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Is Your Life Coach Manipulating You? Five Signs to Watch For

Did you hire a "life coach" to help you sort out your complicated existence? The coach is a growing occupational choice for folks who feel the call to lead others who may feel overwhelmed or wish for personal fulfillment but don't know where to begin.

As someone who belongs to entrepreneur networks, I've come across quite a few life coaches. Some seem like truly wonderful people... but others... hmmm, well I'm not so sure.

Before I raise the five warning flags, let's talk about two short but very important words: Your Life. It's YOURS and nobody else's. So although you may feel confused for the time being and have summoned the services of a coach, it's still YOUR LIFE and you have the right to live it any way you see fit.

A good and benevolent life coach will respect the fact that your life belongs to you. She will guide and support, she will uncover options you may not have seen before, and she will unleash your potential and help you feel confident... but she will NOT dictate how to live YOUR LIFE, nor will she mold you into thinking a certain way.

That said, it's incredibly important to choose your life coach carefully. If you find one who is loving and inspirational, kind and supportive, who lets you find your own way and doesn't speak to you as though you're beneath her... hang onto her for as long as you have to because you struck gold. On the other hand, if your life coach makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, do not hesitate to discontinue your work together. Remember that this is YOUR LIFE.

Here are 5 examples of things your coach might say to manipulate you.

SCENARIO ONE

Coach: This seminar I attended was a life-changing experience! Why don't you sign up? It's only $300.

You: Thanks for the offer, but I'm trying to save my money right now.

Coach: It's funny how we always find money for the things we want to do. The truth is, it's probably not the money that's holding you back from doing this, it's your negative mindset.

[It's not your coach's business what you do with your money, even if she is your "coach." If she continues to push you into making purchases you're not comfortable with, politely tell her that you're no longer interested in using her services.]

SCENARIO TWO

Coach: We must erase all negative statements and focus on the positive. Now, let me point out where you made a mistake...

[If your coach were truly a positive individual, she would NEVER utter the words 'you made a mistake.' This is a mind control tactic, and an attempt to make you feel 'in the wrong' when actually you have done nothing wrong. If your coach EVER says things like this to you, thank her for her kind advice and then cancel her services.]

SCENARIO THREE

Your coach leads the discussion to a topic of her choice, waits for you to politely acknowledge the topic, confuses you with a few ambiguous fluff statements, and then turns the tables and insinuates that you sought her advice on said topic when actually you never did.

[GET RID OF THIS COACH. You sought a life coach because you wanted to learn to confidently navigate your own life. Instead, you got a coach who tries to trip you up with Jedi Mind Tricks! Perhaps there is something in her own life that she's having trouble controlling?]

SCENARIO FOUR

You: Crap, I can't find that book you sent me. I'm so disorganized!

Coach: If we are mentally resistant to a new idea, often our subconscious manifests itself in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps you lost the book because you didn't really want to read it. Consider opening your mind to new ideas...

[Some coaches have a habit of relating everything back to psychology, which is not always the case. Maybe you really did want to read the book but had a chaotic week. Instead of insinuating that you have mental blocks, which by the way is a NEGATIVE assertion and not very coach-like at all, your coach should initiate some positive improvement and suggest that you work on organizational skills together.]

SCENARIO FIVE

You: God, I need a pep talk!

Coach: Ahh yes... recognize that you, too, deserve love and attention...

[While this isn't the worst thing that's ever been said, it's a bit dramatic and makes you out to be some kind of pathetic sot with a poor self-image. When you ask for a pep talk, you should get just that - a few positive affirmations and some encouragement to go forward.]

General Condescention: Don't buy into the holier-than-thou bit.

Some red flag remarks:

"Let me explain something to you..."
"There's something that you don't understand..."
"I'm so proud of you!!! You did it all by yourself! I want you to handle all situations like that!"

[A truly gifted coach instinctively knows how to make her clients feel appreciated, commiserated with, and most of all, on the same level. Your coach should talk to you ADULT-TO-ADULT as though you are two comrades, not like she's the kindergarten teacher and you're five years old.]

There are millions of people marauding as psychologists and related occupations, who actually have personal issues themselves which is why they feel the need to control other people. If you're getting a sense of this about your own coach or counselor, it's probably legitimate. People who do not feel good about themselves should not assume a "helper" role in other people's lives.

Step up and do what your coach has been preaching all this time. Take control of your own life, and lose the power tripping coach. Instead, find a coach who's truly interested in helping you become stronger, more efficient and more successful as well as reaffirms the wonderful and talented person you are!

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Find out how thought-provoking articles can position you as an expert in your field. Dina Giolitto is a Copywriting Consultant with ten years of experience writing for print media and the web. Visit http://Wordfeeder.com for a free consultation and copywriting quote.

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