Are coaching and personal development the plague of our time? There are more than plenty of life coaches, motivational speakers, personal development trainers, as well as tons of their followers and… critics. Although the very idea of ”personal development”, understood as broadening horizons and acquiring new skills is truly praiseworthy, there is a ridiculous hype around the entire industry that became a feed for memes – and it is hardly surprising.
While there is nothing wrong with willingness to grow as a person, coaching can do more harm than good. Why? We present 5 reasons why life coaching can stand in the way of your development and will not change your life at all.
Many of us regret that the day still consists only of 24 hours. If you are trying to combine professional and private life and still want to devote a few hours a week to your development, sadly, there will always be too little time. It’s natural that the time you can spend on reading books, for example, is limited. In this situation, you must choose wisely the things that are really valuable. How? A few examples: do not attend another personal development training, choose a course which will teach you something practical instead – for example cooking lessons or the basics of programming; do not read books about personal development, but books that really bring a value into your life. In the literature you will find more truths about life than in motivational meetings. No offense, but some coaching guru speeches cannot compare to the works of Proust or Kafka!
2. It gives you a false sense that you are doing something valuable
You think that if you read books about personal development, follow your favorite coaches on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Tumblr (and so on, and so forth), and regularly participate in webinars, trainings and expensive courses, then you don’t have to invest more in yourself because you are already doing enough! Unfortunately, there is nothing worse than to fall into complacency, because it deprives motivation for further actions and development in other areas – like expanding your knowledge or learning new professional skills. Do you like to watch some motivating videos from time to time or read a book about personal development? OK, we won’t judge you (everyone has their guilty pleasures), but do not limit yourself to that!
3. It devours your financial resources
Your favorite coach has scrupulously built his brand with a lot of marketing tricks. The purpose? To make you put your hand in your pocket and pay hard-earned money for all the courses, guides, trainings and other pleasures. Without thinking, you pay the price, because you are sure this is exactly what you need – another revolutionary method that will definitely change your life this time and lead you down the path to success! Let’s face it – in many cases, the coaching industry is a well-functioning machine for earning money and the devoted fans are the main source of income. On the other hand, the wannabe life coaches also have to pay a lot of money in order to participate in certified courses and all kinds of trainings with fancy names. These are large sums that could be spent on something much more useful.
4. It makes you rely on other people instead of counting on yourself
Instead of taking matters into your own hands, you blindly believe that the help of a life coach is key to solve your problems (and beware, we are not talking about professionals, like therapists!). However, this way you forget that you are the only person who can really change something in your life. Ironically, this principle is one of the foundations of traditional life coaching! Usually, the coach’s job is to make you realize that you have the power to do everything, and help you to use all your talent in order to achieve your full potential. However, too often this situation is completely reversed, and the coachee passionately listens to everything that the trainer has to say, but does not make any changes to his life.
5. It doesn’t make you realize that the greatest wisdom comes from life experience
“Experience is the best teacher” – sounds like a cliché, right? However many could learn valuable lessons from that Cicero’s sentence. This truth applies to both practical skills (there is no better way to learn than trying and making mistakes), and the so-called “life wisdom”, which is difficult to learn from books. The experience gained over the years can’t be replaced – some things we just have to experience by ourselves. This does not mean, of course, that learning is useless, but there are undoubtedly certain issues that you will not learn from books or by training.