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Top Eight Life Coaching Myths

November 24th, 2014 | 35 comments


In every industry and area of business there are always myths that can, if left unchecked, end up being what people believe is right and true.  The result?  People holding themselves back and stifling their real potential.

And such myths and falsehoods certainly abound in the life coaching industry too.  Some of them I have noted are getting serious air and gossip time right now and they make me a little prickly, as I know for those coaches (especially new ones) who hold them tight or believe them – it could prevent them from truly achieving all they want in their life coaching business.

So I want to share a few things with you that I believe are life coaching myths – or even outright falsehoods.  And if you see any within that you thought were true or are maybe holding on to – I wish you so much strength and revelation in entirely letting them go.  The real life coach within you is what we are waiting for.



Life Coaching Myths

To be successful as a coach you have to have had a top notch private school education and have high end business knowledge or a degree.

You do not on either accounts.  Most people I know who are very successful in the life coaching and other service based industries do not have degrees in economics, business or even marketing.  Where the expensive private school thing comes from I do not know.

Note: I went to a public country high school that had fourteen people in my graduating class.

If you’re going to coach people in any type of relationship or interpersonal area you must only have had highly successful relationships and cannot have experienced a major separation or divorce because that is a sign of relationship failure and your inability to help others in this area.

Your ability to coach people in the area of relationships has nothing to do with whether you’ve ever experienced such things and in fact may be enhanced if you have come through those experiences with an attitude and approach of growth and learning.

To coach people well and support them with their life you cannot have experienced any kind of mental health issue or illness.  This is a sign you are unstable and could break down or even hurt someone if working with them, even if at that time you are ok.

As long as any issue or illness has helped you develop self-awareness about your own behaviours and thinking patterns and how they impact you and others around you, this is of absolutely no concern and again may even enhance your ability to be able to support others in many areas of their life.

Note: I experienced a very significant clinical depression in my early 30’s and it was both terrible and the greatest teacher of my life.  I’m a better coach and person for it.

To coach people well and support them with their life you must never have done anything illegal such as use drugs, sell drugs, assault someone.

If you’re learned and grown and now know better – then you’ve moved on.  And you can help others do the same.

Coaching should only be done by people who are older, wise and experienced in the ways of life…OR Coaching is a young persons game. Unless you’re hot with 20,000 followers on instagram you may as well give up now.

Young people within the right context and with the right clients can make brilliant coaches and…

Utter BS.

Note: I coached my first client when I was 33.  My business did not really begin to take off until I was 37.  At 40 demand for my 1:1 work was at its peak and if I was still doing it I don’t believe the fact I’m now into my 40’s would have made any difference.

You have to take out a loan to make your coaching business successful or be given a serious ‘leg up’ by your family or a benefactor.

No you don’t.  Most people never take out a loan or receive financial help to start their coaching business.  Some people may, but one is not necessarily required at all.

The only really successful female coaches right now are those who are super beautiful and attractive.

This one is getting some serious air time in certain circles right now and it’s a load of poppycock!  A construct of nothing more than people’s nasty egos playing terrible mind games with them trying to convince them that what they look like or even weigh plays a large role in their business success and client attraction.

You must not have any issues, concerns or ‘flaws’ as a life coach.  Your life must be exemplary and even ‘perfect’ for you to be in a position to successfully coach others.

This is likely the biggest and strongest myth of them all.  That to be a life coach you must be leading and have a near perfect if not exactly perfect life.  While firstly there is no such thing, it’s secondly simply not true.  It is again an ego construct that I see many coaches, especially new ones, fall into, as a way of holding themselves back from launching or truly putting themselves out there in a way that can genuinely help people.

You do not have to be ‘perfect’ or lead a perfect life to be a life coach.  And in fact I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Those coaches who claim to have things all together all the time and put out to the internet world that their life is all roses and sunshine, rarely attract clients. Clients don’t want perfect coaches.  They want real ones.  Authentic, genuine, honest, vulnerable and even messy ones that can admit (as I do) that life has true ups and true downs, that being a business owner can be hard, that situations can be trying and testing in multitudes of ways and that we always, always have more to learn.

I appreciate that not everyone may agree with these myths or even think they ARE myths. And in fact there are some very experienced coaches who likely wouldn’t.

The real thing I want to get across to you all is this – there is virtually nothing that can stop you from being a brilliant and successful coach if you don’t want it to.  So often it is us and our own thinking and ego that chooses to grip on to things that will hold us back and keep us small – not money, or our education, if we’ve ever experienced a mental illness or what we look like.

It’s about choosing love and action over fear and inaction.  Every day.  That’s the only way.

Let’s myth bust together – and let the real coach within us shine through.  There are people waiting for you you know!

35 people have commented
  1. I loved this post Julie. Honestly I struggle with feeling like I am too young to be a good life coach (I am 22), and I fear people will think I am inexperienced. It is something I am trying hard to let go of. Thank you for reminding me that age will not make me bad life coach! xo

    • It certainly WON’T make you a bad life coach at all Chloe. I truly do believe young people can make amazing life coaches and that young people benefit enormously from seeing life coaches too. Keep going! Believe me when I tell you that you will age soon enough…

  2. One of the best things I learnt at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy is that my way is the right way for me and my clients. Showing up as myself, with my clients highest good in mind is the most important part. All the rest is just details. xo

    • “All the rest is just details….” Ain’t that the truth Rachelle! And your way, as is everyone else’s way IS the right way for you and your clients. Thanks for sharing that brilliant reminder.

