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How the Mass Exodus of Workers is Impacting Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Exodus of Workers

Last year, unemployment was shockingly high, while demand for coaching surged.

The pandemic wreaked havoc on the world of work and the resulting confusion sent millions running for the help of coaches. Whenever there is mass confusion, a significant percentage of people will question their previous choices and wonder what's next for them. That's when they need coaches. It happened after 9/11, too.

This year, as the availability of vaccinations slows the spread of Covid-19, workplaces are again opening up, but workers are saying, "No Thanks!"

How is that impacting coaching? Read on...

First, some data on the world of work in 2021 (Sources include Bloomberg and NPR):

  • 77% of workers want the option to work from home at least some of the time to continue after the pandemic.
  • 23% say they would take a 10% cut in pay to continue working from home.
  • 80% of executives don't want to work at the office full time.
  • Three days per week is now the most popular office workweek.
  • 25% say they plan to change jobs after the pandemic.
  • 20% say they already have changed jobs since the pandemic began.
  • Pew Research says 60% of workers consider the pandemic a time of reckoning when they are reconsidering what is meaningful work for themselves.

 

These are powerful numbers.

 

Anytime there is this much flux in the population, millions of people hire coaches. This is why coaching usually does very well even when unemployment is high.

 

What reasons are people giving for changing their minds about work?

 

  • "Vaccine hesitancy" has created a perception that working on site is dangerous because new virus variants are more contagious and more deadly and unvaccinated people can spread them.
  • Childcare is still spotty and may expose children to the virus, so parents want to keep them at home.
  • Workers discovered that working from home saved expenses on clothing, commuting, eating out, etc.
  • They discovered they could get more done in less time without travel and constant meetings.
  • Service and leisure workers cite low pay and say it isn't worth the risk.
  • Service and leisure workers also were angered that managers expected them to risk their lives so other people could eat their cheeseburgers.
  • People felt disrespected by employers who dumped difficult work conditions on them with too little supportive infrastructure.
  • People were shocked to find how little disaster preparedness existed in their industries and that managers expected front-line workers to make up the difference.
  • People are disillusioned with gig work that fails to provide benefits or decent wages.
  • Medical personnel are traumatized and burnt out and are looking for new careers.
  • Women and people of color have been particularly hard hit.
  • Some workers took advantage of online education, while they were laid off, or working from home, to prepare them for new careers.
  • Some people moved out of urban centers to avoid the virus and now don't want to commute.
  • Many workers say the "old normal" was never normal, nor was it optimal or even healthy, and now they never want to return to it.

Millions of people are now transitioning to new lives. Coaches coach transitions.

 

What does this mean for coaching?

 

  • Many people are no longer willing to fit their lives to their jobs. They want meaningful work that fits the lives they want.
  • People are prioritizing their mental health, and even flourishing, over climbing corporate ladders.
  • People are realizing their nervous systems weren't designed to deal with high-powered careers complicated by worldwide disasters.
  • People are prioritizing personal life over work life.
  • People want control over their own time.
  • People are starting their own businesses to reflect their values.
  • Even those who believe working at the office is beneficial are faced with the reality that most people are no longer willing to show up at the office, everyday.

 

In short, people's values around work are changing dramatically and this seismic shift will impact everything from now on.

 

Coaches coach transitions. Right now, just about everybody is in transition. They need you.

Twenty years ago, the founder of the coaching profession, Thomas Leonard, predicted that coaches would mostly work from home. Because nearly everyone would work from home. Now it's coming true.

 

Coaching is the ultimate work-from-home career.

 

Are you thinking about becoming a coach? Nearly all coaches are well-trained and most are certified.

Now is a good time to become a coach because the need and demand are high. You can train online, market online, and coach online.

 

What are you waiting for?

 

Download the free Become a Coach eBook and get started:

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

 

Topics: coach training, become a coach, Coach Training Programs, Thomas Leonard, coaching career, Values, Covid, pandemic

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

2020 Stole Your Life. Here's How to Get it Back.

Posted by Julia Stewart

2020 Stole Your Life

Remember 2019? Restaurants, vacations, parties? Those were the days...

