by my friends' political posts. Instead, I was spending my time reconnecting with actual friends and deepening our relationships just like I used to before social media. Even via Zoom during the lock-down, those relationships feel more meaningful than the likes, comments, and shares I was previously settling for.

Plus, now free of the constant manipulation of Facebook, I became increasingly sensitive to the manipulations of other types of media. I canceled cable TV so I wouldn't be tempted to visit cable news stations, anymore. I found free internet news apps that cover topics in-depth without the constant drama, sensationalism, and fake outrage. I prefer feeling a calm sense of well-being even while consuming news.

Then I noticed how manipulative the newspaper I've been reading for forty years has become. Before, I thought my dissatisfaction with it was because, over the years, I've changed and they've changed and that's understandable. But it's the news media's job to inform us, not tell us what to think. Negativity bias has always been a problem with the Fourth Estate because worried people buy more newspapers, or apps, as the case may be. And implicit bias has always been there. It's sad though to see a formerly solid source of information blatantly manipulate its readers. No wonder we are so polarized. It's hard to get the facts without editorializations so we simply operate with opinions.

I unsubscribed from that paper.

What do I do now that I have so much more freedom and time? Deeper relationships comes first. Then occasionally checking the news online. Then reading for pleasure. And I scratch my information itch by reading non-fiction books of interest to me personally and professionally. That helps me keep my evidence-based coach training classes current and fosters my personal growth.

From there, I realized all the toxicity of the past year or so had caught up to me.

I had anxiety. Fortunately, one of the books I read, The Body Keeps the Score, mentioned something called Direct Neurofeedback. I did a few months of it and the results have been fabulous. It was pleasant; it was easy. And I am so much more relaxed, not in a drugged way, but in a healthy and vital way.

Funnily enough, direct neurofeedback works the same way Facebook does.

It uses the neurotransmitter, dopamine, the brain's reward chemical, to retrain the brain to a healthier state, instead of addiction. I find I am now more  focused, confident, optimistic, and most of all, aware.

Practicing any addiction will separate you from your intuition and healthy empathy.

Quitting Facebook helped me get back to my True Self. All it took was a mistake, noticing how it felt, and a little neuroscience.

 

Learn more about coaching and neuroscience here.

 

Visit the Certified Neuroscience Coach Page Here

Topics: Facebook, Social Media Marketing, personal growth, certified neuroscience coach

30 Ways Empaths Can Avoid Narcissistic Abuse

Posted by Julia Stewart

Protect Yourself from Toxic People

Many coaches identify as Empaths and may therefore have problems with Narcissists but they don't have to wrap themselves in PPE to avoid contamination.

 

Empaths have a lot in common with Highly Sensitive People (not to be confused with hypersensitivity) but also demonstrate the strengths of empathy, compassion, kindness, and love. These are ideal strengths for coaches.

When I say, narcissists and narcissistic abuse, I'm not talking about a diagnosis. I'm talking about people who are behaving in such a selfish manner that they abuse others. These are what many coaches refer to as, "toxic people".

 

They are toxic because they make other people sick.

 

If you are a coach, you need to understand this dynamic because some of your clients will experience it. If you think you are an Empath, you need to understand it so you can protect yourself from harm.

 

To learn the 30 ways Empaths can avoid narcissistic abuse and find out about an upcoming class on the topic, read on.

There is something the following all have in common... Sexual abuse, racism, mass murders, terrorist plots, dictatorships, cult leadership, internet trolls, scams, bullying, infidelity, lies, manipulation, cheating... They are all committed by narcissistic people. These are some of the most dangerous people alive and even when their abusive behavior is relatively mild, the suffering they can cause can be immense.

 

You might think this is an odd topic for someone who usually writes about coaching and positive psychology.

 

But ignoring the downside of life is never positive. Knowing how to handle difficulties is always positive.

I've known more than my share of narcissists. I am not talking about people who post too many selfies on Instagram. You can never judge who is a narcissist by just one behavior. You need to know them well. They always seem awesome at first, while they still want something from you. But relationships with them never turn out well, once they get what they want. They "Kiss up and kick down." You will wonder what you did wrong. But usually, you did nothing wrong. It's hard to believe some people are like this but until you accept that, you will be vulnerable to more abuse. 

 

Empathic people are often targeted for narcissistic abuse and many Empaths are coaches so this is a topic that needs our attention.

 

If you know me, you know I learn everything I can about subjects that matter to me. Because I've experienced narcissistic abuse more than once, I've had psychotherapy, neuro-therapy, have taken several courses on the subject, and have read a ton of books. I've also been coached on it. I joked recently that I probably should have an honorary PhD in narcissistic abuse.

 

It's time to share what I've learned.

