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  • Writer's pictureHolly T Holmes

The Struggle is Real... A Coaching Approach to 4 Common COVID Challenges


I have been doing pro-bono coaching for folks impacted with COVID-19 or struggling with social isolation and what I've come to learn from these talented, humble, resilient folks is that the struggles, the challenges, the limiting beliefs are REAL and also similar. There are so many people that need support right now, and I thought why not share what common themes I'm noticing, how I may approach them as a coach, and some of the awareness my clients have uncovered. While no two coaching sessions are the same, my hope is that this post reaches someone who might not have the courage to ask for help and can use the questions to help them think through how to move forward.

Common Themes

  1. Fear of letting go of what they "should" be doing - jobs that bring financial stability, meet family expectations, what they have trained for, have experience in, or what they have always done.... This occurs across all industries and positions. 

  2. Finding the motivation to keep pushing even after applying to 50-100 jobs, without success. 

  3. Struggling with disappointment, hurt, or anger, after losing their jobs.

  4. Wanting coaches to provide all the answers and clinging to advice that others have provided. 

A Coaching Approach & Awareness Discovered

Fear of letting go of what they "should" be doing...

  • I'm noticing you keep saying "should be doing"- let's set should aside for a moment. If you were doing something that really ignites your passion, what would that be? If you were to let go of (parental expectation, the thought that your career path needed to be linear, the fear of not making as much money, or if you'd be successful or disappointing other) to explore what you are truly passionate about, what changes for you? What opens up for you in your life/career if you were living into your passion? Let's suppose you are 6 months in the future, where you are working in your dream job (your dream job for you), what do you notice about the impact working where you are fulfilled has on your relationships, your happiness, your feelings of success, etc.

  • When we are able to let go of the fear that holds us back from pursuing what we really want, "everything just opens up, and I feel lighter. - living for yourself is pretty powerful!"

  • "All this time I made excuses for why I couldn't do what I really wanted, but it was fear- and naming that fear allows me to let it go".

Finding the motivation to keep pushing

  • Let imagine that you have finally landed the job in the field/company that excited you (not just any job, but the job), what are you noticing about yourself? What changes in your life, when you are satisfied with your career? What mindsets and attitudes are present in this future self? What capabilities did you draw on? How are others around you, reacting to his new mindset? How did you uncover it? What did you do differently the time you were successful in landing that dream job? When I hear clients start listing off all the things they "should" be doing, I get them to dig deeper into what will really set them apart.

  • I've had folks realize they needed to shift their approach and realize that everyone has read the same LinkedIn recruitment articles and are likely doing the same thing. Someone who had applied to 100 jobs, realized that highlighting human skills (aka soft skills - I just hate calling them that) and technical skills might give an advantage. Someone came up with including a "video resume" to standout.

  • I've had some creative positioning come up during my calls, especially when they are approaching different feilds or different industries...and all I did was ask some questions.....

Struggling with disappointment, hurt, anger...

  • If you could let go of that disappointment and hurt and really step into a different mindset, what becomes more possible? How do you show up differently? Let's suppose you could take that hurt/anger/disappointment and put it in a box, put the lid on it and tuck it away on a shelf, what do you spend your energy focused on? What about this anger is serving you? What would you rather be? How do you keep the "light" that you feel right now throughout the rest of the day/ tomorrow/ into this week?

  • Awareness is built and folks usually say they are able to live into their "best self/a better version of themselves"/the "real them", bring better energy into their daily interactions with their friends/family, or just live more positively.

  • A client uncovered that holding on to negative emotions associated with their job loss, was preventing them from projecting the best version of themselves to recruiters/hiring managers. It is "exhausting to hold onto these negative feelings." "Focusing on what I can control is where I need to put my energy." Another client came up with starting a gratitude journal, getting back to their yoga mat, and trying mediation to keep their energy and emotions in a more positive state.

Wanting coaches to provide all the answers....

  • I and every other coach out there, doesn't have the answers, you do! Everything you need to be successful is within you and I’m just here to really listen, to understand, to ask some thought-provoking questions, and to sometimes challenge you to reach higher.

  • Advice is only advice, you get to control how you use that advice. Someone else's journey to success, doesn't have to be yours. A coach can help you filter through all the advice you've been given to help find your voice and your path.

  • You can do this! You are resourceful! Look at everything you've already done and celebrate your journey! You will be successful! Achieving your goals are 100% within your reach!


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