I was skeptical. I mean, what could a life coach teach me about life? I can just talk to my friends about my issues. It's not worth the money. I don't need a coach. I can do it on my own.
At a coffee shop a few days ago, two girlfriends looked at me curiously, "Why would someone need a life coach?" There was that question that I had heard over and over again since I had become a certified life coach a few short months ago. Before I answer that question, allow me to tell a story. If you know me well, you know, there is always a story behind every life lesson.
"A bunch of us are going to this Italian restaurant we booked three months in advance. We are looking for a fifth person to join us..." When a health + wellness coach asks you this question, your answer should always be "Hell yes!" When in Rome for a global women's conference, my very first Global WINConference, we had a night off to go explore the city.
It was a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, tucked away behind beautiful quaint buildings, we meandered on cobble stoned streets chatting the night away. It was indeed an incredible night. 5 coaches + magnificent Italian food + introspective and deep conversation = best night everrrrr.
The seed had been planted a year ago, even though I thought I was simply along for the culinary ride.
"You are enough." Three words that helped change my life and pull me out of the doldrums of depression. I went to see my grandma's homeopathic doctor, Aviva, who as it turns out also doubled as my grandma's life coach helping her live a very dignified life until the ripe old age of 99 (!). I then started looking into life coaching programs, became certified, and then jumped right into finding clients.
"Think about going where you are needed, not where you think you are wanted." Some more wise advice, this time, from a life coach I have since hired. Her free 90-minute session was so inspiring, game-changing, I realized I wasn't really ready to start working with clients and had to work on some of my own issues first.
Ok, so here are some myths about life coaching (that I also learned the hard way):
1. Nobody needs a life coach. It's a bunch of bullsh*t.
People hire personal trainers, because they know they will not make it to the gym on their own. Personal trainers build up your physical endurance, why wouldn't you want to build up your life endurance as well? We all need extra support in life, and many of us are in denial about it.
2. It's too expensive.
I totally used to think this way. How do you put a price tag on life-changing work on yourself? You don't. It really is an investment, like a college education, where ironically, nobody teaches you about real life outside of college.
3. I can talk to my friends about my problems.
I used to do this a lot, and I still do. I had a friend become so frustrated with the fact that I haven't published my book yet, she was exasperated. It started to impact our friendship. Your friends are too close to you to be objective and give an unbiased perspective. They are also not trained life coaches.
4. I've seen a therapist and he/she didn't help me.
Therapists and life coaches are two very different professions. Therapists are often trained in psychology, have the ability to prescribe drugs, often dealing with deep-rooted dysfunction and the like. Coaches work to empower clients by asking questions to help get to core issues holding clients back from achieving goals. Sometimes, finding the right coach is like finding the right yoga instructor. You have to try out a few to find the right fit. The good news: there are a lot out there willing to help!
5. It is shameful to admit you need help.
I definitely used to feel ashamed about my depression often hiding my most vulnerable side, especially given my line of work. But even life coaches need life coaches, and admitting you have something you need to work on is less about shame, and more about getting the support you need to move forward and achieve what you are truly meant to achieve on this earth.
Now that I have started working WITH clients, I get it. The more I work on myself, the more work I do WITH my own life coach, the more I can empower my own clients to change their lives as well. In a recent session with my life coach Maxine, I spoke about my fears around starting my own coaching business and finishing my book. She noticed I was making lofty goals for myself, often too lofty, such that I wouldn't do anything to work towards them because I was paralyzed by my fear. Now I work on breaking down these lofty goals into smaller less scary ones so I can work towards them slowly and steadily.
Whoa, game changer.
Let's go back to the conversation with my girlfriends in the coffee shop. That afternoon, I was at a loss of words of how to explain just how meaningful, just how life-changing, just how incredible life coaching has been for me, to me, and continues to be. Hopefully, after reading these words here, they and you (!) will understand just how much we all need to get a life...coach.