School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

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

Should You Become a Coach in the Age of Disasters?

Posted by Julia Stewart

How to Coach Photo credit - hurricane by kakela.jpg

On September 11th, 2001, all my New York City clients canceled. My coach, in California, also canceled. I canceled a cardiac stress test, because all day my heart was pounding. My coaching school continued classes.

Like everyone in the US, my thoughts were primarily about the calamitous attacks on NYC and Washington DC. Although, as a New Yorker, the World Trade Center attack loomed larger for me,

At the time, I was studying to become a coach while running a busy personal training business. After 9/11, I wasn't sure ideas like "live your best life" made sense, anymore. I was afraid I would lose my personal training clients and that nobody would want to coach with me, because the world seemed completely different. What mattered before seemed utopian. What mattered now was a much uglier side of life.

I was wrong.

After we rescheduled, I told my coach I was thankful my coaching school continued classes on 9/11, because for one hour, on a perfectly horrific day, I did something normal. God, that felt good.

My point is this: Don't assume you know what people will want, in this world of disasters, because what they want will surprise you.

My coach gave me an assignment: to get my first coaching client. Geeze, in this environment?

Gradually, my business got up and running again. My clients told me harrowing stories that had happened to them. One, who worked near the World Trade Center, had had to walk down forty flights of stairs to escape. Another, who worked further away, watched as people jumped from the blaze. Everyone had lost someone.

To my surprise, they all told me they were more committed than ever to working out, because they realized, in this new normal, that they needed to be fit to survive. One of them asked if he could be my first coaching client.

I didn't even need to market; my first coaching client volunteered. He stayed with me for seven years.

Millions of New Yorkers changed after 9/11. In the most capitalistic city in the most capitalistic country, people started putting values ahead of profits and family ahead of achievement. They turned to coaches to help them define their callings and life purpose, and to designed their legacies. Coaching boomed, because there was a new need for it.

Today, I teach coaches from around the world via webinars. Many are from North America, where this summer, the northwest is aflame with hundreds of forest fires, while the southeast is hammered by monster hurricanes and biblical floods. Some of my students complain in class about smoke, while others share fears about finding clients in devastated cities, while still others leave class early to evacuate their homes. Now that Climate Change is well underway, this is the new normal. Terrorism probably won't go away, but it has epic competition.

Can you coach in this environment? Yes, you must. People need you more than ever.

Give people time to get back into their homes and to restart. They're not ready to coach while they're in shelters and hotel rooms, or hospitals, or funeral homes.

This is not a suggestion to capitalize on misery. It's a reminder that coaching helps people, so don't pull back, thinking they won't want you. Don't bombard people with sales offers. Do be willing to listen. Do be willing to help, if you can. Be willing to waive or lower a fee for some clients.

One helpful way to reframe a disaster is to focus on the people who help, because they inspire us. Coaches can also be helpers when people are ready to think about what they want the rest of their lives to be like.

In this age of disasters, coaching is needed more than ever. You're needed more than ever.

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

 

Topics: Coaching, coaching school, become a coach, coaching clients, 9/11, reasons to become a coach, free ebook

Life Coaches Come Together in Peace

Posted by Angela Goodeve

Life Coaches Come Together

 

Guest Post by Coach Angela Goodeve, CCC. Angela is a member of School of Coaching Mastery's Ultimate Coach Training Program, a winner of Best Coaching Blogs 2012 and a board member of Women For Change.

September 11, 2001 was a day of great sorrow.  We will never forget the shock of learning of the great tragedy that day.  I will also never forget the moments of silence when people from all over the world came together to pray for those effected by this horrible tragedy.  I sat in the lunchroom at our office with tears in my eyes for all of the beautiful souls who lost their lives that day, as many others did.

The one thing that resonates today is that just as we all came together in sorrow that day, we can also come together in peace.  

There are and have been many ambassadors for peace in the world:  Mother Teresa; Oprah Winfrey; and Tony Robbins, to name a few.  Even though we as individuals may not have the notoriety of these other powerful people, each of us as individuals can be our own Ambassadors of peace.  

Life Coaches also help bring peace to the world, one person at a time, so let’s take the lessons of 9/11 to recognize and get to know some of the less well known, but equally important ambassadors of change.

