Earlier this week, someone called me to market life coaching services. I’m a big believer in learning and the use of coaching, and not knowing what coaching this involved, I decided to lead them on, showing a lot of interest.
“This coaching will transform your beliefs, actions and ultimately your life,” the rep said. Then he spent about an hour collecting some information from me and trying to carve out inferences out of the information I gave to him.
He gave some references from an earlier coaching program I had attended and someone who I respect a lot. And the conversation continued until I discovered a valuable lesson about Life Coaching and how to get the best out of it.
Spoiler alert: If you were looking for the name of a great Coach or an organization you could sign up with, there isn’t one. The best you can get in your life to coach you is YOU.
And that is more than 100% true if you’re a meditator. And not just any meditator, but someone who’s digging deep into spirituality.
The fundamental premise that this rep was trying to drive home was that my life was hardly the best it can be and that unless I do something about it, it will continue to stay that way.
But that’s going to be the case every moment in our lives. That’s because, as human beings, we’re always seeking self-improvement and a better life. It never stops. Sometimes that definition of what constitutes a better state and place in our life keeps changing as we progress through the journey in our lifetime. It gets too mundane at times, and sometimes we’re even chasing the wrong things. At other times, we’re trying to achieve something good, for us and also for others.
Whatever it is that we are seeking to improve, we never stop thinking about self-improvement. And most of us never stop trying. We move on from one thing to another as far as a better option or version is concerned. So, the Life Coach marketing rep was trying to relay back what I already knew about myself and had been doing all my life.
The truth is that you can never reach a state where you are 100% satisfied with yourself or your life. As you gain success in life, your definition of success shifts and the bar rises higher. You raise it yourself in comparison to your peers or your world around you. It’s a journey. There is no final destination for self-improvement. Or life improvement. Hiring a Life Coach to tell you this or analyze this for you seems like a waste of time to me.
The second aspect the life coaching services try to sell you is some form of advanced introspection and analysis about yourself. Your faulty beliefs, the negativity that stops you from becoming successful. Or your conditionings that we talk about all the time in many of our meditation sessions. And how those won’t allow you to accept the change or different ways of doing things.
But for meditators, introspection and self-awareness is a basic, existential activity. A hygiene factor that they cannot do without. And if you get good at it, which you inevitably will if you stick to something like Sahaja meditation, this benefit offered by a Life Coach is virtually nullified. Life Coaches most certainly do not know or at least get into the depths of spirituality – they’re too real-world and commercial for that. They have to stick to some proven, believable form of psychological inference or analysis about people. They have to stick to what motivation coaches and gurus practice and what they can sell for a price. They cannot, for instance, tell you about this great subtle instrument within you that can guide your self-improvement and that you don’t need much else.
Sahaja meditation opens up this deep and precise instrument of self-awareness within you. You can read and know yourself at the core inner depths. You can know your problems, reasons and pretty much all your faults. You can feel negativity inside you, if it exists, on a day to day basis. You can feel positivity in you and around you in the form of vibrations. So much more than some mental and psychological mumbo jumbo on your self-beliefs that your Life Coach can come up with.
The third rationale the life coach marketing rep was trying to push that you can never do it alone. “You need a coach, someone who can hold you accountable,” he said. Someone who is always there to monitor and help you create plans and execute them. This is true to a large extent. Coaching as a concept is beneficial. But it is my strong assertion that a coach needs to have experience and knowledge in a very specific area. This expertise needs to be in an area that you do not know much about.
Secondly, a coach must have been there, done that, as they say. He or she cannot be a person who has been trained to dole out analyses on people and tools developed by another person. Maybe that person did go through the grind and became successful in life. And then, decided to create a “Train the trainer” or a franchise model to make a lot of money.
Thirdly, a coach, at some point, must allow you to customize the knowledge and experience he or she brings for your good. Spoon feeding will not work. You’ve got to realize that a coach can only show you the potential and share a lot of specific methods and lessons learned. He or she cannot create a formula or plan to transform your life – you have to do this yourself. If the coach happens to do this, then be sure that this is to maximize your dependency on him or her. And the extra money that comes with keeping you captive to life coaching services.
With life coaching, there are some other issues. First, it doesn’t offer a lot of specific experience or knowledge. For instance, how to play a particular sport or invest in real estate. Or start your own business. It deals at the generic level of “leading a better life”. And I say this not as a quick judgmental evaluation, but I’m myself a user of many types of coaches. I engage a fitness coach at a gym, a tennis trainer, many types of investment coaches to improve my life.
But the value of a life coach just doesn’t appeal to me because I’ve realized that there can be no better life coach for me than myself.
And be sure about this – you are already your own life coach, you don’t need to do much to become one. If you seek out self-improvement, spirituality, and meditation, which without a doubt, every person reading this article is, then you’re there already.
Realistically speaking, the times in your life that are the most testing are the best times to get up and get back on track. If you do it all by yourself, you emerge a strong personality. If you give in to having someone coach and advise you just to get to a better situation in life, then you’ve lost that precious lesson failure teaches you. And an invaluable opportunity to grow stronger.
P.S.: At Sahaja, we offer meditation coaches. Our seasoned practitioners are available to talk to and share their experiences and learnings. And no, we don’t carve out plans for you or tell you how to lead your life or even how to meditate. We only share what has worked for many of us and allow you to introspect and discover the best method for yourself. If you’re interested, please write to us.