Yes, life coaches are absolutely perfect people, with perfect lives, who never procrastinate, and never forget special anniversaries. We never miss a day at the gym, or buy canned veggies. Never! We’re organic-cruelty-free-paleo-vegans, who only buy gluten-free local groceries at elite farmer’s markets.
We’re the perfect size to fit that great little outfit right off the mannequin, aren’t really sure what a pimple is, since we’ve never had one, and have hair our hairstylists rave about in total scissored-handed ecstasy. We always smell like pure vanilla, too.
We go to Africa or South America every year to build toilets and schools. Mostly toilets because we love to do the dirty work no one else wants to do. We have perfectly clean, organized closets, perfect spouses who enjoy weekly date nights, and many of us have perfect children who do well in school and excel at hockey (I’m Canadian), or dance, or are about to discover the magic solution to climate change that won’t require we give up plastic straws.
What a load of super Trumpery.
Struggle, growth, and an occasionally shocking inability to read our own inner compass is very human, and even billionaires who try – but fail – to run a country through fear-mongering and bluster are hardly immune. (As a matter of fact they might just be the worst at reading any kind of compass.)
The reality is that the best life coaches have rolled boulders uphill, swum against the tide, tried to bake a cake without bothering to read the instructions, and made themselves miserable re-inventing more than one wheel. Eventually they stopped shaking their fist at the Universe, buried their pride with that inedible and unsightly cake, and said I’m fed enough to finally ask for help. The help that was always patiently waiting at the bottom of the hill with a sledgehammer to help them shatter that boulder into manageable pieces.
And, weirdly enough, the world didn’t end just because they hadn’t finished that monumental task on their own.
Most likely that experience is what drove them to become life coaches eventually. And that experience also taught them that the rollercoaster we call life isn’t over until it’s over and there will always be a time when reaching out for help is the wisest thing to do.
That’s why life coaches generally specialize in a specific area that resonates with their own life story. It’s one of the things that makes life coaching so powerful. Compassion, empathy and hands-on experience are the best tools life coaches have to guide their clients along a path they themselves have walked.
We live in a world where we can be open about mental health, where we recognize that everyone needs someone with a sledgehammer or a cookbook to stand beside them and help them figure out what the next step is. Someone who can say: Oh damn, I remember when that happened to me and I was so devasted/overwhelmed/demoralized.
I think we can all be grateful for that. And we can all be thankful that life coaches – who sometimes stub their toes on life’s sidewalk curbs, aren’t actually perfect.
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