This Guest Post is a wonderful contribution from my friend Daniel Vincent.
Too many people get scared away from life coaching because of the myths and rumours around it. Get the real facts with these busted life coaching myths.
What do you think of when you hear “life coaching?” Do you think of someone leading a person through life like they’re on a leash? Maybe you picture a live version of those advice columns.
Life coaching, sometimes called executive coaching, performance coaching, professional coaching, is one of the most misunderstood services around. It’s surrounded by myths, and chances are that these myths are part of the reason you don’t have a life coach yet.
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. __ John F. Kennedy
To break through the myths and understand the facts, check out these busted myths about life coaching.
Life Coaching Myths to Stop Believing
A lot of people are skeptical about life coaching. They’re so skeptical that they don’t consider it as an option in the first place. Instead, find out if it can help you by learning the truth about these life coaching myths.
#1: All Life Coaches are Qualified Professionals
It’s important to recognize that life coaching isn’t a regulated industry. There’s no certification or license a person needs to become a life coach, so you can’t assume that all life coaches are equally qualified. Of course, some people have the opposite assumption. They think all life coaches are random people who found an office and decided to start giving out advice. This isn’t true either.
The takeaway from all this is that you need to look through life coaches’ qualifications before choosing yours. It’s best to select a life coach who has some psychological training, like a licensed psychologist.
#2: A Life Coach Will Make Your Decisions For You
This may be the most common misconception about coaching. Many people think that a coach will lay out a step-by-step plan for their lives that will lead to success. In reality, coaching focuses on guiding you in your decision-making rather than making the decisions for you. A professional coach can help you talk through your options and your thoughts until you come to a conclusion.
#3: People See Life Coaches When Their Lives Are a Mess
In truth, this myth applies to every type of mental health care and counseling. People think, “That service is for people who don’t have their lives together.” While life coaching is a great way for people to get back on track, it’s also a huge help for people who are already on track but want to hit the accelerator. Some of the most frequent life coaching clients are those who already have happy lives but want to improve a few aspects of it. In other cases, clients want to maintain the successful momentum in their lives.
#4: If You Have a Life Coach, You Hand Over the Reigns to Your Life
Just as there are people who expect a life coach to hand them a life plan, there are people who avoid life coaching for that reason. Understandably, they don’t want to hand over control of their lives. This is far from the reality of professional coaching. Your coach is meant to be a sounding board and a third party who can help you get clarity. They aren’t there to tell you what to do. They also don’t ask you to confer with them about all your decisions, as some people think.
#5: Only Someone in Your Industry Can Provide Effective Executive Coaching
For many clients, their primary goal with life coaching is to enhance their career. Some people are under the assumption that only someone in their industry can do this. It’s great to have connections with veterans in your industry who can help you network with the right people. A life coach, however, focuses more on helping you build up the qualities that will make you successful. For instance, they might be able to help you get the motivation and confidence you need to go for that next promotion.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to choose one or the other. In fact, it’s common for successful people to have industry mentors as well as professional life coaches.
#6: I Need to Have Goals for My Coaching Before I Can HIre a Life Coach
You’ve probably heard people who want to lose weight but don’t feel like they can go to the gym until they’ve lost enough weight that they don’t feel embarrassed around the other gym patrons. This myth about life coaching is similar. Don’t wait to hire a life coach until you nail down what you want to get from your coaching sessions. Your coach can help you establish your future goals and how you can enhance your life.
#7: Coaching is Just an Added Expense
They say that the most successful people are the biggest savers and penny-pinchers you’ll meet. While that’s true to a degree, the most successful people are also the ones who know when to save and when to spend.
Life coaching isn’t an expense. It’s an investment. It’s a proven one, too. In fact, businesses who invest in executive coaching for their employees report a 700% ROI. In the same way it helps companies, life coaching can help you reach and expand your earning potential as well.
#8: Life Coaching Will Take Time I Don’t Have
We live in a busy culture, and so many of us have jam-packed schedules. It’s easy to feel like you don’t have time for professional coaching.
In the same way that life coaching is a financial investment, it’s an investment in your time as well. A coach can help you streamline your life to prioritize your activities and spend time in ways that are the most fulfilling.
Keep in mind that not all coaching is a significant time commitment. In many cases, you can customize your coaching schedule to be as frequent or occasional as you want.
Living Your Best Life with Coaching
As misunderstood as professional coaching may be, it helps countless people every year achieve success and balance in their lives. It’s not a cure-all but an option that empowers you to reach and expand your potential.
Now that you have a clearer picture of what life coaching is, you can determine if it can help you in the next steps of your life. To get started, reach out to our licensed psychologist and coach to schedule an appointment.