School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

Here's What Happened When I Quit Social Media

Posted by Julia Stewart

social media apps on iphone

My name is Julia and I am an addict.

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

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

That last item is telling.

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

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

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

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

Then Facebook became a problem.

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

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

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

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

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

I felt so much happier after I left.

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

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

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

I unsubscribed from that paper.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Learn more about coaching and neuroscience here.

 

Visit the Certified Neuroscience Coach Page Here

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

Join a Virtuous Cycle of Joy and Success this December

Posted by Julia Stewart

upward cycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attend Free Fully Alive for Joy and Success

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

15 Self-Care Must-Do's If You're a Highly Sensitive Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

highly sensitve coach

There is an inherited trait known as Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), or Empath, that is common amongst coaches, especially master coaches.

According to research, 15-20% of all humans are born HSPs, as are 15-20% of all "higher" animals, such as monkeys. This suggests a survival value for the overall population. In other words, HSPs are needed by others. What's different about HSPs? We notice more and sense subtleties that others miss, process information deeply, are more empathic and emotional, and all of this can cause over-stimulation, overwhelm, and exhaustion. It's a blessing and a curse! However, if you're an HSP coach, it is a gift for you and your clients as long as you're aware of it and take especially great care of yourself and your sensitivity. To find out if you're a highly sensitive coach and how to optimize your sensitivity, read on...

Highly Sensitive Persons are impacted more intensely by both positive and negative environmental stimuli.

 

This means your self care, and who and what you surround yourself with, will have a more dramatic impact on you than on someone who is not an HSP. So to be a great coach, you need to take your well-being seriously. No wonder coaches love positive psychology!

Many of the qualities the ICF requires in their Master Certified Coaches (MCC), come naturally to HSPs.  These include conscientiousness, deep connection and awareness, vulnerability, presence, curiosity, empathy, ability to notice more, intuition, deep listening, quick learning, ability to stay in the background while eliciting the client's greatness, allowing the client to lead, and regarding the client with Love 2.0.

 

BUT. Even if you are an HSP, these qualities are unlikely to show up if you don't practice wonderful self care and personal growth, because over-stimulation causes you to shut down and become irritable. Not conducive to great coaching!

 

Here are Self-Care Musts for the Highly Sensitive Coach:

  1. Rest and quiet are your biggest self-care priorities if you're a highly sensitive coach. This includes eight or more hours of sleep every night. Seriously.
  2. Get significant alone time. Especially if you're also an introvert, you need at least an hour per day to yourself to be your best.
  3. Learn to set boundaries. If you haven't mastered this yet, put it at the top of your to-do list.
  4. Keep your client load relatively small. Don't coach more than 10 - 20 hours per week. Less is more!
  5. Work with a functional medicine physician to optimize your health because the affects of illness, fatigue, and pain will negatively impact you more than others.
  6. Work with your own coach, especially an HSP coach, to be your very best.
  7. Develop a meaningful spiritual practice that helps you stay centered and open.
  8. Consider working with a psychotherapist if you had a difficult childhood. HSPs who grow up in negative environments are often prone to depression and anxiety which can harm your coaching and your quality of life.
  9. Screen potential coaching clients to avoid working with difficult people who will drain your energy.
  10. Do consider working with clients who are HSPs and need coaches who understand them.
  11. Avoid "energy vampires", especially narcissists. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, Empaths (HSPs) do particularly badly with narcissists because they don't understand how someone can thoroughly lack empathy. If you can't avoid them, at least learn how to handle them.
  12. Consider working from home. You'll avoid difficult commutes, large crowds, and noxious environments.
  13. Set up your office so it is ideal for you and your sensitivities. The more you put up with, the harder it is to coach brilliantly. And your clients deserve nothing less!
  14. Find a sales and marketing process that leverages your sensitivity rather than forcing you to be who you are not. HSP marketing and sales is an advantage in coaching, but only if you rely on your strengths. Don't let anyone tell you differently!
  15. Embrace your sensitivity along with its downsides and rejoice that you've found the perfect profession for you. Self-compassion for your extra-care needs helps you love and appreciate your self and your clients.

 

Want to take a quick test to confirm whether you're an HSP? Go here.

 

References for this post include research scientist and psychotherapist, Dr. Elaine N. Aron's updated book, The Highly Sensitive Person, and psychiatrist, Dr. Judith Orloff's book, The Empath's Survival Guide, The former will appeal to you if you want to know the research into HSP. The latter is more spiritual in nature and offers many practices to protect your energy.

 

Are you an HSP coach who wants to benefit from the power of positive psychology so you can flourish?

 

Get the Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook

Topics: ICF, master coach, MCC, Positive Psychology, personal growth, highly sensitive, self care

Coaching Success: The Path of the Wise Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coaching Success Woods_Path_by_E_Bass_Creative_Commons_License-1.jpg

If you want to become a coach, you have a thousand questions, which add up to: Will I love being a coach? Will I really be able to help my coaching clients grow and reach their goals? Can I truly make it as a coach? Sometimes, even veteran coaches revisit these types of questions when they sense it's time to make changes in their lives or businesses.

And there seem to be thousands of experts who are happy to step in and provide answers to your questions, but do they really know you and your deepest dreams? That's why often a life, business, or mentor coach can be your greatest supporter, because s/he will help you find the answers that most fit for you, rather than convince you that you need to fit your dreams to someone else's template for success.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes you need information more than you need a coach, such as when you're striking out on a completely unknown path and have no idea where to start. At those times, an experienced friend, consultant, training program, or even a book, can be life-changing. But here's something you need to know...

Most of the time, what a coach really needs to succeed is personal growth.

What is personal growth? It's growing in the direction of your full potential (or potentials). Most people (probably all) who become coaches, have an inexorable drive to grow, as do the people who hire coaches. Our clients need us to be growing and they're naturally attracted to the growing coach who seems to have what they want.

Unfortunately, most coaches don't have as much personal growth as they need or they don't have the support they need to maintain it. We are most attractive to growth-minded clients when we are growing, ourselves, but growth is much more important than just attracting desirable coaching clients.

A Growth Mindset (Dweck, 2006) is critical to everything we do as coaches, so is Positivity (Fredrickson, 2009), passion and perseverance (Duckworth, 2016), and emotional intelligence (David, 2016). When we put these elements together intelligently, we get wisdom. In traditional societies, people rely on their elders for wisdom. In modern societies, they turn to experts, but most experts are in the advice-giving business. Which brings us back to coaching...

A wise coach will help you establish great self care, first and foremost, because getting our physical needs met, as well as our most pressing emotional needs, allows us to be present and open to growth (Maslow, 1962). From there, clients are ready to begin becoming who they need to be to realize their most heartfelt goals.

If being a successful coach and helping your clients reach their dreams is a heartfelt goal for you, you owe it to yourself and your clients to master the tools of self care and growth.

This Thursday, I'll be talking about the tools we need to succeed at anything in Success and the Gritty Coach, a deep dive into Angela Duckworth's surprising theory of passion and perseverance (a.k.a. Grit), as one of the most important tools for any type of achievement, plus how this theory integrates with the work of other thinkers and researchers and how to apply it in coaching.

We could have just as easily called it, Coaching Success: The Path of the Wise Coach.

Classes like this one are usually not free, but this one is open to everyone at no charge.

Master the tools of coaching success. Register for FREE here:

Register for Success and the Gritty Coach

Topics: become a coach, Free, personal growth

    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