We met with Anthony Johnson to ask him some questions about his life as a coach in this co-parenting interview. He has joined SupportPay’s Advisory Council and we will be working together to shape the world of child support and co-parenting too! We are excited to welcome Anthony and introduce you to him.
1. Greetings, Anthony. It’s International Self-Esteem Month. Recently, self-esteem has gotten a bad rap. In 2022, is it still a relevant concept?
I definitely feel like it’s a relevant concept . I don’t know if we should put so much focus on ensuring our kids have high self-esteem; but more so helping them navigate their own worth in a healthy way. We should always be guiding them to maintain a realistic and positive outlook on life, and themselves.
2. You have such an interesting background. How were you called to life coaching and co-parenting coaching?
I’ll be 40 in two years and I’ve pursued a few different career paths. I just finally got to a point in my life where I began to pursue purpose instead of money. I had to ask myself a few questions: What am I passionate about? How can I contribute to the world. I’m most passionate about being a father; and I know how important it is for kids to have healthy parents. So many people are struggling in their co-parenting relationships. I want to help people alleviate some of the pain that comes with those situations.
3. What role does a coach play in building self-esteem? How is this different from therapy?
I find that most people are performing below their potential. This has a lot to do with how they perceive themselves. A therapist is going to do a lot of digging into your past. I believe therapy is very valuable, but it may be a slow progression. As a co-parenting coach, I’m going to help you realize what you’re capable of doing right now. Those barriers you thought existed, the negative things you believed about yourself, I’m going to help you see they weren’t real. Then I’m going to hold you accountable for creating the new reality you’re able to see for yourself.
4. I remember losing all my self-worth after divorce. I felt that I had failed my children and their dad, that I was a poor decision-maker, and that no one would ever be romantically interested in someone who was such a hot mess. Tell me I’m not the only one who felt that way!
You’re definitely not the only one; and that’s a very brave thing to admit. I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t have their own insecurities. I just think we have to maintain that self-awareness. It’s not wrong to feel those things. Just don’t be afraid to acknowledge those feelings. It gives you a place to start your healing process.
5. You have a private Facebook group for fathers needing co-parenting support. Do dads have unique self-esteem challenges? How can we support them?
Absolutely! That’s one of the reasons the group is private lol. Dads (like everyone) desperately need a place where they don’t feel judged. If you’re a dad that cares, you’re CONSTANTLY thinking about providing for your children. That means providing financially, spiritually, and emotionally. And if you’re underperforming in just one of those areas, you probably feel like you’re failing as a dad. And in my experience, dads are less likely to talk about these feelings of inadequacy that lead to low self-esteem. That has to change.
6. Covid has not been good to single parents. The Atlantic, the New York Times, and my own mirror are all reporting that we’re exhausted, out of shape, overwhelmed, and sometimes hopeless. What tips do you have to help us get through this challenging time?
The first thing I would say is we have to extend the same grace to ourselves that we extend to others. We’re often harder on ourselves than anyone else would be. The next thing I would say is you don’t have to go out and conquer the world in one day. Many people experience loneliness, depression, weight gain, and the shame that comes with not being very productive. Then they make a plan to get back on track and expect to be operating at peak level the next day. Start with one thing at a time and allow yourself to build on that momentum before you label yourself a failure.
7. Finally, can you leave us with some thoughts on building self-esteem in kids? What are one or two actionable steps that you use with your own children, and you recommend that we try with ours?
I think it’s important for us to learn our children’s love language. It’s not enough for our kids to simply know they are loved. They need to FEEL loved. I’m very intentional about that. And not in a way that’s most comfortable for me; but in a way that speaks to who they are inside. Feeling loved always makes people feel better. I’m also very big on apologizing when I mess up. I can imagine it being difficult for a child to feel good about themselves if someone is critiquing their every move, and also behaving as if they aren’t flawed. Kids need to see us acknowledge our imperfection. That gives them permission to be comfortable making mistakes.
Anthony Johnson is a proud Native of Buffalo, New York, He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from West Virginia University. His minor in Entrepreneurship and Leadership Studies make him a strong advocate for personal growth and leadership development. Eighteen years of military service has provided him the opportunity to train and mentor hundreds of our military service members. As the current owner of Continuous Journey LLC, Anthony strives to change lives as a Co-parenting Coach and Leadership Consultant. He recently served as the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for the Air National Guard, where worked to change the culture surrounding sexual misconduct. He also assumes an active role within the community. He accomplishes this by sitting on the Board of Directors for the Family Resource Network (FRN). He actively speaks in local schools, mentors, and coaches youth football. Anthony believes the success of the future lies within the next generation; and it’s our job as parents and members of the community to guide them.