Debunking The Most Destructive Life Coaching Myths
Now that you know what life coaching is, it’s time to find out what it isn’t…
Here are the 3 most destructive myths about life coaching you need to be aware of.
Life Coaching is the same as Therapy
Some people even mix and match the two, using “life coaching” and “therapy” interchangeably.
Let’s get something straight…
Life coaching is not therapy. Not even close.
A therapist is a healthcare professional who provides long-term support and healing around beliefs, trauma, and other problematic issues that are often rooted in the past.
Patients can be in therapy for months, often years… sometimes even decades.
Life coaches offer a very different service for their clients.
They’re not healthcare professionals and they do not offer diagnosis on mental or physical symptoms.
Life coaches are future-oriented and their aim is to put their clients in the driver’s seat so they are in full control of what happens each day, week, month and for the rest of their lives.
Life Coaching is about “Fixing” things for the client
The myth that a life coach is someone who will take over and right the wrongs, make the decisions and put the client’s life back together.
A life coach does none of the above.
They’re there to help clients find the confidence, courage, and clarity inside themselves.
This is so the client can create changes on their own.
Life coaches get clients to look at life or at a problem or obstacle with new eyes…
To get creative with solutions and find new ways to fix what needs to be fixed.
This is a priceless life skill and a gift that stays with a client long after the coaching sessions end.
Life Coaching is for weak people
This is possibly the most destructive myth of all.
The belief that those who work with life coaches are troubled and unable to help themselves.
That life coaching is for unsuccessful, unproductive people who complain and make excuses for everything that doesn’t go the way they want it to.
This is 100% false.
Do you know what Andre Agassi, Hugh Jackman, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Serena Williams, and Leonardo Di Caprio have in common?
LEONARDO DI CAPRIO
Hint: They all work with coaches!
Read more about celebrities who work with life coaches.
Dealing with Life Coaching Myths
Life coaching is a relatively new and expanding field. Therefore, it is full of misconceptions. This is also true for other coaching occupations such as business coaching and sports coaching.
Even being an academic life coach comes with its set of coaching myths. With the advent of social media and its visibility, it has become easier for myths to spread and build a home in the minds of many people.
As life coaches, we need to be able to be aware of the myths surrounding us and effectively dispel them. You might have heard of many people also giving into hearsay, like this life coaching myth: life coaches are experts in life.
This assumes that life coaches do not have to face issues in their life. With social media fueling toxic positivity, i.e., focusing only on the positive side of other people’s lives, it is important for people to see life coaches as people too.
As a life coach, you are a professional who is familiar with fears, challenges and changes and can guide your clients along through experiences and application. It does not mean that your life, just because you are a life coach, is picture perfect and devoid of any challenges.
And this is just one such life coaching myth.
The above section has covered many such myths, and now, it is time to jump into the Take Action Section.
Other than the myths listed in this chapter, what are the myths in your mind that need to be debunked? What are some of the negative beliefs or ideas you have about life coaching?
Here’s the thing…
You cannot fully step into your role as phenomenal life coach if you have negative beliefs about what you do.
So, take 10 minutes to list out any misconceptions about life coaching that come up for you.
When you’re done, read through each belief on your list and ask yourself:
Can I find facts or evidence to support this?
Myths, misconceptions, and false beliefs are fueled by hearsay, groupthink, and emotions such as fear and doubt.
They disappear in the light of logic and rational thinking.
Looking at each of your negative beliefs through a logical lens will help you see that they’re untrue so you can start to release them for good.
7 Key Elements Of
Becoming A Life Coach
The world’s greatest life coaches get to the top for many reasons…
For some it’s pure grit and practice. They coach, coach, and then coach some more.
They put in their 10,000 hours and keep going.
Others choose to work with an experienced coach who can show them the ropes…
A real-world mentorship that cuts the learning curve in half.
No two paths to the top are exactly alike but no matter what options are open to you and which path you choose, here’s what you need to know…
The best training and mentorship in the world mean nothing if you don’t cultivate the inner elements you need to become a phenomenal life coach.
The world’s greatest life coaches share a handful of common elements – traits, behaviors, and attitudes – that play a big role in shaping them into rockstars.
Here are 7 key elements the best of the best share:
The greatest life coaches are always looking for ways to shine the light of self-awareness on their inner and outer world. They understand they can’t help clients find clarity if they don’t have it in themselves first.
Extraordinary Listening Skills
They are master listeners and believe in listening more – a lot more - than they speak. They practice deep listening with clients, this is about listening for the emotions and thoughts left unsaid behind the words and between the words.
Non-Stop Focused Learning
They are learning machines – especially in their niche or area of expertise. Legendary life coaches believe they can never know “too much” about what they can do for clients. They’re constantly working with and testing new tools and techniques and constantly upgrading their coaching skills through trainings, seminars, and workshops.
They know their clients need to know the truth – often the hard truth – about themselves to make progress and achieve goals. The best life coaches are never afraid to be truthful and honest with their clients, but they are skilled at sharing these truths with compassion and kindness.
Committed to Creating Results
They are committed – pretty much obsessed – about creating results for their clients. They are willing to work with unconventional methods or create their own techniques and coaching methodology to help their clients get results.
Skilled at Drawing the Line
They understand and implement healthy boundaries with clients. They know that to do their best and be their best, they must take time to restore and replenish their energy. This means creating time and space for themselves and introducing clear boundaries such as “no calls or messages after hours and on weekends.”
Open Minded and Open Hearted
They believe that everyone has a right to happiness and they strongly believe in an individual’s freedom to choose. They are non-judgmental of a client’s life choices or goals. World-class coaches know that their key objective, and the only one for that matter, is to help each client live their best life based on personal beliefs and values even when these are different from the coach’s own beliefs.
Find a quiet place to reflect and write. Set aside 20 to 30 minutes for this activity.
Read through each of the 7 elements in this chapter again. Now think about which of these elements are your natural strengths and which ones need work.
Then come up with 3 action steps you can take in the next few days to improve the areas that need work (eg; read a book about listening skills or research ways to increase self-awareness).
Extra credit: Think of 3 ways to get even better in the areas where you are already strong.
You can download and use this chart for guidance: