Not long ago, a life coach sent me a note. I never got his name, although from word usage I knew he was male. This man explained that he’d been a life coach for more than 10 years, but was calling it quits due to circumstances within himself.
To the best of my knowledge, he did not take any training at the iNLP Center.
I replied to the email (below) but never heard back. I guess it was intended to be a confession, although I don’t consider myself the high priest of life coaching.
At any rate, I respect this guy for what he did, even though I am not sure I agree. I’d need more information to form a real opinion.
Here’s what he wrote.
Confession from an Anonymous Life Coach
I’m calling it quits as a life coach. I’ve been coaching for more than 10 years and clients have been happy. I’ve had a lot of them and they always say, “You’re the most helpful guy I’ve ever met.”
I’ve made a nice living and have been happy as a coach – honestly do not know how I’ll recover financially after shutting down my life coaching business. I think I’ll be broke. I can’t imagine after all these years going out to look for a job – as what?
But I can’t do it anymore. I can’t because I shouldn’t. Shouldn’t in the sense of feeling morally wrong. I cannot continue to coach people because I am not life coach material.
It’s not that I’m a hypocrite. It’s not because I have the typical problems we all have. Of course I do. Having problems doesn’t disqualify anyone from being a life coach.
My problems are worse than that.
The other day my wife left for a few hours to go to the movies with a friend. No worries. We were having a normal day. We’d been getting along just fine.
It was around 4:30 in the afternoon and, being done for the day, I poured myself a glass of whiskey, adding in a little orange liqueur for taste.
The next thing I remember was her confronting me. I was three sheets to the wind and acting crazy.
Later, she sent me this email:
You got really drunk tonight. You had 3 glasses of whiskey while I was out for two hours. I was really disappointed when I got home to find you that way. Plus, you threw your stuff all over the place and spilled milk all over the ground.
You kept it somewhat together for a while and I tried to help you because I was hoping to spend time with you tonight. So, I tried to stay connected and hoped it would wear off quickly. But, it didn’t.
You kept going back and forth between being nice and then being angry and saying really hurtful things to me and about yourself such as how manipulative I am and how I should just kill you with your shotgun, over and over. It hurts to hear you say that and I do know if you really mean it.
You said that you drank so much so I would be angry with you and punish you. I don’t know why you want that. It seems that you enjoy acting drunk and behaving so crazy.
You grabbed me by the hair numerous times and got really forceful and in my face.
You tell me how much you love me and then the next moment you say how bad I am and start accusing me of things that aren’t happening.
You kept trying to get me to respond and when I finally did, hours later, and got upset that you knocked over the blue lamp and were spilling your soda everywhere on purpose, your really mean side came out and your mean face came on. That shuts me down and makes me scared.
It is really confusing and I don’t what to do with you or the things you say. It is really mixed messages and it’s hard to forget them. I miss the normal you so much.
I know that you have plenty of self-control in other areas of your life, but, the drinking has to stop. You don’t have control of yourself when you are drunk. And, you hurt our relationship each time you make that choice. I don’t understand you and what you are experiencing that makes you want to throw so much away and destroy the progress you/we make.
It hurts me that you do this to our relationship.
I feel very abandoned when you drink.
I love you so much and want to have a wonderful marriage and life together forever. Please stop drinking so much or I won’t be able to stay married to you and that would be absolutely horrible.
Please choose me.
How can I continue coaching others when I have this on my conscience?
And so the email ended. One life coach down.
What do you think?
Is this something a successful life coach should quit over? As I mentioned, I respect this guy for his integrity. I don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. At any rate, it’s not up to me.
But hearing his story does raise a question about where to draw the line. What kinds of personal problems should preclude coaching others?