Since a lot of us are being forced to stay home – perhaps with some unexpected family members – and change our normal daily routines, I want to offer you some ideas on how you can focus your mind at this time.
Instead of waiting to see what’s going to happen or being paralyzed by your thoughts about your new circumstance, you need to have a plan.
It is possible for you to create a new set of possibilities for yourself over the coming weeks by thinking about what you can control. You can utilize your energy and put it into a focus so that at the end of this, you’re stronger in as many ways as you can possibly be.
In this episode, I share some suggestions on how you can use this time to set goals, be of service, learn compassion for yourself and others, and to really practice creating more than you’re consuming. No one else can tell you what the right thing to do is. It’s up to you to decide how you’re going to handle this and who you’re going to be on the other side.
Go into the deepest part of you to find out what is real and true for you. Get a plan. Get a focus. Put some energy into it.
What you will discover
- What you can focus on instead of the thought that “they’re doing it wrong.”
- How you can help even when you’re feeling fear and anxiety yourself.
- Why I recommend that you have a plan instead of just waiting to see what happens.
- Some ideas for things you can focus on during this time of being at home more than usual.
- How I’m focusing on helping others in different ways.
- The importance of practicing creating more than you’re consuming.
- How the question, “What would love do right now?” can help you discover ways you can be of service.
- Why it’s okay that people are freaking out and that others are not.
- What’s possible for you months from now if you focus.
Featured on the show
- Learn more about the Self Coaching Scholars program.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well. Hello my friends and welcome to the next installment of Handling Chaos. I'm so happy to be here with you. I'm so humbled and honored by all of the feedback about these ongoing podcasts and how they're helping you. So of course, I'm going to continue to do them. We have the regular podcast that I had recorded for Thursday. It's still coming up, so I will do these all the way up until then. How about that?
So let me start by saying that I want to give some suggestions on dropping a thought. I see a lot of my students, my clients, my friends having thoughts that sound like they're doing it wrong. And this applies to globally and this applies to in your house where you are with your family, all the things, they're doing it wrong. They should be handling it differently. Friends should be handling it differently. They shouldn't be doing this. They should be doing that. They should be better. I should be better. We're doing it wrong too, right?
I just want to suggest that that thought, not useful, not helpful, you can offer advice. You can talk to people, you can give them your input, but believing that someone else is doing something wrong during this time is just not serving you. If you focus on solutions, if you focus on helping, you're not going to get stuck in that loop of, they're doing it wrong and there's nothing I can do to change it and feel completely helpless and out of control.
So if that's one of the thoughts that's coming up in your thought work, I just want to make sure you notice it. Because a lot of times we're very convinced that we know what the right thing to do is and that there is a right and wrong and we're always, which is interesting on the side of right, we know what's right and they don't.
And I think it's important to be open to all possibilities and accepting of all understandings of everything and that this isn't just for this situation, but just in life, really hearing people out. What is it that you believe? What is it that I believe? What are we disagreeing on? What could we agree on? And when people disagree with me, like I actually had someone say, Hey, this is what I believe. And I said, but I disagree with you. But because you feel good about what you believe in, it's serving you and taking the action you want to take, there's no reason to coach you on it. There's no reason to discuss further and there's no reason to debate it in my opinion, unless the person wants to, right? Being open to other people's ideas and being open to how other people are doing stuff when you have no control over it, I think is a much better approach.
So just a suggestion. There's no need for added drama and conflict when there is no way that that added drama and conflict creates a positive result. I want to read to you a message that I got that was posted on Slack, who was one of my coaches asking for coaching and I'm going to read her post and then I'll read my coaching reply.
I'm also doing a coaching call today that will be recorded and I will post it tomorrow. I will have some of that session posted tomorrow so you can hear some live coaching going on. Okay, so here is the post. She says, "I would love some of your brilliant coaching on my thoughts about what's happening right now. I am feeling fear and anxiety, but the strongest emotion I have is shame. I'm so ashamed that I'm afraid. I know that it is human to feel fear, but I'm a life coach.
I got to know better. I got to be above this. I have to be strong for other people that are frightened. I have to be a bastion, I hope that's how you say that word, of hope for the ones who are hopeless, how can I help if I'm struggling along with them?" Such a great question and here's my reply to her and this is for all of you life coaches, you are feeling fear and anxiety because you are a human being because you have a brain because the brain doesn't like uncertainty, it gets afraid.
Life coaches are human. The difference with us is that we know the fear we are having and the fear our clients are having is because of sentences. It's so important to process our emotions and feel them and know them. It's very important to know we are afraid because of sentences.
You also feel shame because of sentences. I got to be above this, not helpful, useful or true sentence. You ought to be afraid of course, because your brain is thinking scary sentences and when everything is working right that will cause an emotion. There's nothing you can do to be above that and when you coach your clients and you both have the same sentences, it means you are both human and you as the coach can remind both of the beautiful, amazing, scared humans in the room that it's because of the sentences and not the circumstance.