Now we live in 2020 where one week feels like twelve years. Maybe you've become accustomed to the isolation, frustration, and uncertainty. Maybe you've made your peace with all the plans you had to abandon. But more insidious thieves may have entered your life by now and they can be harder to notice, much  less, manage.

Here's a surprising thief of life and how you can handle it easily...

By now, the onslaught of 2020 catastrophes has likely depleted your surge capacity. And toxic leadership may be twisting you into a pretzel.The frenetic news cycle gives you whiplash. Zoom meetings make relationships seem two dimensional. And social media is literally forcing you to think in black and white.

Your environment is not supporting you.

When our environments don't support us, one response is to redesign our environments so they do support us.  But in 2020, this has become more challenging to do. Another response is to rely even more on our strengths...

Our strengths are the talents, aptitudes, or abilities that we use so well they've become easy, fun, and/or highly effective. Almost any behavior can be a strength. Compassion, when acted upon, can be a strength. Even anger, when well-used, can a be a strength. But both compassion and anger can be weaknesses, too. We can get more done with less energy when we use our top strengths so it's natural for us to over-use them when we are exhausted, stressed, or drained. When we're running on empty, sometimes our strengths can get us over the finish line, but if we over-use them for too long, they can become weaknesses.

A weakness isn't the opposite of a strength.

A weakness is a misused strength. It is a strength used inappropriately that is therefore preventing us from reaching our goals. One way to misuse a strength is simply to leave it undeveloped. Another is to overuse it when another strength would be more appropriate. A third and more serious misuse is to so overuse a strength that it drives our lives, and sometimes the lives of others, into a serious imbalance.

It can be so distressing to live with an imbalance of strengths, plus an unbalanced environment, that we may feel our mental health is suffering.

So here's that simple tool I promised. You can think of it as a mindfulness exercise, or think of it as that classic coaching tool called, distinctions. In reality, it's a little of both. But don't just use it for a few seconds, or minutes, or even one day. I've been using it for weeks and the benefits just keep growing.

Here's your distinction: Under-function vs Over-function.

A little background on how to I use this distinction: I don't usually get writer's block but in the past few months it has happened repeatedly. I get an idea for a blog post. It's half-written in my head before I even sit down to write. But as I start to write the first sentence, which I can see in my mind's eye, the letters and words evaporate one by one until I have nothing. No words: no article. Yuk!

I mentioned this to my coach and she said she's hearing a lot of it in 2020.

So I could just accept it, which would be okay but not ideal, or I could fight it which would make things worse. Or I could honor the unique burdens of 2020 and deal with it realistically.

Like most high achievers, my complaint was that I was under-functioning in some areas, such as blogging, so I set an easy goal. I just set out to function. I went through my day noticing where I was under-functioning and, without judgment, I asked myself what just functioning would look like and did that much and no more. It felt good. What I discovered was that I was under-functioning in many more areas than I had previously thought but that I was over-functioning, way over-functioning, in just a few.

You guessed it: I was over-using my strengths to the detriment of almost everything else.

So I began using the same measurement I'd used where I was under-functioning and applied it to where I was over-functioning. Just function, no more, no less. One strength I was overusing was, learning. When learners are confronted with a threat, we often react by learning everything about it. In my case, I'm also a strategizer, so I learn all I can and then develop a strategy out of what I've learned. It's highly functional most of the time. At the onset of the pandemic, I learned all I could about COVID, then developed a strategy for dealing with it. I had my COVID strategy down cold months ago but was still learning all I could and that was leaving less time, energy, and focus for everything else.

I was unbalanced.

It's a simple tool: underfunction vs overfunction vs function. The challenge is to do it with self-compassion instead of judgment. It will help you notice where you may be overusing your strengths to get through difficulties but may also be creating more discomfort for yourself and others. One you notice it, you can choose something better.

Where are you creating imbalance in your life by overusing one or more strengths?

