The Silent Pain of Imposter Syndrome: I feel like a fake.

Thinking of becoming a life coach? Most of us become life coaches because of a deep desire to help people achieve happiness, fulfillment and a greater sense of purpose. However, one of the greatest challenges life coaches have to overcome is imposter syndrome which is a feeling or belief that they are under-qualified to help people despite their having achieved success in their own lives – and perhaps many times over. Interestingly, feelings of self-doubt and being a fraud generally do not appear until these coaches try to charge money for their coaching services or programs. These are 2 excuses life coaches use as part of the imposter syndrome programming.

A. I don’t have formal coach training so no one will listen to me.

B. I just completed my coach training program but can’t seem to get people to pay for my services.

For myself, monetizing something I always gave away for free was my greatest challenge when I first started my coaching practice. I was everyone’s friend and absolutely loved helping and was very successful in guiding friends out of their own way. However, putting a dollar value on it 40+ years later was tricky. I felt guilt and started doubting my own abilities and skills to help people. I then realized that the negative self-talk was just my way of making excuses to not get started. If you are experiencing feelings of being an imposter or fear of the inability to deliver what you promise to your potential client, here are 4 ways of breaking through feeling like a fake or fraud:

1. Identify your key success stories of life challenges you have personally overcome and review exactly how you reached your resolution.

Every coach has to have their own inspirational life story because this is how you will inspire people to work with you. As you tell your story, make sure you are exuding gratitude and pride for your life. Celebrate you and your story of where you were versus your achievements today.

2. Perfectionism and life coaching are not friends.

Successful coaches are able to flow with any circumstance thrown at them and perfectionism doesn’t co-exist with flow. No two clients are the same, so knowing how to respond is key to being able to connect deeply and gain trust with that person. Trust is how we can influence the client to take those scary steps that will lead them to achieving their goals.

3. Don’t compare yourself to those who have many more years of experience to judge yourself, make sure it makes you aspire.

It’s too easy to fall into the trap of constantly comparing yourself to other more experienced successful coaches and judging yourself for not being at their level. This self-judgement leads to stagnancy in progressing in your own path of learning. Compare to aspire! It’s time to stop being so harsh on yourself- practice compassion.

4. Business or hobby?

Many people who choose to become a life coach have the purest of intentions to help people find happiness. Usually, they were great friends to many, the person who friends went to for great advice, the giver. That was me. But, when we become life coaches, it’s no longer about friendship - it’s a business. Prioritizing activities and time management is absolutely critical in building a profitable business in something you are passionate about and that brings you fulfillment. Become the master of saying NO without guilt!

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