Struggles Of A Life Coach: The Sequel
It’s truly fascinating how the brain works; mine in particular if I may be so blunt. I wrote about some struggles in my last blog post, and all my brain did over the past week was put any kind of struggle under a magnifying glass. “You mentioned struggle… Have you seen this bit of struggle yet? Do you need reminding of this struggle here too?” Etcetera.
I’ve decided to indulge my brain, and to get into another part of my struggles.
Struggles, the Sequel.
You see, being a life coach comes with great expectations. On my part as well as on your part.
When I introduce myself as a life coach, it sometimes invokes a strong reaction from the other person. This reaction generally has two extreme options: either it goes into the direction where they see me as a life buoy and start spilling their misery – somehow expecting a free coaching session. Or the reaction can go into the direction where I am suddenly the pinnacle of their fiercest judgement – expecting me to be some sort of super human being, an uomo universale, flawless and all.
Both reactions lead to quick disappointment, because, no, I cannot “safe” a life in a one-off coaching session (free of charge or not), nor am I flawless.
Still, I admit to struggle with these expectations myself.
More specifically, I’ve been pondering about this setting an example as a life coach. I mean, in the end, that’s what those reactions to the concept of a life coach are about: if a life coach doesn’t have it all figured out, then who will?
Here’s the thing: have you taken a closer look at those expectations at all? Because I have. And they don’t serve us. They don’t serve you if you think that a life coach works like a life buoy. They don’t serve me if I try and live up to those expectations constantly.
I agree that, in some ways, I live my life differently and it has made it possible for me to become a certified life coach. The trust that I have in Life, in the Universe being a benevolent realm, and in things always working out for the best (you know, “this or something better”) is not yet shared by very many people. Hence the need for life coaches like me. If only to show others how this perception of life effects me: I feel truly happy and blessed most of the time, for which I am genuinely grateful, and I take adversity on as my best teacher. This practice of what I preach helps me in helping other people to achieve the same feeling in their lives – which is what we generally call “coaching”.
At the same time, though, you may see me at a random bar in Biarritz, drinking a glass of wine. And it’s here where my own expectations lead me to struggle. Because in my mind, I am supposed to be the stone cold sober life coach who can live on a breath of air already. I’ve had the vision (read about it here), so why not? Isn’t that the walk of my talk?
This is probably more of a reminder for me than it is for you:
The part where I am right now is just as much part of the process.
Right now I enjoy a night out on the town. Not too often because that takes the magic away for me, but if there’s the promise of some dancing then I don’t need convincing.
Yup, this life coach is a part-time party girl too. Responsibly, and consciously, but still.
Since I became a certified life coach, I have turned my own life upside down. I finally went to visit my friends in Australia, I came up with the idea to start a Centre for Conscious Connection, I moved to France, and I am now for 98% eating vegan. I could list the many other changes I’ve made in my day-to-day habits, but let’s safe those for a future blog post.
My point is that none of these changes happened overnight. They all required a process of awareness, of choice, and many moments of decisive action. Resisting the current state of affairs never worked, but nudging myself into a different direction did. Little by little, and bit by bit. So if I wish to become more of a “saint coach” (notice the hidden question whether this is really what I aim for, or if I can find a different balance…), I have gotten off on a good start by moving away from the “big” city (Amsterdam). Being surrounded by nature’s finest woods and beaches has naturally calmed me down. Somewhat. Every once and a while the crazy dancer part of me wants to go out, and I indulge, but it’s getting less and less.
Mind you, if I were coaching myself I wouldn’t even focus on changing the habit. I’d be telling myself to change the thinking. What if I don’t need to expect myself to be so “perfect”? What if I stop this struggle with my image as a (saint) life coach? What if I am just perfectly worthy just the way I am?
Hello Life, g’day Trust! Welcome back.