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Julia Stewart

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It Took So Long.

Posted by Julia Stewart

Black Lives Matter 3

Why did it take so long to get here?

I can’t answer that. But thank God we’re here.

Why did it take the brutal and public slow-motion murder of George Floyd for white people, like me, to stop hesitating and get passionately onboard with Black Lives Matter?

I don’t know but I think for me it may have been the solitude of the Stay at Home order and the time and quiet that came with it. The pandemic forced us into an uncomfortable retreat. When we have time and solitude, we sometimes hear our souls speak.

My soul said: Damn It, Not One More.

I’ve been quiet so long that when I started to speak up, the words wouldn’t come. I’m beginning to see that I have so much to say that I can’t cover it all at once.

And that’s the whole point, really. People like me need to speak up and keep speaking, making it clear to those in power that we will not tolerate state-sponsored murder.

What matters now is for the killing to stop. And for the system that is killing black people to be overhauled until it no longer leads to harassment, oppression, incarceration, and death for people who are just living their lives.

African Americans need white people to speak up. They need our understanding and they need our numbers. They also need our emotional support.

To become effective allies, white people need to deal with their shame over what is still happening. And we need to act to make things right.

To become effective allies, whites need to process that shame and eventually move on to inspired action. On that path, healing needs to happen. The African tradition of Truth and Reconciliation offers one inspiring model.

To become effective allies, white people need to build a fairer world together with black people and with all people of color and that requires a strong foundation.

One of the first bricks that must be laid in this foundation is an apology. I know how lame it may sound for whites to apologize now after 400 years of hell. It is the definition of Too Little Too Late. But seriously, we need it to build a strong foundation between White Americans and African Americans. For us never to apologize is a gross oversight that threatens what we need to build.

So for whatever it is worth, and to whomever is open to it, I am deeply sorry for the abuse, oppression, and sheer cluelessness of white people in their treatment of black people.

I’m not asking for forgiveness because burdening the abused with a plea for absolution is just self-serving. And because my kind has already taught black people that we can’t be trusted.

Forgiveness will come when white people earn it.

So much more needs to be said and listened to. Mostly, whites need to listen.

This is just the beginning. And beginnings hold great possibilities.

You are invited to comment below. Attacks, trolling, and spam won't be approved, but heartfelt comments are welcomed.

Topics: Black Lives Matter

Your Sofa May be Killing You

Posted by Julia Stewart

Sofa may be killing you

Should you finally write that novel while you're staying at home or should you cut yourself some slack and take it easy?

Some productivity gurus seem to encourage us to use this time to reach all those goals we never had time for, while others say this is a tough situation and we should take it slow for a while.

That's a false choice and a dangerous trap...

The first choice is problematic if it discourages you from practicing sufficient self compassion, an attitude that few in our society have mastered. Without self compassion, reaching for major goals during a difficult time is a workaholic response that is usually unsustainable. Sooner or later we burn out and our loved ones pay the price until we do.

The second choice invites us to use the pandemic as an excuse to be less than our best and there's a hidden danger to that. For example, I'm hearing from people who say they're having trouble getting out of bed, or off the sofa, and are engaging in old bad habits, like overeating and binge watching TV they don't even like. Those are symptoms that, over time, can be deadly, and I'm not just talking about becoming unfit or overweight.

When we give up on what gets us out of bed, even for a while, we're telling our bodies that we are no longer needed. When that happens, our bodies tend to shut down and age. Sometimes, people begin the process of dying when they no longer have a purpose. We've all heard those stories of elderly couples who die within days of each other. That is, perhaps, a dramatic example.

The psychologist, Jim Loehr, who specializes in helping people optimize their energy, has a theory. He says shutting down and dying, when we no longer have a purpose, has adaptive value for our species. Because it frees up resources, like food, for those that do have a purpose.

I remember hearing a story from psychologist, Don Beck, who teaches Spiral Dynamics, about an indigenous family in the Canadian arctic. They had too little food to survive the winter, so the grandparents volunteered to commit a traditional sacrifice. The grandparents climbed onto an ice flow and the family pushed them out to sea...

 

They sacrificed themselves to free up resources for their families in one last act of purpose.

