As we come to the close of the year, it is great time to look at what you have learned and as a life and leadership coach, I wanted to share the top life leadership coaching lessons learned in 2021 to take forward with you into 2022. If you are or ever have been a practitioner who works with lots of clients, you know that patterns, trends, and key insights start to emerge that often can serve other people. It is somewhat a compound effect, but I have also found it to be similar to research data that is compiled with the more people you serve, interview, and observe. We are more alike than disalike and we are all in this life and leadership journey together often experiencing similar challenges.
As I reflected on my experiences as a coach and those of my clients, I wondered what lessons would make the top 10 list of life coaching tips to share with you. These have been hand selected as some of the key challenges people faced over the past year, the areas where clients had breakthroughs, shifts in thinking that changed their life, and what worked to bring about life happiness and living their best life. There are even a few in here from a coach perspective of the common struggles I see that keep people stuck so you can be aware of them and do a self check in.
This list is not conclusive, yet how I suggest you use it, is to read through all of them and then choose one to three of them to reflect on for yourself. Go deeper in looking at each of these and assess them for your own life.
Top 10 Life Leadership Coaching Lessons and Tips from 2021
- Lead Your Life by your top values.
Life happiness and alignment begins with knowing and living your life by what you value most. If you have never done a values inventory and had the challenge of discovering what your top values are in priority order, then I highly suggest you do this as soon as possible. You can do this on your own or it can be particularly powerful to be guided through a values inventory with a life coach so you can determine what it is you value most in life. By going through this process, you will learn where you are living in alignment with your values and then discover that the areas where you are out of alignment, are often what may be causing unhappiness. By knowing and creating a top 5 life values list, it empowers you to make better, more efficient decisions for what will bring you greater happiness.
- Clarity is key to leading your life.
It may be hard to have full clarity on what you want or even what the next step is for yourself, but gaining greater depth of clarity of who you are, what you want, and what will bring you happiness, leads you to your best life. If it is career clarity you are seeking, take some skill or strength assessments and explore different career paths to see if they would be a fit for you. It is important to know that clarity does not mean you have all the answers, it sometimes only means that you know the next step. Clarity comes from taking action so don’t wait to take action until clarity arrives. Talk to people like a career coach or mentor, get support, and be curious with a possibilities mindset to explore what excites and interests you.
- Leading Your Life Decisions for Money Could Cause Discontentment.
I will never forget someone sharing that a lot of the decisions they had been making for work and their life were based on money, but money was not in their top 5 values. Making decisions with money in mind is a logical, practical approach right? Why yes it is and money of course is always a factor, but it becomes a problem when it is the reigning decision making tool and also does not coincide with one’s top personal values. Here is what I have seen a lot of over the last few years: people have become unhappy because they are working hard for money with no quality of life and little time for health, family, and living their life. Sometimes their choice for making money has them doing something they are not passionate about.
The challenge here is striking a balance between money and the other things in life that are important to you and for your happiness. The other factor is that we often can make decisions for money, but money is not the main motivator; it is what money brings us like freedom of choice, support for the family, the feeling of security, and success. Yet the very things we want money to bring us can be negatively impacted by our choices to make money. Is money leading your life or are you? Lead your life with balanced decision making including money, but also factoring in your top values and what you want most from life.
- Relationships at Work and Home are Key to Happiness and We Need to Lead Communication and Psychological Safety Here.
If there is one area that I saw cause some of the greatest conflict and pain for people, it is in the area of our personal and work relationships and how to communicate with others. When an important relationship is strained or we have to communicate with someone where there is conflict, it can affect our entire day and our mental and emotional wellbeing. The great news here is, we can lead healthy, harmonious relationships and we can learn great communication skills to support the relationships that are important to us. In order to repair a relationship, both parties need to be invested, willing, and open because one person cannot do it on their own. As a communication coach, it has been very exciting to see how two people in conflict can work through it when they are both willing to work at it.
The most important element that everyone needs to understand here is, to lead themselves to psychological safety. If you have to work or live with someone who is harming your psycholgocial safety, get help and talk through your options with a professional or support person so you can make the best decision for your wellbeing.
- Lead the Disruption of Your Own Growth.
Growth comes not from only persisting, but from expanding, risking, elevating beyond who and where you are today. Growth is not idle, nor is it a gift that comes to you; it is active, proactive, and something to be pursued. Lead your growth. We do not always have to be growing, but if you have been waiting for oppportunity, someone, or something outside of yourself to bring you growth, it will be a while because it is actually disrupting your ownself that will lead to growth. Growth does not feel safe or secure, it is not guaranteed, and it is unknown and that my great life warrior is exactly what produces the growth. Think about where you could use a little disruption or where you want the challenge of growth and then be the instigator of your own disruption.
- Lead not Only Your Basic Needs, But Your Human Performance and Happiness Needs.
