Reflections on 2020 and Hope for the New Year

December 24, 2020
Life Coaching Podcast

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring JRNI Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this episode, we discuss the lessons of 2020, and our outlook on the work ahead - individually, and collectively. And don't miss the subsequent episodes in this Holiday Series: Using Goal Setting Theory to Create Resolutions that Last and Crafting A Future Vision to Serve You in the New Year!

As we think back on 2020, in many ways it feels like the year began in March. It’s hard to pull back and remember what came before. And while we each can hopefully call up moments from the year that brought us joy, it’s important to also acknowledge the difficulty of this year. 

We’re going to be collectively unpacking exactly what we’ve been through for some time to come. Fear. Sickness. Loss. Grief. Anger. Panic. Violence. Injustice. Scarcity. Trauma. These things have always been there, it’s simply that 2020 highlighted and amplified their existence and impact in a cascade of dominoes that brought us to our knees.

So what can we learn from such a year? And how can we best move forward from here?

The Isolation Trap 

With so many of us at home, it’s become all too easy to isolate ourselves. Many of us are sinking into our own emotional quicksand and getting caught there. Found yourself shrinking away from phone calls, or not responding to emails and texts? If so, you’re not alone. 

There’s actually a biological reason for this.

Our limbic brain governs emotions and instinctive behaviors, and it's been working overtime. As herd animals, our drive as humans is to be in community when we’re under threat. If we can’t do that, a message is relayed to the brain that there’s something very wrong. We become more vigilant, scanning our environment for threats. This is usually all occurring below the level of our conscious awareness. 

When our system perceives that we may be in danger, a fear barrier comes up. This has created a vicious feedback loop for many of us this year. We’re dysregulated in part because we’re disconnected. And in a situation where what we may need the most to reestablish our equilibrium is human connection, our instinctive brain sends signals instead for us to pull away... driving us further into isolation.  

Community Is the Antidote

“In the company of trusted others, our lives become whole.” - Noelle Cordeaux

The reality is that we need each other. The challenges that have risen to the surface truly require a collective response. We weren’t meant to do life - especially the hard stuff - alone.

In the months ahead, we need to help one another break down the fear barriers that have distanced us from one another. We need to find ways to re-engage with other people.

Developing these partnerships will require us to bring all the compassion we can. We’re going places individually and as a society that we’ve never been before. Expect that we will stumble, and get some things wrong along the way. Pull forward with compassion for your fellow humans. We’re all doing the best we can with the tools we’ve got.

At JRNI, we’ve been thinking a great deal about what needs to be built, and what’s required of us to get it done. The spotlight for us has been on our responsibilities around Diversity & Inclusion. We already had projects in the works in these areas, but we’ve been reminded with increasing urgency of how very important it is that we get it right. This is the work of our lifetimes. 

The Role of Coaching

As coaches, we focus on navigating change states. Setting and accomplishing goals. 

Capitalist culture tells us that those goals should always be Bigger, Faster, Better. In such a framework, we’re forever chasing an upgraded version of ourselves.

In contrast, positive psychology is focused on making meaning for yourself. From our perspective, sometimes the greatest possible “goal state” is the transition into a more peaceful internal place. To make the shift from overdrive and anxiety into balance and flow.

In the pursuit of lofty goals, we often sacrifice ourselves in the process. Beating ourselves up for our slip-ups, or the failure to hit some target. What would it look like to build a compassionate partnership with ourselves instead?

2021 - A Year for Healing, and Going At Your Own Pace

Our hope is that 2021 will be a time for us to heal and rebuild together.

That can begin with you. Right here, right now.

We’ve noticed that as people have been increasingly shut in this past year, our coaching classes have become even more cozy. Many of our students have told us that their weekly Sunday class session served as a lifeline in helping them get through this year.

To all our students and alumni, we thank you for showing for yourselves, and one another.

Becoming a coach is a process. And here at JRNI, we encourage our community to embrace their own change and growth during our program and beyond.

There can be a lot of pressure around the idea of “becoming a coach”. But what if we were to view coaching programs not as vocational training, but as a process of helping yourself first? And at the end, if you want to use the tools and revelations you’ve discovered in coach training to help others, fantastic! But there’s no pressure to do so. The learnings can be just as meaningfully applied to your own self betterment.

Self determination requires partnership and support. This is innately what coaching is all about. It’s also a gift you can give to yourself. Instead of a making a To-Do list of resolutions for the coming year, what if you were to simply give yourself a pause? Take the pressure off, and allow yourself to unfold.

Ready to Help Others By Helping Yourself First?

If you’re longing to do life inside of a supportive and expansive community, come check out JRNI Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a force for good in the world. Come on in, the water’s warm!

JRNI Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

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