 

I'm guessing that your situation does not require you to die for the survival of your family. But you do need a sense of purpose to survive the pandemic. You can can reach goals that matter. You can grow and transcend. But you need a little extra self compassion when the new abnormal gets overwhelming.

I'm teach a free course on how to thrive in the pandemic in which I share numerous positive psychology and neuroscience tools and practices. One of the tools that participants have found most impactful is an act of self compassion.

Here it is. Take your hand and place it on your cheek (make sure you've washed your hand, of course.) Then tell yourself, "I understand. It's okay. I forgive you. Everything will be all right."

 

One participant cried when she did this.

 

Try it. If it touches you deeply, you probably need to do it regularly.

Your short-term purpose may have changed temporarily. But you can replace it with something meaningful, right now. Maybe even complete that novel you've always wanted to write. And it may be possible to work toward your long-term vision if you're willing to be flexible and creative. I'm offering a taste of this in the free course.

 

But that sense of laziness, of slacking off and becoming one with the sofa, could slowly be killing you.

 

Don't make this an either/or choice. Do pursue important goals. Do practice self compassion, as needed. Do thrive despite the pandemic and help create a better world.

 

There's a new free Fully Alive course. Sign up below to attend.

 

Register for Free: Fully Alive in the Pandemic

 

Topics: Free, life purpose, Spiral Dynamics, positive psychology coaching, coaching with neuroscience, Don Beck, resilience, Covid

How Thomas Leonard Prepared Me for the Covid Pandemic

Posted by Julia Stewart

Covid-19 Reserves

In 2001, the Founder of the Coaching Profession helped me get ready for Covid-19.

He also helped me thrive through 9/11 in New York City. Unfortunately, Thomas passed of natural causes in 2003, but his influence still prepared me to flourish through the Covid pandemic.

How am I flourishing? Well, my online business is doing great in the shut down and I just took my blood pressure. It's 97/67. I'm not special. Here's how Thomas Leonard helped me get here...

Thomas was a self-described worrier. He was also a massive risk-taker. That's a tough combination. But he was endlessly creative and among his many brilliant approaches to coaching are some that are designed to boost confidence for even the biggest scaredy cats so they can take big risks to reach their cherished goals. What follows is just one approach that works for me...

Twenty years ago, before paranoid preppers were a joke, Thomas found a simple way to get ready for almost anything and thereby raise your confidence and lower your anxiety. (Here's my distinction between paranoia and anxiety: The first is a sense of threat that people are out to get you. The second is a worry that things will go wrong and you won't be able to handle it. It's normal to feel anxious if you're unprepared.)

This approach eliminates the greatest source of human suffering.

Thomas created a checklist called, Super Reserves, that helps people develop a reserve of almost anything they could ever need because when our needs are met, we are freed to live our best lives. Until our needs are met, we unconsciously suffer and chase what we don't have instead of enjoying what we do have and creating what we really want. That word, need, is important because this concept is related to Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which you probably learned about in a course on psychology. It's a precursor to positive psychology.

Reserves sound like they couldn't possibly work but my story, below, demonstrates the dramatic shift they cause.

I got my very first coaching client the week of 9/11 when I was still living in New York City. I was studying coaching with Thomas Leonard and also had a successful personal training business that I eventually transitioned out of. But those weeks after the terrorist attacks were filled with bomb and terror threats (90 false threats on September 12th, alone). It was still possible to drive in and out of Manhattan and even park for free, in those days, but the threats and resulting twelve-hour traffic jams were constantly shaking me up.

I was terrified.

I talked to a psychotherapist friend who said the best antidote to anxiety is to take action. I reviewed my options for taking action. Could I stop the threats? No. Could I stop seeing my clients? No. What was the worst that could happen? I'd be caught in a terrorist attack. What was likely to happen? I'd get stuck in an epic traffic jam. What would I need if one of those events occurred? Ah! That's where Reserves came in.

I made a plan.

Honestly, I thought it was kind of silly, but I decided to follow Thomas' Reserves approach and get ready for "anything". So I got out an old gym bag that I carried in my car and started filling it with whatever I might need if something bad happened: masks, goggles, extra clothes, a blanket, comfortable shoes, food that would "keep", water, etc., etc.

