New York times questions Young Coaches
Yesterday I read the New York Times article that I was interviewed for, "Should a Life Coach have a Life First?" and I was surprised by all the negative comments that were posted on the NYT website in response to the article. There were a few comments that I thought were really great responses, and I've posted them below. I’d be interested in what you think. The NYT comments might be closed, but you can post your comments on my blog!
From Jey: "Is it possible for a football coach to be highly effective in helping the quarterback to play at his highest potential, if he never played quarterback?
Is it true in 25yrs a person may experience more and seek to acquire more knowledge t...hen a 60 year old who never left their home town, was unmotivated and settled for what life gave them?
Is it possible a 18 year old violinist may have dedication, passion and connection to his violin that is so natural, someone who has played for 10 years longer may seem like a beginner in the presence of his music?
A doctor may not have the best health. A physical trainer may not have the so called “perfect” body. However it is their profession and they studied to become experts in their field. Their skill set may be in their ability to identify the problems and help clients/patients/customers to take action and see results. It takes 20 minutes with a skilled life coach to witness the knowledge, training and life changing tools that are a part of becoming successful in this profession. A clients transformation goes far beyond making suggestions and talking like friends. The age of the coach will play no factor in the clients results. The extensiveness of a coaches training will be highly visible in the results of the person inviting coaching into their life."
From Lincoln: "The Dali Lama was chosen as a child to lead his people, and yet most of the world accepts him as a great visionary and teacher. The Dali Lama was officially installed as the spiritual leader of Tibet when he was 5 years old. When he was 16 years old China invaded Tibet, and he began negations with the Chinese leaders. He has shown us that age has very little to do with what you can offer the world.
“A spoon cannot taste of the food it carries. Likewise, a foolish man cannot understand the wise man´s wisdom” – The Dali Lama"
From Ann: "It's curious to me that so many people want to judge this profession, with clearly no education or experience of it. Most of the negative comments I've read attack life coaching for its lack of education and experience – which is ironic being that most of the comments come from that exact place.
How many of those posting a negative comment have ever ACTUALLY experienced Life Coaching? How many of those posting comments with a negative judgment have ever researched (with actual data) whom the professionals of this field are?
What I see here is ignorance judging ignorance and feeling justified & self righteous in it.
Here is my information about the two main judgments I heard:
Under 35 is too young to have anything to offer as a life Coach.
Not every single Life Coach (regardless of age) is effective at their job, just like not every single auto mechanic, carpenter, electrician, pharmacy technician or fitness trainer is effective at theirs . That is the way of things – each profession brings with it the truly gifted to their trade, and the not-so-great. As human beings we have the ability to decide which are which, and choose intelligently.
Life Coaching is NOT a person delving into their personal experience to “help” another. Life Coaching IS a person using specific tools, knowledge and methodology to guide the client to discovering what they need in order to create the change in their lives that they want to see. That need might be anything from changing a way of thinking, unearthing a new way to communicate, or bringing awareness to responding in a different way to a specific situation. The coach is not a buddy offering advice – a coach is a professional using their training to assist others.
That being said, with the shift in our culture in the past 30-40 years, many people whom are in their 30’s have experienced obtaining multiple degrees, successful marriages, single parenting, addiction, life transition, new jobs, moving, overcoming domestic violence, financial hurdles, world travel & medical emergencies. Remind me again, why they have no life experience?
Life Coaching only requires a certificate, and therefore is a bogus profession.
There are many professions that we trust that only require a certificate (or less). Many of us have hired a contractor, and trusted them to build or remodel our homes. Almost every single one of us has trusted an auto mechanic to fix our cars. We trust our pharmacy technicians, our dental hygienist, we even trust EMT’s to save our lives – and yet they only have a “certificate” in their field.
Many of the life coaches I know do have a degree in psychology, but have chosen to work as a life coach, because they have found that it is more effective for their clients.