That is all you need to ask yourself to do. Being afraid is humaning, understanding why you're afraid is life coaching. I want to offer that to all of my coaches and to all of their clients to know that of course the human brain is producing thoughts that create emotions. That doesn't mean that we are incapable of helping.
We understand the why behind it. It's really important for all of us, all of the people, all of you listening, that you separate yourself from your mind for a minute. Your mind's job is to freak out and get startled. That it's job. You need to step back from it and watch it do its job without panicking, without trying to make it not do its job. Watch your brain do its job. It is trying to protect you.
It's actually kind of cute. If you think about it, it's like, "Oh no, everything's gone crazy. Run." And you're like, I hear you, but running is inappropriate. Well, actually, I'm going to get to that in a minute. Running is very appropriate, but running away from the world right now is not appropriate. There's nowhere to go, which is a beautiful thing. So actually, in this podcast, what I wanted to do is offer some ideas on how you can focus your brain during this time of being at home.
For many of us, being in our home all by ourselves and for some of us being at home with lots of unexpected family members and for some of you who aren't working, for some of you, you are working from home and you need to have your kids and everything organized and you need to have a plan. And so I want to recommend that instead of waiting around, instead of stopping and waiting around and seeing what's going to happen and watching the news and see if there's any news and seeing what the next closure is going to be, instead of waiting to do that and trying to be patient with that, I think you should utilize the energy that many of you have. I think you should take that energy and put it into a focus. So at the end of this you're stronger in as many ways as you can possibly be.
Shira Gill had made a post on my page, on our Slack page, and she had said that one of the things that, she's an organizer, she was helping people do is focus on making sure that they had a plan.
So many kids are being brought home from school and it was an interesting, I was looking on Amazon what the bestselling books were right now and they're all homeschooling books. And I was like cheering and so happy for all of the authors of those homeschooling workbooks that are now absolute bestsellers. It's fun to see that silver lining in the cloud for those people that have worked so hard on educating the children and having a plan for the kids and having structure for the kids. Super important.
Another one of my life coaches, Judith, was working with her clients on making sure even if you're not getting up and going to work every day that you get up and you get dressed and you put your shoes on and you clean your house and you get organized so you have what you can control can feel clean and can feel neat and can feel controlled.
Thinking about what you actually can control is super powerful versus thinking about what you can't control and great opportunity to clean out the closet. The work that we do in Scholars about getting organized is available to you guys all in there. You can go and pull that up and do some of that work too. There's something for me about like cleaning out things that feels super productive and powerful. Looking at a closet before and after, looking at a drawer before and after, an office, before and after. That can be a way for you to kind of funnel that extra energy into.
As I referenced before, working out is a great idea. It may be you're not in shape right now. Maybe you've always wanted to get in shape. Maybe you haven't had time to get in shape. Working out is a beautiful thing. Being outside, walking outside of your house and going on the trails is absolutely permitted right now and going out there and getting some fresh air and walking, running, working out. Beautiful thing.
You can do yoga from your home. I mean think about the internet you all. Like all the options that we have on the internet to be able to work out, to be able to get in shape while we're at home. So many possibilities. Obviously, I think it's an amazing time for self-coaching, for learning all the material that we have available to you in Scholars and practicing it.
For some of you, if you go into the vault in Scholars in the 1.0 Archives, we have a whole book on relationships. We have a whole book on emotions. We have a whole book on confidence which is the opposite of doubt and insecurity, which is what many of you are feeling right now. And we also have one on goals and there's a whole class in there like a whole day long class in there called How to Feel Better and within that class we talk about goal setting and we talk about overcoming obstacles and we talk about having a focus and giving your brain as something to chew on.
Many of you need a 30-day goal. Many of you need something to focus on where you can see progress even if it's the number of pushups that you're doing, even if it's the content that you're writing for your company, even if it's writing a hundred love letters to the people that you love in your life, even if it's reaching out and seeing how you can contribute to helping.
One of the things I'm pretty passionate about right now is finding ways I can help women who have to be at home with their kids because of school closure and that's preventing them from work. How do we help them get care for their kids? How do we make sure people are still getting paid for their livelihood and that those that are being sent home from work with no pay, how can I help those people? For me, that's a passion. That's a desire. I want to focus on that.
So for you it may be something else. It may be another group of people that you want to focus on and help, but it feels powerful to be able to help, especially people who have unexpected needs that you have the means or the time or the ability to help. Obviously, I'm very focused on helping all of you keep your minds clean and straight and focused in this time. I highly recommend that you go into the How to Feel Better portion of Scholars and pick an outcome and write down the obstacles to achieving it and focusing on it daily.
I highly recommend that if you haven't watched Monday Hour One that you watch that because that will help you organize your week. If you have a week with a lot of idle time, you are going to be tempted because your brain will want you to, to get on the internet and pay attention to what is going on all day.
That is not good for your brain. It's not helpful for your brain to focus on it all the time because it's almost like you keep running out of the cave to see the tiger, running out of the cave to see the tiger and you'll be exhausted, but you won't be producing anything. So because we're in our caves we're going to walk right outside of our homes, no tigers out there.
