On a weekly basis, I am asked: “what is life coaching?” This question is still somewhat hard to answer since I’ve been in this profession for several years now; it’s hard to summarize what I do in a few short sentences. But after a few years of long, drawn-out monologue responses, I’ve developed a shorter, clearer response: A life coach helps clients tap into their full potential and define/achieve their goals for who they want to be and what they want to do.
Life coaches are a diverse group of professionals. Some have professional training while others adopt the title because they feel their gifts qualify them. Neither is wrong or right! There are some clients who don’t care about training as long as the coach can add value and there are others who want to see the credentials. I, personally, have a life coaching certification, but that doesn’t mean my title isn’t often first met with speculation.
To acknowledge those who are certain they don’t need/want a life coach, I wrote about five reasons you shouldn’t hire a life coach.
1. You Want To Be Told What To Do
Life coaches are not there to tell you what to do. We see you as creative, resourceful, and whole on your own and are there to help you believe in your own intuition. We offer curious questions, new perspectives, and challenges that honor your goals and what you need to live your best life. Sure, we will give you valuable resources and tools to add to your own toolbelt, but we are not there to tell you what to do.
2. You Believe Your Life Is Good Enough
Some people are perfectly content with the way their life looks, and that’s awesome! We should practice contentment, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of our dreams. Convincing yourself that overall, your life is “good enough” can be a huge killer of dreams. As life coaches, we are not here to force you into dissatisfaction so that you can change. Instead, we are here to help you celebrate the life that you have and cheer you on to an even better life!
3. You Hate Change
Life is all about feeling comfortable, am I right? The latest gadgets are created to make life easier. We want our day-to-day lives to stay the same because they feel good and safe. The only “change” we accept is improvements to what we already have. If change means that life’s going to be hard for awhile or even painful, we want nothing to do with it. But when it comes to experiencing life coaching, we ask our clients to take risks! We challenge them to change, and we take them straight into the uncomfortable. We don’t do this to cause problems. We encourage change because that’s where the transformation happens — and that’s our goal!
4. You Don't Want To Pay
We pay for gas to make our cars run. We pay for beauty treatments (hair, skin, nails) to help us feel good on the outside. We spend money on entertainment for our minds to enjoy. And some of us even pay more for healthy food, supplements, and gym memberships to keep our bodies in shape. All of these things are good and important, but why is it that we won’t pay for a life coach?
I know some have said that they just go to family and friends for advice, but this HuffPost article challenges that idea: “Would you ask your friend to fix the plumbing in your home? Would you ask your spouse to teach you to speak French? Not unless they were experts in those fields. So why does it seem normal to rely on our families, friends, and community members to help us achieve our very unique, authentic life goals? Why do we believe that if we don’t find support and help with our goals from those around us then either we aren’t worthy of our goals or there is something wrong with our loved ones?”
Now, I’ll be the first to say I go to family and friends for advice, and I always will. But I have received value at a much higher level from a coach who is trained to see my strengths and ask me the right questions to transform the way I see life and show up in the world. They have pulled me out of holes I didn’t think had an exit and affirmed parts of me that I used to hide in shame.
For this, I will never hesitate to pay a coach because I see the value in myself and in the coaching process.
5. You Don't Want To Improve Your Relationships
One of the biggest changes my clients experience is often found in their relationships. When they learn to love themselves for exactly who they were created to be, it’s a lot easier to love others! When they identify their inner strengths and weaknesses and their unique lens in which they see life, they learn to understand how everyone has been created differently. All this results in conversations with loved ones that had been avoided in the past, new understandings that result in forgiveness, and acceptance for family and friends’ differing strengths and weaknesses. If you would rather hold grudges or resentment towards loved ones, coaching may not be for you.
Author - Amanda Foust, HuffPost Contibuter and Life Coach