S1.Ep9: “I’m not qualified to start a coaching business”

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Miranda is a life coach who is starting to see really exciting traction in her business. However, as interest in her work has grown, she’s noticed an obstacle thought that’s getting in her way. She knows it isn’t serving her, so she decided to call The Life Coach Hotline for some advice.

If you too are a coach, maybe you can resonate with this thought: “I don’t know if I’m qualified to help people because I don’t know how to coach everyone on everything.” This is something many coaches believe to be a problem, but the great news is it isn’t.

Listen in this week to hear what the number one job of a life coach is, and how you don’t need to have experienced everything your clients have to help them. Miranda is sharing where this fear is coming from, and her realization of how she already helps people on situations and topics she hasn’t experienced herself.

If you want to call in to The Life Coach Hotline, go to lindseymango coaching.com/lifecoachhotline.

What You'll Learn on this Episode

  • What the job of a life coach is.
  • The actions that come from the feeling of disempowerment.
  • Why you don’t need to have the same experiences as your clients to help them.
  • Where confidence really comes from.
  • What it takes to trust in your coaching business.

Featured on the Show


Click to Read Episode Transcript

Lindsey: Hi, welcome to The Life Coach Hotline. This is Lindsey Mango, your life coach. How can I help you?

Miranda: Hey, Lindsey, this is Miranda and I was wanting to talk to you today about this issue I’m facing with coaching because, as you may know, I want to be a life coach as well. And I’m starting to see some really cool traction in that area. I also have a podcast about life coaching and that’s been getting some traction.

And as that’s been growing and I’ve had more people be interested in it, I’ve been facing this thought, this barrier that’s kind of holding me back. And it’s just that I don’t actually know if I am qualified to start coaching because I don’t know how to coach everyone and everything.

Lindsey: Okay.

Miranda: Yeah, and I hear you coaching all sorts of issues that I just would have no idea how to help people with. And I feel like that’s a problem.

Lindsey: Okay, perfect. So I’m going to ask you this question first. What do you think a life coach’s job is or a coach’s job is?

Miranda: I think a life coach’s job is to point out the thoughts that somebody is not seeing that are holding them back. I think a lot of it is bringing awareness to a person. And from there, the person is able to just go so far on their own. So I think the biggest thing I would say is bring awareness and empower people.

Lindsey: Okay, perfect.

Miranda: In my opinion.

Lindsey: I love it. I think that’s great, a great explanation of it. So what keeps you from thinking you could bring awareness to anything or any problem that anyone brings to you? Like, if you just look at it as simple as that, what are your thoughts?

Miranda: I guess I can do that. So then maybe I would change my answer to bring awareness and kind of know the right questions to ask to bring that awareness, because sometimes I don’t know what questions I would ask somebody.

Lindsey: Okay.

Miranda: Yeah, that’s hard.

Lindsey: So here’s the biggest thing with coaching, your number one job is your presence and your curiosity. But my question is, when you have the thought, I need to know the right questions or I don’t know if I’m qualified, how do you feel and what ends up happening?

Miranda: I guess I’m just annoyed because then I’m like, okay, well, I have to keep waiting to really kick off my coaching business and I can’t truly open it up yet because I’d feel really embarrassed if somebody came to me with something and I’m like, “I literally have no idea how to help you with that.”

And so then it just makes me feel small and disempowered and annoyed, honestly, is the main feeling.

Lindsey: Okay, we’re going to get to that in a second, I wrote down a note. But I want to know, if you were on a call or when you’re listening to me coach in the life membership or anybody coach and you’re like, I don’t know if I’m qualified or I don’t know the right questions to ask, how do you feel in your body?

Miranda: Worried.

Lindsey: Okay, what else?

Miranda: Worried and also, the same as what I said before, annoyed.

Lindsey: Okay.

Miranda: And disempowered.

Lindsey: I would also offer and, I mean, you can tell me, obviously, this is your body, not mine. But those thoughts in my mind also would create some confusion and pressure.

Miranda: Yeah, totally.

Lindsey: Okay. And then when you’re worried, confused, feel pressure, annoyed and disempowered, how do you show up?

