The Problem with Celebrity Coaches and How You Can Help.

The Problem with Celebrity Coaches and How You Can Help.

Today, it seems there is always a new celebrity coach on the rise, offering advice on everything from business to personal to spiritual matters.

For me, my first coach was Tony Robbins. His larger-than-life persona, packed with truth bombs and insights, had me reading every book, attending every seminar, and practicing every morning ritual. And for the most part, the things he said and the advice he gave changed my life. But after some time, the message became repetitive, and before you know it, you’re off in search of some other truth, some other missing piece of the puzzle of life.

As they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”. Yet another celebrity coach appears, and down the rabbit hole, you go. Seminar, tapes, books, and then you find yourself again searching for something more. Here lies an important issue: When will it ever be enough? Do we ever reach a place where we feel content with our lives?

The sometimes ugly side of following these types of coaches has more to do with what is not said than what is. The inherent issues with this type of coaching are that things can get taken out of context, meaning the messages these coaches, mentors, and speakers give out are for a mass audience and can unintentionally be taken by the individual in the wrong way. This has happened numerous times to me personally. What many people may not attune to is that beyond the message lies the values that the speaker has on a number of times.

Values are important. They represent what we stand for and, I believe, the essence of who we are. If we are unclear about our values, then it is very easy to adopt someone else’s, especially someone we admire. This is a scenario I see happening all the time. As we look to these gurus, superstars, or teachers for answers in particular areas of life, we can accidentally assume they are knowledgeable about ALL areas of life. Most importantly, that their values are our values.

This misalignment of values can often lead us down the wrong path, adopting a way of being that’s incongruent with ourselves. The scary part is, in many cases, this incongruity is unconscious or at least not obvious until the wheels come off, or we find ourselves in an unexpected situation, confused about how we got here.

Please note, I’m not blaming anyone here, especially not the coach. However, I do think both share responsibilities. The coach can’t possibly know how any individual will interpret their message and what they make it mean. In most cases, they are just sharing themselves and their personality – the package of their personal brand. However, I do think they have a responsibility to clarify as much as possible what areas they are experts in and what is solely their opinion.

On the other side, the student needs to at some point develop the skill of discernment, taking the time to think, process, and contemplate the information they receive. They should challenge it, seek out different opinions, and even check in with their own experience before blindly accepting it. While this is not going to avoid anyone getting caught up in the future, it will go a long way in reducing how frequently it happens.

Maybe it’s just experience that makes us a little wiser each time we’ve been burnt. Or perhaps that’s just the nature of growth. Either way, the lessons stay true. You must spend time getting to know yourself. Not all paths to success are your path. Sometimes, the path ahead has never been traveled, and no coach, celebrity or otherwise, can help. You just have to move through it and trust your gut, and live with the mistakes. Maybe that’s the design: we get lost in order to find ourselves.

I am grateful to every coach, mentor, and teacher. They have all helped me in some way. But at the end of the day, I had to learn to listen to and trust my own inner guidance. It was only then that the right lesson arose within me when I needed it. It was then that I felt on the path, and the need to look outside of myself was no longer necessary.