What happened?

At some point, my anxiety vanished because I knew I was prepared. Did I ever need the stuff? Nope! But it already did its work: I was happier, more relaxed, and able to show up at my best to coach the many traumatized New Yorkers that I had the honor to work with over the next year.

You see, your nervous system has two basic modes.

One is optimized for connection and works best when you're relaxed. The other is optimized for protection and is triggered when needs aren't met. We tend to be at our best during connection and are more attractive and able to see opportunities and possibilities, but our unconscious behavior is more negative and off-putting when we're in protection mode and we tend to see problems everywhere. Both modes are needed sometimes but connection is often needed more. Filling my needs with reserves put my nervous system in connection mode.

So how did this prepare me for the current pandemic?

I never forgot that Reserves lesson. Now I always keep things on hand that I might someday need. When toilet paper was in short supply, I already had a case of it. When we found out we needed masks, I already had a box of N95 masks. I was also able to donate masks to first responders and healthcare workers, which felt a lot better than panicking because there was a shortage. My business was already online and I work from home and have experience training others to do the same so business is good. I could go on and on...

I was ready, so I could relax and help instead of panic.

I train coaches to coach their clients to be ready for anything, because in the age of the Climate Crisis, anything can happen. If you'd like to learn more about the ultimate work-from-home profession, download the free Become a Coach eBook, below.

 

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

Topics: become a coach, Thomas Leonard, 9/11, Climate Change, Covid, Reserves

10 Questions to Help You Thrive Through the Pandemic

Posted by Julia Stewart

ask the right questions

Ready to thrive through the pandemic? Read on...

If you're like most people, you've been thrown for a loop by the corona epidemic.

Up to a point, responding quickly to what's happening is vital, so you can't ignore the crisis. It's a scary disease we're all susceptible to and shutting down the economy creates even more problems to handle even though it's the right thing to do.

But we tend to have better outcomes when we focus more on the positive. You can switch easily to that focus by asking yourself better questions. Don't wait to explore the following. The sooner you start, the better outcomes you can create. You may want to return to them again as you get more clarity.

These 10 questions can change your life by expanding your awareness so you can thrive:

  1. What's already going well? Another way to ask this is: What are you grateful for right now? Make a list of three things, large or small, you're thankful for. Are you breathing? Put that on the list. Do you have a house to live in? You get the idea. Don't just answer this question; take the time to feel the gratitude. I know you are fortunate because you are able to access the internet. You can put that on the list, if you want. Take the time to ask this question and feel the gratitude at least once per day.
  2. What's the worst problem you have right now?... Okay, that sucks. I get it. But now I'm going to ask the real question: What's great about that problem? Think until you find something. Now find two more things. Do you get to spend more time with your kids? Do you have more time to plant your garden this spring? Have you always wanted to work from home? You don't negate other people's suffering by appreciating the goodness in your life. Quite the opposite. When you're happy, it's easier to be kind to others. Isn't that what really matters?
  3. How would you like it to be for the next two weeks (or eight, or twelve)? Imagine everything as if it went as well as it possibly could. How can you show up to create that? Who would you have to become? How could you become that?
  4. What's your purpose right now? If you live your life purpose, it makes everything more fulfilling. But even if you were living it before, it may have temporarily changed. What matters most in these current conditions? How can you bring that about?
  5. What strengths can help you through this? We all have our preferred ways to do things. It makes life easier and more fun. You always have permission to do it your way. But sometimes it helps to develop a new way. Challenges can help us grow.
  6. How can you grow through this? If you're complaining, blaming, or whining, you're playing victim. We all do that now and then but if you allow it to become habitual, you'll make everything worse for you and all those around you. Instead, think of yourself as the creator of your destiny. Make it a fun game. Tools that can help include spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, mindfulness, inspirational reading, and more. A positive psychology coach can help a lot, too.
  7. What positive habit/s could help you achieve the best outcomes? A daily workout? Video chats with positive friends? Enjoying your favorite books, movies, meals? Playtime with your pets?
  8. What do you need to learn right now? Do you need a new career? A new skill? A way to make a living from home? Online learning is plentiful and well worth the time and money.
  9. Who can help you? We're all in this together. You've got something that can help someone else and somebody else can help you. What do you need help with? It feels vulnerable to ask but people often get the most joy from helping others so go ahead and ask.
  10. What's your ultimate goal? Working toward goals is inherently rewarding when those goals are aligned with our values. If you have the gift of time, your ultimate goal may be where you need to focus. How will others benefit when you succeed? Are you willing to get started now?

