19th of July

Is Life Coaching A Scam?

Cute dog pretending to be a unicorn

So, let’s be clear, I’m a life coach. I feel quite uncomfortable saying this as a statement of fact. The reason for this is that quite simply, I don’t want to be tarred with the same brush as some other life coaches. I know that generally speaking, people think there’s either no point to personal coaching or the coaches involved are charlatans. I mean, you can become a qualified coach in one month. And the coaching ‘profession’ is unregulated.


At this point I have a little voice in my head telling me this is dreadful marketing…….

Back to my point – the reason for my reflection on this subject is that I took part in some coaching myself, last night. However, during this two-hour session, I found myself back chatting the coach taking the session. Luckily, we were on Zoom, so I was on mute, so really it was a very passive/aggressive move on my part, so rather than stay and behave like a child, I left the meeting. What he was saying was awful. It basically amounted to: “In order to make your business grow you need to spend at least £20k on being coached yourself. If you don’t want to spend this money it means you’re not invested in yourself, you don’t believe in yourself and this means you will fail.” Now who do you think the £20k needed to go to, in order to make your business a success……. That’s right, the coaches.

It’s a great shame, because I find life coaching an amazing way of helping people. It doesn’t work within an illness model and works to help move you forwards from 0 to +10. It’s about helping with your existing strengths and promoting existing wellbeing – even if you’re experiencing difficulties. It’s about being your best self, rather than treating you for a problem. So, it is really great for issues around feelings of being stuck, for finding solutions, clarity, resilience and generally for maximum functioning whether at home or at work. Life coaching is about taking proactive steps towards the life you really want. I’m aware that this sounds ‘scammy’ but when you have a great life coach and a proactive client willing to contribute to the process, it really can be transformative in nature.

I think by reflecting on this I am actually trying to sell coaching, but not in a commercial way. I know what it feels like to be stuck, feel shitty and have constant twittering in your head. But you really don’t have to carry on through life in that way. I think I’m trying to say that if you feel crappy, why not give life coaching a try? You don’t have to be in the throes of a mental breakdown to get help, it might just be about feeling stuck, or feeling constantly flat, or feeling life has no meaning or you don’t feel you can be authentic, or you feel disconnected from the world, or you have negative thoughts, or you have emotional barriers or feel a fraud at work…..

And from my perspective, it’s really rewarding watching someone thrive. I’ll finish by saying I had an email from a client last week which for me, makes it all worthwhile:

“I had the virus in the very early days of lockdown; instead of trying to struggle through I listened to that “inner wisdom” and let my body rest and recover……. Quite a contrast to how I would have reacted prior to the sessions with you.”

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