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Radical Self-Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches

Posted by Julia Stewart

Self-Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches

Self-care is part of the job description for coaches.

Unfortunately, self-care has become a bit of a cliche: about getting a massage, taking a yoga class, or eating kale. The truth is, self-care is whatever restores and strengthens you and it can take any form that works for you.

It takes discipline to practice self-care consistently. When you do so, you are able to be your best every day regardless what else happens. That means, if you're a coach, you coach more effectively.

That's especially true if you are a Highly Sentive Person (aka HSP or Empath). The wiring of an HSP is perfect for coaching when it is well cared for. You have a super power that needs nurturing.  That's what you're doing when you practice self-care and personal development. Otherwise, you may experience meltdowns and could show up like a super villain, instead of a super hero, to those around you.

Self-care is anything but selfish, especially for highly sensitive coaches.

Read on for information on highly sensitive coaches, the traits that make them desirable, tests to see if you are highly sensitive, and a free class on radical self-care for highly sensitive coaches...

HSPs/Empaths tend to have many of the qualities that are most prized in coaching. The following are estimates of percentages of HSPs who share the following qualities. (Source: Esther Bergsma, 2019)*.

  • Empathy (85%)
  • Strong Intuition (79%)
  • Good Listener (78%)
  • Open Minded (76%)
  • Caring (76%)
  • Creative Thinking (70%)
  • Able to See the Big Picture (69%)
  • Sense of Humor (65%)

If you are strong on most of the above, you may be wired to be a great coach. If you also have the discipline to care for, nurture, and even enhance those abilities, you may be cut out to be a professional coach.

 

If you are curious whether you are an HSP:

Take this short test, or this longer one, or take this more in-depth test.

 

So how do you care for the finely-tuned nervous system of a highly sensitive coach?

 

Look for your current level of care and ask whether it is enough for you to be at your best, every day. If not, what people, places, or things put you out of balance? You might want to carry a journal and make note whenever something annoys you, stresses you, or wears you out. Then ask yourself 10 ways to change each of those items so they don't sap your energy, anymore. Don't worry, at first, if any of those solutions are possible. If you keep an open mind, a few doable solutions will rise to the top.

 

Also take a look at your internal environment. As a highly senstive coach, you take in more information than others. That's a brilliant benefit to coaching. It can also overwhelm your system. You also likely have stronger emotions. Emotions are your body/mind's communication system. Yours is more acute and that also benefits your coaching. But strong emotions need management. Otherwise, they create chaos as well as conflict with others. What habits or processes can help you manage your intensity? If you are overhwelmed, how will you work in calming breaks? If your emotions are unruly, how will you develop more emotional literacy?

 

Another great way to do this is to discover your Needs and learn to get them met. A key to meeting Needs is to apply your Strengths. Certified Positive Psychology Coaches do this with their clients but it is important to do it with ourselves, first. Otherwise, it's impossible to understand. Even coaches need coaches for this type of assistance. Our positive psychology coaching students learn to do this with their clients and you can find a coach who can help you here.

 

Or Learn about Radical Self Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches in this free class.

 

Radical self-care for highly sensitive coaches is like tuning up a fine Italian sports car before taking an epic drive through the Italian Alps. Otherwise, you might end up stuck by the side of the road, or worse. Do take that epic life adventure! But first take time to take care of yourself. You'll enjoy more awe, more thrills, more gratitude, more togetherness, more joy. And so will those around you!

 

Ready to be your best so you can serve others better? Ready to treat yourself the way your need to be treated? Ready to nurture your super powers so they can be your super strengths and not your weaknesses? Take this upcoming free class and get started on the path of radical self-care:

 

FREE: Radical Self-Care for Highly Sensitive Coaches

 

*This post is informed by Esther Bergsma's The Brains of Highly Sensitive People, published in 2020 in the US. Highly recommended! By the way, this book features the 2007 research on sensitivity by Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FOATA, CPPC. Winnie later attended and graduated from our Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program.

Topics: gratitude, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, personal development, positive psychology coaching, Strengths, Needs, FIND A COACH, highly sensitive, self care, Empaths

Four Words that Strike Fear in Coaches' Hearts

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach Panicking

Ever since I became a coach twenty years ago, I've been hearing a certain four-word phrase from other coaches.