Miranda: I mean, I think since I’ve been doing this work for so many years, I’m pretty good at not taking action from that place because I know that the action won’t be good. So thankfully I haven’t, you know, I think something my past self would have done is drop thousands of dollars to join another course so that I can get even faster growth and be that life coach I want to be.

Or just, well, actually, I am not taking any action. So I think that is the action that’s coming from this feeling. I’m still not putting myself out there as fully as I could.

Lindsey: Yeah, so inaction.

Miranda: Yeah.

Lindsey: And I’m guessing, let me ask you this, if you were actually on a call with somebody and those were your thoughts and that was how you were feeling, what would that look like?

Miranda: Like if I was on a call with somebody and I didn’t know how to –

Lindsey: You were like, I don’t know the right questions to ask, and what was the other thought you had? I don’t know if I’m qualified to help them.

Miranda: Oh gosh, I hate thinking about that. If I was experiencing that on a call, I don’t know, I’d probably have to be like, okay, give me a second to think for a little bit. And I don’t think I’d like end the call or something, but I might just need to –

Lindsey: You wouldn’t just spontaneously combust, you would figure it out, right?

Miranda: I would figure it out, yeah. I’d give myself some compassion in the moment and just trust my instincts, I guess.

Lindsey: Okay, but this is a really great answer because when you are having that thought process, when you’re telling yourself I don’t know the right question or I’m not qualified, that immediately takes you out of the presence, which is actually what keeps you from being able to coach. It’s not the fact that you don’t actually know, it’s just that you’re telling yourself that.

Miranda: This is another thing that’s really coming up for me is, I remember one time I was in a coaching session with a different coach and I was going through something tough. And she was saying, “Oh, well because you’re going through this hard experience, that’s really going to help future clients who will go through something similar.”

And so now I’m like, having this thought like I have to go through every single hard thing and coach myself through that, so I can know how to coach other people through that. Because in my experience, how it works for me, how I have to coach through something is kind of how a lot of people have to coach through something.

And that’s very generalized, but I’m just like, I haven’t experienced enough of life, too. It’s like I have to experience every hard thing, which is so silly. But that’s how I think I’ll best empathize.

Lindsey: So you don’t necessarily need to empathize to be a great coach. But I think what that coach was saying, and I agree, and you maybe heard it in a way that didn’t serve you, was you thought they have to go through the exact experience, like I have to go through the same experience as them. Whereas it’s more about when you coach yourself through any experience, the process looks similar to any other experience, meaning it doesn’t have to be the same experience.

So let me just give you a quick example. One of the common things in coaching is understanding the difference between fear and love, right? That’s something I teach in the life membership, I’m sure that’s something you’ve heard a lot about as you’ve done lots of coaching. So it’s identifying like, where are you coming from fear and what results does that create versus when you’re coming from love and how to decipher between the two. And then how to make decisions from love, even if fear is there, right?

Miranda: Mm-hmm.

Lindsey: You don’t have to have every life experience with fear and love to help other people. You just have to work on applying fear and love in your own life, then you understand the concept. And the concept is what matters, like the application in that way.

Miranda: Okay, so something’s coming up for me now. I think maybe there’s a part of me that, because I think maybe a part of me knew that. But with you saying that out loud, I also maybe don’t trust that fully in my own life to teach that to other people.

Because sometimes I like to get stuck in the nitty gritty details of like, oh, well money manifestation, if you’re having money problems it’s all energy and like talk about like the hippie-dippie side of it. Instead of just breaking it down to the fundamentals of fear and love, because that almost feels too easy. And I don’t think I’ve trusted that in my own life. Does that make sense?

Lindsey: Yeah.

Miranda: And so I think maybe I need to change something. I mean, obviously, in my own head and life, but I think that’s pretty big for me.

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s huge. And I want to offer, that doesn’t have to change in this process. Literally, just the awareness of it, the change is happening already. So I think it’s important to know for you, and for anyone listening who wants to be a coach or wants to start any sort of business where they’re feeling this kind of uncertainty, I think one of the most important things is leading by example.

But leading by example, has nothing to do with the outcome and everything to do with just your willingness to lean in. And that doesn’t mean, like I listen to fear all the time. You’re a human with a brain, you’re never just past all of it to where you’re like, okay, I’m finally fully enlightened, unless you’re like Buddha maybe, and now I can help people, right?