 

So to start, below is a download of 30 Ways Empaths Can Avoid Narcissistic Abuse. I'm also considering a course on this topic for Empaths and Coaches, or at least a one-off class. I need to know if this is of interest to my readers. If you're interested in a class or course on this topic, click below for the download.

 

Start learning how to avoid narcissistic abuse. Click the button below.

Get 30 Ways Empaths Can Avoid Narcissistic Abuse

Topics: Empaths

Your Post-Pandemic Future is Here. How Will You Elevate It?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Post-Covid Future and You

 

Quick! What's that outside your window?

 

Is that your future peeking in at you? Would you even recognize it? Is it just a wisp of a shadow of a dream? Or do you know what it looks like, already?

That last could be awesome or terrible.

Your future is yours to create. Do you have the energy? The focus? The care? The know-how?

Because if you leave it to chance, chances are it won't serve you. Read on...

Around the world, a species that was feared in danger of extinction just one year ago is reappearing: folks with gray hair and wrinkles who are now fully vaccinated. Sightings of this once rare breed have been made at stores, gyms, resorts, restaurants, and even hair salons. No longer forced to spend all their money on Instacart, they are once again venturing out their homes and the economy is returning to normal.

Soon, you may be vaccinated yourself. It'll then be your turn to start living life on your own terms.

Who will you be when you can be who you want to be?

Right now, you may be too exhausted, stressed, or burned out to think about your future. That's okay. If you can begin to take care of yourself even a bit, you can get back to normal soon. But don't force yourself to focus on the future if it drains you.

May I suggest that you start with the basics if you are worn out?

Begin with one deep delicious breath. Breathe in through your nose for a count of five and exhale for five-to-eight counts. Do this anytime, anywhere, when you need to relax and refocus. Watch calmly for improvements to your mind-state, because this type of breathing triggers censors in your body that tell your brain you are safe and can relax. This is tremendously healing. Return when you are ready. This blog post will still be here.

Next, take a moment to process any grief you're still carrying.

Whether loved ones lost, family not seen, jobs that ended, or even vacations interrupted. Each loss deserves at least a moment of acknowledgment. Heavy emotions are just information. Get the message and they will move on.

Now here's a crazy question: What did you gain from the pandemic?

Did you learn a new skill set? Make new friends online? Realize what really matters to you? Write down at least three valuable things you gained from the pandemic and why they matter to you now.

What happened that you never want to do again? How will you prepare yourself so you never go through that worst thing? Train for a new career? Move to a community of like-minded people? Stock up on toilet paper?

What did you swear you would change?

How can you keep that promise to yourself? Because promises unkept tend to weigh us down.

What habits served you during the lock-down that you want to keep?

Many of us will keep our 20-second handwashing habits! And what about those Zoom happy hours?

What habits served you during the lock-down that you can begin to let go?

Will you still wear a double mask when you become immune? Will you check Covid stats every morning?

Now, what would you do if there was nothing in your way?

What dream has been knocking at your window unanswered? How can you take a step toward it? Even a small one? Commit to taking that step. Then tell a supportive friend or loved one about it. Better yet, work with a coach. Then celebrate it. The first step is usually the biggest.

 

Keep taking steps to elevate the dawn of your new future.

 

I hope this was useful for you. If helping people is part of your dream. I invite you to try out our coach trainings.

 

Visit Life Coach Training Online Here.

 

Topics: make a living as a coach, Coach Training Programs, coaching questions, future of coaching, acknowledgment, video, Covid, pandemic

6 Reasons to Get Vaccinated as Soon as You Can

Posted by Julia Stewart

Vaccination

Last week, I got a surprise in my inbox.

I was invited to make an appointment to get the Covid-19 vaccine and within 24 hours, I had the vaccine in my arm. I won't lie; I was ecstatic!

I know millions of people are hesitating to get the vaccine. In fact, I'm pretty sure my good fortune was due to others declining the opportunity because the vaccine was suddenly opened up to my group after the vaccine provider vaccinated everyone who wanted it in the previous group. In fact, the nurse who vaccinated me told me I was getting one of those "extra" doses that the vaccine vials often yield.

In case it's helpful, here are my reasons why I got vaccinated without hesitation and probably you should, too.