Through the pandemic, and if we are honest with ourselves even prior to it, we were heading to a fast paced, high volume of work, and full life never ending treadmill. Stress, fatigue, overwhelm, and burnout have become an epidemic themselves. They are sure to find us if we do not make time to prioritize our physical, mental, and emotional needs. However, what I saw happening to many people is they were taking care of their basic needs like food, water, and some rest, but they were not going beyond to some of their higher human needs not just for performance, but also our basic happiness needs. We are social beings and need social connection; this is a human need and a happiness need. Resting our brain away from work and turning it off is a performance need as well as a mental and emotional health need. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to take time for these needs and realize that they are ‘needs’, they are not wants, and when needs are not met, either health or happiness takes a hit. Lead yourself to what you need for happiness and joy in your life and also for human performance.
- You are a Whole Person. Lead Your Life from a Whole Person Approach.
Sometimes we get caught up in one part of who we are or one part of our life such as a mom focusing all her energy on being a mom or someone whose life has become all work or an entrepreneur whose whole energy has been on their business. If the part of you, you are engaged with the most brings you happiness, then it is not a problem. However, if you are experiencing conflict or unhappiness either in yourself or with someone close to you because of this, then it is time to look at what other parts of your whole person being have been neglected. As an ICF Whole Person Certified Life Coach we go through the Wheel of Life with people so they can see all of the parts of themselves and their life and determine which ones are most important to them. We then look at where you are or are not in alignment with those parts in regards to the energy and time you have been giving them while then setting some action steps and goals in place to realign you. If your energy and time have all been put to one part of you and you want to express, nurture, or support your whole person, lead your life forward with a whole person approach.
- We all need Community and a Team of Support. Lead Forward with a Tribe that wil help you Thrive.
I see everyday people reaching out to experts, healers, and like minded communities to support their personal and professional growth. This is so important because we not only need others to care, lead, mentor, and energize us, but they need us too; we as a community go farther, higher, and faster together. We all have strengths as well as weaknesses or gaps in skill or knowledge and we can all benefit from the strengths others have that we need. If you have been going it alone like the lone ranger and really plugging through everything the hard way, it’s time to make your life easier with the mentorship and support of others where you could use a boost. Take inventory of where you may have a knowledge, skill, or strength gap and decide where, if you got help, it would make your life a whole lot better with support. This is one reason I created the Thrive Women Tribe. Where might you want a community in your life for support and who could be a part of your team or tribe?
- Creating and Leading Your Life Requires Time and Space.
If you want to create something new, get clarity, or even imagine and dream about the life you want, it requires a silent, still space of time that allows for creativity and insight. A stressed state cannot imagine a better life and a fast, intense, get it done to check it off head space will not be able to vision what is possible for you. We need to carve out a space where our body and brain are in a state that is energized and where our mind can explore with possibility thinking. This space is more than imagination and day dreaming; it is a time block that allows us to connect for clarity and where we have the ability to process, plan, and action step what it is we want to create next. Create and lead your life by making time and space for your next creation. This is why I am offering the Lead Your Life 2022 life coaching workshop to give you the space and place to commit to your life and be guided through the creative process.
10. To Lead Forward Sometimes You Need to Heal the Past.
Sometimes before we can move forward with our life, we have to heal, forgive, and process our past. It’s not always fun, in fact it can be one of the most painful things we do as humans. So, no wonder we avoid our past, but by healing it, we can release it, let it go, and live on past the hurt and pain. The goal is to have peace in the present and we get to peace today by not living in the past anymore and definitely not carrying it forward. It is especially crucial to heal the pain or trauma that has hurt you to your core. I myself was reminded about this recently because it is much more fun moving forward than revisiting any pain one has experienced in the past; yet I found wisdom, understanding, and a new perspective of compassion and forgiveness for myself and others by going back to heal it so I can progress forward. If there is or has been something holding you back or weighing you down from your past, it’s time to heal it, let go, and lead on.
And a Bonus Life Leadership Tip from One Life Leader to Another…
Always Know Your Truth and Trust Yourself
Always know the truth of who you are and your own truth because if anyone should ever challenge this, you will be strong to your core knowing and being true to who you know yourself to be. Trust yourself. Trust yourself to make the right decisions, to say yes to the right opportunities, and to lead yourself to happiness. We are always doing the best we can with the information we have in any given moment. This does not mean there will not be challenges or the path will be smooth sailing. It means no matter what you face, you can trust yourself do the next best, right thing for you. Trust your gut and trust yourself to know: you can handle anything, you can always change your mind and choose a new path, and to always do what is best for you. When you live your truth and know and stand in the truth of who you are and trust yourself; it is a great freedom and it will bring life happiness. Lead your life to your truth and with trust.
Well there you have my top 10 life coaching tips and lessons from 2021. Which ones resonate for you? What were your biggest life lessons in 2021? How will you lead forward with the lesson you learned in your life or here?
If you want life coaching or life leadership to lead your life into 2022, contact me at [email protected] and we can begin with a complimentary call or I can answer any questions you may have.