How often have you heard people say “I’ll do it when the time is right”?
It’s almost as if the “right time” is a physical destination somewhere down the road. They can’t say exactly where it is, but they’ll know it when they see it. In the meantime, there’s always some interim factor to consider. Some reason why now just isn’t right.
It’s the same thing with our dreams. Many people imagine they’d like to change careers and become a life coach. Yet years may go by, and they’re still talking about it. Never acting on it.
What we fail to realize is that we might never arrive at “the right time”.
Often we’re so busy looking for a map that we don’t notice as we drive right past the opportunities.
If we really want something, why do we hold back? And what can we do to break through the hesitation and take decisive action?
Want to become a life coach? If you haven’t made the shift from dreaming to doing, let’s explore common roadblocks and how you can overcome them.
Why We Wait
“I’m not there yet”
This is a tricky one, because it implies that you’re actually growing toward your goal.
The way to tell whether it’s legit or simply an excuse for inaction is simple.
Ask yourself: “Do I know what it takes to get “there”?
If you’ve been taking the right steps toward becoming a coach, carry on.
If you don’t know what those steps are, it’s time to get very clear about what it takes. Do you need training? A marketing plan to attract clients? Startup funding? More practice? Whatever it is, map out a plan and timeline to get those things done.
What if you know what needs to be done, but haven’t taken action? It’s time to assess. How much do you really want it? Are there other factors like the ones below that are also getting in the way?
“I must be XYZ first”
There’s usually one of two things going on behind this belief: Imposter Syndrome, or Perfectionism.
Both are predicated on the idea that there’s some external judge assessing your “readiness” - one who may find you wanting. Usually, that judge exists only in your head.
With Imposter Syndrome, you may doubt your own abilities. You could even think you’ll be exposed as a fraud. Is it helpful to know that this feeling is incredibly common across all fields? The International Journal of Behavioral Science cites a study that showed upwards of 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in their lives. Just knowing this is what you’re experiencing, and giving yourself some grace to just feel those feelings, is the best antidote.
Perfectionism can originate from a variety of sources, but may also be an attempt to combat Imposter Syndrome. The perfectionist belief is that if you can just remain one step ahead, you’ll have the situation under control and can avoid criticism. We know perfectionism is a trap, but we sometimes fall down in there anyway.
When it comes to finding the courage to forge ahead in the face of these fears, Aristotle said it best:
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
5 Reasons to Stop Waiting
You won’t build self-efficacy by standing still
Self efficacy is a psychological concept that we really love. Simply put, it’s the belief that you actually can Do The Thing. It’s also a theory that’s particularly useful in coaching, and comes out of research conducted by Albert Bandura.
We build self efficacy through:
- Mastery experiences (achieving “wins”)
- Vicarious experiences (seeing others succeed)
- Verbal persuasion (being told we are capable)
- Emotional states (feeling healthy and well)
To believe that you can become a life coach… it helps to just do something toward achieving that goal. Start small if you need to. Just start.
Life is too short to be a benchwarmer
We often stop short of fully engaging with our dreams because we’re afraid of what others may have to say about it. What if our friends and family don’t support us? Or worse, disapprove? The truth is that stepping fully into our dreams will require vulnerability. And according to researcher Brene Brown, this is where courage comes into play. Find the courage to live your truth. The alternative to living a life you love is living one that’s been built around somebody else’s expectations.
There’s room for you at the table
It’s easy to think “there are already too many coaches out there”. But if you did, you’d be mistaken! Coaching is currently a $2.85 billion dollar industry, and consumer demand for our services is on a decidedly upward trajectory. The profession itself has also gained in both stature and credibility over the past decade. There’s really never been a better time to get in.
Your story can help others
Many people become life coaches because they’ve overcome a big challenge and want to help other people do the same. This might be why you’re considering becoming a coach too. And if it is, know that there are people out there who very likely need what you have to offer.
Curious how this works in action? Read: 5 Growing Coaching Niches Where Your Story Matters.
There’s never going to be a “perfect time”
If the past year has taught us nothing else, it’s this: life doesn’t always go to plan. If you have aspirations to be somewhere other than where you are right now, it’s time to get going. We sometimes forget that we don’t control the clock. But what we do have control over is our choices. Want life to be different? You have to do it differently.
Besides, perfection is overrated. Or as JRNI co-founder John Kim likes to tell our coaching students: “You’ve got to build the bus as you’re driving it.”
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