Please don’t ever call me a LIFE coach

Someone recently contacted me and said, “I’ve heard you speak and I’ve read two of your three books, would you be my LIFE Coach?” “LIFE Coach?” Are you serious? I stopped him right there and said, “Please, don’t ever call me a LIFE Coach.”  

I mean really, am I or anyone in the position to tell anyone else, someone who has grown up with different parents than I had, comes from a different home life situation than I had, different experiences in their socialization as a young person and everything they experienced individually in their school life and into their professional life HOW to live their life?  I mean, where did this terminology, “LIFE Coach” come from? In fact, I would be embarrassed to ever call myself a “LIFE Coach.”  

I recently read online where you can take an Internet-based course and become a “certified” LIFE Coach in only 6 months. That sounded like overkill to me when I read on another website that you could earn your “LIFE Coach Certificate” in as little as 7 days. Amazing! So let me get this right…someone can earn that certificate in 7 days and then claim to have all the answers for someone else who maybe has been walking on the good earth for 30, 35, 40+ years, but because this person now has their “LIFE Coach certificate” they are qualified to tell this other person how to live their life? You’ve got to be kidding me!   

Executive Coaching, I get it.  Yes, there are experienced individuals who have lived the life as a senior executive and having done so, have dealt with situations in their professional and personal lives that equip them to ask the appropriate questions of another executive and help that individual discover some personal insights he or she might have not have uncovered otherwise. Similarly, clinical psychologists who are trained to be marriage counselors can often help married couples to see aspects of their relationship differently and in the process, help them to adjust their behaviors accordingly. But, a LIFE Coach? Isn’t this like trying to put Dr. Phil in a bottle?   

In my first book, The Missing Piece – Our Search for Security in an Insecure World, I discuss and ask questions about many issues and aspects of life we all tend to deal with such as the value of education, climbing the corporate ladder, the pursuit of financial security, relationships, marriage, parenting skills and more. Quite honestly, writing the book over the course of 12+ years was my own form of therapy. In the final three chapters of the book I share three choices I have uncovered in my life that have helped me find what I call the other missing peace. So maybe, and that’s the big word, “MAYBE” those three things could work for you. But does my book or the three things that I shared that have worked for me make me a “LIFE coach?” Absolutely NOT! 

Maybe it’s the label (“LIFE Coach”) I just can’t stand!  I mean, who are these people, who is anyone(?), to claim they have life so figured out and they are living such a perfect(?) life that they are in a position to tell someone else what they need to do with their life?  Do you think these LIFE Coaches don’t have their own issues? Do you think that maybe at times they deal with issues like loneliness, depression, anxiety attacks, divorce, lack of financial security, post-traumatic disorder, substance abuse, etc.? I would be embarrassed to label myself as a “LIFE Coach” and claim that I somehow know so much about LIFE that I am qualified to tell someone else how to go about living their life. “LIFE Coach”…no.  Mentor…maybe.         

Ironically, I do have a LIFE Coach. I do because I have learned over the course of my life that there is no security or guarantees in our world – not today, not yesterday, nor will there be in the future. So, I need a LIFE Coach. He has taught me the most valuable life lessons I could have ever hoped to learn and to date, I haven’t gotten a bill for His services. He is available 24/7 and He is never too busy for me. When I go to Him, He always listens to me. From that I have learned that when I go to Him, I need to listen. It is amazing the kind of relationship you can build when both people in the relationship are more focused on listening than on talking. My sessions with Him have helped me find peace in the most difficult times of my life, a peace that says I love my life, I love the people in my life, I am grateful for all that I have; yes, I am at peace. In fact, He loved me so much, He died for me. Last I heard, He is looking for new clients, or should I say, followers. I hope you find Him. He will change your life.    

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Harold “Bud” Boughton is a former senior executive who has worked for three FORTUNE 500 companies in his career and helped take a company public (NASDAQ) in the mid-1990’s. He now stays active as an assistant college football coach, certified sports official, author and professional speaker. His latest book, Coaching is Teaching at its Best! is a book that can improve the leadership/coaching model in both athletics and business and in doing so, improve player/employee engagement. You can learn more about Bud at his website: www.budboughton.com.

You can reach Bud Boughton by calling 317-258-6372 or email at CoachB@budboughton.com