The 10% COVID Pledge – will you join me?

It's time to put our money where our mouth is - for those of us who are fortunate to still have a business or income.

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As a socially responsible coach, I am hereby pledging 10% of my coaching profit to COVID-19 related charity support until 1st September 2020.

Why I’m making this pledge

Like many other life coaches, I got into this industry to help others – not to just make a profit. I like helping others and solving problems. My work feels really meaningful and rewarding.

The scarcity (fear) part of me says, “We should hoard every single penny and make sure that we have enough money!”

The abundant baller (faith) part of me says, “There will be enough to go around. So let’s relax and help others.”

Yes, business is unpredictable right now. Yes there’s a lot of financial uncertainty. And who knows, maybe I am crazy to make this pledge given the astronomical running costs of a life coaching practice in Central London and the state of the economy in the UK and the world at this moment.

Sometimes in life, it is necessary to walk not by sight, but by faith.

There have been many times in my life where I was flat broke. But I kept going. Even when everything pointed to me being financially destitute, and potentially homeless – because I had faith and hope that things would somehow work out in the end. And they did!

Giving is good for your mental health

As I have written before, self-centeredness leads to more anxiety and depression. To quote Alcoholics Anonymous* Big Book:

Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity? Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.

When you’re focusing on your problems and your life all the time and your worries, this will inevitably make you more depressed and anxious.

In Human Givens Psychotherapy, the treatment protocol for lifting depression is to get clients away from further introspection and get their attention focused outwards because depressed people are typically too inwardly focused in on themselves.

In our individualistic society, we have become incredibly self-focused – and this can make us more neurotic. We worry incessantly about ourselves. I would estimate 90% of our fears are entirely self-centered. For example:

  • Will I have enough money?
  • Will I survive?
  • What will happen to me?

Do you see the theme here? I and me come up a lot in our fears.

Giving is good for the soul. As psychology professor Dr. Jennifer Crocker says, “Caring for another person boosts self-esteem. You get back when you give.” But, as her research shows, this has to come from the right place – not from seek-seeking ego.

If you are overly narcissistic and give only to improve your self-image (ie. it’s less about actual service and care for another), this can actually backfire and you won’t get the self-esteem improvement, as Crocker’s research shows.

Thus, the reason I’m making this pledge is three-fold:

  • It relieves me of ‘the bondage of self’ and helps me be less self-centered.
  • It helps me feel useful and feel good (self-esteem boost for the win!)
  • It motivates me to do better as others are now counting on me.

Even if you’re not making a lot of money, if we all chip in 10% of our earnings or our revenue, it will collectively make a big difference. Every little helps!

Who I am supporting

My 10% contribution will be going to West London Mission’s COVID-19 Emergency Appeal. They provide housing for London’s more vulnerable populations including those who have come from poverty, homelessness, trauma and they provide low-cost accommodation for key workers such as emergency service workers, hospital staff, health care workers, teachers, care workers, cleaners, etc.

I also have a soft spot for West London Mission (WLM) in particular, because Hinde Street Methodist Church near Bond Street, London, is the headquarters for WLM and it is also a special place that has for many years, generously hosted numerous 12-Step Recovery Group meetings and to me it’s been like a second home in recovery.

Many who use WLM’s services have suffered trauma in the past and have underlying health conditions. Others were in the midst of a crisis before COVID-19 and this situation has just compounded that. They are struggling with understanding what is happening and are deeply anxious.

Will you join me?

Let’s do more than just staying at home, binge-watching Netflix and waiting for all of this to blow over. Let’s really help make a difference. If all of us do our part, this will soon lead to a big difference!

Let’s make the world a better place and look after our neighbour.

Let’s do something.

* – I’m not a member of AA and I don’t have a drinking problem, although I have a pretty addictive personality in other regards and have been doing service in 12-Step Recovery for 4+ years now.

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