 

A coach with expertise in strengths can help you with this. All our graduates have this expertise. Click below to find a coach who can help you get your life back.

 

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Topics: Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Strengths, FIND A COACH, positive psychology coach, Covid

This One Tool May Help You Survive 2020

Posted by Julia Stewart

Burden cartoon Depositphotos_32610265_l-2015-1

 

 

Last night, I coached one of my students who was struggling with overwhelm.

But it was soon clear that something else was also going on. She was experiencing something that many are going through in this year of pandemic, social unrest, economic recession, political upheaval, severe storms and other signs of Climate Change.

What I said helped. It could help you, too.

Most coaches are Highly Sensitive People (HSP) who process more information than others.

HSP is inborn and well-researched. We make up about 15-20% of the population. There is a popular variation known as Empaths, a description that is not science-based but includes psychic abilities.

If you are a coach, you likely are an HSP or Empath. Whichever you identify with, you probably have an ability that most folks don't have:

You literally feel other people's emotions.

For a coach, feeling your client's emotions can be a valuable tool for understanding what they are experiencing. But in a year when millions are experiencing more upsetting emotions than usual, the ability to feel everyone's emotions can be an overwhelming liability.

You need an approach to eliminate excess negative emotions, especially from others.

Here's a process I've found that helps me. Before I understood that I was picking up the emotions of others' my life felt chaotic and my emotional state was sometimes turbulent. It was particularly challenging to be around extremely negative people, angry people, and people who were prone to conflict because the more I was with them, the more I became like them. Spending time alone and learning a variety of tools such as meditation helped me get back to my true self.

In extreme situations, I ended relationships that were just too challenging to tolerate. The irony of this approach is that to protect my highly-sensitive empathic self, I had to behave in ways that must have looked like the opposite: selfish and uncaring. There has to be a better way, right? There is.

I experienced a breakthrough when someone I knew, but was not close to, passed away. There were important others in my life who were very close to this person who were grieving. I was surprised to find that I was grieving rather intensely, myself. I felt like I was lugging a heavy duffle bag packed with painful feelings in the middle of my torso, day after day. I explored whether there was some underlying reason why this death was so meaningful to me but I could not find one.

Then it occurred to me that the grief I was feeling wasn't my own. I was spending time with loved ones who were grieving and I had picked it up from them. So I wondered, if those feelings weren't mine, could I just put them down?

In the moment of that thought, all the pain and heaviness evaporated.

I've been using this approach ever since and so can you. To use it remember the following:

  • If the negative feelings are your own, you need to get the message or information they carry before you let them go. Emotions are just messengers and must stick around until you get the message. If you bury them, they will shift underground and pop up later, sometimes more intensely. Your own feelings are there to help you. Don't try to ignore them.
  • If the negative feelings are coming from someone close to you, they are telling you important information about that person's feelings. Again, for the sake of your relationship, pay attention to the message before you release those feelings. A compassionate conversation with the other person can help. If you must, it is okay to limit contact with someone who is chronically upsetting you. If they are abusive toward you, it is fine to end that relationship. You can't offer your best gifts to the world if you are constantly licking your own wounds.
  • If you are just picking up random pain from others, such as co-workers or even via social media or cable news, realize that pain is not about you. It also is not yours to carry. Envision it as something separate from you, like a heavy duffle bag. Then give yourself permission to put down that burden. You might even envision yourself turning it in to the the Lost & Found. Then walk away knowing you did the right thing,
  • Don't hold on to an emotional burden out of guilt or solidarity with those who are suffering. Other people do not benefit when you are crippled by their pain. They do benefit when you can be fully compassionate and caring without being drawn into chaos and confusion.
  • You can care about others best when your empathy is manageable.


Self care for empaths means limiting the amount of pain you carry.

2020 will give us all plenty of practice with negative feelings. Be kind to yourself and others through this difficult time. Also, be aware that your own negativity, as well as any negativity you pick up from others, can rub off on additional people. Strong emotions are contagious. Don't be a spreader.

