There is an abundance of wonderful, inspiring life coaches advertising the amazing things they can do for you. Some are world-renowned thought leaders, having written books, coached government leaders, spoken at Fortune 500 companies, and a few have made movies. Regardless of their fame or the channel for which they educate, they use their skills, tools, and experience to teach and guide others in living a better professional or personal life.
Then there is us; you and me, everyday people, who are contemplating some sort of a change in our life. For some, change comes easy. They find the skills and tools to transform all on their own. It may even appear that their blessed with some sort of gift for making things happen. For others, having a one-on-one relationship with a coach makes all the difference— because tools alone don’t “automagically” do the trick. Either way, life transformations are within reach, and I highly recommend taking the leap and making positive changes in your life. But how do you know if you should hire a coach? Even better, let’s look at why you shouldn’t.
Four Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire a Life Coach
1. We’ll start with the obvious. Don’t hire a coach that has no formal training or isn’t a good match for you and your needs. You’ll know whether they’re a good match for you after a complimentary 30-minute discovery call. If they don’t offer a discovery call, that’s a red flag. Find another coach. Bottom-line, trust your intuition.
2. Don’t hire a coach if you have plenty of time to do the necessary work. “The Work” being, research to find the right resources (book and materials) and creating ongoing motivation to complete the steps using the tools you find in your research. There is a wealth of personal and professional development information on the internet, bookstores, and many educational institutions offer health and wellness courses. All of these are the same resources coaches use. In fact, if a coach tells you they don’t read a lot or attend industry course and conferences, that’s another red flag. New research and coaching techniques are discovered on a regular basis. There is no limit to what one can learn, and your coach should be continually learning so that their knowledge will benefit you.
3. Don’t hire a coach if you can self-identify the blocks and patterns that are holding you back from achieving success in the area you’re looking to improve. This is the biggest challenge for most people. This is precisely why many life coaches hire coaches themselves! In my opinion, it’s the #1 benefit to hiring a life coach—their ability to recognize triggers, patterns, and blocks for their clients is far better because they are trained on what to watch for, objectively observing as you share. They will shine a light on what they have detected then allow you time to consider. A good coach does not diagnose any physical or mental illness or tell you what to do—they make suggestions. You’re in the driver’s seat. Life coaches are similar to mentors, giving you food for thought, but ultimately you decide what action to take.
4. Don’t hire a coach if you feel you can effectively define S.M.A.R.T. goals and commit yourself to achieving them (i.e., you have an unwavering desire for change so much so that you won’t procrastinate or stop short of your goals). Another big challenge for many people is that even if you’re fed up with your current circumstance, when it comes time to break bad habits or patterns it can be a tough road to navigate alone. It’s a process. A good coach will hold you accountable to writing well-written goals and ensure your progress is documented. (Note: Some coaches assign documentation to you, while others document for you.)
What you’re buying when you hire a professional life coach is someone who …
- has done the work to get certified in a reputable coaching program
- guides you through the transformation you are seeking—you’re in the driver’s seat
- can see your individuality and personalizes the session(s) to you and your goals
- supports you through the challenges of change by holding you accountable to your intentions and ongoing progress
- works on your behalf to distill information and present it in a way that works for you
- will be an accelerator in the achievement of your desired changes
You will know when it’s time to reach out for help; you’ll have that feeling of being stuck in an endless loop, or you’re unable to sustain your original motivation for change, or you’re having a hard time figuring where to start. Bottom line you get to decide when, where, and how to make the changes in your life. If you choose a good coach they will be there to guide you every step of the way! Either way it all starts with an intentional mindset.