How to really become a life coach – Don’t believe the hype
Noticing the wording in the title is the first step, it doesn’t say learn skills, or train, or read I use the word become, because a great coach has embodied the experience of becoming a coach.
Becoming a life coach is a transformative experience, life changing and forever, it’s not something you learn and can forget, it will change all areas of your life, relationships, parenting, work life, friendships, you name it, it will change.
Becoming” is a process, processes take time!
Many people get fixated on qualifications and I will talk about that later, there are many coaches who only have qualification, but have not become a life coach. It’s very easy in life to intellectualise processes, it’s a defence mechanism we have learned to get by. I am not saying it’s good or bad, it just is.
Becoming a coach is about getting past the defences, getting through to your true essence and realising how you have been looking at life this whole time, seeing where your defences show up and challenging them. Working with great people who will challenge your bs and help you transform and grow into your brilliance.
You can only take a client as deep as you have gone yourself
What is a life coach
A life coach is someone who has done the deep inner work, so much so that they are more invested in you getting what you want, than they are about being liked.
It really isn’t useful to clients giving advice or colluding with them in their defences, when it feels tough, that’s when you lean into your edge, if it’s not challenging as a coach, you’re probably missing something.
If you want to start committing to yourself –
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Do you have what it takes to become a life coach?
Whether or not you have what it takes is a great question to ask yourself, get a coach, bring up this question and explore it. For me what it takes is, a willingness to admit what got you here can’t take you there.
A desire to grow and allow your own brilliance to emerge, to allow the vulnerability that comes with that and to be seen by others. To be willing to invest as much in yourself as you are asking others to invest in you! That was a big one, I remember being asked by my coach. How can you expect other people to invest that amount of money in you, when you have not invested it in yourself and you have no clue how that feels, it was a big realisation!
Don’t expect to do a free weekend course, call yourself a coach and then have clients invest thousands in your services, getting suckered into the laptop on a beach posts on social media.
Five Steps to Becoming a Life Coach
Here are some of the steps which I think are massively important to becoming a great coach. They are not definitive and or the only way, but I would say necessary and relevant to the transformation needed.
1 Get your own coach
Getting your own coach is essential, as I mentioned above, how could you expect other people to invest in you if you won’t invest in yourself. Learn what it’s like being vulnerable, seeing the real you, getting underneath words and seeing the true potential of yourself so you can do it for your clients.
2 Be prepared to go on a life changing journey
This really is exactly what’s in store, a journey. If you think it’s about learning tips, motivation and mind-bending techniques, you will only ever skim the surface of your own greatness and the same with clients. The deeper you go on this journey the deeper you will be able to take others.
3 Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Being uncomfortable is where you lean into your own greatness, break down your defences and look at how you think they have protected you, and how to move through that. It’s the edgy part of growth where so much insight can be found and experienced. Get used to leaning into things you usually shy away from.
4 Invest in the best life coach training
I can’t emphasis this enough, in an industry where you can be qualified in a weekend course, online! And everyone is calling themselves a coach, invest in yourself, heavily. If the emphasis is on becoming, and transforming then do experiential work rather than academic, it’s a great experience and transformative.
5 Continue to grow and change
Don’t ever give up We talked about a life changing journey, that journey never ends, growth is continuous, it may not feel that way at times, but always remain open to new insight and work with different people. Deepen your understanding of yourself and the human experience we are having 😉
What Skills Are Required to Become a Life Coach?
Saying all that, it’s important to have some skills, it’s just that the foundation you will create in the method above changes the way you use the skills you learn. You can’t learn active listening academically, or you can’t learn to see underneath words from an online tutorial. So, are they skills or ways of being? A skill is defined as the ability to do something well!
So great skills:
- The ability to be present in an intimate setting with your client
- The ability to listen underneath words to see the unspoken
- The ability to face fears and move in directions that are scary
- The ability to self-reflect on your interactions with clients
- To break through your limitations, and step into the greatness you were born with
- To network and engage people in powerful conversations free from judgement
- To get out of yourself and see other perspectives
Finding a Life Coach Certification Programme
You can find many life coach certifications from online study free course, to long distance learning. I have travelled round the world doing different trainings with different people and each one taught me something different. If you are fixated on going down this road. I would suggest looking at the ICF website, Michael Neill Supercoach academy or Jamie Smart Clarity.
Study options and qualifications
Based on years of trying different things and knowing on a very deep level what is involved in this process, the benefits of experiential programmes by far outweigh any academic or online options.
The reason is there is a hugely important missing element from those programmes, contact. All the work I talked about above can’t be done in a classroom where this is no safe container, or on your own behind a computer screen.
Experiential Coaching certifications are about the ontological approach to life coaching, about being. While they have a study part to them, they really are about transformation. What I always suggest to coaches is to get involved in a programme where you will be challenged and get something deeper out of it than a piece of paper. Many people put emphasis on qualifications and they are great, with the rest of the above.
The issue here is the industry is hugely unregulated, trainings are worldwide across multiple types of coaching, it is pretty much impossible to use this as a method of assessment. Coaches accredited by the ICF will of course have been through a set of training, but it’s very easy to hide in that, by hide I mean stay in your defences, and most definitely not all coaches that are accredited are good.
Life Coach Salary & Job Growth
Once you are underway on your journey there are many options that open up as to how to use coaching in your life + career. You can use your new found understanding of self and others to negotiate your way into a higher paid position. You could also start out on your own with a coaching practice. There are multiple opportunities and the potential is limitless.
As for life coach salary, how much do you want to earn? You can set your own fees, many people work for £40/hr whereas I know great coaches who charge £1000s per hour.
Joining Professional Life Coach Associations & Groups
It’s always useful to connect and network with other people on the same journey. You can find out about different groups to join, studies and online resources, meet new people and have some conversations where potential is created for your coaching practice.
It is great to interact with other coaches and have deep conversations, share journeys and keep challenging yourself around people who will not buy your story.
The career of life coaching or being a life coach is hugely fulfilling. It is truly the most rewarding experience seeing someone who is stuck somewhere moving forward, or seeing someone achieve something they never thought they could. The connection of 2 human beings is the real feeling of being alive, intimacy. Believing in another human being so much so that they can change their life as a result of that belief.
What’s required to become a life coach is a life changing deep inner journey to personal change. With the focus on becoming rather than learning it is important to embody the experience of change and to transition into your new-found self.
Surround yourself with great people inspiring people who lean into their edge, who are willing to get uncomfortable and call you out on your bullshit. Always be looking to grow, and get your own coaching. Keep learning, trying new things and aspiring for greatness that is within you.
You can become a life coach in a weekend if you really just want the title, but if you want to become a great coach it will take time and willingness to get in deep.
I find it best to learn things as you go along the journey in your own personal development and progress, they go hand in hand. There are many things to learn and understandings of self to learn.
I would say the most important training is your own personal development, embrace your greatness, stand in your power. As a great coach may say, you will find the training that’s right for you, at this time, based on what you believe or see of the world.