Just over three years ago I quit my last day job to pursue coaching full time. I wasn’t teaching many yoga classes back then and never intended on teaching full time- it was just something extra I did. I dove pretty deep into the world of online coaching trying to make it work, and I was pretty quickly repulsed. I found a lot of garbage and gimmicks, and I was being sold to so much by “coaches for coaches” i.e. people who coach you to be a better coach in some way (usually how to get more clients and make more money, because obviously that’s the big seller).
After being the target of so many coaching ads, I started to question pretty much all of them and saw the “freebie” that they offer as just a ploy to get you on their newsletter list (which it is, but there’s more to it). Peeking behind that curtain ultimately made me take a big step back from coaching altogether. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a part of that- that I wanted to follow a “formula” for getting clients, or take a bunch of staged photographs- and I started hating on a lot of people I thought were doing just that.
So I focused on other things, which is how I became a full time yoga instructor. My coaching offering has been there the whole time, but I barely mention it. To answer the obvious question, it hasn’t been booming. I’ve been lucky to work with some awesome clients over the years and see some incredible transformation, but I would have loved to connect with more.
With my 35th birthday coming up this weekend, and one more incredible retreat in the books, and a big move happening in 1.5 months (not leaving BK don’t worry), it certainly feels like a time of shifting and a need for reflection. I’ve been doing some work around my own personal blocks and moving forward, and something hit me like a ton of bricks tonight:
you can’t hate on the thing you want to be.
A more common example would be how many of us feel about people with money. Money is something we all want more of, and yet wealthy people are stereotyped as assholes; cold, or greedy, or even heartless. So, why would we want to become that? If that is really our belief about what money does to you, wouldn’t we avoid it on some level?
We want to be fit but we hate on people we think look good. We think they’re showing off or they’re “too buff” or they must be so vain or she just looks like a bitch.
We do it to people in loving relationships, when that’s what we want for ourselves. We do it when we see people happy on instagram- getting to travel, to do work they love, to buy the big house, whatever it is, it’s easy to hate on or diminish the other person’s accomplishment in some way.
This is not just me, right?
Well something interesting happened this week. A few things, actually. I started signing up for the freebies again. They seem to be in my feed more, probably because my phone is listening to me / reading my mind at all times. I watched one video about coaching where the coach was totally different. She looked way more professional. She spoke like a doctor. She explained coaching in a way that made so much sense (“we’re the folks that specialize in helping people make change,” boom), but also helped me see coaching as way more important than I was giving it credit for; like, the shift in humanity that is needed so badly right now.
She helped me release the stigma I was carrying for the very thing I want to do myself.
The next day I was watching another one. This one was a coach that I followed way back in the day, and had since written off. I got about ten minutes in (and was still intrigued) and jumped off to chat with my good friend in Spain - who happens to be someone who has found email marketing to come super naturally for her online business and as such has been a wild success these last three years. I told her I was watching one of those freebie videos (with a heavy eye roll) and she earnestly asked: well were you getting anything out of it? And I realized my heavy bias, assuming they were all garbage, that I couldn’t actually find real value in them, that they were just one big manipulation and I was a sucker for clicking on it in the first place...
Although the truth is, I did get something out of it. And I’ve gotten a lot out of freebies online, and free calls with coaches, and even paid calls with coaches. I’ve been glad to “get stuck” on some newsletter lists, and I even hope to hire another coach for myself sometime soon. So they must not all be bad, huh?
Then how do we move past the stereotypes and the resulting limiting beliefs they strap us down with? How do we reconcile the things we fear becoming and the thing we most want to become, when we think they have to be one in the same?
Find the examples of the ones you admire. Find the ones you relate to - the mom with 3 kids who finds time to work out, the wealthy friend who is still generous and kind, the folks in a relationship that show you just how easy and fun a relationship can be. You find the people that are the shining example of where you want to go, and you learn from them. But perhaps more importantly, you find your commonalities with them until you convince yourself that you’re no different. That you can too. That you making money/getting clients/carving a 6-pack isn’t going to make you a bad person, because you’ll still be you. That one is not a direct result of the other, and you can’t hate on the very thing that you want to be.