The Link between Life Coaching, COVID-19 and Maslow´s Hierarchy of Needs
Why should any of us hire a life coach during the ongoing pandemic? After all, many life coaches are expensive and with the job market the way it is, why should I invest in professional coaching? What are the specific benefits of having a life coach by my side right now?
Without a doubt, these are unprecedented times and it seems like we are right in the middle. We are making history so to speak. In some weird way the world is united by a virus. Since almost everyone is affected by this pandemic, we all have lost the lives we used to live until the end of 2019. Of course, some are more impacted than others, but in the end, we all have to deal with this unfamiliar situation.
This is already where coaching comes in. Each one of us has to personally figure out how to find a new normal, how to handle this situation. There is nobody we can ask for advice, because we are all new to it. Nobody has the foresight of how this will all turn out and what we should do. Wouldn't it be nice if you could follow a 5 step list that would tell you what kind of decisions you need to make right now? But there is none.
Then there is fear.
Fear about the future. Fear about getting sick. Fear about loosing control.
And this is big. You may have heard about Maslow and his hierarchy of needs theory.
According to him, we all have basic needs like food and security, which need to be met first. Once those needs are met, we have the motivation to take care of our psychological needs. Friends and families are included in that category. Once those needs are satisfied we thrive for self-actualization. Maslow called those self-fulfillment needs.
Where would you have put yourself on Maslow´s hierarchy before COVID-19?
No matter where, do you see what happened to all of us beginning 2020? All of the sudden we were confronted to address our basic needs. Some of us still do. Are we safe? Are our children safe? Is it safe to go to work? Is it safe to go on a vacation? Is it safe to see the grand-parents? And what will happen during the winter months? Will there be a second wave? A third?
And those thoughts and feelings cause a lot of anxiety.
You might think this is all interesting and everything, but you still haven't explained to me why I should hire a coach right now. And you may remember from the blogpost A Roadmap to Coaching that the aim of coaching is to maximize your personal and professional potential and this belongs definitely to the fifth category in Maslow´s hierarchy of needs: Self-actualisation.
Yes, you are right and here is my response:
First, talking to someone is in itself healing. Dale Carnegie said about the healing power of words: "Ever since the days of Freud, analyst have known that a patient could find relief from his inner anxieties if he could talk, just talk."* By talking we gain a deeper understanding of what is going on with us. We gain a better perspective. We gain relief.
A professional coach will do more than just listening. He will keep you solution-focused. There are circumstances that are out of our control, so we can only focus on what is in our control and if you think about it, there is a lot:
What kind of homeschooling mom would you like to be? How would you like your children to remember this crazy time? What project keeps you and your family motivated and moving forward? What are you passionate about right now in spite of everything that is going on? What kind of business leader would you like to be in times of these? What kind of partner would you like to be? How could you make a difference right now and support someone else? What could you do today, so you can look back on this time one day in the future and say:
We made it!
It may look like that coaching will only support you when you are in the highest level of Maslow´s theory of needs. If you think about who is hiring a coach you realize that they are usually CEOs, managers, leaders and high-performers.
I wonder if not everyone whatever their needs could benefit from coaching? Why, because having someone on your side where you can be who you are and figure out your next step is always a plus.
COACHING because focusing on the things you can change is the key to move forward.
*Dale Carnegie: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living