  1. It's my civic duty. Similar to voting, getting vaccinated is something I do because I am a good citizen. Like millions of others, I risked Covid-19 to cast my vote in the last election. We create a better society for all by participating in these events. It's is the least we can do for each other.
  2. It's safer than Covid-19. Like any major mass event, this pandemic has spawned or revived numerous memes, many pejorative, like Super-spreader, Anti-masker, and Free-riders. The last are folks who hope to benefit from herd immunity by letting everyone else risk the side effects of the vaccines, but as one physician said at the holistic/medical health service where I got the vaccine, "This is a very clean vaccine." The active molecule breaks up within hours after triggering your immune response, and exits the body. There are no preservatives, which can sometimes be toxic, no major allergens, and the basic components are common to the human diet: protein, lipids, sucrose. She recommended that those with serious allergies check with their allergists before getting it, but predicted it would be safe for others. My thinking is: I already know Covid-19 is a terrible disease that can destroy organ systems even in those who survive. Why risk definite dangers to avoid unknown, and possibly nonexistent, vaccine side effects?
  3. Experts say we should all get vaccinated as soon as we can. The sooner millions get full immunity, the sooner the pandemic will slow down for everyone and we can get back to the lives we used to enjoy. Ethicists and public health experts urge everybody to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
  4. I didn't have the option of giving my appointment to someone else. Although I'm in a high-risk group, I can work from home because I'm a coach, so I would rather essential workers got vaccinated before people like me. Most of the time, though, you can't give your appointment away, so use it. I feel immensely grateful to have received the vaccine early.
  5. Positivity won't be enough to protect against Covid-19. I heard one spiritual young woman claim, "If you don't believe in the virus, you won't get it." If you analyze her statement, it's obvious she does believe in the virus. She is gaslighting herself, a form of toxic positivity. I'm all for healthy positivity and it does help boost people's immune systems, but it's a boost, not total immunity. I tend to  agree with the Centers for Spiritual Living who teach that our thoughts guide our outcomes and may help keep us healthy and one of the ways good health comes to us is via medical intervention.
  6. Mental health. Psychologists say one of the worst effects of the pandemic has been the uncertainty. We can't plan our lives, much less live them, because we don't know how long or how bad the pandemic will be or whether we and our loved ones will survive it. That unknowing is brutal. I now know when I will have full immunity and, although infectious disease experts urge everyone who is vaccinated to continue wearing masks and taking basically the same precautions as everybody else, it is mentally freeing to know the danger is coming to and end for me and eventually, for everyone.

 

Ironically, something else helped even more in the short-run.

N95 masks are again available to the general public. When worn properly, they are 95% effective at protecting you from inhaling the virus. They can be worn repeatedly as long as they fit your face snuggly. I got a shipment the same afternoon I got my vaccine appointment and at first I thought I wouldn't need them, but I realized it would take several weeks to get full immunity from the vaccine. With these new, more powerful masks, I feel much safer getting out of the house and enjoying some normalcy. I highly recommend them. Just be careful to buy them from a reliable retailer, because there a many fakes already. Don't get them from a drifty website or from the "marketplace" of a big retailer, which may not have vetted the sellers. Your masks should be NIOSH approved and have the Health and Human Services logo (unfortunately, some of the fakes appear to also have these stamps of approval, so pay a little extra to a mainstream retailer and get the real thing.)

 

I hope this helps! Stay safe and be well.

 

Most of the time, I write about coaching. If you're interested in becoming a coach, please download the free Become a Coach eBook.

 

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

Topics: become a coach, gratitude, Covid, pandemic

Join a Virtuous Cycle of Joy and Success this December

Posted by Julia Stewart

upward cycle

How do you define success? More money? Joy? Time? Love?

Whatever success means to you, would you like more of it? Most of us would and there is an inspiring approach that will help you, help others around you, and creates a virtuous cycle for everyone concerned.

As this difficult year comes to a close and as most cultures celebrate important holidays, now is the perfect time to co-create this virtuous cycle. Read on for how you can join in for free...

What if virtually all forms of success were related to smarter giving? They may be according to research by Adam Grant and others. Here are a few ways smarter giving benefits you:

  • Givers are more successful negotiators.
  • Givers strengthen their relationships.
  • Givers experience fulfillment.
  • Givers spark creativity and innovation.
  • Givers' clients express more satisfaction.
  • Givers inspire others to give.
  • Givers receive more in return.
  • Givers experience more joy.
  • Givers inspire joy in others.

Of course, givers can be taken advantage of, but there are smart ways to reduce or eliminate being taken.

Come learn how to be a smart giver this holiday season and help us establish a virtuous cycle of giving. It is free to join and could be the inspiration that makes 2020 one of your very best years.

Fully Alive with Positive Psychology (Giving Edition) starts this Wednesday, December 2nd, for four weeks, 7-8 PM EST. It's a live webinar with me, Julia Stewart that is free to join, but seating is limited so please only join if you will attend. No recordings will be sent out, because all of the value is in the attendance of this live reciprocity circle.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to share an amazing experience. Sign up today and mark your calendar!

Attend Free Fully Alive for Joy and Success

Topics: Free, coaching success, successful business, personal development, Positive Psychology, Boundaries, setting boundaries, Fully Alive, personal growth, self care

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