How perfect do you need to be as a coach? » Academy for Soul-based Coaching

When you think about maybe becoming a coach one day, do you hold back because coaches..

Should then always know what to do.
Should know how to help their clients.
Should know what is best for them.
Should have their own life cleaned up.

They should have: the perfect health, home, relationships, account balance; topped with dreams to spare.
They should feel confident at all times, able to take the lead and absolutely not doubt themselves anymore – or at least not when it comes to the coaching work.
They should be a force of nature (Tony Robbins but more Feminine?), but friendly and somewhat composed.

They should be very human but not have truly dark patches anymore.

In short, they should be an example as a human being and as a professional. At all times – unless they are hiding at home with a big tub of ice cream [substitute your equivalent].

It is a tall order to fill.

And although I don’t believe at all that coaches need to be perfect, I am very clear about the fact that there are standards that we want our coaches to live up to. Because a good coach can do a lot of good. And a not-so-good coach can also do real harm.

So what does be(com)ing a ‘perfect coach’ ask you to do?

1. Know your craft

This is the absolute most important one. To truly be of service, you need to know your craft. You need to gain the knowledge, the experience, the skills, to know what you are doing, to understand what is going on in a coaching situation, and to feel confident and competent because you have learned in reality (i.e. not from books or videos) what is in your clients’ best interest. This includes having supervision in place, so that you know you can always touch base with someone else when client’s processes surprise you, and so that you keep developing yourself. All of this is of course the meat and potatoes (and lots of veg) of our coach’ training.

2. Stay humble

A second requirement is that you stay humble. Life happens in a million unique ways – and your clients all have their own essence, their own flavours and their own way of being extremely powerful (whether they know this yet or not). And it is a coach’s job to serve them in their unfolding, without assuming that the coach knows how their clients will do this or what that will look like. Because when we assume, we get in the way. That simple.
In Soul-based Coaching, knowing our craft does NOT mean that we know how to solve things for our clients. It means that we are very clear about the fact that we DON’T KNOW, and that we CAN’T (ever) KNOW. Knowing our craft means that we have the knowledge, the experience and the skills to create a solid riverbed for the flow of natural change every clients holds inside of them. We know how to help our clients unlock that powerful energy in themselves, the energy that wants to create a better version of life for them.

Staying humble means being aware that as a coach, you have the honour to support divine human beings. It means being aware that their own knowing is a thousand times as powerful as yours – when it comes to their path and the way they will be able to achieve their desired results.

3. Do your own work

You are your instrument in coaching. Everything that happens in you and is left to it’s own devices, will influence what you do with your clients. The energy that ‘being stressed’ is (or angry, or scared, or ..) resonates for your clients – it influences their energy. And the way you as a coach think, the things you are able to notice, all are coming through the lens of your emotions and internal state.
You are human, so of course you have emotions, and stuff happening in life. This is always going to be the case and very much what makes you a divine human being. So, what can you do?

Do your work. Starting with a (daily) connection practice, so that you have time to pay attention to what goes on inside of you, so that you can listen in, so that you can breathe and be with what wants to be seen and felt. Have ways of releasing energy that work well for you (journalling, dancing, walking in the woods, yoga, meditation, …..). And when you come across stuff that needs resolving, ask a fellow coach or someone else to help you do that.

In Soul-based Coaching, the way we work ensures that the impact of our own subconscious patterns is minimised. ​And, you still need to do your own work.

4. Strive for drama free​

Learn to take responsibility for the drama unfolding in your life. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t bad stuff that can happen, or that people that are really difficult to handle don’t show up anymore. All of that is part of life. But we can learn to not engage in the drama of things like this. To honour our emotions and express healthy boundaries. To not go into rescuing mode, victim mode or persecutor mode, no matter how big the trigger is. To stay awake to what you would like to have happen, to how you know this, and to what it asks you to do.

When you learn to do this, you will help the waters you swim in not to be as murky. It will save you a lot of energy (though not necessarily save you heart brake). And it will mean that it is much easier to tend to your instrument. It’s like learning to turn off the tab before you start mopping up all the water.

5. See your own passages through darkness as alchemising your medicine

And finally, realise that the darkness that we all encounter in our own ways, is an important part of what you are here to do and bring. Everything that you transmute for yourself (by staying present, learning from it, and allowing it to shift), you do for all of us. We are truly part of a collective that is working hard to develop and reach new levels of awareness.

Holding Space is the foundation for our work as Soul-based Coaching. And the depth of the space you can hold is strengthened deeply by the processing that you have done for yourself. Like one of my teachers Chameli Ardagh shared recently: “knowing grief intimately is what is needed to feel true compassion”. And in my experience, the same is true for all emotions. They all provide doorways into being able to be present with strong Shakti/ life force, with strong emotions of others.

The processing that we are called to do is usually not very comfortable. It takes courage and tears and usually some snot as well. But it helps to know that this is part of what makes you a beautiful and rich divine human being. Wise and compassionate. And humble.

And far from making you less professional as some people fear, it actually makes you a better coach because of it.

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