8 Misconceptions about Life Coaching

8 Misconceptions about Life Coaching


For years, the art of life coaching has helped people get laser focused on their personal and business goals, embrace life transition, breakthrough self-limiting beliefs, and overcome obstacles.  Yet often times, the perceived stigma attached to hiring a life coach is there must be something wrong with you in need of fixing, or that it’s simply “new age” babble and positive pep talks.

To the contrary, there’s much more to the coaching process than meets the eye.  As with other forms of personal development and self-help opportunities, the main purpose of hiring a life coach is to assist you in getting clear about your goals and to make the process of meeting those goals happen faster.

Here’s a list of some common misconceptions about life coaching that I hope might bring clarity and more awareness to this process and its benefits.

1.  Life coaching is only needed if you’re struggling or have a problem.

Truth be told, the best time to hire a coach is actually before a problem arises or you find yourself struggling.  It can save you time, stress and energy in the long run.  But regardless of where you stand today, coaching can be a great resource if you’re motivated to create a better life or seek positive change.  A coach is there to “mind the gap” by assisting in taking you from where you are today to where you desire to be.  Your coach will walk alongside you during transition and help you embrace lasting change by helping to set attainable, yet aspirational goals.  Even those who have already achieved a high level of success can still benefit from working with a coach.

2.  Hiring a coach is a luxury, not a necessity.

Almost everyone relies on the expertise of a professional for personal gain or transformation at some point in their life.  We often seek to better ourselves or prepare for the future with the help of a financial advisor, realtor, tax consultant, personal trainer, hairstylist, travel agent or wedding planner — so why would hiring a coach be any different?

Working with a coach is an investment in yourself and a catalyst for cultivating an authentic, purposeful, fulfilling and abundant life.  It allows you to carve out space in your life to focus solely on you and your goals for the future.  A coach can help you move past roadblocks faster and more efficiently than you might be able to do on your own.  When you make the choice to commit to your own happiness and well-being, a good coach is always worth the investment.

3.  Coaching is the same as counseling or therapy.

It’s important to point out that while the practice of coaching and counseling may seem similar in many ways, they are still very different.  A counselor or therapist is a medical professional that is trained to deal with healing past issues, addiction, depression or a traumatic experience that is emotionally or physically affecting the present.  In contrast, a coach is trained to assist in setting the foundation for the future, build on strengths and gifts, and support clients in achieving goals and life fulfillment for those already in an emotionally healthy place.

4.  I can get the same guidance from my friends and family.

There’s definitely no substitution for the relationships of family and friends.  Your loved ones have good intentions and only want to see you succeed.  They have your best interest at heart, but they aren’t always impartial.  Being too close to the situation can sometimes limit their vision for seeing areas for growth and improvement.  A coach is a dedicated partner that is committed to remaining impartial and offer a fresh, unbiased perspective.  This also makes it easier for your coach to hold you accountable so you can stay focused on your goals.

5.  Transformation is guaranteed.

There’s no doubt that having a coach can help you abandon limiting self-beliefs or practices and inspire motivation.  Coaching is also great for providing encouragement, accountability, support, tools for growth, strategy, and a listening ear.  But the truth is, hiring a coach is not a magic fix.  There are no guarantees.  Success and transformation is ultimately dependent upon a commitment by the client to set aside adequate time for the coaching sessions and completing the action steps discussed and developed together with their coach.  It’s important for you to come to the coaching process with a readiness to invest the time and energy into your future, a strong desire for change, and the willingness to be open and honest with your coach — and most importantly, yourself.

6.  Life coaching won’t help me with my business, career, or financial goals.

While many types of coaching practices focus solely on business, career, health and wellness, family or finance, life coaching applies a “whole person” or holistic approach with a fundamental understanding that all of these elements of life are intertwined.  It’s not uncommon for transformation and growth to cross over into multiple areas of life when you’re working to understand and improve personal strengths, goals, priorities, communications, and relationships.  Each coaching session is devoted entirely to you and the areas you wish to address.

7.  A Coach will tell me what to do.

If you’re looking for a coach to tell you what to do with your life or how to do it, you’ve come to the wrong place.  The role of a coach is not to evaluate, assess or critique their clients or their life, but rather offer a non-judgmental and unbiased perspective.  Receiving suggestions or direction from external sources can only take you so far.  The truth is, the “ah-ha” moments are the most transformative when they’re uncovered by you.  While your journey together with a coach will be collaborative, the true intent of a coach is to be a facilitator.  The coaching process is designed to inspire independent problem solving through thought-provoking discussion so you can discover, define and own your goals.

8.  Coaching only works in-person or face-to-face.

In-person coaching sessions are ideal but aren’t always the easiest or convenient option.  Most coaching takes place over the phone or via a conferencing software such as Skype or Uberconference.  This offers a simple and flexible way to fit coaching into your schedule without added travel time or the need to meet at a designated location.  Other than your phone, all you really need is a quiet space with no distractions to focus on the conversation.  This is a nice option for those who find it hard to break away from work or home.  It also offers an opportunity to broaden your search for the coach that best fits your needs or budget and who you can connect with on a personal level.


Wondering if YOU might benefit from working with a life coach?  Find out more about the benefits of life coaching HERE.

Why waste time saying no to your dreams, when you can say YES to the transformation that awaits you NOW?


{ Written by Tammi Gunwall, Life Coach + Creative Mentor at Patina Inspired Life }

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