You can almost hear the coach's heart clutch when they utter these four words. And it's surprising because coaches are such optimistic people. But even optimists have fears, sometimes.

These words offer a red flag that, when you know how to read it, tells you how to handle the fear.

You may share this fear. If so, you may be saying these four words. And it could be holding back your coaching career. So I'm going to offer some insight on what it means and what you can do about it.

Read on...

This four-word phrase needs some context. So here's how it shows up:

  • I need to ....to get my coaching career going.
  • I'd better....or I'll never get clients.
  • I want to....but something is holding me back.
  • I don't know how to.....
  • I've got to.....
  • I just need to....and everything will work out.

You've probably guessed what this phrase is (or maybe you peeked)!

It is: "Put myself out there." Have you heard this phrase yet? Have you used it yourself? It's code for fear of being rejected or fear of failing  These fears represent two major unmet Needs identified by the late Abraham Maslow. One is the Need for Belonging. The other is the Need for Self Esteem. These Needs are natural. We all have them.

The fear occurs when these Needs are Unmet. They are easy to meet when you know how (or work with a coach who understands this dynamic). Most positive psychology coaching schools don't teach Maslow's Needs theory, but we do.

New coaches succeed faster when they work with coaches who understand this.

Once your coach has helped you meet your Need for Belonging or Self-Esteem, you can take the spotlight off yourself. That's what the phrase, "Put myself out there", does. It makes what you do all about "myself".

Great coaching is never about the coach.

Once you take the focus off "myself", it becomes obvious where it needs to be. Put your focus on others. Learn to listen more deeply to them. Notice the people who want and need your coaching. They are always sending signals, but when your focus is on "myself", you won't notice them. So your efforts to grow your coaching career or business will be clumsy. You won't do your best work and you may, indeed, wind up feeling rejected or like a failure.

I'm here to tell you to stop putting yourself out there.

Just be listening to others and hear what they are really saying (they have code phrases too). Be the coach whose Needs are so well met that you can forget yourself long enough to hear what others need from you  and your coaching career will practically build itself!

Want to be the coach who can hear what's going on by just listening to one sentence? Join the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program before prices go up. We don't just teach you about Strengths. Actually, we teach about Strengths and a whole lot more. We help you put the whole picture together so you can coach masterfully. We also teach you the secrets to building your coaching career.

 

Click below for FREE downloads on becoming a positive psychology coach and more:

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

Topics: coaching business, Coaches, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, coaching career, Needs, FIND A COACH, become a positive psychology coach, Abraham Maslow

How to Eliminate Your Imposter Syndrome In 3 Easy Steps

Posted by Julia Stewart

Fraud Factor - Imposter Syndrome

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

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

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

Here's how...

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

Imposter Syndrome is normal and you're not alone.

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

Here are three aphorisms that might help:

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

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

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

Here's a short example story...

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

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

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

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

 

I had made it, no more faking it.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Find a Coach Here Directory

 

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

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.

 

Find a Coach Here Directory

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

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

Is It Narcissistic to Hire a Life Coach?

Posted by Julia Stewart

narcissitic life coach client

Life coaching clients are sometimes accused of being selfish or self-absorbed. Does that make them narcissistic?

To find out, let's look at what narcissism really is. It's also helpful to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy selfishness and being self-aware vs. self-absorbed.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an unhealthy pattern of behavior that requires someone to think and act as if they're superior to others. They need excessive praise and admiration, lack empathy, and can be abusive in relationships. NPD is a serious disorder, but like any personality disorder, NPD is marked by a lack of self-awareness. If someone has it, they may be unaware how they come across, are unlikely to delve deep into their drives and vulnerabilities, to see their weaknesses, or to work to improve their relationships. In fact, they tend to think others are at fault, not them.

NPD is not the same as being self-absorbed or selfish, although NPD can include those qualities, which could be a reason why people use the term "narcissistic" to name-call people who make themselves a priority by working with a coach.

In fact, criticism is one way people with NPD abuse others, so it's possible those who criticize coaching clients are the ones suffering from NPD.

Healthy selfishness is an acknowledgment that, like everyone else, you have needs that must be met for you to function at your best and you have more to offer others when you are at your best. That's also self-awareness. Healthy people express their selfishness in ways that are flexible and avoid either rigidity or chaos. They have strong boundaries but may sometimes soften them for the benefit of people and things they love.

