Have you ever met someone who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do with their life since the time they were a kid? People who held tight to an inner passion, and never let it go? That level of clarity is possible, but for most of us it can take some trial and error before we get there!
For some, a professional calling is clear as glass. No doubting, just doing. Others come at it sideways. We may start down one path, only to realize that what we thought might be our calling is simply a career. We begin to wonder: what’s possible if I reach for more?
How about you? Do you have an inkling of what you were born to do, but uncertain about how to pursue it? If so, you’re hardly alone.
When it comes to chasing a big dream, there’s usually a lot at stake. Doubt and fear are common barriers to realizing our full potential. But here's the truth of it: answering your calling isn’t something you can do halfway. The best way forward is to make a full commitment from the start.
Why is a sense of calling important?
If you know where you’re going and why it’s so important to you, you’re far more likely to arrive at your intended destination. And if you’re thinking about making a career in coaching, chances are you already have a calling... whether you realize it or not.
But what is a “calling” anyway - is it destiny, or something we actively choose? Could be that it’s a bit of both! Consider “destiny” as your unique blueprint as a human being. The clues to your personal calling are often found in those things you’re naturally interested in, drawn to, or curious about. Some of these were likely present from the time you were young. Further interests develop along the way as a result of your life experiences.
Active choice comes into play when you take these threads and begin weaving them together. Imagine a person who’s always been intrigued by how things work - the mechanics of things. Now imagine that this person experiences a life altering trauma. Inclination + experience might turn their attention to studying how trauma impacts the brain, and the science of healing for both body and mind. This connection can result in a strong sense of calling: to coach others through healing and resilience after a traumatic experience.
Now consider another case.
Imagine someone slogging away in a job they aren’t happy with. This person is naturally a good listener, and friends and colleagues often come to them when they want help working through challenges. Because of this, it’s been suggested that a career as a therapist or coach could be a good fit. Scrolling through Instagram, they feel drawn toward the “digital nomad, work from anywhere” lifestyle. A lot of people who appear to be doing that successfully call themselves life coaches. It looks like a pretty amazing gig! If life coaching can combine their natural abilities with an appealing lifestyle why not check it out?
Both examples describe legitimate motivations. But which feels like a calling? Of the two, who is more likely to push through the fear, doubt, challenges, and obstacles that may arise as they work to build a coaching business?
What makes a calling so powerful?
When you land in alignment between what you're naturally good at, and what has personal meaning for you, that’s a calling. It’s also the rocket fuel that propels you toward your goals.
Here's why that's important. When we answer our calling, the path may not always be smooth. Some people in your life might not “get it”. You may question whether what you’re doing will pay off. As an aspiring coach, expect to move through a period of uncertainty.
It takes grit to launch your own practice, and sometimes a leap of faith! An inner knowing that you’re meant to do this is a powerful force. It drives you to overcome your doubts, take risks, put in the effort, and keep moving forward. No matter where you are, a sense of calling becomes your “true north”: an always-present landmark that you can faithfully navigate by.
How can you be sure that coaching is your calling?
Investigate! One place to start is simply with some clarifying questions:
- What difference am I hoping to make?
- What problem or challenge do I want to help people solve?
- What are my natural skills and interests? How do these connect to coaching as a profession?
- What kind of life do I want to live? How can my work support that vision, enhance my own potential, and contribute to my personal fulfillment?
It’s helpful to think of coaching as a vehicle to achieve your purpose. Pop the hood, and you'll find the “why” - the engine that drives your desire to coach. It could be that what you feel called to do is to support people as they go through a divorce, or assist others in reclaiming their vitality after a significant illness. Maybe your calling is to help people transition from one profession to another, or to bring more art and creativity into their lives.
A calling is what motivates you to do this work. Coaching is simply the toolkit for achieving it!
Becoming credentialed as a coach is also pragmatic. It’s an investment in turning your calling to help others into a viable living.
Ready To Answer The Call?
A good coaching program will not only teach you essential coaching skills and tools for launching your practice, but will also support you in exploring your calling - otherwise known in the industry as your niche or area of specialization. That’s why both JRNI’s Essentials and Signature training programs include expert guidance for discovering your “why”, help to uncover your niche, and instruction on how to position your services to attract the clients you most want to serve.
If you’d like to talk with us in depth about what it takes to become a coach, we’d love to hear from you! Click here to schedule a call with one of our team members for more information, to get your questions answered, and see how we can help you become a force for good.