Why I Quit Coaching
The following is an email sent out to my Embracing Self Love email list on 5/30/2019.
I think it’s important that I share it with all of the readers who have been with me through the journey of starting (and now ending) my coaching business.
Hello beautiful crew,
I want to share some of my recent struggle with you today, in hopes that it might help you love on yourself more fully. I aim to always be transparent with you, and lately I’ve felt like a total fraud because self love has NOT been coming easily to me… but more on that later.
I’ve been hurting. After living in an abusive situation for a year while also experiencing the rise and fall of my coaching business…
I felt like wave after wave of betrayal, shame, and disappointment have been hitting me for months. Until now. The waves have finally stopped.
I’m finally at a point where I can breathe again. I feel like the waves of flashbacks and floods of emotions and fear have finally slowed down, and now I’m really processing and healing, rather than just trying to stay afloat.
And what I’ve realized is that so much of the coaching world is built on fraud. Shady scammy frustrating marketing tactics that feed on people in the most vulnerable points of their lives.
The hardest thing for me to face through everything going on right now is that I was a part of the coaching scam cycle.
See, this sneaky cycle feeds on the most vulnerable points of peoples’ lives, gives them a momentary high through a false sense of control and power, and gets their reviews while they’re still on that high. And then, when the obviously unsustainable new “mindset” crashes back down to reality, victims of the cycle are left feeling like they’re failures. Like they chose to fail because they don’t love themselves enough, because they’re not committed to their dreams, because they don’t want to succeed, because they aren’t strong enough.
It’s horrible. Some of it is legitimately brain-washing status.
What I learned in the coaching I invested over $5,000 on was that I was in control of everything in my life. It was all my choice, and if I didn’t want to keep living the way I’d been living, all I had to do was consistently choose differently and think “high vibe” thoughts more and more of the time. That was all I needed to cure anxiety and depression, to cure cystic fibrosis, to fix the problems in my marriage, to leap out of generations of financial struggles and become a bajillionaire with not a worry in the world.
When I inevitably faced a problem, I felt like it was my fault- and that I did it to myself on purpose.
I blamed myself just like I’d been taught- it was my responsibility to own my decisions and accept that my life was tough because I chose for it to be.
Victims of the coaching industry’s crappy cycle stay silent because it’s hard to share. Because falling from their new height is impossible, there’s nothing left to go back to. There’s this feeling that every abundant-mindset person on the planet is going to come in preaching the Law of Attraction and that we create our lives all on our own, with no help from anyone else. We’re gods, basically. And part of the coaching process is to take huge risks- from massive investments to announcing new career shifts and banishing “small minded” people from your life. By the time you’re finished, all you’ve known tends to be in shambles, supposedly overhauled for the sake of this fancy new dream life you’re creating.
The truth is… that’s a bunch of lies… being spread by people who actually believe them… Who fail to speak up once they realize the truth.
Most coaches aren’t trained in any sort of psychology, there’s no certification or formal training required. There’s no experience required. It’s a broad term and there is a LOT for people to gain by telling lies and behaving immorally. As in, I know several people who regularly sell out $40,000 coaching packages! FORTY-THOUSAND-DOLLARS! With zero training or certification, zero evidence of what they actually do.
Now, I’m very pro- self-taught… but there are some things no self-taught person should neverclaim. Like being able to cure legitimate medical ailments with a simple mindset tweak and a new routine.
When I was part of the lie, what I told myself was that coaching is a luxury. That’s all, not a cure. Just a fun thing to do.
I told myself personal development is a hobby, and of course some people are going to love dumping cash into a hobby they love. Nothing satisfies me like buying a new empowering or perspective-shifting book. Of course some people with the means will want to invest in coaching to work privately with a personal growth mentor. That’s what my job was…
And I didn’t lie about what I did or feed off peoples’ insecurities. I didn’t make grand promises or overstep my scope of practice (which was literally nothing, because I’m not a psychologist or anything of the sort!), and that’s probably why I’m not a million-dollar coach. Nobody wants to buy the truth: that changes require work, healing is a process not just a switch you flick, and that sometimes life is hard. “Negative feelings” are important parts of life, avoiding them is impossible.
