I am your coach, not your mother

One of the biggest problems that I’ve come across in my coaching career is clients not wanting to do the work. For some reason clients, and even friends and family members think that as a coach it is my job to somehow “fix” them or make them feel better.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my goal as a coach is to help you to feel stronger, more confident, more in control of your life, and ultimately happy and successful, but I don’t make you feel any of those thing. This whole process is completely in your hands.

I have a friend who has been having trouble getting and keeping jobs. He works mostly download (31)with temp agencies, which by definition are not permanent or even long term jobs, but whenever his contract ends he feels deflated and useless. When I talk to him about his next options and what he wants to do about it and how it’s his call on how he handles things.. his response is, “And you’re a life coach.. do you just berate all of your clients?”. I find it almost humorous that people equate life coaches with cheerleaders or a shoulder to cry on or someone that is going to bring the ice cream to the pity party.

I am a coach. I coach people. You can take the advice or leave it, but it is your job to do the work. I make that very clear when I start the process. If I were a basketball coach and
my team member kept missing his/her free throws I wouldn’t pat them on the back, tell them that I know life is hard and understand why they want to quit. I wouldn’t stand in for them and take the shot every time. I would tell them to get off their ass and practice till they can’t see anymore. This is expected of a coach.

I have had clients with depression who have told me that they feel more a peace when they get fresh air.. I give them an exercise of going for a walk everyday.. even just 15 mins… “no.. isn’t there something you can do?”. I have clients who want to make career changes and I ask them to take a Meyers Brigs test to see what may fit with their download (32)personality and needs… nope… And it’s not just my practice. I am in a grief counseling group at my church. These are people who have lost a loved one and keep everything bottled in. The facilitator recommend we write a letter to the loved ones so we can get some of the garbage out.. “no, I’m not gonna do that”.

I understand that not every exercise is right for every person and that some people may or may not feel comfortable doing certain things… and I’m willing to talk about that as well. But part of being successful and moving forward is making changes and stepping outside your comfort zone. That’s the only way to see real and permanent results.

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