 

These 10 questions are challenging. A great coach can help you with them.

 

If you'd love to help others by asking empowering questions, coaching is the ultimate work-from-home career. If you're ready to start your new future, consider joining us for online training:

 

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

 

Topics: coaching questions, Strengths, mindfulness, Values, questions, positive psychology coach

Manage Stress and Promote Mental Well-being with the Daily Seven

Posted by Julia Stewart

Mindsight Daily Seven

People seem even more stressed than usual.

Between the pandemic and economic meltdown, on top of the climate and refugee crises, plus the usual wars, famines, and fractious politics, it's only natural.

"If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate; you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill; if you can always find contentment just where you are: you are probably a dog." - Jack Kornfield

If you're a coach, you probably counsel your clients around the importance of self care, especially in times like these. But what types of self care help us flourish even under the most difficult circumstances? Here are seven activities, based on scientific research, that you can take like your daily vitamins to help you, and your clients, thrive through anything. They are crafted by Daniel Siegel, MD, and David Rock, PhD.

The Mindsight Daily Seven:

  1. Focus Time. Spend some time each day concentrating on something you enjoy. Reading, dancing, practicing a skill. It can be your hobby or your profession, but engage in something you can lose yourself in. In other words, get into Flow. This is a peak mental state that will raise your positivity.
  2. Time In. Spend some time focusing within. This could be a few minutes of quiet contemplation, mindfulness, or formal meditation. Notice without judging. If you catch yourself judging, notice that and encourage yourself to judge less. Over time, your brain will become more integrated and that boosts mental health.
  3. Down Time. Do nothing productive for a little while each day. Goof off. Don't make plans. Set a part of each day aside for a mini-vacation.  Paradoxically, you'll become more productive, focused, and creative.
  4. Physical Time. Move your body. Exercise, walk more, or just get up from your chair at least once per hour. Everyone knows this is great for your physical health, but it's equally important for your brain health.
  5. Sleep Time. There's evidence that our brains clean themselves when we sleep so getting seven or more hours sleep per night keeps the brain healthy and may help prevent dementia.
  6. Play Time. This is different from competitive sports, which have their own benefits. With play, you might try new things. Look silly. Screw up; no judgement. Catch yourself laughing outloud. People who play are more innovative.
  7. Connecting Time. Connect on a heartfelt level with other people, pets, and planet. Spend time with nature. Get beyond your small self and feel your connection to others. You'll grow important relationships, develop perspective, and enjoy greater wisdom.

Which of these activities are you already doing daily? Which could you add without overwhelming yourself? Is there something you'd be willing to give up to make time for more well-being and relaxation?

How can you remember to do all the Daily Seven? Use this post as a checklist, if you like. Get a partner to work on it together. Or get a coach.

Interested in becoming a professional neuroscience coach?

Visit the Certified Neuroscience Coach Page Here

 

Topics: mindfulness, Neuroplasticity, Flow, wellbeing, self care, certified neuroscience coach

Mindfulness and the Corona Virus

Posted by Julia Stewart

mindfulness and the corona virus

You probably won't get the new corona virus.

If you do get it, there's a good chance you won't even get sick.

If you do get sick, there's a good chance it will be mild.

If you do get very sick, the odds are overwhelming that you will survive.

In the meantime, the media may keep you worried.

That's the bigger threat, but here's something that can help. A lot...

Living beings, like us, are designed to do two things: Thrive or Defend. Because we're complex, humans can do both, but it's a double demand that, over time, saps our resources.

Illness is somethings our bodies defend against. Most of the time, they do it extremely well. But we're not designed to worry all the time. In fact, chronic worry is something that saps resources and makes it hard to thrive.

