Monday, June 11, 2018

I Am Not A Life Coach

Every so often I get a comment or question from a consulting client that I think is worth responding to. One of the thing I make very clear on my Work With Me page and when I talk to potential clients is that I am not a life coach. Recently someone was like "but aren't you though?"

I gave it some thought, but I really don't think I am... and here's why:

First of all, it's not easy to define exactly what a life coach even is. The general consensus is that is has to do with helping people live their best lives. But there are tons of different ways that can happen apparently and different people focus on different things.

And yeah, that can includes things like goal setting and habit forming, which are things that I do. But it also includes more emotional, touchy-feeling things that I do not do. Like helping people eliminate unhelpful thought patterns or have a more positive attitude.

I'm just not feeling focused. Not that I want to make people feel badly, mind you! I just care less about how people feel and more about what they get done. I guess I really do believe -- like that chick in that batman movie -- that it's what you do that defines you.

This can be bad mind you. I express sympathy through well-meaning advice and motivation -- which drives a lot of people really nuts. And I tend to ignore feelings when I shouldn't -- even my own (though I'm working on it). It's not, I hope, because I'm a sociopath. In fact I feel things very deeply and emotional control is something I've struggled with my whole life. So maybe this rational, action oriented mindset is my coping mechanism.

In any case, while it's sometimes detrimental for me, it's more often extremely helpful. No reason you can't benefit from it.

Plus, there's such a thing as being a certified life coach -- which I am not.

What I am is a professional project manager (certified even). Which happens to be a career that takes what would be my most annoying traits like excessive pro-activity and a desire to control everything and turns them into strengths. May you all be so lucky as to find yourself in such a career.

I really do want people to live their best lives. But I guess I'm just not confident enough to assume I know what that is. What I can do though is help you think in an organized way about your own best life and, once you've made a first guess as to what it is, to help you figure out how to get yourself to that life. How to get shit done.



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