630-484-2336 ben@bedo.org

For every discouraged, frustrated, overwhelmed, scared and beaten coach, you are not alone

I came across a coach on one of the Facebook groups who posted how they were feeling stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed and approaching a feeling of defeat.

They shared their passion, their love for coaching, their feeling of purpose.  The sheer joy they experience by helping people through the challenges they are facing.  The gift of their altruism, their positivity and their compassion.

And yet, they are continually being met with people who don’t want to change, despite their complaints.  And they really don’t see the importance of investing time and money to do so.

And then there’s the greater picture—the continual frustration of our social and environmental issues and topics.  The flood of negativity, ennui, fear and low level living that pours from our televisions, radios and computers.  The political, social, economical and global resistance that seems to beat us into submission.

And to quote, “Apart from that passion I don’t see the point of carry on coaching. Anyone is or has been through that similar situation?”


I can’t imagine how anyone could not.  Not if you’re paying attention to what’s out there.  Not if you’re listening and looking.  Not if you’re truly taking the risk and putting yourself out there to make an impact.

So I got on a bit of a drive and cranked this out.  I hope you find some support and inspiration in it as well.

Thank you for posting your feelings and thoughts. 

I, too, have faced many challenges in spreading the word, inviting others to be interested in what’s possible, completely passionate and empowered by how I can help, only to be lost in the shadows of mediocrity and complacency.

It’s a major killer of many coaches.

There’s a couple powerful things we all need to remember.

A) We are excited about coaching because we have tasted the nectar. We have felt the reward. We have seen the possibility and we are hungry for more.

I can tell you that there are others out there. Many others.

Consider how huge the self-improvement, business development and new age sections are in libraries and bookstores.

Go to Amazon and see how many different resources are available.

Look at the massive success of Ted Talks that continues to grow, as well as inspire other organizations to do their own.

The coaching world continues to expand exponentially. 20 years ago it was that weird woo woo thing that only was in California. 15 years ago it was spreading across the rest of the United States. 10 years ago there is a massive presence of coach training on every major continent (except Antarctica (and that’s only a matter of time, I suspect) and in every major country and 5 years ago it is a major force in the corporate and business industry.

As of last year, there are estimated over 30,000 certified coaches in 114 countries, and that’s just through the ICF.  That’s not counting however many other thousands of non-credentialed and non-ICF coaches spread worldwide.  Perhaps another 30K?

So something must be working.  Coaching must be important, attractive, exciting and fulfilling something critical in our world.

B.) change can happen quickly, or it can happen slowing.

If we look at everything in terms of ENERGY (we’re stepping into physics here, so bear with me) then consider when two forms of energy meet, it’s the bigger and stronger one that will win.

Case in point: You run into a 4 years old–you will win the collision.  You run into a 400 pound athlete–you will lose. 

It’s basically that simple and that true for all energy.

Now realize that Thoughts are energy.  Emotions are energy.  Beliefs are energy.  Our bodies are physical manifestations of energy.  Fear is a powerful energy.  Our passion and love is also amazingly powerful energy.

And the bigger and stronger the energy, that’s the one that wins.

Realize that everyone (yes, even us brilliant coaches) have lives filled with habits, set ways of BEing and DOing. We naturally strive for comfort, reliable repetition, and everything staying the same because that equals SAFE.

When we desire to create change, it takes more energy to change the energy of the old habit. A near death experience contains a massive amount of energy which can immediately create a deep and powerful shift to make a complete change. Just wanting something different because it would be nice and easier isn’t as much energy, and so needs continual structure and support, deepening, solidifying and creating the importance of this new habit and new actions to stick around.

That’s coaching.

This is why we don’t do well with “one and done” but we work slow and steady over time to redesign and grow new parts of our clients.

B part 2) When we choose change, we open the door to possibility. It may not be easy. We may have our saboteurs, fears and limiting habits flare up, but if we choose it, that’s at least something to build on.

However, if change is forced upon us (even if it’s for our own good) we will fight and battle it.

Instinctively, change represents unpredictable. And unpredictable could mean danger and death. (yes, that’s a little dramatic, but we’re talking about the Limbic system that’s designed to serve our primal need to survive and that’s exactly the terms it functions under.)

So consider how challenging is is for a coach who can see what others need and can be the resource to help them, but yet we can push coaching on them, or they’ll likely turn the other way.

C) it’s incredibly difficult to see our deep truth because we’re in the middle of it. We can’t see our blind spots, we can’t see where we are truly stuck, we can’t see the depth of our pain.

Others can.  After all, it’s easy to appreciate the artwork when you’re not stuck in the frame.  Right?

We can for ourselves, to an extent, with good training, lots of books, workshops, classes, and other forms of insight and growth.  But it’s not enough to motivate us or break through the self-limiting beliefs and blind spots.

Cause that’s why they call them blind spots.  We can’t see them.

We will justify, we will rationalize, we will assume nothing can be done, we will give in and just accept things the way we are. Even when we are miserable.

We will believe that help isn’t out there.

We will believe I can’t afford, don’t have time, it won’t work, it won’t work for me, it won’t stick, i can do it myself, I know enough, it’s not that bad, If only this one thing will change, things will have to change soon, I just have to stick it out, and all the other stories that keep us stuck and safe.

And we can’t see the deep truth.

Because if we did, if we truly recognized and felt that pain, we would immediately get help. We would immediately jump all in to get rid of our pain.

So consider, as coaches, we are often working against the human nature to survive–which includes stay exactly where you are, cause at least you’re alive now.