 

You can coach best when your emotions are mostly positive.

 

If you are a coach or are thinking about becoming one, you're invited to attend a live course we offer a few times per year called, Fully Alive. It is experiential and includes a wealth of tools that can help you manage life in this especially turbulent world. The course is free to everyone.

 

To register for the next one, please visit our public catalog or register below.

Attend Fully Alive for Givers for Free

 

Topics: become a coach, coaching tool, economy, highly sensitive, Covid, Black Lives Matter

7 Reasons Now Is a Great Time to Become a Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach working from home

As I write this, the Covid-19 pandemic is exploding across America and many other places.

Our lives have been upended and there is no end in sight. But now is not the time for despair.

Now is the time to become a coach and I'll tell you why...

Your situation: Maybe your kids are home. You and/or your partner are out of work. Or you're working from home. Maybe one or all of you have been sick. Maybe you're feeling isolated and afraid. Or maybe you're getting the hang of this and it's all getting easier. But now you are confronted with the logistics of returning to work and sending your children back to school. Other people are making important decisions that could impact your family's safety and your ability to make a living. That's alarming and may feel unsafe.

 

But wouldn't it be nice if things just went back to "normal'?

 

Economists and epidemiologists have told us from the start that the bigger the pandemic gets and the longer it goes on the harder it will be to go back to the old normal. There is growing evidence that getting sick with the virus does not confer lifelong immunity. Covid-19 may be more like malaria, a serious disease you can get over and over, cutting into your freedom, your productivity, and ability to make a living. With luck, we'll have a vaccine next year, but previously, the fastest an effective vaccine has ever been developed was four years. Producing billions of doses will take longer.

The old normal is disappearing in your rear-view mirror and you may never see it again. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, there is positive news in all this.

 

I believe in positivity, not denial.

 

The first helps us succeed, the second keeps us stuck. Clinging to the idea of your old life is denial. To practice positivity, start with the truth, then explore the likely possibilities. Then work towards the most desirable possibilities for you. It works.

The truth is that the virus has wrapped itself around the world and will be with us for at least another year, perhaps several, maybe forever. And you have many assets that will help you adapt and grow. In fact, these challenges may be exactly what you need to become your best self and live the life and career you want most. Are you ready to live your best life?

 

You need to thrive in this new environment.

Therefore, you need to invent a better normal, one that works beautifully for you.

 

Are you ready to apply positivity to your life?

 

If yes, then you need to ask and answer some important questions. Start with the following:

  • If things continue this way, how long can you hang on and what will it cost you?
  • If the pandemic continues, what do you need to stay safe and thrive and how can you create that?
  • What have you always wanted to do but the time never felt right?
  • What does the world need now that you can potentially give?
  • How can you turn that into a business you love?
  • Or can you be employed to do it but have flexibility to do it on your terms?
  • Can you create your best life even in the pandemic?
  • What do you need to set that up? Who can help you?
  • Do you believe in yourself enough to do it?
  • Do you have the courage to make your life, and the lives of others, great even in a disaster?

 

Right now, most people need more questions like these.

 

We are all forced to recreate our lives. Let's create the lives we've always wanted.

I've coached quite a few clients through disasters. They are the pivot points that make or break great lives and careers. The opportunities are golden if you look for the positivity.

If you are empathic, a good communicator, want to help others be their best, want to create a better world for all, then coaching may be the perfect next step for you.

 

Now is the perfect time to become a coach because:

  1. Coaching is the ideal work-from-home career.
  2. Coaching pays extremely well.
  3. Many coaches work short hours while making high incomes.
  4. Coaching goes perfectly with technology and your clients can be international.
  5. People need coaching now more than ever and are willing to pay for it.
  6. Coaching is low on stress and high on fulfillment.
  7. Coaching is fun.

 

If you have always wanted to become a coach, the world needs you now so please have the courage to act on your desire.

 

At SCM, coach training has been designed online from the beginning. No, it's not like in-person training. It's better. We also train our graduates to coach via distance and to market online. We didn't have to retool for the pandemic. We always did it this way.

