• James Novotny

6 Potential Downsides of Receiving Life Coaching

Working with a life coach is a life changing experience that brings with it many benefits including accountability, goal setting, overcoming negative thinking and more! But just like everything there can be downsides to receiving life coaching in any of its forms (i.e. Goal coaching, relationship coaching, happiness coaching, etc.). It is up to you to be empowered to make educated decisions that lead to a better and more fulfilling life and life coach relationship.


When you work with your life coach you build a relationship that can come with a lot of emotional support and accountability so relying on them for that can be crucial for a time. It is however essential to remember this is still a professional relationship and while your coach may be a good sounding board, they will not be there forever. While the desire to work with a coach is beneficial, reliance is not and can result in a codependent relationship that will derail your progress in life once the agreement has ended. Coaches are aware of this and are always mindful of this possibility and ending it when they can but it is also up to you as the client to keep this in mind, that reliance on anyone is not the answer to a fulfilling life.

Wrong Directions

While mentors and coaches will push you to question your beliefs, goals and feelings, a good coach stays unbiased about the direction you want to go in your life. The job of a coach is to help you progress in a certain aspect according to your wishes and desires and grow along the way, not derail your life completely and try to mold it to suit what they feel your life should be. If you feel this is the case you should bring it up immediately, if it continues this may not be the professional situation for you. This being said don't expect a coach to always agree with you as it is their job to push you past your limiting beliefs.

Generic Guidance

Coaches are taught to fit their talents to the person and they know how to help you along the way. Guidance is a major part of the life coaching relationship and journey towards self improvement. If you feel the advice or guidance is too generic to suit you or your situation you need to make note of this and bring it up during a session. Life coaching is a two way relationship and at the end of the day a service, you should get what you pay for so be mindful whether the services are really geared towards you and your goals or are just cookie cutter.

Added Stress

Coaching is there to improve your life and if you feel this is adding more stress to your life this may not be the relationship or time in your life where coaching is needed. Try to be mindful of how you feel and remember why you are seeking help in the first place. Being stressed may be a side effect of pushing yourself just a little more or if your coach is there to help you organize your life it unfortunately might be part of the process. However, the stress should not hinder your life or make it far worse. If your coach becomes another source of life pressure, guilt in your life, or just another person making demands of your time and energy that you just can't give, this may not produce the best results.

Timing is Everything

You have heard me say a few times that 'this might not be the time for you' and this is very true in many cases. A bad coaching or mentoring relationship may not be about the coach or yourself at all. You may benefit greatly from what a coach can bring but at the current point in your life it may be too soon. Maybe your schedule is just too hectic for another responsibility or maybe the times provided by a coach may not mesh with what you need. Regardless, timing is everything. The same applies to change in your life, most people need a little time to get comfortable with great changes in their life. Make sure to voice if you think things are moving beyond what you can handle right now.

Benefiting You

Are you really receiving a benefit? Most coaching comes with package deals and once locked in you may not be able to get out so making the best of it is paramount if you don't want to feel like you've wasted your money. But if you genuinely feel you are not receiving a benefit from this service it is up to you to speak up. While you may not receive a refund of cost and most certainly will not of time at least you are providing potential feedback the coach can use or they may switch up tactics in a manner that suits your situation more appropriately. Remember coaches are not mind readers if you have a problem being open about it.

It is beneficial to remember that coaching is a two way relationship and just because the relationship wasn't a good fit for you doesn't mean it won't be for the next person so always be thoughtful before leaving a poor review for anyone. Be an empowered client, do your research, be mindful of contracts and relationships so you can receive the most beneficial service possible.

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