Some people may have only seen life coaches on television sitcoms and comedy movies such as Yes Man starring Jim Carrey. However, this is a very stereotypical portrayal of life coaches that may perpetuate many misconceptions and myths about the profession.
Let’s check out the most common mistakes people believe in when it comes to personal and professional life coaching.
This Is Only For Those Who Are Problematic
Many seem to think that seeing a life coach means you’re having severe problems in life or at work that need sorting out. This couldn’t be more wrong.
Just like people who seek therapy don’t always suffer from a mental disorder, people who seek out professional or personal coaches don’t always have deep-rooted issues that they need to solve. Many of those who seek career counselors often do so to make the most out of their careers. They come for guidance to set clearer and more achievable goals for the future.
Think of life coaching as you simply trying to reach your fullest potential and become the best person you could be. According to registered psychotherapist Norman Munro, “Life coaching helps you identify and change those areas of your life which you find unfulfilling or unsatisfactory.”
Your Coach Is Your Friend
Well, you may like them and find them friendly, but it’s never wise to befriend professionals you see on a regular basis. The same applies to your doctor and therapist.
For them to be able to help you, they have to stay objective. You’re going to have to expect your friends to push your buttons and stretch you to your limits now and again, which is something you may not like coming from a friend.
At the same time, your relationship is a one-way street, unlike in friendships. The focus of all your discussions will always be you, your goals and your life. You won’t be having any serious talks about what your coach did over the weekend or any issues they may have at home.
Life Coaching Is A Hobby Or A Side Project
Being a life coach is a full-time profession, and it’s just as serious as other occupations. Some people think it can be done as a freelance gig or a side project. While some pseudo-coaches may do so, professionals know better.
The danger is that it’s easy for anyone to call themselves one and practice, seeing as there’s no regulating authority for this. But for those who are seriously dedicated to this career, it’ll take years of training and schooling for you to be a competent life coach. You know your coach is a good one when you see the real perseverance and dedication they put into their work.
Life Coaches Tell You What To Do To Achieve Goals
Bad coaches will give advice and dictate your actions. Good coaches will help you organically realize these and explore on your own, while guided by them. “Life coaching is guiding, supporting, and creating a space for honest dialogue that will spark revelations,” said John Kim LMFT.
Think of it like how you would differentiate a competent teacher from a bad one. Good professors will teach you how to think and realize things on your own. Ineffective educators will simply feed you information that you have to understand.
A good life coach will help you explore your capabilities and how you can improve on your weaknesses. It’s going to be an experience that’s more than just having someone dictate a self-help book to you filled with positive advice. “Whether you choose to receive coaching or therapy, it’s important to find someone who’s a good fit for you,” said Marcia Naomi Berger, MSW, LCSW.