Now, the thing I would recommend is when you go on that walk, pay attention to your thoughts and be really clear about that. Or take a podcast, take something that's positive and uplifting. Take something that is completely unrelated. Get a great novel, maybe, that's completely unrelated to what is going on right now in the world. Give your brain a break and let it think about something else for a while.
Thinking about ways that you can create and contribute instead of consuming. Really important, at a time like this. Are you adding more love into the world? Are you doing your work to create perspective? Are you coaching yourself? I want to recommend that you practice abundance and generosity and one of the best ways to cultivate that within yourself is to start with gratitude.
To start with thinking about all of the things that you have, all the things that are working, all the things that you do control, all the things that you're thankful for. Spend some time there and from that well that you've built up for yourself. Offer abundance, offer generosity to the world. Allow what is to be, allow the possibilities of what could happen in your life. Be positive. If you're going to imagine a future, you might as well imagine one that is in your best interest. Imagine one that serves you. I like to ask myself the question, what would love do right now?
What would love do? For me, that's a super powerful question and I like to brainstorm ideas. What's really fun about that question? You write it at the top of a piece of paper and when you write it on a piece of paper, then you brainstorm the answers from it. I think the first five will be pretty obvious, like you'll know that that's what you would've said, but when you continue to keep writing, more and more and more ideas come up.
I've had people tell me that they hadn't had as much time before to do their self-coaching workbooks and now they're kind of going back and funneling this energy into that and writing and learning so much about themselves. This is a great opportunity for that. If you haven't had a journal before, this is a great time to write a journal. It's a great time to write about what's going on in the world and how that is different than what's going on in your brain and being able to understand that difference, especially in heightened time like this. It's a wonderful opportunity for you to do that.
I want to recommend that you look at your emotional life right now in a way that is compassionate and a way that is understanding. So just like that post that I read from one of my clients that needed coaching or wanted coaching, I want to offer to you that, if you are afraid or scared or anxious or if you're freaking out, that you are a human and if people are judging you for freaking out, it's because they are human.
There are so many different ways of looking at and interpreting what is going on in the world and how you interpret what's going on in the world is based on your past. It's on your mind and what you are associating to. Some people are terrified, some people are not scared at all, exact same circumstance in the world.
How do we explain that when we're both human? It's because of what we're making things mean based on our past experiences. And so I want to offer that writing down every emotion that you're having and seeing it for what it is without judgment is a beautiful, compassionate step that you can make for yourself.
And it's not only for yourself because when you understand, I'm afraid or I'm ashamed or I'm anxious, or I'm mad, or maybe you're not afraid, maybe you're ashamed that you're not afraid. There's so many different things going on out there and I think like based on what one of my coaches had said there, it was like, well, if I'm afraid it means I'm less than. Or if I'm not afraid, it means that I have more control over my life and I'm a better coach. Neither one of those things are even remotely true.
Coaching isn't about, “Oh, I have the best and most positive and great emotions. I'm better than everybody else.” That is not what coaching is. Coaching is, I have emotions and I understand why I have them. I understand how the human brain works. I understand that emotions are not right or wrong. Emotions just are. And that applies to me, but also all of the other humans in the world, whatever anyone who's feeling right now is right, everything's right. It's not wrong. It just is.
So people freaking out is okay that people are freaking out. People are afraid. It's okay because their brains are telling them to do that and the people that aren't freaking out, that's okay too. This isn't a time to be divisive. I think that sometimes, well if you're not freaking out, you're not responsible. You're freaking out. You're crazy. Like that is not useful at all.
Ask yourself, why am I freaking out? Why am I afraid? Why am I not afraid? And notice the sentences in your mind and be at peace with what is. Don't use it as a way to feel superior to someone else because you will always end up feeling out of control. Use it as a way to feel and know yourself. Be who you are, what the truth is of who you are. Let other people be who they are.
One of the things that I see a lot is everyone wanting to look to everyone else to decide how to feel, to decide who they are, to decide what should we be doing right now and I want to recommend to each and every one of you that you don't look out there. Get the facts out there, but then go in here, into you, into the deepest part of you and find out what is true and why and honor yourself and respect yourself.
People will disagree with you. Don't I know it. People will disagree with the choices that you make, the decisions that you make, the way you handle things. It's okay. There's no way that all people can agree. There's no way that everyone will agree with what you're doing. You just have to agree with who you are and what you do.
Get a plan, get a focus, put some energy in. I want you to imagine two months from now saying, we went through this crisis and I utilized it and now I'm better because of it. I lost weight. I quit drinking. I got in shape. I wrote my book. I created content. I coached thousands of people. I am better and the world is better because I focused my brain on what I could do and how I could help and being part of the solution.
That is my recommendation to all of you, and you can't start doing any of that until you find out what you're feeling and why. Be present with yourselves my friends. Allow for what is, allow for your brain to do what brains do and then go out there and create something amazing. I absolutely have 100% faith in each and every one of you to do that. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.