I recently saw a coaching course advertised.
At the end of the curriculum, if the theory was clear enough for you, you’d receive an official Life Coach Certificate.
With or without seeing clients.
Because with this particular coaching course, coaching was 100% optional.
Not an obligation.
Now I don’t claim to have the ultimate definition of what it means to coach, what the highest purpose of coaching is, or even what makes someone a good and powerful coach, but what I DO know is that coaching is very much about coaching.
Not about reading about coaching.
Not about memorizing rows of questions without ever using them.
Not about studying famous or impactful coaches.
Because it is only in the interaction with people where you’ll find all your shitty inhibitions and habits and psychological pitfalls.
And you will HAVE to deal with all of them, to learn to transcend them at will.
In a most profound and critical way, coaching is about getting free from the sense of your own importance, this deeply personal identification with life that we all mistake for who we are.
For most people it takes a long time to be fairly neutral and open in conversations, and to be able to recover from crippling habitual human-to-human dynamics.
It took me years to be able to let go most of the time, to play with the space of life, and I still come across all kinds of unhelpful thoughts and shitty triggers.
Because one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced over the last years as a coach, is not the pain and confusion my clients bring to the table, but the endless amount of thinking I have going on while coaching.
Overcoming all of that is impossible if the only thing you do is study.
As long as you are not out there in the trenches, everything will seem pretty much ideal and flawless and relaxed and obvious and safe.
It’s like learning martial arts while training with a doll, or, even worse, learning martial arts from a book.
No way that’s gonna work.
Not in martial arts, and not in coaching.
You need to get punched in the face to learn how to deal with that.
You need to feel discomfort and fear and stay in the game just the same.
You need to know how to be grounded and stay grounded.
You need fierce physical and psychological and emotional interaction.
And none of that happens when you only read books or watch videos.