To an unhealthy person, self-awareness may look more like self-absorption. The former requires depth and a willingness to go beyond one's comfort zone to grow. The second is superficial and obsesses over a carefully-crafted exterior self-image.

Becoming a coaching client requires a willingness to deepen self-awareness. It's about personal growth and responsibility. NPDs tend to think they are superior even without a coach, are uninterested in self-awareness, and think others need to grow, not them.

Modern culture encourages self-absorption, but most of us don't have NPD. Our willingness to grow can be our gift to the world and coaches can help us do that.

 

Want to develop your self-awareness and grow? A coach can help you. Find a coach here:

 

Find a Coach Here Directory

Topics: coaching clients, Boundaries, FIND A COACH

Is "Coaching Program" an Oxymoron?

Posted by Julia Stewart

coaching program oxymoron

Confusion about coaching programs and coaching packages has been surfacing in conversations with clients, coaches, and coaching students all week.

Obviously, it's time to write about it.

These phrases were in existence at least eighteen years ago when I became a coach, but lately they seem to be confused with the very nature of coaching, itself.

What are coaching programs and packages?

  • A coaching program is a structured process of personal or professional development. It may or may not include any coaching. If not, don't call it a coaching program.
  • A coaching package is a way to sell services by offering tangible choices. You get these services for this price; you get more services for a higher price, etc. If your package doesn't include coaching, don't call it a coaching package.

So what is coaching and what's the confusion?

  • Coaching is a personal conversation that's customized in the moment so the client can reach their goals and desires. When done well, it's all about the client and they reach those goals and desires. This is such a rare experience that people who are ready to live their dreams will pay handsomely for it.
  • Yesterday, a student thanked me for a ten-minute coaching session I'd given them the night before. They had a big interview coming up and their coaching goal was to overcome a lack of confidence that they feared would prevent them from succeeding with the interview. By the end of ten minutes, we'd reframed their situation, they had the confidence they needed, and they aced their interview. Ten minutes. That's the power of real coaching. When you can do that, you don't need gimmicks to sell your coaching.

How can you tell you're not getting real coaching?

  • If the "coach" chooses the topic of conversation, it's not coaching.
  • If the "coach" tells you what to do, it's not coaching.
  • If you're one of many clients present in the conversation, it's not coaching.
  • If the coach follows a formula, it's not coaching.
  • If you, the client, listen more than talk, it's not coaching.
  • If the conversation is all about the "coach's" process, program, or package, or worse, about the "coach"; it's not coaching.
  • If the "coach" has more faith in their process than in you, it's not coaching.
  • If the "coach" tries to sell you anything during the conversation, it's not coaching.

If a coaching program or package includes the above and not the following, it is virtually the opposite of coaching.

What do you get from a real coach?

  • Someone who believes in you and elicits your best
  • Someone who is genuinely curious about your situation and helps you uncover strengths and assets to help you succeed
  • Someone who listens intently and hears beyond the obvious
  • Someone who cares more about you than about selling programs and packages
  • Someone who can improvise to create the coaching you need right now
  • Someone who helps you create an environment that supports your success
  • Someone who cuts through information overload and helps you learn what just you need to get there faster
  • Someone who helps you grow into who you need to be
  • Someone who helps your reach your goals more quickly

 

Real coaching works without gimmicks.

 

If you're serious about reaching your goals, find a real coach.

 

Find a Coach Here

 

Topics: Strengths, FIND A COACH, coaching definition

How to Live Resiliently Despite the Climate Crisis

Posted by Julia Stewart

Mother Nature Always Wins

The title of the image above is, "Mother Nature Always Wins."

Yes, she does. But you don't have to lose, just because she's rapidly changing the climate. You've probably heard the UN recently delivered a stark warning that we have until 2030, just a bit over 11 years as of this writing, to make drastic changes, or the climate crisis will get so bad millions of people will die. For the first time, I'm hopeful people are ready to heed the warning, because...

Last year, I became one of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leaders. I took his free training because it seemed every time I taught one of my international coach-training webinars, someone would be absent because of a wildfire, flood, or hurricane. It was happening to my students all over the world, simultaneously.

Wait, what?

