Do you trust yourself as a life coach?
Imagine: A client pays for the benefit of speaking with you as a professional life coach.
Can you deliver?
At the thought of sitting down with a paying client, many new life coaches fill their minds with doubt. Who am I to give advice? What if I say the wrong thing? I have problems of my own, so I shouldn’t be coaching anyone.
The solution is to believe in yourself as a life coach. Once you trust your coaching abilities, doubts wane and positive results happen with clients. How do you get there? In this post, we’ll cover nine tips that pave the way.
- Learn to Trust Yourself as a Life Coach
- 1. Understand what makes coaching work.
- 2. Relax and be yourself.
- 3. Take an inventory of your strengths and micro-wins.
- 4. Coach, coach, and coach some more
- 5. Stay focused on who you serve and why.
- 6. Do until you make it.
- 7. Get curious and ask yourself questions.
- 8. Use a support system.
- 9. Manage your inner critic.
Learn to Trust Yourself as a Life Coach
1. Understand what makes coaching work.
Life coaching a professional relationship in which you spend a lot of time listening to understand clients. More than any other factor, the quality of the relationship brings about change in the client.
How many of us go through life feeling misunderstood, particularly in areas of personal difficulty? Feeling understood is, in and of itself, a powerful healing factor. A growing body of research suggests that when we feel understood we are happier, more satisfied in life, and physically healthier.
Many coaches enter a life coaching session feeling pressure to solve the client’s problem. Will you find the right method? Will the client get the desired result? We spend time with our problem-solving hat on when we should simply listen and ask genuine questions to understand the client.
Regardless of how many coaching or NLP techniques you know, if you did nothing more than listen deeply, you’d make a profound impact as a coach.
The added benefit of placing your emphasis on understanding is that the better you understand, the more effective you’ll be when choosing and using coaching or NLP techniques.
2. Relax and be yourself.
How credible are you to yourself when you play the role of life coach?
Many new life coaches – understandably – try to “coach correctly” and worry about doing it right. We ask, “Right, according to whom?” Any good life coach trainer will teach you coaching models and tools to build your own style of coaching.
It boils down to this: You have your own ideas. You naturally form thoughts and opinions in response to people all around you. It’s not much different inside a life coaching session. Don’t let “doing it right” get in the way of your natural intuition. Remember, the tools are there to serve you, not the other way around.
3. Take an inventory of your strengths and micro-wins.
In moments of self-doubt, we tend to forget our strengths and resources and focus on where we may fall short. What happens when you go down this anxiety-inducing spiral?
Some new coaches try to compensate for the lack they feel by rushing to get additional training before considering what they really need. Others struggle believing they don’t have what it takes and procrastinate growing their coaching business.
Instead, slow down and ask: What strengths, skills, and resources do I already have? If you have been through a good life coach training, you definitely have enough skill to coach. When you’re relaxed. those skills will shine.
Seeing your progress and taking an inventory of your assets will not only remove the clouds of self-doubt but also motivate you to grow even more. Build a strong case for believing in yourself as a life coach!
4. Coach, coach, and coach some more
There is no substitute for putting in a concentrated effort and doing the work continuously when it comes to growing as a coach.
Remember all the effort you put into the training and the countless coaching practice hours?! Now that you are a life coach, you will continue to do the same.I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. ~ Bruce Lee
You are putting hard-won knowledge and skill into action. Trust your training.
5. Stay focused on who you serve and why.
How likely is it that you are fully prepared to help anybody who comes through your door on any challenges?
As a life coach who cares about the happiness and success of others, it is understandable to want to work with anybody who needs coaching. But this flexibility can also create a bit of anxiety. It’s like being asked to dance formal Viennese waltz on demand when you are a free-styling street dancer or being in the orchestra and agreeing to play every single instrument professionally.
It’s more believable to say that you are prepared to coach on a certain topic. And once you are clear on the reason why you want to coach in the niche, you will likely feel a genuine connection to your coaching practice and deepen the trust in yourself as a coach.
6. Do until you make it.
If you want to believe in yourself as a coach, then act like one. This is not about fake it until you make it. Do it until you make it. How can you trust yourself as a professional coach if you approach it like a hobby?
If you are new to being a business owner, you may or may not be aware of what is involved. You may even suffer from imposter syndrome in this regard. Worrying that clients will find out what a fake you are is not the most comfortable way to success.
Act as if you have a real coaching practice (because you do). Create a business plan, set clear goals and commit to those everyday tasks that will take to in the right direction. Own the life of a practicing coach inside and outside the coaching sessions.
7. Get curious and ask yourself questions.
As a life coach, we know the power of simple questions. When the self-doubt strikes, it’s a perfect opportunity to get curious and exercise your coaching skill.
- What do I need if I want to trust myself as a life coach?
- What is my self-doubt telling me that’s positive?
- What do I rather believe?
- What can I do right now to move forward?
- What should I avoid doing if I want to move ahead?
Don’t push away the negative feelings or buy into the self-destructive thoughts. Just ask helpful questions and see where they take you. You will learn something new and interesting about yourself, which can open you up to a new level of confidence.
8. Use a support system.
Do you sit alone with your self-doubt or do you have a trusted group of people of whom you can openly ask for support?
The importance of having someone in your corner and feeling understood applies to everyone, including life coaches! Any good life coach training should provide an engaging community that continues to provide support well after certification is complete.
This is why the iNLP Center life coach training offers programs like the Coaching Buddies initiative and our private student community.
Life coaches need support! To be able to connect with colleagues and find answers to our common questions is an ongoing gift that keeps on giving.
A strong support system will boost your morale and give you a much-needed boost when you are skeptical about your abilities.
9. Manage your inner critic.
What you say to yourself and how you say it has a direct impact on your psyche, whether the inner monologue is factual or not. When you feel insecure, what are you telling yourself to plant the seeds of self-doubt?
The good news is that you have the power to change your own narrative and decide how you want to respond. And remember, not all self-talk is unhelpful. Once you learn how to create awareness around your self-talk and learn to work with it, you can transform it into an ally.
I found this old video that offers a unique approach to self-criticism. Chances are very high this will be new to you. When it works, the inner critic just melts away.
We hope you’ve gotten a nugget to carry with you on your life coaching path. Any questions? Don’t hesitate to be in touch!
Final thought: If you lack confidence as a coach, the self-doubt has a cause, even when it’s irrational. The challenge is to root it out and apply the right tools. It can be done!
A special thanks to Kay Kikuchi for her invaluable contributions to this article.