This is why I’m leaving the coaching industry.
I’m done being a coach. I’m so disgusted by what I’ve seen in the industry. I’m horrified at how gross peoples’ intentions can be, and how even the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful seeming people can be absolute snakes.
I believe we all have a loving core. And I’ve realized that people unfortunately don’t tend to live from their loving core when there are thousands of dollars on the table for failing to be a kind and honest person. People would rather have those thousands of dollars, and it sucks.
I’ve forgiven myself.
I didn’t mean to sell snake oil, or whatever. I was still in the part of the cycle where I believed it had all worked, coaching had “cured” me and my life was going up up up. But really, I neglected a lot of my own needs and denied that anything was wrong because I wanted so badly to believe the amazing woman who told me that with her $5,000 program, I would never need therapy again, and it’d be like I never had Cystic Fibrosis.
I’ve forgiven myself for being naive, for not thinking through things and seeing the red flags. For wanting to trust someone $5,000 all in.
I’ve forgiven myself for neglecting my physical and emotional needs in order to fit into some dreamy box I wanted to believe in.
I’ve forgiven myself for being part of a system that destroys lives and hurts people.
I’ve forgiven myself for believing in and sharing perspectives that encourage crazy god-complexes until the inevitable crash into panic.
I’ve forgiven myself for betraying my own humanity because I trusted others more than myself… and for failing to trust what I knew to be true when someone else questioned it.
Living in an abusive situation for a year was really difficult, and it was hard to forgive myself for letting things go so far. After my childhood, I told myself I’d never again let anyone mistreat me… and then I did and it hit SO hard when I realized what I’d done. I felt betrayed by myself, and I was pretty pissed at humans in general for being awful.
This month I felt ashamed of my softness and for being so naive, trusting, and gentle.
And then I felt angry with myself for feeling ashamed of my softness, because that’s something I value deeply. I think it takes an incredible amount of strength to remain soft in this world, and I aspire to never let the worst in others break the best in me. My softness and love are powerful.There’s got to be a way to have both, the softness and the ability to care for myself and not fall into the hands of abusers and cruel traps.
I’m still learning, and I’m doing my best to be grateful for the mistakes I made this past year, because ultimately I’ve learned so much for them. It takes a special kind of courage to make a mistake- it proves you tried something. I’m proud of that. I’m ready to embrace the mistakes, rebuild, take care of myself, and keep on going in life.
So, this has been a messy adventure. I want to thank you.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me through the journey of starting my own business. It’s become a beautiful thing on its own, even with all the mistakes and lessons learned. I’m rebuilding the love and trust I have with myself, and I’m learning to share and trust in the loving core I believe in. I’m rebuilding my faith in some higher power and learning to dance with the waves of life rather than drowning in them.
I’m still here! I’m still going to be writing and sharing my story of love and forgiveness. I’m so grateful for the support, I’m grateful to those of you who are able to see the significance of this struggle and who may have been affected by the perspectives I bought into and shared. If I’ve been part of you falling into a similar cycle, I am so deeply sorry. I know this struggle, it hurts. It’s devastating. My promise to you is that I will never again share before I’ve truly explored the situation. I will never promote another person’s beliefs and ideals over my own, and I will do my best to always honor nature and her many seasons.
Please know that nothing you’ve ever done is unforgivable.
Whatever you’ve done, whoever you’ve been… allow yourself to embrace it. It might take time to break through your own shell and be able to look and feel and forgive who you’ve become. But you can do it. I believe in you. You are not garbage. You are enough, you are worthy of love. You can always come back to your loving core.
Please come back, the world needs you.
So much love,
P.S. Don’t worry, while I won’t be coaching anymore, I am continuing the work I do as a virtual assistant and graphic designer, and I will of course continue writing for this blog and working on my upcoming books! All that is changing is that I am leaving the coaching industry and staying true to myself with work that meets my standards and the values I believe in- which include honoring the natural phases and seasons of life.