What I learned was that it was too late to prevent Climate Change, but it was not too late to prevent the collapse of civilization (whoa) and that resilience has become an ever more important focus, meaning how to survive and thrive despite the coming catastrophes. As Al summed up, though, "We could lose everything we hold dear."

Sounds like science fiction, right?

Last week, Donald Trump finally stopped claiming Climate Change is a hoax. Now he claims it's real, but it's too late to do anything about it.

Who are you going to believe: the people getting paid to lie about it or the people who've been warning you for years and have now been proven right? That last group says there's still time to make the changes we need, but we all need to mobilize, fast.

Governments, corporations, and individuals can all make a huge difference. Start by voting for politicians who will get to work right away on it.

Humanity has a long history of pulling off massive victories at the last minute. The US, for example, waited to be attacked before it transformed its economy to help win World War 2 in just a few years. Later, when we were losing the "space race", we mobilized to put a man on the Moon in just eight years. That was a long time ago and this is way bigger but we can do it again.

Humans are good at succeeding at the impossible. But before we can succeed, we must survive and flourish. That takes resilience. I usually write about positive psychology and coaching, but resilience is where climate activism and positive psychology meet and embrace. Here are six steps to resilience even in these dangerous times.

Six ways to live resiliently despite the worsening climate crisis:

  1. Thomas Leonard always advocated what he called, Super Reserves, so you'd be ready for anything. Well, anything and everything is coming soon in the form of worsening weather. You can still live well, but it may take some planning. Or you can do nothing now and struggle later. Your choice. If you want to live resiliently and flourish no matter what, here are some suggestions. Stock up now on water (one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days; don't forget the pets) in case your local water supply is knocked out for a while. Bonus points for installing your own water filtration system, especially one that can run without electricity. You may also need cash after big storms, since other types of transactions require electricity. Also, non-perishable food and clothes in water-proof bags. Don't forget your meds. Put it all where you can reach it when you need it.
  2. Always have a reserve of power: Get a gas generator or a large-capacity battery that can be attached to one or more solar panels, so after a big storm you won't ever have to go long without power. You can also get a small solar panel that's big enough to charge just your phone. Bonus points: Install solar on your roof or geo-thermal and keep your lights and heat on even when the grid is off. See number 5, below, too.
  3. Beat depression before it even has a chance. I've coached a lot of people who've been through disasters. After the fear subsides, overwhelm, confusion, frustration, discouragement, and eventually depression almost always follow. Bounce back faster by working with a positive psychology coach now to build up your resilience. When you know your values and purpose, you're more likely to experience Post Traumatic Growth instead of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Working afterward with a coach or therapist can also help.
  4. Stay physically fit. I lived in NYC during and after 9/11 when I was a personal trainer. One of my clients, an executive in her 60's, who worked next to the World Trade Center, had to walk down forty flights of stairs and twenty blocks home to her apartment, because elevators and transportation stopped that day. She told me later that she never could have done it if she hadn't been working out with me.
  5. Get reserves of transportation and even housing. What if there's a gasoline shortage after a disaster? Or little or no electricity? Owning cars with only one power source could be a problem. If you have two or more cars, make sure one is electric and one is gas powered. If you have only one car, a plug-in hybrid gives you extra options. Mine also has wifi, an essential for anyone working from home, which is the best way to save time, stress, and pollution by skipping the daily commute. Now that storms and pollution are becoming huge problems, staying home makes more sense than ever. And just in case, consider getting a second home if you can afford it, or talk to friends and family about hosting each other if the worst happens. Right now, I have a friend in Canada who is living in a hotel while her home is repaired after a terrible tornado. Personally, I'd be more comfortable at my weekend place.
  6. Look for the opportunities. Chaos and opportunity go hand in hand. You're about to see more of both in greater quantities than have ever before existed. There will be big winners and big losers. Look for new problems and how you can help. Find solutions for our new reality, either to help solve the climate crisis or help people and nature survive and thrive despite what's coming. Always look for the opportunities and you'll always do well. A coach can help.

Get a positive psychology coach to help you build reserves of resilience:

 

Find a Positive Psychology Coach Here

 

Topics: Thomas Leonard, Values, FIND A COACH, Climate Change, positive psychology coach

Tony Robbins, #MeToo, Apologies, and the Future of Everything

Posted by Julia Stewart

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins (above in a screenshot from his site) got into hot water last month for his comments about the #MeToo Movement, victimhood, and women being addicted to safety and significance.

