Part 1: Are you unconsciously self-sabotaging your success as a coach?
September 12, 2018
I’ve known way too many coaches who have a fraction of the success that should be having. It’s never about talent or ability. Sometimes it’s strategy – doing the right things to build their practice.
But one of the biggest barriers that most coaches are failing to confront is the one of false guilt. And false guilt is laying waste to the hopes and dreams of so many coaches which is why I’ve decided to write this series.
How do you know you if you’re a coach with false guilt?
Do you struggle to charge what you’re worth?
Do you struggle with charging anyone anything for that matter?
Do you feel like you’re a fraud?
Do you feel like you lack credibility?
Do you feel inadequate?
Are you afraid of success?
Does the thought of making money make you feel bad?
And do struggles and feelings like these make you feel guilty?
Well, that means you have false guilt.
Here’s the thing: there is true guilt, so I think it would be worthwhile to define the two.
True guilt is when you’ve actually done something wrong that merits some remorse.
Let’s say you were on the phone dealing with stressful overcharge on cell phone bill. You thought it could be resolved in about 10 minutes, but 25 minutes later, you’ve talked to 3 different people, and still no resolution. Meanwhile, your kids walk in the house from school and they’re loud and walk into the asking for something. The question is your breaking point. You say something really sarcastic and send the kids out of the room.
When you finally wrap up the call, you have that heavy feeling of remorse, and it propels you to go apologize and then make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
That kind of guilt is healthy because it’s based on specifics – your values or your sense of right and wrong – and it prompts you towards real resolution.
False guilt is very different.
False guilt is when you feel guilty, but you haven’t actually done anything wrong.
False guilt is a tangible feeling, but the source is within your subconscious which means you aren’t consciously aware why you feel guilty, but you still react to that guilt in much the same way.
How do we react? We stop doing or fail to do what we think is triggering the guilt even if it’s actually a good thing.
Here’s what I mean by that. In the true guilt example, we feel bad if we speak harshly to others. How do we resolve the guilt? Apologize and then choose to not react that way in the future. Simple fix.
With false guilt, the feeling is the same as true guilt, but it’s mostly non-specific. I don’t know what I really feel guilty about.
So false guilt for a coach might cause them to not charge a fee, or at least not the fee that they are worth because this non-specific feeling of guilt kicks in. We assume: this is my conscience speaking.
So not charging a fee or charging a really cheap fee satisfies the guilt.
But here’s what I’ve found: false guilt is a liar that leads people, including coaches, to self-sabotage.
In fact, more often than not, people are living in false guilt more than they are living in real guilt.
False guilt always seems to pop up not when people are doing the wrong thing, but whenever they are doing things that are involved with growth, increasing their income, receiving recognition, buying an expensive shirt, taking a vacation – essentially anything that is about success or enjoying it.
False guilt feels a lot like true guilt, and that’s the big problem: it feels like true guilt, so we don’t do anything to dismiss it.
Now that you know what false guilt is, you can probably identify some places where it’s crushing your dreams. In this series, I’m going to help you dig deeper so that you can get to the bottom of whatever is causing your false guilt.
Each time we identify it, all we need to have is a strategy to uproot its source.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me your questions, your story, or anything you’d like me to address with regard to this issue.