I read an article over the weekend about someone using a life coach to get himself back on track with his life and work. The pandemic had thrown him into a funk and a straight-talking coach helped him take action on the important stuff.
It made me wonder if some people would benefit from having a life coach rather than a therapist. Sure, we all have issues that should be dealt with and wouldn’t be best buried away for years. Those skeletons in our closets have a way of escaping when you least expect them to.
But for the smaller stuff, the slight depressions, the indecisions or the milestones of life where you realise you are not where you thought you might be, a coach might be a better option. There is something in being or feeling accountable to someone like Tomas, the coach in the article, who will give you shit for not doing what you said, or praise in the form of a gif if you do well. A therapist will only guide you through working out why you didn’t start that task, not inspire you to do it.
I don’t think I have ever had a coach or a mentor. There have been people at work I have looked up to and have stolen ideas and techniques from. Peter, the programmer who I worked with in my first job, Richard the office designer and Malcolm the art teacher. They never knew I was emulating them or taking their best traits.
There was a time in the 90s where I was assigned a work mentor, a manager from a different department, who sat with me every 2 weeks and we went through a series of worksheets identifying my strengths and weaknesses and where I could develop more. Looking back, it was just another “flavour of the month” company initiative, shortly dropped when a new one came along.
I said to him that I would love to become a programmer, to which he said that he thought I was “too old”. He also said that my only hobbies, which at the time were “computers” were “sad” and that “I should get a life”.
Not the kind words of a life coach or mentor.
Just so you know, Andrew Tsao who writes on Lifelog is an aspiring life coach. ;)
Yes, thanks @jasonleow - I was going to tag him when I was writing, but forgot :)