D) There’s the work we love to do, and then there’s the work that we have to do in order to do that work that we love to do.  And so often we don’t like to do the work that we have to do in order to do the work that we love to do.  We don’t know how, we don’t feel comfortable, we feel conflicted, confused, overwhelmed and perhaps even resentful that we have to do all this work in order to do the work that we love to do.

Remember that building a coaching business takes time. Patience. Consistency. Persistence. Mad determination. Powerful Passion. Unyielding refusal to quit. And committed to something bigger.

One of the biggest killers of many coaches is the fact that there are two different worlds at play here–Coaching, and all the business crap we have to do in order to coach.

And the mindset, the skills, the personality, and all the inner workings of someone who thrives and is successful at the business side of marketing, sales and all that stuff, is often a very different type of person who is all about contribution, following passion, helping others, and all that altruistic stuff.

(In fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with altruism. It’s one of the powerful forces that has led to many incredible things in our world.) 

What’s so often the case is that coaches who aren’t skilled and comfortable in business need to learn the mechanics of that world. Practice, deepen and discover a whole new skill set that will serve.

Yes, technically there is tremendous overlap in those skills (And that’s a completely different conversation for another time), but they are technically also living in two different worlds. And so the two worlds must converge at some point

Lastly, speaking as someone who watches the news and sees the continual downward spiral we seem to be in.

Feeling like the current is getting bigger and stronger against this work.

Seeing more and more proof of how futile our efforts are.

Becoming more and more discouraged–is anything we do really making a difference?

Are we just fooling ourselves with feelgood moments but nothing every changes?

Are we living in a fantasy world while reality continues to command?

I have wondered that myself.

I’m sure many of us have.

So here is what I’ve come up with:

Consider that the very fact that there is all this resistance, the powerful current, the challenge and the sheer impossibility of working against the forces that be is an indicator of just how important it is that we do what we do.

The fact that we are so easily manipulated by our fears, we are so willing to sacrifice our souls, we are so easily able to relinquish our dreams, fulfillment, purpose and powerful meaning for a live of complacency, fear and safety. that is an irrefutable proof that we are desperately needed in this world.

We need more Positivity in this world in the face of negativity.  And compassion, it sometimes feels, is a continuingly diminishing commodity and casualty of all the dominance and control over others.  Unlimited Possibility and becomes battered by confining Probability.  Dreaming and Fulfilling fantasy gets demolished by Reality and hard facts.  Fear continually combats Love.  Our Humanity gets assaulted, often with the gloves off, perhaps even a street fight to the death.  Winner take all and win at all costs.

And through all this darkness, we (among many other warriors), we are the bringers of light. We take a stand for personal power. We insist that everyone is here to live a powerful and fulfilling life of purpose and meaning.  That the way we think and feel it is is not the way it has to be.  That we are all here to give and receive the very best to and from each other. That the purpose of our lives is not to dominate and control others, it is not to shrink away and hide and it is definitely not just going through the motions, accepting the obscenities, compromises and violations of our humanity as normal, and doing everything we can to just get through the day—day after excruciating and meaningless day—until we finally (and perhaps mercifully) die.

I can’t abide.  I am here to make a difference.  And I know it is hard.  And the very fact that it’s so hard makes it that much more important.

If you are like me (and I know there are many of us out there) then I call each and every one of us to stand up against the giant flood of mediocrity. To hold strong to the beating and battering of our complacency.  And to forage ahead, one step at a time, through the barren wasteland of our empty lives.  And to insist—relentlessly, unyielding, uncompromising, steadfast, adamantly insist—that there is more than this.

So much more than this.

And it begins with ourselves.

It has to.

We must work past our own complacency. We must strive beyond our own limitations and fears. We must overcome our old habits and beliefs. We must empower ourselves to choose what we see, how we stand, what we speak and what we are here to BE.

So now to you, dear coach, who is reading this.  I know you have felt discouraged at times.  Perhaps you are now in some small or great way.  And I promise you that you are not alone.

I do not insist that you stay with it and continue to try this coaching thing.

But I will stand that you never give up on your altruism. That you never relinquish your passion. That you hold fast to your desire to contribute and make this world a better place. And that you stand solid in the face of any opposition that you face… because you will. That comes with the job of being you.

And the world needs you.

If it’s through your coaching, then great. Go for it. If that shows up in some other way, then jump in the deep end and start swimming full steam ahead.  But get out there and reveal your full self.

Find others to join you (as there are plenty of us Peaceful Warriors out there) because in numbers there is strengths. (Bigger energy, right?)

And when you fall down (cause you will) that you have something so psychotically, incredibly, irresistibly important that will keep you getting back up.

That’s what we give to others in coaching, and we have to give it to ourselves, too.

I not attached that you continue on DOing coaching (though if that’s your path, then go down it with full abandon and don’t look back). But I am a stand for you BEing the FULLEST most beautiful, powerful, entrancing, exciting, passionate, world-changing version of YOU that you are truly here to BE.

Look.  As I just got done rambling about, this is hard work.  And the more we push forward, the more we are met with opposition.  The harder we strive, the more we are forced back.  But that just means we keep getting up and we push harder.  We insist that our way is the only way we will accept. 

So every day, do something to move one small step forward. 

Honor yourself.  Acknowledge the deeper truth within.  Celebrate a success.  Surround yourself with support.  Make the conscious choice every day—even for just one minute—to live your life without fear, doubt and shame.  Insist that you—even if it’s for just one minute—are an invaluable gift that not a single other person on the face of this earth can give.

Over 7 BILLION people on this planet can’t BE who you are here to BE.

So give your gift to this world—in EVERY POSSIBLY WAY you can discover—and if we all do that, I believe that is how we are able to, eventually, turn the tide.

Are you with me?

Then let’s get to it.