Life Coaching is a truly amazing way to be in service to people and create your own business. We should know! We’ve now trained over 2,500 life coaches from all corners of the globe – with we know more to come.
And we’ve seen countless times what people can achieve in their life when they have the support of an incredible life coach AND what coaches can achieve in a business of their dreams too.
Every day we speak with people dreaming about taking the leap to become a life coach. Yet one of the things we see, (more often than we’d care to!) are incredible humans who want to make a difference, see others grow and shine, work with people they love and create their own incredible business and a life they love, hold back from stepping fully into that dream because they’ve been influenced by myths that exist about the coaching industry and being a coach.
Societal influences and oppressive systems, critics, sceptics, and even family and friends, (including the well meaning ones), can all play a role in what we believe about coaches and coaching – and it’s not always helpful.
The truth is, myths are common in any profession or industry, not just coaching. And it’s important that we question them and not accept someone else’s opinion or experience as the truth. Myths can also change over time, and so questioning what we believe and what is influencing us is important so we can come to know our OWN truth, and take action in alignment with it.
Here are the seven most common myths we hear about the coaching industry and being a coach – and (even more importantly) what we know to be true.
Myth #1: You have to be perfect and live a perfect life to be a life coach. You cannot ever make mistakes or not have everything in your life worked out.
Truth: No person is perfect. It is an unattainable ideal that keeps people stuck and in fear. It is something often thought about or stated by critics of life coaches and people who do not fully understand what the role of a life coach actually is.
Myth #2: You can only have a successful life coaching business if you have a large social media following.
Truth: While having a positive social media presence can be helpful for any coach, many coaches both build and thrive in successful businesses without a large social media following.
Myth #3: You must share everything about your personal life as a coach (especially online) and are not being authentic or vulnerable enough if you don’t.
Truth: You are in total control of what and how much you share about your life as a coach and how that relates to your business. These things are not a measure of your authenticity and vulnerability. Such things cannot be measured.
Myth #4: You must be thin, white and young to attract clients, a social media following and have a successful business. This is the only type of coach that people want to work with.
Truth: Societal pressures and media fuelled norms of what is and is not deemed acceptable about our appearance are pervasive. And they can prevent us from believing in ourselves and pursuing our dreams. Potential life coaching clients are attracted to as wide a variety of coaches and how they may look as there are potential clients themselves. If the only coaches you are seeing as ‘successful’ look like what is most upheld as a societally narrow view of attractive, it’s time to change who you are influenced by because you are only seeing a tiny proportion of coaching brilliance, inspiration and success.
Myth #5: You can only be financially successful as a coach if you are a business coach.
Truth: Life coaches existed well before business coaches and there is a plethora of incredibly successful life coaches globally that are thriving in the work they do without coaching business owners in any way.
Myth #6: You must never have experienced or be experiencing any mental health issues to be a life coach.
Truth: Given that it is currently estimated more than 50% of children and adults will experience a mental health challenge or be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime, this is a damaging mistruth that feeds into the myth of perfectionism about life coaches and the impossible standards they are supposedly meant to uphold. It is unrealistic and damaging. Many coaches have recovered from or are in recovery from a mental health concern and are very capable of holding space for others, (and some would say have even more compassion and understanding for the human condition), as a result.
Myth # 7: Your family, friends and wider circles of people you know must be fully aware of what life coaches do and be in full support of you being one.
Truth: Not everyone will understand or ‘get’ what you do. This is no different to any other profession. You do not have to convince anyone of the personal validity of your calling to become a coach and no one needs to understand the intricacies of what one does for you to be one.
We hope the busting open of these life coaching myths is really supportive for you – especially if you are considering becoming one! The coaching industry needs heart focused and giving people that believe in the power of compassionately being their fully imperfect selves and embracing all of who they are. We know the most successful coaches to be exactly these types of people. They attract the most soul aligned, incredible clients for them because they are being their full selves and not a version of themselves that they think others will relate to.