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When You Shouldn’t Hire a Life Coach

There is an abundance of wonderful, inspiring life coaches advertising 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, using their skills, tools, and experience to teach and guide others; they each have great things to share about living a better life.  

Then there is us; you and me, everyday people, who are contemplating some sort of a change in our life. We all have areas in our life where growth can be inspired, and for some people, the tools are readily available. For others, having a one-on-one relationship with a coach makes all the difference— because we all know tools alone don’t “automagically” do the trick. Life transformations are within reach, and I highly recommend making ongoing 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. The bottom line, trust your intuition.
  2. Don’t hire a coach if you have plenty of time to do the necessary research to find the right resources (book and materials) for the growth you’re trying to achieve. There is a wealth of personal and professional development information on the internet, bookstores, and many educational institutions offer courses. All of these are the same resources coaches use. If a coach tells you they don’t read a lot or attend industry-related courses and conferences, that’s another red flag. New research and coaching techniques are discovered regularly. There is no limit to what one can learn, and your coach should be continually learning so that their knowledge can 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 to see if that’s something that resonates with you. A coach does not diagnose any physical or mental illness or tell you what to do—they make ask questions and at times make a suggestion or two for you to consider. The key point here is, that you’re in the driver’s seat. Life coaches are similar to mentors, giving you food for thought, but ultimately you decide what actions you want 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 for writing well-written goals and ensure your progress is documented.

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 your style, pace, and goals
  • supports you through the challenges of change by holding you accountable for 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 get that feeling of being stuck in an endless loop, you’re unable to sustain your original motivation for change, or you’re having a hard time figuring out where to start. Whether you hire a coach or not it’s important to set your intention and then begin taking action.

Join me in the pursuit of living an intentional life!