The Number One Obstacle to Becoming a Life Coach
The number one obstacle to becoming a life coach is self-esteem related.
I always ask new students who come to the iNLP Center, “What is the number one thing that holds you back from being a life coach?”
The most popular answer amongst thousands of students surveyed is a matter of self-esteem. They ask questions such as the following, “Who am I to be a coach?”
I'm, how am I qualified to give anyone advise? How can I help people when I have issues of my own and so forth. The questions they ask regarding this issue typically contain a presupposition and the presupposition is that having issues of your own is a bad thing. That there is something about having problems in life, especially problems that you have not overcome yet. Does that somehow disqualify you from helping other people solve their problems?
Isn't that interesting?
As you can imagine, if being problem-free where a prerequisite to becoming a life coach, there wouldn't be any life coaches. And so to me, having problems of your own is it points you in a different direction.
And the direction is toward humility, which is one of the essential ingredients to becoming a life coach if you ask me. Because humility, it puts you in a position where you don't judge others. And so if you become aware of your own problems, then you are less likely to hypocritically judge other people. And none. Judgment is one of the core skills of being a life coach.
So as it turns out, having problems of your own helps you become a better life coach because if you frame your problems correctly, they put you in a position where you can more easily and humbly connect with other people and let go of your judgment of them. I won't go so far as to say that having problems is a good thing, but essentially that it's a good thing who would grow personally without problems.
So problems do not disqualify you from being a life coach. Your own personal problems do not suggest in any way that you can't help other people. In fact, they may put you in a position where you're more likely to succeed and helping others.
What qualifies you to help other people is working on your own issues.
It's not having the issues, but whether you address those issues on an ongoing basis or not. At the iNLP Center, we advocate a personal development lifestyle that involves staying in process with your problems. Solution finding becomes just part of everyday life. Not Solutions that are mundane like where do we go for dinner, but solutions like how do I accomplish what I want in life? What's my purpose? How do I have better relationships with people?
And at that level, we are always going to have problems to solve. Nobody is problem-free and so to expect yourself to overcome every problem before you get to be a life coach is unreasonable.
What can you expect from yourself to simply live a lifestyle in which you regularly and consistently engage with your problems? Remain in process with them towards solutions and we all know that as soon as you solve one problem and other problems going to crop up, you'll start to peel back the layers of the onion in order to reveal more layers. That's just how it is.
That's life. We don't get to be in a place where we're problem-free. So are you consistently working on your issues? If not, you should probably do so. We highly recommend it. If you are consistently working on your issues, then you're qualified to be a life coach.
Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.