Why I’m Not a Life Coach

Do you need a Life Coach, a mentor, or just a good friend? Each will improve your life in different ways, finding out what you need is key. Choose wisely, my friend.

February 19, 2019 // Tracy Shaffer // No Comments //

I have been called many things in my life– strong, compassionate, wise- and of course the “b” word as in bossy. I’ve spent hours at kitchen tables and RiNo coffee shops, dispensing advice and Kleenex, bringing clarity to the confused, donuts to the distraught, and when it goes really well I hear “You should really be a life coach”.
In these highly-caffeinated altruistic moments it gets messy. Dreams and struggles are shared, questions, voices and glasses are raised, ideas get thrown about, sentences get interrupted, and napkins are nervously shredded and magic happens. Nothing feels better than a hearty problem-solving download with a friend and then saying our goodbyes with a hug and a plan. Why is it so much easier to fix another’s ills than it is to cure what ails you? Because blindside is never 20/20.

Danielle LaPorte- “We all just want to be seen and heard. No exceptions.”

Of course, this dynamic works best when it works both ways and within my trusted circle I am uplifted, held, and given a swift kick in the pants when I need it. Friendship, connection and community are as old as time and perhaps never as vital to our well-being as they are in today’s crazy swirl of a world where we are bombarded with information and disinformation. The time we spend together gives us the opportunity to listen to one another with our hearts, share our insights and practice empathy. It lifts us up, makes us more generous human beings.

Dr. Seuss — “When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” 

The idea of being paid to help people get unstuck and on track with their thoughts, habits and desires sounds like a good thing for an empath, doesn’t it? People tell you where they think they want to go, you help them hone in and be specific, then craft a strategy on how to get there; like Google Maps for the soul. When we listen carefully to one another, when we talk freely, we share our goals, obstacles and frustrations. What we’re often missing is the awareness of what we already know, and because answers are inherent in the question, it sounds pretty simple. So simple, we slap our foreheads when the answer is right under our…knows.

A Life Coach is different than a therapist, mentor, shaman or babysitter. While each of these are useful and lofty professions, often sharing many of the same tasks, a life coach has… a riding crop and whistle? One thing that comes into play with a coach is accountability. Even with friends we check in with daily, the level of accountability is different. When you’ve got skin in the game and a Skype session in the morning, you’re less inclined to fall behind between appointments. Dreams and goals are chunked out, tasks are broken down into actionable items and timelines are integrated into strategy, and your Life Coach isn’t going to hijack your session talking about her latest Tinder disaster.

While great friendships evolve organically over time, finding a great coach requires its own investment of time. Surfing the Internet you’ll find great adjectives on their websites- passion, empowerment, confidence, transformation, tools– and who doesn’t want more of these? In order to find the right fit, let’s take a look at what they do.

  1. Identify true desire.
  2. Identify any obstacles or objections to desire.
  3. Align resources to achieve desire.
  4. Search for where the manifestation of this desire lives.
  5. Connect manifestation with recipient of desire.
  6. Ensure manifestation, recipient and desire are in alignment.
  7. Write offer, go under contract, schedule inspection… oh wait.

The next time someone tells me I should be a life coach, I’ll remind them I’m a Realtor. We make many choices, some make life better while others go wildly wrong. Choosing a friend, mentor, lover or life coach can enhance the quality of your days and nights. Choose wisely.