Our next cohort starts soon but you can begin classes even before. And we have a free personal-development course coming up so you can try it out before you commit.

 

Now isn't a terrible time. NOW IS YOUR TIME.

 

Please download the free Become a Coach eBook and get started on your perfect career:

Get Your Free 'Become a Coach' eBook Now

 

Topics: Career, become a coach, coaching questions, online coach training, positivity, Covid

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.

 

Attend Fully Alive for Givers for Free

 

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.

 

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

Coach Stephanie Harris Shares Her Incredible Story of Covid-19 Survival

Posted by Stephanie Harris

Coach Stephanie Harris and Husband Mark Skiing 2020

Three weeks ago, a member of the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program, Stephanie Harris, shared something shocking with me: Her husband had just recovered from Covid-19 and she was still asymptomatic.

I was relieved they were alright and impressed at Stephanie's positive attitude and desire to help others navigate this collective nightmare. Television news programs around the country are interviewing Stephanie to share understanding about her experience. What follows, in Stephanie's own words, are some details of what happened and an invitation to a FREE one-hour interview with Stephanie about what she learned and how she can help. - Julia Stewart

Read on...

"The epidemiologist believes, my husband Mark, contracted Covid-19 at the National Brotherhood of Skiers Summit in Sun Valley, ID, where we were, from February 29 th to March 6 th. I have received firsthand reports of multiple hospitalizations, multiple positive test results and 6 deaths, thus far.

On March 8 th, Mark was feeling achy and coughing slightly. He described his affect as feeling tired. His fatigue continued and on March 9th, 10 tthand 11 th, I called urgent care, our local emergency room, the Broward County, Florida, Department of Health and our primary care office, to obtain information on the best way to treat his situation.
 
As there was no protocol at that time, all I got was “There's no tests kits here, so do not come here”. His fever, headache, chills, fatigue and lack of appetite continued, but, oddly, he was not coughing.
 
On March 12 th, I eventually got an appointment with the primary care office and after a stop by urgent care for a chest x-ray, we made it to the ER and I set the goal of getting him tested.
 
While Mark received IV fluids and an antibiotic, I was forced to continually ask about Covid-19 testing, as the lack of a consistent protocol was evident. I refused to hear anything about the CDC guidelines. As I told the Dr. “This past Saturday, we were on three airplanes and in four airports….do YOU know where those people came from??”
 
It was a long night, largely, in part to me sounding like a broken record and asking any Dr. who would listen, WHEN WILL HE BE TESTED!! I got put on time out by one of the nurses, because she was fearful, I could spread pneumonia or something worse.
 
Since his fever dropped, he was sent home with antibiotics to treat the bacterial pneumonia and a cough medication. We were told we should have the results in a few days. Throughout the weekend, he rested and we continued immune boosting supplements, foods and thoughts.
 
The Broward County Epidemiologist called Tuesday, March 17 th with the news he tested positive. His illness pattern occurred from March 8 th until March 30 th, when he was able to walk 15 minutes, eat well and function without coughing. He is now up to 50 minutes and performing basic body weight exercises. Thankfully, he is doing great!
 
As I pursue this role of support and advocacy, it's very clear I cannot do it alone. Surviving Covid-19 is one thing, coming back home and having zero resources and support, is another. As the spouse of a Covid-19 patient,who has navigated the road to recovery, I am uniquely qualified in understanding the mental aspects of healing, as well as the physical. I am passionate about helping others develop positive changes, in the face of an uncertain and complicated future."
 
Visit Stephanie's website: ShiftWithSteph.com
 
For her informative videos related to Covid-19, go to: Facebook.com/Shiftwithsteph
 
Stephanie has so much wisdom to share on how to survive Covid-19 and help your loved ones: from maintaining a good attitude, to buying a pulse-oximeter, to becoming a strong patient advocate, that we did a FREE one-hour interview with her. The recording is  available to those who register below.
 
Register for Stephanie Harris Interview

 

Topics: Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Covid

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