“We should just put up our Christmas Trees’ and be done with 2020!”
I must admit, I have heard this more than once over the past few weeks. 2020 has been beyond tough; the collective ungrounding ‘gifted’ to us by the Covid-19 pandemic was unlike anything we have ever (and continue to) live through. Routines that gave our days and weeks’ meaning and structure have grinded to a halt and we are forced to pause, stay apart and watch the maelstrom that is unfolding. It doesn’t surprise me that people want out and want out now.
However, we are not yet at the end of the year- there are 3 months left! While we can’t control the outside world, we can seek to examine the path we are on and evaluate if our energies and activities are supporting us. Autumn is a season of transition, a “second spring” and therefore an opportune time to reflect, reset and course correct (if necessary).
Great results start with great questions and often the most challenging questions are the ones we ask of ourselves. At Change Grow Succeed we have devised 5 Killer Coaching questions to provoke your thoughts and help you to reclaim your ‘mojo’ for the remainder of 2020!
Question 1: What gives your life meaning?
This may sound like an obvious question but bringing conscious awareness to what puts meaning into our lives is crucial in determining our priorities. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that our priorities can change quickly. Indeed, the impact of the global pandemic on our own lives and the lives of others can alter our view of the world (as does the arrival of children, a bereavement or general life experience). Taking time to understand what’s important to us ‘in this moment’ helps us to gauge whether we are on the right path or not and prioritise our energies appropriately.
Question 2: Review the year so far, what has gone well?
Before you baulk at this question, take stock. Autumn is traditionally associated with harvest so take the time to evaluate and appreciate your achievements in 2020 noting that survival is every bit as valid as achievement for the year that’s in it! Perhaps you adapted well to remote working or did some voluntary work or. Maybe you survived the home- schooling or were able to blend work and life. Recognise your achievements. Thank Yourself.
Question 3: What are you like when you’re at your best? What are you doing?
How often do you engage with activities that you love doing? How could you access these more often? In coaching, I often task clients in transition to “reflect on the last time they had fire in their belly” and invite them to note what they were doing. This process prompts us to identify and label those activities that bring us joy. You will have greater clarity and feel more energised and confident as a result.
Question 4: What’s the best thing that could happen to you next year?
This question invites us to think about 2021 and encourages us to engage in some ‘blue sky thinking’ to consider what we might want to achieve or complete. In her excellent TedTalk, Laura Vanderkam invites us to complete this retrospectively; she directs us to place ourselves at the end of 2021 and to imagine that it has been a fantastic year both personally and professionally. She encourages us to note the reasons why and then explore how we might set about achieve them. This is another great approach to considering possibilities for the future, possibilities that we could be proud of and get excited about!
Question 5: How will you champion yourself?
There’s no denying the disruption that impacted all of our lives in 2020, but how do we speak to ourselves when things don’t go our way or when we feel afraid? Are you kind to yourself or do you criticize yourself harshly? Do you hear from your inner coach or inner critic? Self kindness is life changing and science backs this up. We are often told to “Be kind to yourself” yet so many of us are resistant or don’t know how. We are stuck in old habits. From her research, Kirsten Neff (author of “Self- Compassion” and Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas) shares that self – compassion makes you “more likely to take responsibility for yourself, trial new things and dare to fail”. So, locate your inner coach, back yourself and show gratitude to yourself!
At Change Grow Succeed, these are the 5 killer coaching questions we have identified to help re-wire your thinking and reclaim your mojo this Autumn. No longer distracted by the summers’ long evenings we can actually commit to a chosen path and go for it. Good Luck!
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach, Public Speaker and Facilitator. For more information, or to reach out to Gillian directly, go to www.changegrowsucceed.com