The corona virus may never make you sick but worrying about it might.

What tool can help you stay well and even thrive during an epidemic? Yep, mindfulness. I know it's trendy and some folks claim it can do almost anything, but keeping you calm and focused is what it's really for.

  • How do you remember to avoid touching your face?
  • How do you remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds several times per day?
  • How do you remember to stay hydrated?

You could use fear and anxiety to help you remember but they will eventually make you sick even if you don't get the virus. If instead you make a commitment to yourself to to help everyone stay safer by practicing mindfulness throughout your day, you will feel calm and find yourself practicing new and safer ways of being in our crowded world.

Will you forget? Sure. And whenever you do, just begin again. Over time, you'll develop habits that will keep you safe and calm. You'll be better prepared for anything.

At times like this I am especially grateful that I am a coach who works from my home office. But even I leave the house pretty often. The first time I was in public and trying not to touch my face I noticed something I had barely been aware of before. I have little wispy hairs that tickle when they brush against my face and I unconsciously brush them aside. What to do about that?

Now I use that tickle as a trigger to remind me to be mindful about everything I touch. In other words, those mild sensations I was previously unaware of now remind me to stay mindful and calm while behaving a little differently. They help instead of hinder.

Another way to get started, if you don't have a handy trigger, is to set an intention at the start of each day to act in ways that keep you and everyone else safer. As you do, think of someone you love and feel that love in your heart for a few minutes. When you do that, oxytocin, the "love hormone", is released into your bloodstream. You know it's there when you notice that nice warm feeling of love in your heart. Oxytocin also has a calming effect that can reduce any fears you may have. Think of loved ones more often and stay calmer more often. Then do your best.

 

With this mindfulness practice, you'll be more focused, probably a bit happier, and you're less likely to get stressed or sick.

 

In other words, you will thrive.

 

Learn many more tools to help you thrive as you develop an exciting new profession, all without leaving your house. Become a coach. We'll teach you how to be a great coach with a great career. You may be working from home before long...

 

Check out upcoming coaching courses here:

 

Take a Coach Training Course Here

 

Topics: become a coach, mindfulness, love 2.0

9 Ways to Coach Brilliantly with Silence

Posted by Julia Stewart

evocative silence

Have you ever heard someone describe coaching as "magical"? Good chance they were amazed by the impacts of a coaching session enhanced by silence.

Most coaches lack confidence with this tool. Read this post to master the art of coaching with silence!

Here are 9 steps to mastering the art of coaching with silence:

  1. Shut up. Sorry, just wanted to get your attention. But seriously, one of the surest ways to use silence is to ask an attention-getting question and then shut up. We teach the finer points of this approach, including how not to be rude, in the Certified Competent Coach Course. Read on for other ways to use silence...
  2. Add a pause. People think faster than they talk which explains why coaching sessions that include pauses at just the right moments often result in more insights for clients. I heard one of my students do this in class the other day and his client had insights seemingly out of nowhere. Magic? Or silence?
  3. Slow down. Before you get to silence, experiment with just slowing down. Most coaches mirror their clients' pace, which is good, but sometimes a slower pace is more helpful. Pay close attention to you clients when you do this so you get it just right.
  4. Acknowledge first. An acknowledgment followed by a pause can be more effective than the most powerful question. Theoretically, a coach who's mastered acknowledgment and silence might never need to ask any questions!
  5. Appreciate. When your relationship with the client is really solid, moments of shared warmth can boost the "magic" quotient higher. You co-create an environment where it's safe for anything to be said or to happen. Take time to enjoy your client immensely.
  6. Ask once. Sometimes a question comes out wrong. Resist the temptation to improve it and let that embarrassing mess hang in midair. Editing yourself confuses your client. Let them hear it, process it, and answer it before you speak again. Better yet, practice the art of crafting beautiful questions that never need editing. It takes time. You get that time in Master Coach Training.
  7. Breathe. One of the best ways to connect and focus is to take one deep delicious breath together. No talking, just focus on that breath. Ah. It's all much clearer now. Learn to perfect this in Neuroscience Tools and Practices.
  8. Visualize. Invite your client to walk through a visualization with you. Make sure at some point that you fall silent so your client can just focus on what they are visualizing. Encourage them to stay silent too.
  9. Put your phone on mute! The late great Ginger Cockerham once yelled at me while I was coaching in class because I'd asked a great question and the client was reorienting but I kept on talking. She said if all else fails, put your hand over your mouth or your thumb on the mute button because you can't be great if you're still talking. Give your clients room to think!