Now it's all over social media via a NowThis video and even made it to the New York Times. Robbins has apologized and explained. And explained and apologized. But what's missing from his apology is awareness of where he went wrong. The clue was in the story he told to make his point which revealed culturally patterned unconscious choices on his part that probably keep him, and his wallet, safe in a significant-feeling little bubble. Oh dear.

So where did Tony Robbins go wrong?

  • Was it because he said victimhood was about being addicted to getting needs like safety and significance met? No. Victimhood is a dangerous place to get stuck, but #MeToo isn't about victimhood. What I mean is owning that you've been victimized is empowering, but it can and does keep you painfully stuck if you over-identify with it or try to stay there. He's not wrong about that, but talking about victimhood within the context of #MeToo was dumb.
  • Was it because he said that people can get addicted to their needs? Robbins' Six Human Needs are at the center of his philosophy. They're based loosely on Abraham Maslow's brilliant Needs Theory. We use a variation of Needs Theory at School of Coaching Mastery. It's powerful and chasing needs does look a lot like addiction, but the mechanism is different. #MeToo isn't about addiction.
  • Was it because Tony Robbins is always the biggest alpha male in any room? Probably. He's 6'7", powerfully built, has a ridiculously deep voice, and is rich and famous, so it's unsurprising he has no idea what it's like to be physically intimidated by big powerful men. When the video shows Nanine McCool, the tiny but courageous woman who challenges his characterization of #MeToo, being backed up by Robbins without her permission, while his big hulking body advances with that big friendly puppy dog smile on his face, he looks like every creepy guy who's backed a woman into a difficult situation while she tries awkwardly to smile and/or reason her way out of it. Massive fail. And I know the tool he was trying to demonstrate, that when we're pushed, we instinctively push back, but usually it works better to cooperate. Except when you're about to be raped. (My favorite rape story - if there such a thing - is about a woman who cooperated until the man had his pants off, then she kicked him in the groin so hard she flipped him over her head and she ran away screaming, so maybe Robbins has a point.)
  • Was it the story he used for proof of his point about the famous and powerful male client who was too stressed to hire a qualified beautiful woman? YES. Are you kidding me? The guy hired a less-qualified man because the woman was so attractive she posed "a risk". I'm no ACLU attorney, but I'm pretty sure that's a civil rights violation. Does Robbins acknowledge that? Nope. He adds for emphasis that he's heard dozens of stories like that as if that proves #MeToo is hurting both women and men. The man in the story should be removed from his position and replaced by someone more qualified who can control their own bad behavior instead of making it somebody else's problem. Robbins' unconscious cultural pattern stopped him from questioning whether his famous and powerful male clients were being victimized by a trending movement or whether it was time for them to grow and change.
  • [UPDATE: 5-24-19] As of this writing, Tony Robbins has been accused of sexual harassment and/or abuse by nine women. That makes his ignorant comments and public bullying of women, under the guise of teaching them some higher wisdom that he thinks he possesses, duplicitous without an equally public disclosure, as in, "Full disclosure, I'm currently being sued for sexual harassment.", self-serving in the sense that he is exonerating himself without even admitting he has multiple accusers, and at the very least, fatally biased behavior. An honest coach will admit their biases. Without that admission, they lose all credibility with the people they serve. This also brings to question who the "client" is in the above story about the powerful man who won't hire a beautiful woman because she would be too tempting and therefore would pose a "risk". At least one of Robbins' accusers fits that description.
  • As a result of the above development, I've changed my conclusion about the blog post, "Why Tony Robbins Can't Pass ICF Coach Certification", which has been read by over 100,000 people. I formerly concluded that I would certify him (meaning my school would), but his self-serving comments, lack of full disclosure, and unaddressed bias violates every code of ethics I've seen in the coaching profession (ICF, IAC, CCE), including ours. He has massive skill, but lacks integrity. That's unfortunate because he influences thousands.

 

Maybe he should ask more and tell less like most good coaches.

