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How To Create Your Own Light In The Dark

Written by: Michelle Gauthier, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc for the past couple years. Many businesses have suffered, many people unemployed, and many rises in mental health concerns. It has been tough for many. I have been in it with the rest of you affected by the lockdowns.

While I am a mindset and confidence coach, I am also a part-time kickboxing instructor. I know, pretty cool eh? Unfortunately that is one of the services that has been the first to close and the last to re-open with every lockdown. It has been rough for my employer. With every lockdown, I wonder if we are going to still be there after it’s lifted. I see the stress of finances and for member retention. While all of these lockdowns have not been ideal for the business, we have been following provincial guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Now you can have your own thoughts about COVID or the lockdowns, thankfully this is not what this article is about. What this article is about, was sparked from Ontario’s most recent partial lockdown; once again mostly focusing on the fitness industry and indoor dining.

These past couple years, I have been doing a lot of work on myself. Looking for ways to enhance my life, shift my mindset to thrive, and really find possibility and opportunities in everything I can. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, whether we realize it or not. A common theme of the past year is ‘source’. That we source everything in our lives, mostly from thoughts and beliefs we don’t even realize we have. When this most recent lockdown happened, my social media was flooded with comments. So much so, that I had to avoid it for a day because I could feel the frustration and negativity affecting me. A lot of people became very reactive. “How could they do that to us?” ”This is the worst year ever” plus a lot of other comments.

I agree, the lockdowns are not ideal. They affect a lot of people financially. Yet, here’s where my mindset work comes into action. Instead of using the whole lockdown to be upset and enraged and whatever other reactive emotions are coming up, what if we began to think of how we get to support each other. What opportunities did this open up for me? How do I get to shift? What are some other ways I can create an income, and if I can’t, how do I get to use the money I already have a little differently so I can be okay? What can I be grateful for during this time instead?

When we focus so much on the negatives, and what is being taken away, that’s all we see. We are robbing ourselves of positive energy because we are focusing on ‘what isn’t’.Maybe it’s just me, yet I believe everyone has more than one skill they are blessed with. The servers in the restaurants that have closed, I believe are creative people who can adapt and thrive.The fitness experts who get to be creative, to offer different workouts. So what can this opportunity provide? A chance to consider what your savings might look like, and how to plan down the road for possible periods of unemployment. A time to be present and really connect with your family. Maybe now, it's a time to practice that skill you really enjoy but don’t think you’re good at (painting, cooking, creating music, making videos etc). What if, with every lockdown or obstacle in our life, it’s actually an opportunity for you to see just how resourceful, skillful, and resilient of a person you are?

For me, every lockdown has come with a great opportunity. I know that my situation is not going to be exactly like yours, and maybe you will come up with all the reasons it worked for me and isn’t possible for you. That’s your choice. I’m going to show you how my gratitude and possibility-oriented mindset worked during the lockdowns. Remember, I lost a main source of income with each of them as well.

The first lockdown we had, I like to say, was perfect timing. I had just started my official coaching certification program a couple weeks before. This program required me to be unavailable for work twice a week, which I was going to make happen. Instead, we went into lockdown. I didn’t have to worry about being unavailable for work, and I got to focus on my certification. During that time I also got a lot accomplished that I had been putting off (organizing my closet and getting rid of clothes, baking/cooking recipes I had bookmarked for months).

During the second lockdown, I had started a 4-month leadership program, in which I had already taken some time off for, yet could relax knowing I didn’t have to take more time off of work to do. This program shifted my life in all the ways I never thought possible, which included how I showed up to work. I got to experience it fully without worrying about missing work and causing more stress for my employer.

The third lockdown was shortly after the second one finished. While I was annoyed that we even reopened, I was grateful to see my work family. At this point I had finished my leadership program and was debating about being a coach in an upcoming one. I was talking to some fellow graduates about it, saying that I wouldn't be able to take the time off work I didn’t think, so I would have to run it by my boss. That’s when the next lockdown started. I now had all the time to be a coach without interfering with work. Perfect. This lockdown is also when I started writing my book. I enrolled into a writing program (just before the lockdown) and was able to dedicate my attention and time to working on this masterpiece. During the lockdown I finished my first draft and moved into my second.

Now with this fourth lockdown, the timing was perfect once again. I had told myself that I would finish writing my book and have it into the publishing process this month. I was also hiring a business coach so that I could get the support to really simplify and expand my coaching business. I now have all the time to be able to do my calls with my business coaching, do the work, and focus on my book.

Every lockdown I had something put into place and a part of me wished I got to put all my attention into it. Then I got a lockdown. I’m not saying the whole process has been smooth sailing without any stress. Goodness, there has been a lot of stress and emotion. What I am saying is that it’s easy to focus on what has ‘been taken away’. It’s easy to spend our time being angry at something outside of us for ‘the worst year ever’. Any situation gives you the chance to choose how you view it and respond. Are you going to do whatever you can to make the most of it? Is this going to be your opportunity to challenge your limits? Take a moment now, and ask yourself what opportunities are now being created?

Do I get to connect with someone on a deeper level?

Do I get to finally take time for myself?

Have you been going non-stop and this is the welcomed rest you’ve been waiting for?

Have you been thinking ‘I would really love to try _____’ and haven’t yet because you haven’t had time?

Maybe you haven’t really been enjoying your job, but ‘it pays the bills’, so now you get to look for something meaningful?

Whatever your opportunities, in the end you get to decide if you’re going to have a positive experience or not. In the end, you choose your thoughts, you choose your responses. Ask yourself what is something good that can happen today? When you wake up, you get to choose the mood of your day. The days I wake up and tell myself “today is going to be a great day”, it usually is a great day.

Are you going to let others decide how your day will go? Or are you going to hold onto your power and make that choice for yourself?

If you don’t see any possibilities or opportunities here, then reach out. Reach out to me, reach out to a friend, reach out to a stranger. You choose if you want to use your energy to lift you through the day, or to bring you down and take away your joy.

Follow me on Instagram and visit my website for more info! Read more from Michelle!


Michelle Gauthier, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Michelle Gauthier, an honors graduate of Psychology and an international life and confidence coach. She writes about fitness, self-love, and boosting confidence. She has overcome a toxic workplace that left her with anxiety, depression, and low self-worth. Michelle is now the thriving founder of Phoenix Coaching, following her passion for supporting women to regain control of their lives, build their inner power, and live in possibility of their dreams.



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