These are nine great ways to add space to your coaching sessions and help your clients get to the gold. They are perfect examples of what the International Association of Positive Psychology Coaching calls, Clear Communication.

 

Learn more about the IAPPC's Positive Psychology Coaching Skills and earn your certification. Join while it's free and attend live meetings to learn all the IAPPC PPCS:

 

Join the IAPPC Now and Save on Certification

 

Topics: coaching questions, acknowledgment, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, IAPPC

Get Coaching Clients and ICF Certification with this Tool

Posted by Julia Stewart

Get Coaching Clients and Certification

The questions I most often hear from coaches are: How do I get more clients? and How do I get ICF certification?

If you're wondering about either of those, we've got you covered and now there's a free video that explains the whole thing to you.

This video is part of our new Free Coach Training Program. Interested? Read on...

There are so many things you have to do to become a successful coach:

At School of Coaching Mastery, we've been working hard at solving these problems for our members, but here's the thing: We can give you the tools, but you have to do your own work. Wise coaches already know this and love diving in with well-crafted tools. Work is fun when you're learning, making progress, and succeeding at your goals.

Solve the problem of what to do first: Get the clients you need to be a real coach or get the certification you need to attract the clients. You can do both at the same time. We'll tell you how in this video.

Watch this informative video to find out how you can combine many of the above goals into one process that has worked for thousands of coaches:

Get the Video on How to Get Clients and ICF Certification

 

 

 

Topics: free coach training, ICF, Coach Certification, video, international coach federation, how to get coaching clients

The Future of Coaching: 4 Huge Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Future of Coaching Trends

It's often referred to life coaching or executive coaching, but truth is, all forms of coaching have a lot in common and all forms are evolving quickly.

If you are a coach, you need to stay ahead of the trends, so here goes...

Four Major Trends Impacting the Future of Coaching:

1. CLIMATE: 99% of scientists now agree our climate is changing dramatically and we are the cause of it. Woe to those who ignore what is the biggest mega-trend in human history because they will be left behind.

In 2017, Vice President Al Gore, at his Pittsburgh Climate Reality Leadership Training, said it's too late to stop the climate from changing. It's going to get worse and it won't return to "normal" in our lifetimes. Although there is still much we can do to slow it and eventually reverse it, we need to focus on resilience in the meantime. In other words, we need to make changes so we, and all life, can survive and thrive.

Resilience is the focus of positive psychology and coaches are uniquely skilled to help people of all types experience resilience despite challenges and to flourish under difficult conditions, but we only have about ten years before things get crazy worldwide.

It is said opportunity arises from chaos. Therefore more opportunity will arise within the next decade than ever before in human history, for both coaches and their clients.

What opportunities? Here are a couple of forms of coaching needed to mitigate the effects of the coming  catastrophes:

Pre-Traumatic Growth Coaching is really about inoculating people against PTSD before they experience trauma by shifting the stories they tell themselves. Can it really be that simple? Based on the research of positive psychology founding father, Martin Seligman, apparently it can. And there is value in it even if they never experience a trauma.

Then there is Post-Disaster Coaching, something I've specialized in. When a major disaster hits a community, whether it is a natural disaster, terrorism, war, or something else, the most insidious after-effects for those who were spared from direct impacts of the disaster are overwhelm, despair, and depression. These feelings steal people's optimism and motivation and cause some to give up on their most cherished dreams, which amplifies the disaster. Most people will bounce back if they are already resilient, but if they get coached within a few days of the disaster, before depression sets in, they may skip it altogether and quickly see through the chaos to the opportunities. Then they can be a positive force to those around them. (For those who are already traumatized or depressed, though, therapy is often the best choice.)