Life Coaching is still an emerging field, and therefore not yet fully governed in ways that other professions are. When Life Coaching does become governed by a state or federal board, many coaches will have the credentials, education and experience to finally become “official” (in the minds of skeptics). It hardly seems fair to judge a person whom has chosen to be a life coach, because they see how effective it is, for not having a degree – when no degree is available (yet) in the field.
When choosing a coach, you can ask them about their education and experience. Currently the International Coaching Federation sets forth the highest standards for coach training. So, if this is important to you, make sure that the coach you’re choosing has graduated from an ICF certified school.
My understanding is that Life Coaches, among other things, help the client become aware of their limiting belief systems, as well as recognizing where their lives are out of balance with what they say they value. Many of you posting comments say you value education and experience, and thus Life Coaching is not valuable because it does not contain those things… but wait a second, having no actual education or experience with life coaching, you’re clearly not demonstrating those values in your responses to this topic …. Sounds out of alignment to me – maybe you should consider Life Coaching :-) "
From Mindy -
"I am 32 years old.
I graduated high school and started college at 16.
I survived financial hardship, and put myself to school after circumstances demanded that I was out on my own 3 years before my 18th birthday.
I have successfully opened and sustained 3 small businesses in different fields.
I have survived domestic violence.
I have navigated the road of being a single parent.
I have climbed mountains.
I am a successful mom, raising a conscious, empathic child.
I have attracted the love of my life, and I enjoy a happily married partnership.
I have practiced life coaching for 5 years.
I am certified by one of the best Life Coaching Schools in the world.
I have positively changed the lives of countless others.
But… why should you hire me as a life coach?
Simply one reason:
Because you are wisely intelligent, you have chosen to experience me for yourself, and through that experience, you have gained knowledge of who I am and what I have to offer as a Life Coach.
That is the only reason to choose me.
I am not here to sell you anything or to convince you of anything.
My first session if free,
and my first month of service has a money back guarantee.
"Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile soil.
The first seed said, "I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earth's crust above me ... I want to unfurl my tender buds like banners to announce the arrival of spring ... I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the blessing of the morning dew on my petals!"
And so she grew...
The second seed said, "I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don't know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts ... what if I let my buds open and a snail tries to eat them? And if I were to open my blossoms, a small child may pull me from the ground. No, it is much better for me to wait until it is safe."
And so she waited...
A yard hen scratching around in the early spring ground for food found the waiting seed and promptly ate it."
(by Patty Hansen)
Where in your life are you currently not willing to take a risk?
Is it the job promotion that you want, the new creative endeavor you want to pursue, or is it that conversation with your spouse that you keep avoiding because it scares you to death?
Not risking only holds the illusion of safety. The reality is that NOT risking usually creates much worse results then the fears you had around risking. Then why are we held back, why are we paralyzed by our fears of taking a risk?
It is because the familiar is comfortable. We know what it holds. The unknown can seem scary, Change can seem terrifying.
However, the alternative is not fully living. Don’t kid yourself. It’s nothing less.
When you choose not to risk, you choose not to fully live.
This is it
This is your life
Play full out. Say what you feel & think
Have that difficult conversation
Ask that question you've been dying to ask…
Say what you want….
I want a promotion
I want to quit
I want to start something new
I want a divorce
I want more in my life
..because you deserve it. It is your life to live, no one else's.
By Bronnie Ware (who worked for years nursing the dying)
For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.
I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never
became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical
details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end.
That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
Mindy Amita Aisling
ICF Life Coach,
NFPT Fitness Trainer,
OMA Certified Mediator
Mindy Aisling is a certified life and business coach in Bend, OR, exceeding all of the educational requirements & training set forth by the ICF.
She has worked with such organizations as St. Charles Hospital, Soroptimists, The Dispute Resolution Center, Olympic Medical Center, Americorps, and Juvenile and Family Services.
Mindy has been featured in the New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Bend Bulletin, The Peninsula Daily News, KOMO 4 TV, The Oregonian and many more. You can learn more about Mindy here.
Mindy offers professional, affordable online coaching to clients around the world, and local coaching to clients in Bend, Oregon.
Licensed and Insured