Your job is to just keep working at it, which, Miranda, you do every day, all the time. So my question is, how could it be that simple?

Miranda: I feel like it’s really just the noise and chatter in my brain that’s just like, it’s not safe to believe that it’s that simple. But I think it could be because, I don’t know, just with my whole process of growing throughout my life and throughout my coaching experience mostly, I’ve had so many experiences where I’ve had to just trust that it is that simple in areas of school or money or performing or whatever.

And so my brain is like oh, okay, it can be simple in this area. It can come down to love or fear in this area. But then my brain is also just saying, but it’s not that simple in all the areas. And so I think just pulling from past evidence saying, well, if it’s true in this area, then it’s true all across the board. And that’s a scary thought because that means you have to let go of a lot of worries, and our primal brains like to worry. But it can be that simple. But it is scary, yeah.

Lindsey: Okay, then what would you have to do if it really was that simple when it comes to your coaching business?

Miranda: I think I would just have to trust and go for it. And I think there was a time and place in my life when I’d have to give myself a lot of self-compassion and slow down. But I think I’ve been through this so many times that I kind of don’t need to stay in that spot for as long and I can just take action and trust and just see what happens, even if I am feeling a little scared.

Lindsey: Miranda, so good, this is such a huge breakthrough. How does that feel?

Miranda: I know. It does feel big, yeah. And it honestly doesn’t even feel that scary anymore now that I’m saying it out loud because I’ve done this before so many times.

Lindsey: Yes. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited for people to listen to this because we just altered your universe in just a second.

Miranda: Yeah, yeah. It’s just such a scary thing to believe that things are easy and fun and simple. But it really can be that way. And I think I just need to trust that.

Lindsey: Yes.

Miranda: Yeah, that’s really big for me.

Lindsey: So huge. The other thing I’ll just offer for this is that, and you already know this based on all of the things you’ve said, you’re just going to have to be willing to feel embarrassed. Because the way that I’ve become the coach that I am today is from coaching people.

Miranda: Right.

Lindsey: Right? So when you sit back and you’re like, “I don’t know enough,” and this is where a lot of people get a little bit trapped, where they’re like certification after certificate, learn more, learn more, learn more. They keep thinking, if I have enough information, then I’ll finally feel confident.

And you can do this in anything that you are doing, not just coaching, right? You’re like, then I’ll feel confident. But you never do because confidence comes through courage. The confidence comes from being willing to be embarrassed and putting yourself out there and getting in the arena and having your back and having that self-compassion that you talked about. And then getting back in and doing it again.

That’s the only way. Like I’m a million times better of a coach than I was when I first started. But still, the thought I love to have is that you’ll never sign a client or have somebody come to you that you can’t help. Like I attract different clients than I did at the beginning, and some of them evolved with me. But I love the idea that they crossed my path at the perfect time in the perfect place for both of us to sharpen each other’s swords.

Miranda: Yeah, totally. And now, thinking about it, I totally have coached people before on things I haven’t experienced. It’s so funny how our brains just kind of choose to ignore evidence of what we want to believe is true. But now that we’ve talked about this I’m like, wait, I totally coached my friend last week about day trading. What is that? I’ve never dabbled in that, but he said it was so helpful. And so it’s just so funny how our brains do that. They’re just so protective.

Lindsey: Miranda, you’re just selling coaching on the podcast itself because that’s the power of coaching. That is literally what all of our brains do, and they look for evidence that confirms what we believe, whether they’re useful or not. It holds us back and then we just get stuck in the cycle and we just need someone on the outside to like, which is what you’re going to do for people too, is just like pointing out and being like, whoa, wait a minute, you’re only seeing like half the story here. There’s a whole other perspective that’s available to you.

Miranda: Totally. I really like what you said, that confidence comes from courage. I’m going to write that down on a sticky note.

Lindsey: Good, I love it. So good. Well, thank you so much, Miranda. I am super excited for you and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Miranda: Thank you, I appreciate your help, Lindsey.

Lindsey: You’re welcome. I’ll talk to you soon.

Miranda: Bye.

Lindsey: Bye.

If you want to call in to The Life Coach Hotline, go to https://lindseymango coaching.com/lifecoachhotline. Talk to you soon. Bye.

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