Does this sound awful? It's not. I lived in New York City during the 9/11 disaster and all my clients were directly or indirectly impacted. It was a gift and a joy to coach them through what could have been a lasting nightmare and help them find their way back to flourishing, instead.

Don't want to coach around trauma and disaster? No problem. But do be a leader in the field of resilience, both emotional and practical. On the emotional side, practice self care, personal development, and spiritual awareness, so your potential clients see a model they can emulate. These bolster inner-resilience. Do prepare yourself, your home, and your business to withstand anything. Install back-up systems for your back-up systems. Intelligent design combined with redundant systems are keys. And of course, changing your habits and energy sources matters. Get started now. For example, air travel is, by far, one of the worst things you can do to the climate. Whenever possible, opt for meetings via the web rather than constantly flying. We're all connected so there is no self care without caring for everyone.

Live, work, shop, and vote like everyone's life depends on it.

2. The End of Work: You've been hearing that artificial intelligence and robotics will eliminate most of today's jobs within the next couple of decades. The good news for coaches is that the skills of coaching appear harder to automate than those of medicine or law, which makes coaching relatively immune to this trend. However, your clients likely won't be immune.

The so-called, gig economy, has already arisen in response to the disappearance of jobs but many are discovering that working for others part-time just doesn't pay and they are starting their own businesses, instead. In a way, this is a return to an earlier time when most people didn't work for large corporations, but for themselves, often as farmers or shop owners. The real difference today is technology and what we sell: often services rather than goods.

What makes this trend scary, though, is that people have spent decades, and even generations, working for paychecks. The need for people to transition from "employee mentalities" to "self-employed mentalities" can be scary and confusing and that creates a big need for business coaching. Currently, in-house coaches who coach within large organizations, often corporations, is strong. With the end of work, coaching may shift away from corporate coaching toward more small-business coaching.

What if universal income catches on? Some say governments will have to pay people not to work. What will they do instead? That's a question for life coaches. What will happen to career coaches? The definition of "career" will change from vocation to avocation. Living one's values will become easier and more desired than ever.

Coaching has always tended to focus on clients who are going through transitions. Between the climate crisis and the end of work, everyone will be going through transitions, sometimes major ones, all of the time.

The end of work is really the rise of working for oneself and for what matters most.

3. Coaching Research: Research on coaching goes back decades but has increased to where it is fine-tuned enough to genuinely describe great coaching. And top researchers do seem to understand what great coaching is. Some of their findings simply confirm what coaches have been observing for decades. Some add surprising twists to what coaches have always done and help us target interventions more effectively. Some research contradicts what many coaches previously thought.

More research = more research-based coaching. Evidence-based coaching is booming. Whether your background is in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, neuroscience, or some other approach, you needed to point to your training and certifications and keep those up-to-date. At the same time, heightened intuition and advanced communication skills will be as important as ever.  To paraphrase Dan Siegel:

Coaching must be informed by science, but not constrained by it.

4. Personal and Cultural Evolution: The world is changing faster than ever before and that requires people to change themselves and the way their communities work.  Old values such as "short-term profits" are being replaced by newer values, such as "people, planet, and profits". More people expect to live their values but there's a need underlying rapid evolution: Because before we can thrive, we must survive.

Rapid change is hard but not changing will be much harder. That creates another need for coaches and perhaps a specialty in helping others evolve. Educate yourself on what is needed and stay ahead of the curve.

 

There is great pain in the world and there will be even more to come. Coaches can be a vital force for good. Please consider joining this profession.

 

School of Coaching Mastery is a climate-aware coaching school. We have only distance-learning classes because they are convenient and effective, but also because they reduce the amount of air travel our coaches engage in and prepare them for long-distance coaching. We also have an emphasis on preparing coaches to have their own successful business. All our trainings are evidence-based and include awareness of the ways humans are evolving and how coaches can assist them.

 

Want to learn more about evidence-based coaching? Download the free Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook.

 

Get the Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: executive coaching, future of coaching, Life Coaching, free ebook, Climate Change, positive psychology coach, resilience

Create Your Ideal New Year With This Letter From the Future

Posted by Julia Stewart

Letter from the future

Here's an easy strategy tool that is a variation on the Ideal Self exercises popularized by positive psychology.

