Since the release of the book The Secret there has been a rash of so called life coaching certification courses popping up all over the internet. And consequently, tonnes of people becoming certified in this relatively new field of occupation, that seems to have taken up the slack of the psycho analysis field that seems to have taken a severe downswing since the mid 90s weather due to the proliferation of the internet and other communications technologies or due to the over a hundred years of lack luster results. I would say that it is the most likely a combination of both with the former shedding light on the latter.
Though I am inclined to believe that the field of psycho analysis started off with noble aspirations, out of control egos and the greed of the doctors and the pharmaceutical industry led it to become the farse it is today. Now let me point out that there are definitely acceptions to every rule, meaning that there are some honest doctors out there that are making a difference and truly helping those that come to them. But I believe the mass majority are charlitens and snake oil salesman looking to make a buck off the pain and suffering of others not because the are evil or anything like that, but because they choose to be ignorant.
This brings me to the point of this rant. It seems as though life coaching field is falling victim to the same type of corruption and it has hardly gotten off the ground. It seems like almost every where I turn, I’m being accosted by someone handing me their card and offering their services as a life coach. The funny thing is that not one of them uses the service themselves. When I ask them how they came to be a life coach the answer is usually something like “I did an online course with the university of Phoenix” and most with no practicum and they are considered certified.
This is a farce. The great majority of these people have no idea how to manage their own lives let alone help someone else manage theirs and doing an online course ain’t gonna get you there.
I stated before that the psycho analysis field was mostly a farce as well, but at least the practitioners of it are obliged to use the service as well. And wether or not they believe in what they do beyond making a buck the fact that they are clients as well as practitioners give the client reason to believe that they do. It is out right arrogant the think that even though you yourself have not got your own shit together, you can help me with mine. And I have to say that of all the life coaches I am aware of, none is any better off than I, and none has a life coach of their own.
I am generally not one to bad mouth any field of occupation or system of learning without offering some suggestions that may possibly fix it or otherwise help it in that general direction. So when I observed this situation I quickly saw how it could be more legitimate and actually be of service to society.
There is a very good system of passing on important knowledge and skills that has existed for thousands of years. It is tried and true and the system all but guarantees that the student is ready to perform the skills needed in whatever field the system is used, or it makes it very obvious to the teacher that they are not. The system is the Mentor – Apprentice dynamic. And in the case of the field of life coaching, is this not what they are attempting to reproduce? Well, let me just say to all you life coaches out there that truly give a damn, there is a strong need to go back to the fundamentals. As it is, most are putting the proverbial cart before the the horse and obtaining similar results, always being off track.
Let’s analyze what it means to be a good coach. According to the Cambridge English dictionary:
A coach is an expert, in whichever field he/she is coaching, who trains someone learning or improving a skill, in that field, esp. one related to performing
:an acting coach
So to be a good coach one should be an expert in the field in which they are coaching. In the case of a football coach, the best are those who were once good players, they are very experienced at performing well in the game of football. And this is not subjective. They likely have the stats and the film footage to back it up. On top of all of this. they were most likely, at the time of their peek in performance as a player, being coached by the type of individual we have already described here.
Now, what is a mentor, if not also what we have described here? However, it is more pertinent to what life coaching is than what football coaching is. A good mentor is someone experienced at doing well in the game of life and though this can be somewhat subjective, There are definitely indicators that are solid evidence of success or failure. And let me add that in our hearts, if we are honest with ourselves, we know.
Referring to the good coach and mentor, from the vast majority of life coaches that I have met this is not how I would describe the field. To continue with the football analogy I would describe them as uncoached mediocre players that have seen little if any objective success in their career as a player and now they want me to believe that they will be successful in a coaching career. Not likely.
The people in this field are for the most part have been somehow deluded into thinking that all they need to do to is take an online course and they are an expert. This points to the fact that they are either weak minded individuals that can be easily conned into things or that they are narcissistic and that they think they are experts at everything. Whatever the case may be. I think that becoming a client of a life coach will only benefit the life coach.
My suggestion to those that are seeking help in getting their lives together is to first of all figure out what it is you would love to do as an occupation. This can be more of chore than one might think, if you have not considered it before, so I warn you not to take it lightly really consider your choices. Then, go out and find someone who is doing well in that field and ask them to mentor you. The same goes for those who are interested in life coaching; figure out what area you want to be an expert in and find a Mentor. And once the Mentor says he/she thinks you are ready and you agree, become a mentor. I just want to add that there are many disciplines in the game of life, so it may take some time and possibly a few different Mentors if you want to master them all.
It makes sense to me to use what works and the Mentor/Apprentice relationship, as I stated earlier, is tried and true. If you care about results, why would you choose the less effective hit and miss form of what has been proven to work?
Your life is precious, trust it only to someone who has done something great with his/her own and even then be wary.
Take responsibility for your life!