I recently heard a YouTuber tell his audience to Never work with a life coach. The gist of his sentiment was that they’re all frauds, unnecessary, and that no one should listen to what other people tell them to do.
This seems like understandable advice if one believes that life coaches exist to tell you what to do with your life, make decisions for you or give you answers to all of your problems. However, life coaches should not be doing any of these things.
A coach should only be a guide. They ought Not be formulating any thoughts For you (helping you clarify yours, yes), but rather be working to help you uncover all of your own answers and insights and deep, personal wisdom that you may not even realize you possess.
A good coach knows that they Do Not know what is best for you. Whereas most humans run other people’s life circumstances through their own personal filter and then project what would be best for that person based on their own life experiences, a competent coach suspends or sets aside this default system within themselves. This allows the coach to stay present and in tune with their client and the client’s perspective. The coach is then able to remain open to hearing the possibilities and solutions that their clients come up with, that they themselves may be completely blind to, and assist them in clarifying their next best steps.
Even if such a conclusion ultimately ends up being a “mistake” for the client, when we draw conclusions for ourselves and follow that inner guidance, we are walking our own path, which will lead us to our own authentic next step. This is deeply satisfying. In contrast to making a mistake, because we listen to someone else’s suggestion. We may then regret having listened or worse, blame them and then our learning may stop there, our motivation may stall and we may create a new set of problems. Intrinsic motivation, something we do because it comes from within us, as opposed to extrinsic, something someone else puts upon us and encourages us to do that we don't truly want to, is always far superior; the learning from such experiences is invaluable and lasting.
Generally, I don’t really believe in "mistakes,” which is why I put the word in quotes. Every so-called mistake, intrinsically or extrinsically motived, can lead to great life lessons if we Choose to experience it that way. I’ll write about this further in another post.
If you want to work with a life coach to gain clarity around your own blind spots (and we all have them), please stay away from anyone that gives you answers and tells you what to do. Ultimately, they are cheating you of your own learning and growth. Work with someone you feel comfortable with and a connection to. There ought to be many more questions than statements during coaching sessions and deep inquiry into your personal thoughts and beliefs that are shaping your current reality. This process will help you see yourself more clearly, shift to create more of what you Do want and less of what no longer serves you and make the lasting changes you long for.
Be well and choose wisely,