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The Power of Coaching During Crisis: 4 Techniques Into Clarity and Calm

by Melani Kalev May 11, 2020

You are a beacon of calm, usually.

But what about when things are not going so well?

Collectively, we’re in the middle of some pretty big challenges.

Having to get used to working from home and not seeing your team. 

Spending a lot of time together with your partner who you previously saw only in the mornings and evenings. 

Being a parent, a team member, a team leader, a teacher, a personal trainer, a cook, a guidance counselor all in one.

Juggling work, family, and personal life, all while stuck at home 24/7. It’s not easy.

With everything that’s been happening, how do you manage without losing your mind?

Knowing how to coach yourself could help you out. 

Coaching isn’t just one of the top five skills that an employee who’s considered to be a top leader in the organization has, as it was revealed through Project Oxygen, Google’s internal manager research. 

It’s actually the only technique in which people are being supported to manage change. 

Ajit Nawalkha, co-founder of Evercoach by Mindvalley, the world’s leading coach training platform, shares the recipe for you to find a way into clarity and calm, a state of mind we could all use. 

1. Avoid Sucking Up Other People’s Negative Vibes 

You can coach yourself out of any situation. 

You can choose the meanings you give to circumstances, so that they could positively support you. 

As human beings, we run on emotions. 

However, emotions can be erratic. You can go from excited to sad in a matter of minutes. 

One of the major influences on your emotions are the feelings of those you interact with.

If these people, whether in person or through a screen, are having a negative response to what’s currently happening, you could lean into their energy and let it get to you. 

Or, you could detach yourself and watch it from the outside, recognize that they’re probably just affected by circumstances, and choose not to respond. 

Choose to respond to something else instead. Choose something that creates a better reaction and better energy for you. In the same way as other people’s negative emotional state can influence you, your own emotional state can influence them. 

You’ll find that when you change the narrative, your experience will change with it.   

Remember, you can only control how you react, not how other people act. But you choosing not to feed their negative energy, and choosing to diffuse it instead, can help create better, more positive vibes in that shared space for everyone. 

2. The Motivation Myth 

Ajit Nawalkha on the stage of MVU Tallinn 2018

Whether we’re talking about starting a business, working out, creating art, or building most habits – it’s not your motivation that drives you to success. 

It’s a common misconception. 

Motivation works like emotions.

You have a good day, you feel motivated. If it’s rainy outside or you feel low in energy, you don’t feel motivated.

No motivation, no action. Which usually means a lot of procrastination and unnecessary stress.

Motivation can fluctuate every minute. What shouldn’t fluctuate is the process. It’s your system that makes your goals and plans a reality.

James Clear, the author of the New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits, says that motivation is the result of action, not the cause of it. It’s often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

So, we need to make it easy to start.

Think of writing. It’s not about being motivated. It’s about approaching it systematically, waking up every morning, facing that scary blank page, and having a set number of hours for writing. 

It’s about rituals and patterns, initiations to your behavior.

It’s not about wondering when you’re going to feel like writing next, and never getting around to do it. 

You don’t want to keep on waiting for the motivation and inspiration to strike you.

You might end up waiting forever.

  1. Ask Better Questions to Gain Clarity

Life has its ups and downs.

There will always be events and circumstances out of your control, triggering you in one way or another. 

As individuals, we have to have the awareness to spot the events that are leading us to feel in a certain way. 

Recognizing these external factors, and then asking: What can I do to change it? How will I respond, knowing I’m in the middle of my emotional reaction? 

Get curious about it. Not reactive.

It might also be one of the most important techniques you can use with your colleagues and friends.

The best way to help somebody else during this period is being able to be present and hear them out. 

Not to ignore their challenge. 

Not to take the challenge on as your own. 

But listen to the challenge and then ask them a question that relies on their intelligence.

Is this a temporary problem? Or is this a permanent situation you are in?

That’s the beauty of coaching people often don’t realize. 

Life coaches don’t need to know the answer. All they know is the right question to ask. 

  1. The Power of Not Now

You hear a lot of people talk about the benefits of mindfulness and living in the now…but the stories your mind creates can only go in the direction you take them. 

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not to give into the fears, challenges, and anxiety of the present, but to focus on what the future is going to look like. 

So instead of thinking about now, think about three months, six months, or even a year from now. 

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is it I can do in the long-term? 
  • How will I come out of this on top? 
  • What am I going to learn from this?

You can do it right away. 

Take out a journal and ask yourself what happens a year from now (if you’re looking for guidance try the ‘Three Most Important Questions’ exercise with Vishen Lakhiani.)

The moment you embrace and start building for the future, the current reality becomes easier to deal with. 

Conclusion

When you’re leaning into your emotions every day, you’ll feel like life is either going really well or really bad. 

You’re always going to have the occasional irrational or emotional response to factors outside your control, the trick is becoming aware and not reacting to them. 

If you don’t want to lose your mind when dealing with stressful situations, it’s helpful to focus on the long-term perspective, step out of the current reality and look at yourself to see what’s really happening. 

Not what you think is happening, but what’s actually happening.

What’s even better is that in the same way you can coach yourself, you can also coach your friends, family, colleagues. 

You don’t need to be a superhero that comes up with all the answers. Often, it’s about asking a powerful question. 

But even more so, it’s about actively listening. 

Whether that’s to those you interact with, or to yourself.

If you’re interested in learning more about how coaching can bring you the answers you need, check out Evercoach by Mindvalley

(This article was based on a Mindvalley Podcast with Ajit Nawalkha, written and edited by Melani Kalev.) 


How do you stay calm in a crisis?

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