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February 9, 2022

Speaking Up about the Coaching Industry—a few things that Need to Change.

There are so many things I love about the coaching and transformational industries, and then there are also a few things that, in my opinion, need to shift.

They need to shift because they hold practitioners back from doing the best work they can do, and they hold our clients back from transformation.

One of those things is the idea that when we reach a goal, we arrive.

Here is the actual truth I’ve learned (from working with thousands of clients and from tracking my own journey):

We are never going to get to the place where we don’t have moments of pain.

We are never going to get to the place where we never stumble over some shadows or fears.

We are never going to get to the place where all of our problems or stresses are gone for good.

We are never going to get to the place where we finally, once and for all, feel totally satiated all the time.

We are never going to “arrive” (whatever that means).

There is no goal we can achieve that makes us immune to all of this. The idea that any of these can happen is a myth, and it goes against the very nature of what it means to be an evolving, growing human being.

To be human is to feel joy—and also to feel pain.

To be human is to enjoy accomplishment—and to also have a longing for more.

To be human is to find courage and boldness—and also to feel fear.

To be human is to feel incredible love—and also to feel anger.

This is not bad news. This is simply being human. This is what we’re about. This is how it’s supposed to be. Incredible and awe-inspiring and also sometimes hard.

The more we can really embrace this, the more opportunity we have to feel more moments of happiness and joy and satisfaction and love.

One of the things I have always stood for in the coaching industry is the idea that reaching any goal is not the end all be all, no matter how amazing that goal is.

Reaching that goal does not “fix” us or shield us from future pain or disappointment or guarantee we feel incredible forever and ever.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love goals, I love achieving goals, and I love supporting clients to achieve their goals. It is worthy and important work.

But—and this is a big “but”—reaching the goal is usually nowhere near as useful as what we learn along the way: the strengths we cultivate, the ways we find to love and have compassion for ourselves, the fears we befriend, the shadows we learn to harness, and the new ways we can accept, embrace, embody the actual complexity of being human, or the human condition.

The best practitioners are the ones who understand this, and who skillfully and masterfully support their clients not only toward goals and glory, but toward deep transformation and acceptance of the human condition.

The more we accept the nature of being human, the less we will judge, criticize, hate on, feel shame, and feel disappointed in ourselves and our lives for simply having a human experience.

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