Just as the School of Coaching Mastery provides accessible, quality training for Life Coaches, Women For Change Coaching Community brings together a community of support to make coaching accessible for all women who are seeking positive change in their lives.  They offer one-on-one coaching, for a nominal fee, as well as monthly workshops for clients geared toward skill building, such as money management, job search, self-esteem or other topics in which clients express interest. They are also dedicated to providing coaches in their community with the support that they need to help people live happier more peaceful lives.  

And let’s not forget all of the wonderful Life Coaches who have a passion for helping others live a life in which their needs are met; their values are expressed in everything they do; and can easily step into their personal greatness!

Let’s make every day a day in which we come together in Peace, just as we have come together in sorrow.

What will you do today to contribute to humanity and come together in peace?

To learn more about Women For Change and other opportunities for life coaches to support positive change, join the IAC North American Virtual Chapter:

Join the IAC North American Virtual Chapter

Image by xlordashx

Topics: Best Coaching Blogs, School of Coaching Mastery, Life Coaches, 9/11, IAC

9/11: A Day to Celebrate Personal Greatness

Posted by Julia Stewart

The 10-Year anniversary of 9/11 is a day of sadness and mourning for many of us.

But it's also a day when we saw the best in people a million times over. As a resident of New York City, someone who could see the towers burning from my street, I can say that I never felt as close to my fellow New Yorkers as I did that day and in the months following.

One snide conservative politician said New Yorkers became uncharacteristically 'human' on 9/11. He's wrong. New Yorkers are some of the kindest people I've ever known.

Today, I live in a small town, where farmers stop their pickup trucks to chat, blocking roads in both directions. You can do that in a small town. In fact, small-town people value that kind of friendliness.

In a huge crowded city, where there are always millions of people behind you trying to get home or pick up their kids, kindness is often expressed via efficiency, impatience and hurrying. We're all getting out of the way of our fellow citizens, because passing the time of day can cause traffic jams and delays.

In 2001, I lived on a small, nautical NYC island, called, City Island. The local clam-diggers, or those born on the island, were often descended from generations of sailors, boat builders and sail makers. Most were poor and uneducated, but great people.

The great 9/11 Boatlift, above, is one of the untold stories about the attacks. One radio distress call from the Coast Guard that morning, brought hundreds of boats within minutes - work boats, pleasure boats, ferries - to lower Manhattan and rescued 500,000 people who were trapped behind the destruction. It was the biggest boatlift in history.

They didn't know if they'd be killed in the attacks. They came because they were needed.

My work, as a coach and coach trainer, has always been to bring out the Personal Greatness, also known as the Great Self, in my clients and students. Horrific tragedy elicits Greatness in many, but we don't have to wait for  awful moments. We can choose to be Great, daily.

As one Boatlift hero says in the film, above, "I believe somebody has a little hero in them. Got to look in. It's in there. It'll come out when it needs to be."

Choosing to be great may mean to show a little more compassion or a little less criticism. It may mean smiling at a stranger or acknowledging a cashier. It also means serving others when it's inconvenient or dangerous to ourselves. We all do it uniquely. That's why we're different.

There is courage in Greatness.

Another hero says, "I have a theory in life. I never want to say, 'I should have.' If I do it and I fail, I tried. If I do it and I succeed, better for me. I tell my children the same thing, 'Never go through life saying I should have. If you want to do something, you do it."

These men aren't philosophers, coaches or motivational speakers; just regular guys who stepped up.

How can you step up today and celebrate Personal Greatness in your world?

Topics: coach training, Coaches, greatness, Great Self Coaching, 9/11

    Subscribe for FREE: Learn About Coaching

    Follow Us

    The Coaching Blog

    If you're a professional Business or Life Coach or you're interested in becoming one, the SCM Coaching Blog covers topics you may want to know about: How to Become a Business or Life Coach, Grow a Successful Coaching Business, Get Coach Training and/or Business and Life Coach Certification, Become a Coaching Master and Evolve Your Life and Business. 

    Subscribe above and/or explore by tag, month or article popularity, below.

    Latest Posts

    Most Popular Posts

    Browse by Tag

    Top Career-Jobs Sites Living-Well blog