 

During the 2016 election cycle, a colleague of mine (a woman) who is masterful in the theory of Spiral Dynamics, predicted that Donald Trump (another famous and powerful man who gets himself in trouble around women) would be a catalyst that will propel the world into a new age. I totally agree. Trump is a backlash, or throwback, depending on your point of view, of a way of being that is still clinging to power, but is damaging too much of the world too survive. Robbins coaches those titans. Maybe he should coach them to deal with the world that exists today, rather then the one they wish existed.

 

Or is Robbins too addicted to safety and significance to take that risk?

I hope not, because the future itself is deeply at risk and a man like Robbins, who has devoted himself to personal development, could make a huge difference. It's not too late for for him to grow and change.

 

Mr. Robbins, STEP UP OR STEP DOWN.

 

Then again, maybe famous and powerful titans should be coached by women who can already see the future.

 

Don't make big stupid mistakes. Get a coach with integrity who asks more than tells:

 

Find a Coach Here Directory

 

Topics: Tony Robbins, Spiral Dynamics, FIND A COACH

5 Rookie Mistakes New Life Coaches Should Never Make [Are YOU Making These?]

Posted by Julia Stewart

New Life Coach

In my career as a coach trainer and mentor coach, I've known some amazing coaches who changed many lives, but I've also seen some embarrassing rookie mistakes and made a few, myself.

Some mistakes keep popping up on my radar, so here's the blog post i think about writing whenever I see one. I hope it helps!

5 Rookie Mistake New Life Coaches Should Never Make:

1. Using a personal email address as a business address. The address you use with family and friends, such as FredWilmaAndPebbles@aol.com,  may fail to address the bedrock issue in business credibility: your professionalism. Don't communicate that you're an amateur by using a family address. And MissFancyPants1986@hotmail.com may be your flirty way of expressing yourself on eHarmony, but it's TMI for business. Use your name and no one else's, or use your business name. Alternatively, tell people what you do with your address. One of my first was, ICoach121@optimum.net. Of course, having your own web address is a bit more impressive. Another early address I used was coach@YourLifePart2.com.

2. Getting a website before you're ready. A professional-looking email address is a must. A website probably can wait. In the meantime, a robust profile on one or more coach directories will do and/or social media profiles or pages. In fact, these  provide feedback on what people respond to, so it's an awesome way to learn what will work for your website. Otherwise, you're likely to have a site that doesn't really represent you or your business. I knew a new coach who lived on Maui, whose coaching was about building thriving relationships, but the main image on her website was a single leafless tree in a frigid winter landscape. What? Most successful coaches take between a year and three years to get their first website. Get to know your business self, your clients, and what communicates what you do, effectively. No rush.

3. Quitting your job at the wrong time. I've had coaching students who quit their jobs the week after they joined my school. I love their confidence and commitment, but they tend to struggle. Coaches take between 3 months and 5 years to fill their coaching practices. With Coach 100, it takes between 6 months and a year. That's a long time to go without a full-time income. On the flip side, I've known coaches who hung on to their jobs too long. One excellent coach had a quarter of a million dollars in financial reserves, but still too nervous to make the leap. A big part of what coaches do is help clients get over the fears that prevent success, so get your own coach, if you're feeling stuck. On the other hand, if you're ultra-risk-adverse, consider coaching within a large organization, if that helps you feel more stable.

4. Not getting your own coach. How can you call yourself a coach, if you've never been coached? More to the point, how will you know to make smart rookie choices, if the only coaches you talk to are other rookies? You need your own coach, period. Think of it as a business deduction. Find your coach here.

5. Not getting training. There are still a couple of old timers who tell rookie coaches that they don't need training, but that's not fair to rookies. 20-30 years ago, there was no training, but a few talented people invented coaching, anyway. The rest of us have Thomas Leonard to thank for putting coaching on the map and starting the first coach training school and international coaching association. Like having your own coach, getting coach training flattens your learning curve, helps you make smarter choices, and contributes to your success. Coaches with training become successful quicker and are less likely to quit the profession. Don't take my word for it. Ask your coach.

Don't make rookie mistakes. Get the free Become a Coach eBook:

Don't Make Rookie Mistakes. Get This Free eBook.

 

 

Topics: coach training, become a coach, Free, Coach Training Programs, Life Coaches, Thomas Leonard, Mentor Coaching, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, coach training program, FIND A COACH

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