You’re the one in your group of friends who everyone comes to for advice. And you’re pretty damn good at it, which is why they keep coming.
Or you’re a hairstylist, fitness coach, yoga instructor. You're already being vented to and life coaching will just make you better at whatever it is that you do and you can actually charge for it. Or maybe it’s none of that. You just went through a lot of life shit, have come out the other end, and you want to share your knowledge with the world?
Here are four common things that keep people from becoming a life coach and how to overcome them.
The number one reason why people don’t dive into life coaching is fear. Many believe they don’t have what it takes to change someone’s life, even though they’ve been doing it their entire life (whether they know it or not). Once you throw money into the picture, we question their ability.
It’s okay to be afraid.
I’ve coached thousands and I still get butterflies every time I speak to a new client. One way to dissolve your fear is to know that your job is not to fix anyone. Read that sentence again. I think for many that’s where the fear and pressure comes from. You are guiding, supporting, encouraging, processing, and just doing what you’ve always been doing. People are not expecting you to fix them.
2. You believe you have to have a clinical background to be a life coach
Not true. Remember, you’re a life coach. Not a therapist. Although what you do may be therapeutic, you are not doing therapy so stop comparing yourself to a therapist. You don’t need clinical training. If you come across someone who wants help with a personality disorder, for example, then you just refer him or her to someone who is qualified to treat that disorder.
As a life coach, you will be helping people with things the majority of us struggle with—relationships, job transitions, setting goals, etc.
In the ten years that I have been life coaching, I have not had one single client contact me who wanted help with a clinical issue. Remember, you’re not going to be assigned clients. You’re not working in a treatment center. You will have a private practice and attract the type of clients you want to help, in areas you want to specialize in, according to your passions, gifts and expertise.
3. You believe you have to be in a “good” place in order to help others
This is a common belief that prevents so many from life coaching. I understand why you would feel that way. But the thing is, you will never be in a “good” place. Not that you’ll always be in a bad place. But life is a roller coaster and your definition of “good” will always be changing.
Personally, I believe when we’re going through some shit is when we have the most to give.
I also think it humanizes the coach and builds a stronger bond with clients. There’s nothing worse than a life coach who pretends to be “perfect.” Unless you’re at a place where you are struggling with building a life yourself, it’s okay and responsible to help others while you are going through some life turbulence yourself.
4. You don’t know where to start
The idea of becoming a life coach can be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you get clients? What courses do you need to take? Okay, I’ll break it down. First, know that there is no right way to become a life coach. Some people dive right in. Other take a ton of courses and then take more courses. But here are my suggestions.
Start with the learning. Take a course or a few courses to learn tools on how to coach. There’s a lot of coaching courses out there. Make sure you gravitate toward the message of the course and what they stand for. Research. Find one that speaks to you. Then make sure the course has some kind of community so you’re not just left standing alone after you’re finished.
Life coaching can be a lonely process so you want a community to go on this journey with. It can make or break your experience.
After taking a course, or a couple courses, start coaching. Even if it’s with friends. Don’t wait. Many will feel they are not ready and will just fall into a loop of taking course after course after course. By actually forcing yourself to do it, you will not fall into this cycle. You will coach, learn and get better, gaining more and more confidence. Remember, it’s a process that takes practice and building like anything else in this world.
Life coaching is like having a baby. There are going to be a million reasons why you’re not ready.
Make a decision.
And just do it.
You will learn as you grow.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what coaching is all about. Even though you’re helping others, you are on your own growth journey.
SHARE THE WISDOM...
ABOUT THE COACH...
John Kim pioneered online life-coaching six years ago with The Angry Therapist, which has a committed, passionate following of clients & coaches. He's the co-founder of SHFT, a company devoted to self-betterment and wellness for all. Connect with John on FACEBOOK.