There are many reasons to work with a life / health / business / creativity / relationship [delete as applicable] coach. I want to share some of the most impactful ones, from my perspective as a spiritual life coach and a client of coaches for many years now.
First off I get that “hiring a coach” could not be a less British phrase if it tried, not in its vocabulary or it’s intent. Things are definitely changing over here in the UK. Our culture is gently shifting towards seeing the value in a positive outlook on life, a more holistic and healthy lifestyle and continued personal development, whether it’s through a regular yoga practice, meditating with the Headspace app (which has done an awesome job of making meditation acceptable in the mainstream) or keeping a gratitude journal. But it’s not yet the norm to hire a coach. Our stiff upper lip culture stigmatizes self initiated personal development and sees making positive changes for your own wellbeing as, in turn, “soft”, “mad”, “weird”, “flaky” and “pointless” (or whatever the term in your dialect is.)
But, the tide is turning. Our old school entrenched culture does not apply to everyone, particularly in this digital age. With the advent of the Internet we are opened up to a whole new world of ideas, opportunities and ways of life. I guess that’s why almost all personal development coaches that I’m aware of are online based. There’s a new frontier of people, from all generations, who are choosing differently and seeing the value in getting support. Yes we enter the world alone, and we die alone, but that massive bit in the middle that we call life? We spend it with other people. So it only makes sense that we call on the gifts, skills and experience of others to help us along. And as I’ll explain later in this post, there’s something really impactful about hiring one of those human bods who does this work professionally…
One of the most valuable things about hiring a coach is having someone who sees things for you that you cannot see yet. Someone whose faith you can lean on until yours appears, or reappears. Sometimes when your ego is strong, when it's got you stuck in low level discontent and playing small, it can be hard to see the opportunities and possibilities beyond the emotional fog. The double whammy your ego provides when it’s in overdrive is that it also, by it’s very nature, knocks your confidence to the point where your dreams and desires appear in your mind as mere fantasies. From this place you can be driven to either take confused and ineffectual action or resign yourself to giving up on your dreams and desires altogether. Having someone who sees, holds and shares with you the truth of your potential in times like this is truly invaluable.
I know that in my own experience, having a coach who could hold the space of possibility and potential for me when all I could see was fear and self doubt, has gotten me to where I am today. Without that support I don’t doubt that I’d be stuck where I was 5 years ago, feeling frustrated and disempowered about how to move forward in my life.
You might be thinking “but I could just do it myself”… Usually followed by “…if I just got organized / motivated / confident enough”. And that’s exactly the point. If you could do it all by yourself, would you not have done it by now? A coach will help you to firstly, get clear on what it is you actually want, and secondly, help you create a strategy for attaining that goal, encouraging you, guiding you and providing accountability along the way. A caveat to this point: I have coached some of the most incredibly motivated and focussed people who have done a ton for themselves by the time they come to me for support. They also benefit hugely from having a coach. Added support is the secret sauce they add to their already magnificent recipe. If you’re a doer and go-getter, a coach will only help you to turbo boost and refine your efforts. The path of success is not a straight-forward upward curve. There are dips and plateaus along the way. Even the most motivated of people benefit from having a second set of eyes, ears and brain cells on their project during those dips and plateaus that inevitably show up on any authentic journey of progress.
Doubling back to my previous point about accountability, it’s a sad fact (not a scientific one, just one I’ve observed in my own life experience and career as a coach) that most of us tend to start out valuing our commitments to ourselves very little, especially if there’s nothing to anchor that commitment, such as sharing it with another person, or a down payment…
Which brings me to my next point. One of my coaches Heather Dominick, an incredible wise woman, who’s teachings will live with me forever, taught me that money is the energy of commitment. Think about it. You’re much more likely to turn up to your £50 personal training session than you are to turn up to the free yoga class at the community centre. That’s because money is in essence an energetic exchange. It’s a system we’ve devised to simplify value swapping. When we swap £50 for a personal training session we tell ourselves and another person that we value this time and effort and the end result we desire. So that’s why even if you have an incredibly supportive girl gang (or male / mixed gender / non defined equivalent) who totally get you and are with you all the way, it can still be incredibly helpful to for your own mindset to formalize your support strategy by entering into a relationship with a coach.
And my final fave benefit to hiring a coach is that you get all the shortcuts of their experience. Any good coach worth their salt will have done and continue to do their own personal and professional development work, experiencing their own highs, lows and painstaking plateaus. They’ll be a few steps ahead of you on the journey you want to take – whether it’s to business success, relationships heaven or spiritual enlightenment – and so will recognize and understand where you’re at and be able to share their wisdom, advice, support and yes, the best hacks to move forward in the most purposeful and impactful way.
This is especially helpful if what you want to achieve demands emotional / spiritual and practical progress (and I’ve yet to see a goal that doesn’t! Think starting a business, transforming your health…) Because quite frankly, that shit can get hard, man! When the going gets tough emotionally it can be really helpful to have someone on hand who can show you a swift, low resistance way through the practical pieces you’re working on. In my experience working with a coach simply speeds the whole process up – and I’ve yet to meet (or be!) a client who wants to take as long as possible to reach their desired destination!
I’ve used the term coach in this article because I truly believe that the coaching community offers the biggest, broadest scope of support that you might want or need, but I am also a huge advocate of creating a support team around you, as and when required, that includes more niche practitioners, including but not limited to healers, shamans, therapists, counselors, trainers, teachers and mentors. (Terribly un-British of me, I know!)
There are countless benefits to hiring a good coach, but these are some of my absolute favourites. I’d love to know… Have you worked with a coach before? What did you get from the experience? Anything you’d add about the experience of working with a great coach?
Has this post got you fired up and ready to go? If you want more of this good shiz, I want to invite you to join me on my upcoming webinar “Create you Most Inspired and Impactful Year Yet!” where I’ll be sharing why big radical resolutions don’t work, how to leverage yourself out of new year overwhelm before it’s too late and my ultimate top tip for living the life you truly desire.