What if someone walked up to you and handed you the keys of your dream car? What if they told you that it's completely free, and yours to drive away with?
Most of us would be happy about this! We would say, "Thank you," before driving off into the sunset. Well this is the feeling that I got when I discovered that I could become a life coach at 22.
I stumbled upon training courses and classes that allowed me to gain the skills of a professional life coach. I jumped into the driver's seat of my life and told myself that I'd found it. I'd found what I want to do with my life. I wanted to start right away, learning as much as I could as quickly as possible. I knew that I could make a positive impact in the world, and I didn't have to pay thousands to learn how to do it.
Why is it that we trust someone to cut our hair, or work on our cars, or operate cars and heavy machinery, never questioning if they are old enough? We just care if they are qualified.
So what's the big deal about someone under 50 being a life coach? Let's try to answer that by exploring our beliefs about life itself.
We all have beliefs about what life should look like. You struggle in your 20's. Start getting your life together in your 30's. Work, work, work until you retire. Then finally, wisdom comes with old age and white hairs. Too often we see people who are miserable, tired, and sick because they never truly lived up to their potential.
We've been taught to believe that only our elders have access to wisdom. Without life experience, you can't possibly know more or better than those older than you. At least that's what we're told.
People always have some kind of remark to say when I tell them that I'm a life coach. "That's cute," was probably the most frustrating comment that I've gotten. I'm almost always asked, "How can you be a life coach when you're so young?"
Life coaching, just like cutting hair, or driving a car is a skill. A qualified coach has sat through hours of classes, trainings, and workshops. Not all coaches are that diligent. Some people cut hair that shouldn't be, and we all know that there are drivers that deserve to have their licenses revoked. They passed a test. They studied, and just like that they are trusted.
Should it be the same for life coaches? I think so. Let's at least let them try.
Life coaching is a two way street. While training to be a coach, you are learning about yourself at the same time you're learning about others. A good life coach will constantly be learning, and applying that knowledge their own life. They will then be better able to serve their clients because they practice what they preach.
Coaching is different from therapy. Generally, coaches are focused on what is going right in a person's life. They help you highlight what's working and what isn't. A coach is a cheerleader who wants to see you succeed. Positive feedback is the coaches best friend, and they leave traditional advice out. A coach listens to what you want to expand upon, not what you're trying to heal from, or fix. A coach does not diagnose and, and doesn't tell people what to do with their lives.
What does this have to do with young people becoming life coaches? Well if you think about it, young people are at an advantage when starting our careers early. They have more time to learn. They can easily be taught life lessons from their elders, and most of the time they are more fired up about life.
We're constantly telling our kids, "You can be whatever you want when you grow up!" We tell them "Believe in your dreams!" Yet as soon as they want to be life coaches, they hear, "Anything but that!"
Referring back to the free dream car example, many of these millenial life coaches have received the keys to their dream cars. They've decided to drive that car and see where it takes them, rather than waiting until they're older to drive it when the conditions seem better.
You may not believe in millenials life coaches, but your opinion doesn't matter to them. They are going to keep going, and keep growing because they see the bigger picture. The bigger picture is about finding what you love and following your passion.