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The 5 things holding you back from being a successful coach

December 06, 20226 min read

The 5 things holding you back from being a successful coach

Success is a striving ambition for most people in this world. People that want to achieve success know that doing it will require an immense amount of energy, not in a sprint-fashion, but in a marathon type of lifestyle. 

But no matter how hard you focus on your habits, obstacles will occur along the way. 

For some of you, reading this blog will feel uncomfortable because it will uncover some realities about your current (or past) situation. Don’t fear them, don’t dread them - embrace them. These situations need to be treated like obstacles - they are in your path for a reason and you will cross them.

So, today, let’s talk about the things that are holding you back from being a successful coach - from the fear of failure up to perfectionism, we’ll see what’s holding coaches back from being their best and how this can be overcome.

What’s holding you back from being a successful coach? 

This question gets asked a lot in our online seminars and events and it’s usually the same type of person asking it - a coach who just finished one of our certification courses but hasn’t started coaching yet.

If you’ve just finished a certification course in the past week and you’re not yet a successful coach, don’t beat yourself up - that’s normal. Success and achievements are not achievable in a pinch of time - they require energy and dedication.

That’s why we always tell our coaches: start small but start. The key to being a great coach is practice and what better way to practice than actually changing people’s lives? 

Without practice, without actually coaching someone, your chances of being a successful coach are zero. 

So, start off small. Approach a friend or a family relative and ask them if you can coach them. First, do it for free. They will see it as a great opportunity to learn new things and you’ll get to practice and become a better coach.

Don’t overextend your free coaching period - when you get the hang of it, after a few sessions, tell them that you should get paid for what you’re doing. You’ll feel when it’s the right time because you’ll see how their eyes light up when you’re starting a new coaching session.

But why is this not one of the five reasons we’re talking about? Because those are available for coaches that are already practicing with their clients. If you don’t have clients, you’re not (yet) a coach. Now, let’s look at the five reasons.

Reason #1 - Fear of Failure 

What is a failure for you? You see it as something intrinsically and entirely bad, right? What if we told you that shouldn’t be the case? That you should think of failures as experiences, not as awful events that screwed you up.

We know that our lives won’t always be filled with successes, so why aren’t we turning those failures into experiences that can teach us something? 

Fear of failure was normal in prehistoric times because failure meant death for most of our hunter-ancestors. 

Now, in the knowledge era, failure is not that fatal. Especially as a coach, what can be the worst thing which happens? You lose a client. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be…

Reason #2 - Lack of Belief in Oneself 

The number two reason holding you back from being a successful coach is a lack of belief in yourself. You’ve got what it takes to be successful, but you don’t know it yet.

How will you be able to find it out, if you don’t trust in yourself? Also, more importantly - if you don’t trust your abilities and skills to be a great coach, why should a client trust you?

Cultivate trust in yourself by being kinder to yourself and looking inside. What do you see? There is a professional coach there, waiting to spark joy in their clients’ lives. 

Believe that there are people out there that really need you and your expertise. If you visualize it, you’ll be able to achieve it through the skills you already have.

Reason #3 - Not Enough Effort

The third reason might strike all coaches one way or another in one part of their lives - and that is not putting in enough effort. We’re not talking about laziness here, because that’s not the case. In most cases, however, the lack of effort may come in the form of putting effort where there isn’t a need for it.

Let’s say you start posting on social media on a daily basis. You focus on Facebook because you know the platform. The problem is…nobody knows you on Facebook. You’re using a more community-driven platform, but you don’t have a community yet.

The solution? Move that effort towards a more viral type of platform, like TikTok. That’s how you build a community and then you can move them towards your Facebook, where you post more long-form, interesting content.

Also, the lack of effort is seen in clients who stall the moment of coaching for a long time. If you have the resources, why aren’t you starting to coach? Good question…

Reason #4 - Perfectionism

Even if it might sound wrong, reason #3 and reason #4 are quite related to one another. Putting in no effort versus being a perfectionist may sound distant, but in reality, they bring the same result - stalling coaching.

Perfectionist coaches need to have everything in order before they even think to start coaching. They need a website, an eCommerce store, five social media accounts, a huge cold calling list and the reasons of the perfectionist coach just go on and on and on.

Why wait for all of these, when you can start off small and build on them? Think about all the big brands around you. They started small and built on their success constantly. Don’t wait for perfection!

Reason #5 - Doing it on your own

Most coaches think that doing it on their own is the only way to go. That may be right about some professions and careers, but not coaching.

How can you believe in the power of coaching without having a coach of your own? A coach will be your best friend, your toughest trainer and the person you’ll be able to trust with the uncomfortable things in your life.

Don’t try to do it on your own - you’re not supposed to! 


In conclusion, these are just five of the reasons that can hold you back in your coaching career. Don’t be afraid, believe in yourself, put in the required effort, steer away from perfectionism and seek help when needed!

Want to learn more about coaching? Sign up for one of our next coaching events. Thank you for being with us for yet another blog!

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