It's called the Letter from Your Ideal Future and I love sharing it with clients and using it, myself. Use the Letter whenever you or a coaching client has a big complex goal that will take some time, strategy, and focus to achieve.

Once the Letter is written, it can be returned to again and again for guidance and to see if you're on track, falling behind, or ahead of schedule. Having it down on paper helps make it seem real and doable and knowing which steps to take and when brings clarity and confidence. Seeing in black and white that your steps lead to success can stop you from second guessing yourself or believing naysayers who don't support your goals. (Pro tip: Identify any naysayers in your life and stop sharing your goals with them. ;-)

Ready? Grab some paper and a pen...

There is evidence that our brains change more when we write by hand rather than type so a handwritten Letter from Your Ideal Future may be more effective. But I've also typed Letters that were helpful so if you feel strongly resistant to writing longhand, go ahead and type.

Start with a strongly desired, heart-felt goal.

Your goal needs to be something you intrinsically value, not something you should want or that someone else wants. No one has to see or approve of your letter but you so choose a goal that makes your heart sing.

How to find a great goal? Take one deep delicious breath and close your eyes. Think about all the projects you could do and notice which one lights you up the most. That's the one. Trust it.

Now think realistically how long it may take for you to reach your goal. Literally pick a date. That's how you start your letter. Put that future date at the top of the page.

On the next line, write, "Dear Me..."

Paragraph 1: After Dear Me, write to yourself about your success. Write in detail as if it is already the date at the top of your page and you have fully achieved your heartfelt goal. Tell yourself what it is like now that you have achieved success and everything has gone as well as it possibly could. Focus especially on how good it feels now that you've reached this goal. This should be an enjoyable process. Really feel it. Feeling it will help you achieve it. Some questions to ask yourself might include: How I am different now that I've achieved this? What I have learned along the way? Who did I have to become? What's possible now? How will I celebrate my success? What do other people have to say and how do they treat me now? (Only include positives in this paragraph. If anything negative comes up, that's to be handled proactively in the months preceding the date you've achieved your goal, to help you succeed. More on that below. This way, your strategy writes itself.)

Paragraph 2: Tell yourself how you did it. Let's say your achievement date is one year from now. In this next paragraph, tell yourself what you did in the first six months. (If your achievement date is sooner or later, the amount of time will differ but I'll write these instructions based on a one-year goal.) List ten things you did in the first six months of working toward this goal. You can add details later. Include anything negative that came up in Paragraph 1. Decide how you will proactively handle those potential problems. Sometimes your steps will include getting training, or more information, or assistance from others. Sometimes it will include setting up systems and structures to make the rest of the project easier. Sometimes it will include better self care since no one can achieve their best goals when they aren't at their best. Sometimes it'll be about improving, repairing, or eliminating what could hold you back. Design your environment to support your success.

Paragraph 3: Now tell yourself what you did in the first three months. This is a slightly shorter list, maybe eight items long. Choose steps that will help set you up for the steps in Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 4: Next tell yourself what you did in the first month. This might be just six items. Again, choose steps that set you up for success with latter steps.

Paragraph 5: Tell yourself what you did in the first week. This will only be two or three steps. You're just getting started on your journey to success.

Paragraph 6: Now tell yourself the one step you need to take TODAY. Often, this will be clear after you've written all the other steps and sometimes it's surprising and surprisingly easy to start. Take that step. You're on your way now!

Paragraph 7: Finally, tell yourself how proud you are that you followed through, that you didn't anticipate everything that needed doing, but that was okay because you had a clear strategy that provided a framework for success. Add some details about your celebration here as well.

There you have it! Your roadmap to success!

This is a powerful tool that you can customize as needed. For instance, you can use it at the start of a new year to list a few high-value goals and track your progress throughout the year. I love going back to my letters and discovering I've already completed so many steps!

 

If you want more great tools, join the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program and/or find a coach here who will help you be your very best!

 

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

 

 

 

Topics: Positive Psychology, FIND A COACH, become a positive psychology coach

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