In every industry and area of business there are always myths that can, if left unchecked, end up being what people believe is right and true. The result? People holding themselves back and stifling their real potential.
And such myths and falsehoods certainly abound in the life coaching industry too. Some of them I have noted are getting serious air and gossip time right now and they make me a little prickly, as I know for those coaches (especially new ones) who hold them tight or believe them – it could prevent them from truly achieving all they want in their life coaching business.
So I want to share a few things with you that I believe are life coaching myths – or even outright falsehoods. And if you see any within that you thought were true or are maybe holding on to – I wish you so much strength and revelation in entirely letting them go. The real life coach within you is what we are waiting for.
Life Coaching Myths
To be successful as a coach you have to have had a top notch private school education and have high end business knowledge or a degree.
You do not on either accounts. Most people I know who are very successful in the life coaching and other service based industries do not have degrees in economics, business or even marketing. Where the expensive private school thing comes from I do not know.
Note: I went to a public country high school that had fourteen people in my graduating class.
If you’re going to coach people in any type of relationship or interpersonal area you must only have had highly successful relationships and cannot have experienced a major separation or divorce because that is a sign of relationship failure and your inability to help others in this area.
Your ability to coach people in the area of relationships has nothing to do with whether you’ve ever experienced such things and in fact may be enhanced if you have come through those experiences with an attitude and approach of growth and learning.
To coach people well and support them with their life you cannot have experienced any kind of mental health issue or illness. This is a sign you are unstable and could break down or even hurt someone if working with them, even if at that time you are ok.
As long as any issue or illness has helped you develop self-awareness about your own behaviours and thinking patterns and how they impact you and others around you, this is of absolutely no concern and again may even enhance your ability to be able to support others in many areas of their life.
Note: I experienced a very significant clinical depression in my early 30’s and it was both terrible and the greatest teacher of my life. I’m a better coach and person for it.
To coach people well and support them with their life you must never have done anything illegal such as use drugs, sell drugs, assault someone.
If you’re learned and grown and now know better – then you’ve moved on. And you can help others do the same.
Coaching should only be done by people who are older, wise and experienced in the ways of life…OR Coaching is a young persons game. Unless you’re hot with 20,000 followers on instagram you may as well give up now.
Young people within the right context and with the right clients can make brilliant coaches and…
Note: I coached my first client when I was 33. My business did not really begin to take off until I was 37. At 40 demand for my 1:1 work was at its peak and if I was still doing it I don’t believe the fact I’m now into my 40’s would have made any difference.
You have to take out a loan to make your coaching business successful or be given a serious ‘leg up’ by your family or a benefactor.
No you don’t. Most people never take out a loan or receive financial help to start their coaching business. Some people may, but one is not necessarily required at all.
The only really successful female coaches right now are those who are super beautiful and attractive.
This one is getting some serious air time in certain circles right now and it’s a load of poppycock! A construct of nothing more than people’s nasty egos playing terrible mind games with them trying to convince them that what they look like or even weigh plays a large role in their business success and client attraction.
You must not have any issues, concerns or ‘flaws’ as a life coach. Your life must be exemplary and even ‘perfect’ for you to be in a position to successfully coach others.
This is likely the biggest and strongest myth of them all. That to be a life coach you must be leading and have a near perfect if not exactly perfect life. While firstly there is no such thing, it’s secondly simply not true. It is again an ego construct that I see many coaches, especially new ones, fall into, as a way of holding themselves back from launching or truly putting themselves out there in a way that can genuinely help people.
You do not have to be ‘perfect’ or lead a perfect life to be a life coach. And in fact I’ll let you in on a little secret. Those coaches who claim to have things all together all the time and put out to the internet world that their life is all roses and sunshine, rarely attract clients. Clients don’t want perfect coaches. They want real ones. Authentic, genuine, honest, vulnerable and even messy ones that can admit (as I do) that life has true ups and true downs, that being a business owner can be hard, that situations can be trying and testing in multitudes of ways and that we always, always have more to learn.
I appreciate that not everyone may agree with these myths or even think they ARE myths. And in fact there are some very experienced coaches who likely wouldn’t.
The real thing I want to get across to you all is this – there is virtually nothing that can stop you from being a brilliant and successful coach if you don’t want it to. So often it is us and our own thinking and ego that chooses to grip on to things that will hold us back and keep us small – not money, or our education, if we’ve ever experienced a mental illness or what we look like.
It’s about choosing love and action over fear and inaction. Every day. That’s the only way.
Let’s myth bust together – and let the real coach within us shine through. There are people waiting for you you know!