I was at the event where the speaker was mentioning life coaches with contempt, as though they are some kind of fakers who are trying to sell spirituality to naive folks.
For me this was the defining moment.
I spent years trying to figure out how to label myself and my work, without mentioning life coaching, because it has such a bad reputation. There were also a few instances when I was out socializing and I told that’s what I do and I received scorn. So I started dreading the “So what do you do?” question.
However, it is still the best title for the job that life coaches do.
I met a coach two years ago and we had a conversation about this. He said that lawyers also have a bad reputation with common people, because there are bad lawyers out there. But does that mean that good lawyers should reinvent the name for their profession? No.
Every profession has people who are in it just to take your money without giving anything valuable in return.
Every profession also has people that are in it because it is their genius zone. It is something they love to do, where they can be their best selves, where they are in flow, where they feel satisfied and glowing after the work. Where they contribute to others and at the same time feel more rich themselves.
That’s what life coaching feels like to me.
That speaker who spoke with contempt about life coaches, did not know he has one of those in his audience. For a split second I almost felt triggered, but then I realised he is not talking about me, because he doesn’t know me. He was probably dissatisfied, as he is sharing his work for free on social media and there are life coaches in his feed who are making money of the things he also knows and could sell. He probably never worked with a coach and definitely never worked with a coach that would be a right fit for him. Maybe he knows somebody who calls themselves a life coach and he doesn’t like that person and so he generalizes his feelings about a particular person to the whole profession.
What I knew after that event is, that I am ready to claim the life coach title and wear it with calm pride.
For me coaching is the perfect umbrella. I can put all my knowledge, interests, skills, observations and life experiences under it and use them in service of a client.
I and those coaches I respect, have deep interest in human behaviour. We are geeking on why and how people do what they do and how they could do it better. We have deep interest in human psychology. We are interested in biology. We read everything about how human mind works. We read everything about how human bodies work. We enjoy art, because it shows us inner world of fellow humans. We have conversations with people who we don’t agree with, so that we can understand their point of view and what influenced it. We try and practice different techniques, so that we can recommend things to our clients that we know work. We spend countless hours doing our inner work, facing our shadows, so that we can be of best service to our clients. We invest money and time in coaches and therapists that help us grow, so we can be our best selves for ourselves and so that we can be as present as possible for you. We are humans. We are far away from knowing everything. We make mistakes. We have our own egos and we can be douchebags as well when triggered, but we are committed to evolve as humans.
So, how does that apply to you?
There are people people out there who will make fun of profession or anything else you choose to do/be/have. And there are people who will appreciate it BIG TIME.
What matters to you enough, that you are willing to be laughed at for pursuing it?