COACHING

When Self-Help Can Self-Harm

I have a love/hate relationship with the self-help industry . . .

On one hand - I’m in it. So there’s that.

On the other - I think it can be a WEEEE bit out of touch.

There are coaches and healers putting out content that’s boasting perfection masked as “freedom,” and I’m not buying it.

What women need is not yet another thinly veiled standard of “perfect” to live up to.

What women need is not yet another woman to put on a pedestal where they can comfortably judge her or idolize her.

What women need is not yet more filtering of a human experience that is so out of touch because of the internet we literally DO NOT KNOW how to be ourselves or think our own thoughts anymore.

You know what else we don’t need? People talking to us with words and concepts we don’t yet understand.

TALK TO ME LIKE A REAL HUMAN.

Give it to me straight. 

Trust me with your real human struggles and triumphs, and trust that I am smart enough to know that has nothing to do with your ability to help me.

I became a coach because I spent about a decade of my life in pain while putting on a facade to the outside world that EVERYTHING IS GOOD HERE. And it wasn’t. It really, really wasn’t.

So yeah - I feel qualified to teach and talk and write about things BECAUSE I had such a toxic relationship with my mother for a decade. Because I was with my 17-year-old brother when he died. Because I used to mistakenly believe my siblings were my children. Because I laid awake in bed at night and listened to my parents fight for most of my childhood. Because I zombie walked around college campuses in NYC and then Charleston in a despairing and crippling state of depression and have been on anti-depressants twice (from 21-23 and again as a brand-new mom with PPD). Add to this my experiences living in developing countries in South America twice after college and how I’ve been actively trying to educate myself about my own privilege for the last couple years, and BARTENDER, POUR ME ANOTHER.

And so I think it’s my job as a coach with that history to give it to you straight and talk to you in words you understand and likely even use in your daily life so you can pick up what I’m putting down. So you can see that the biggest difference between my transformation and the changes you’re wanting in your life is not this enlightened brand of perfection but experiential GRIT paired with uncomfortable action.

Coaches can see our blind spots. One of my coaches told me that once. #caseinpoint

So I’m going to share the part of the transformation conversation most people are tactically omitting . . .

I’M STILL WORKING ON ME. #gasp

Vulnerability is freeing. You should try it.

Why? Because I believe my life’s biggest asset is ME (and honestly, I think it’s kind of weird if you don’t).

You know how they say with money - that as you make more, your problems don’t go away, they just shift into rich people problems? (Which sound and ARE wayyyy better than poor people problems, for the record.)

I think being human is like that.

My experiential grit got me from “A” to “P,” and the farther down this path of self-help I get, the more my “struggles” evolve and look differently than I ever thought. But mark my words I’m still working. Coincidentally, everyone starts at “A,” so hell YES I can move you along this life alphabet, sister! It’s all relative.

Let me tell you something, you don’t go from someone with all that experiential grit to someone who never has a bad day. I PROMISE YOU. New demons pop out from under the bed and new fears show up to be worked through and life happens. I am constantly gritting my teeth through new human lessons to feel better, be better, parent better, wife better and coach better. My “P” looks/feels LIGHT YEARS better than my “A” but it is still a process, my friend.

So you can imagine how paralyzing it was for me as a new coach to look around at my self-help peers to find, to my astonishment, that *most of my peers were not speaking of this human struggle on their shiny social media accounts. Their experiential grit was a story about their past and it stayed there. Where it belonged. Because real experts only struggle in the past. Real leaders have put all learning behind them.

And the subconscious message that sends to their tribes is harmful. That our “P” actually stands for perfect and you can have it, too. And when you don’t (because. you. won’t.), you will make that mean something about YOU. And it’s all based on a lie.

Let me tell you something: life coaches are not a magic bullet. There is not one thing I can do for someone that would magically transform them from the inside out, and so it’s really annoying to me that there are coaches out there saying THEY ARE the magic bullet. But I also didn’t create multiple communities, online and off, and repeat clients because this isn’t transformative. It can be “and.” You can be both a real human who is constantly working on herself and a killer mindset coach for moms. Yah?

So, please, can we cut the BS? 

Please, my fellow self-helpers, have the courage to walk your talk and remind your raving fans that while, yes you are SO qualified to help humans along their path, that the path for ALL OF US ends on our death bed.

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