  3. Great post Julie. I’ve heard the same thing from other coaching academies but it has never felt genuine, more about getting enrolments, which in turn had the opposite effect on me. Your post totally resonates and I agree whole-heartedly with all that you have said. I love the ethos of the Beautiful You Academy and can’t wait to start in February!

    • That’s great Alexandra. I truly believe all these myths are just that – myths – and we need to bust them open for truly great coaches to come forth. See you in February!

  4. Thanks so much for this post Julie! When I admitted my issue with the term ‘life coach’ in our first call and you told me (lovingly of course) that I needed to ‘get over it’ and that successful coaches ‘own it’, I have really been doing some work in this area and stripping back some misconceptions I had about what a life coach is…I definitely relate to the last myth – I was feeling like a bit of a fraud because everything in my life was not going ‘perfectly’ – now I see that it is these areas where I have struggled that will potentially become the things I can help others with the most.

    • You are SO right Sam. Often the areas of our life as coaches we need to develop and work on most become our biggest and strongest calling card to a great coaching practice and attracting amazing people towards us as clients. Keep owning it!

  5. Amen Julie all of these I experienced myself i did not even call myself a life coach for at least 1 YEAR because of these myths. They are just myths that we create to perceive in ourselves, at the end of the day I now know that “perception is my projection” & I choose to NOT to believe the myths because they will prevent one of my goals which is 2b me the genuine authentic life coach//goal guide I want to 2b! Love this & going to share because to achieve the awareness thanks Julie Beexxx

    • Thank you for sharing Bee and you are so right – so often the myths that end up infiltrating an industry or sector are ones we create within our own minds. They don’t just appear! Rather they are a construct of us keeping ourselves small and hidden. And so anything that I, you or any of us can do to bust through that is so important.

  6. Well said Julie! I know if I think about it from a clients point of view I would not be interested in a coach simply because of their age, looks or Instagram following, so why would we think that these things matter if we are the coach. I aim to be relatable not perfect (because that ain’t ever going to happen!

  7. LOVE this post Julie. A beautiful reminder for all life coaches (new and more experienced too I imagine). I especially adored your own personal notes and experiences in here.

    Here’s to all those budding life coaches out there who have felt held down or suffocated by these myths in the past – let them now be free and propel toward those big life coaching and world changing dreams of there’s!

  8. Oh Julie – loving your work as always!! “Clients don’t want perfect coaches.” 100% true and it is through authenticity and the power of vulnerability that we can be of the most service to others. And that is what we are here for. Service to others. 🙂

  9. Such a brilliant post Julie! I’m emailing this to some coaches I know who will get so much out of what you’ve written here. I definitely wouldn’t want to be coached by someone who had a ‘perfect’ life. How boring! 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth and you’re so right. I hope the other coaches really get something out of it too.

  10. Lady 1: wears an immaculate outfit while striding to her place of work. Straight faced, busy, focussed on what’s to come.

    Lady 2: tries not to show her knickers while picking up the papers she just dropped, then smiles sheepishly at another lady who offers to help.

    I know who I would want to know more of. Realness is heart warming, regardless of the package it’s housed in.

    Thank you Julie. Such a valuable post x

    • First time ever we have been left a comment that contained the word ‘knickers’ Ainslie. And I love it!

  11. To echo other comments: thanks for the truly wonderful and inspiring article, Julie!! Although I may not believe these myths when it comes to other coaches I see, it is hard not to let them deter me… But reading this and identifying some more of my beliefs and feelings has really been helpful for me. Thank you!

    I look forward to hopefully seeing you again soon… Taking part in your amazing academy is still very much on my mind; all in good time…! xo

    • That’s wonderful Steph – we sure are all works in progress. Look forward to working with you one day!

  12. Love this piece Julie and thank you for busting these myths. We are so silly sometimes with the rubbish we tell ourselves and the things we even notice… like many successful life coaches have beautiful thick healthy hair??? (unlike me). Ha Ha.
    I agree that our adversity often brings the most value to our clients as this is how we grow and learn and often also ignites the passion in us to help others. Coming from a place of perfection cannot offer that. Thank you for sharing personal information here that we can all relate to and thank you for reminding me that the path to building a successful business is commonly over the course of several years. Need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to achieve everything now, now now!!
    x

    • Beautiful thick healthy hair?? Oh my – where did THAT one come from Fiona? Wowsers!

      So glad you enjoyed this post and hooray for releasing pressure on ourselves – let’s do it for each other too.

  13. This was so encouraging Julie. I am currently in the process of making financial decisions to do the June 2015 course and age (failure because of age… I’m 23) has been a huge heart hurdle. Thanks again for the encouragement. We all need a push along sometimes 😉

  14. What an absolutely fabulous post Julie, thank you so much. I’ve definitely let some of these things hold me back in the past. Thoughts of unworthiness, not being good enough. That feeling like “what could I possibly have to offer” and “why would anyone listen to me”. But I’ve finally come around to the belief that, as you said, “there is virtually nothing that can stop you from being a brilliant and successful coach if you don’t want it to”. I now know deep in my heart that I absolutely WANT to help others, connect and make a difference. Now I know that, all of the old fears and excuses (some of them you’ve listed in your post) have melted away. Thank you for helping others realise this beauty too.

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful Sarah and are really releasing those old thought patterns. Good melting all round!

  15. I certainly agree with you. Accept and agree with your people as you are their coach. Although, there are different beliefs as you two are different persons, criticism and suggestions must be handled maturely. As a coach, do not make judgemental comments to your people. I have read this in a blog written by Moustafa Hamwi – the passion guy with his interview with World’s number one executive coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith .Thanks for this!