Many times I have read the opinion, or been given the opinion directly, that coaching is BS and everyone seems to be doing it these days.

All you need is a camera and then be able to create content around your thoughts and opinions on what it takes to succeed in life and business often without having any real evidence that you’ve actually succeeded yourself. Know a few quotes off the top of your head, have a good story that can relate to the quotes – (queue story about breaking the four minute mile and the fact that no-one could do it for years and it was thought to be impossible. Once someone did it, people realised it was possible and then after that everyone was doing it. Proof that what we think is possible determines what we make possible therefore if you change what you believe you can change what you achieve).

There’s actually good truth in that story and the example is prime to highlight why people use that and many other stories. Stories are used because they provide a framework for context or understanding by the audience.

However, there’s also truth to the fact that so many people seem to be offering advice or coaching these days and you don’t know what they’ve actually achieved other than what you’re given in their snapchat, Instagram stories and facebook feed. I have no great problem with this, if someone puts content down and it inspires you to think differently and to therefore get a different outcome then I’m all for it.

If these same people are asking for money to teach me their methods, thoughts and opinions, then I want to see some evidence of what they’ve achieved. Yes we all define success differently and for me it’s not the Lamborghini and yacht ride with girls dressed in bikinis so that style of marketing isn’t really going to hit with me. For you, I suggest working out what success actually looks and feels like first. How will you know when you’re successful? What does it feel like to you? What does a day to day existence look like for you in order to consider yourself successful. Without knowing that, you end up chasing other peoples concept of success and you will never find happiness there because it’s not yours.

If you’re paying money for services you should feel like you’re gaining something. You should feel that you’re better off for the interaction.

For me I want people with demonstrated experience and results. I want people that I can respect and people that I feel I can trust. Qualification is great but not necessary for me to get these feelings. Yes I have spent a small fortune to invest in my coaching education and I’m very much happy I have done so. It has helped me on a personal level, it has placed me inside communities that force me to think and act differently. These are communities that have forced me to grow. I am around people or have access to people that I trust and respect and I have access to models that work and have been proven to work. These are well researched models with well documented success.

But where does coaching come from and why is it so big in the past few years when society survived perfectly well without it in the previous decades and even centuries?

The background of coaching comes from Sports Psychology where top level athletes employ sports psychologists to round out their game, to give them the mental edge. Top level athletes obsess over every aspect of their games – nutrition, technique, strategy, strength and conditioning, recovery, psychology and even spiritual. They realise that knowing how to catch a ball, kick a ball, hit a ball, throw a ball, run fast, run for a long distance, ride a bike, swim efficiently or whatever their specific sports skills is, isn’t enough on its own.

They have to be able to perform these actions consistently over prolonged periods of time. They have to be able perform these activities under differing levels of stress and pressure. The technique is just one aspect of their game so they employ a host of people to enhance their performance. They look for the 1% increases in as many areas as they can in order to gain that competitive advantage.

Wouldn’t it make sense for you and I to do that as well? Personally and professionally, if we want to have and be the best we can possibly be, for ourselves, wouldn’t we want that 1% improvement whenever and wherever we can?

In this day and age the world is going through massive changes at a rate that history has never seen before. Jobs we have now won’t exist when our kids are ready for the workforce. Technology and the way the world connects, accesses information, performs tasks etc is changing on a daily basis. Old thinking is forced to change or risk extinction. We’ve seen it with brands like Kodak. We’ve experienced it with technology like facebook to stay connected to people and broadcast live to the world; podcasts where we can gain access to almost anyone in the world and the way they’ve achieved what they have; apps like tinder where people don’t even have to have the awkward conversation with another people in order to express their interest in them. The world is changing and we’re all being swept up in this.

The result of this is heightened sense of uncertainty, feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, constant comparison to people that we a) don’t know or b) that are totally fabricating what the world sees of them.

So is coaching BS? Not from where I stand. I know what I do and wat my purpose is, it’s to give people tips, tools and strategies to believe they are good enough as they are, that they can develop and grow, that they do have a place in this world. I want people to believe they can live an amazing life free of performance anxiety, self-doubt, self-hate, lack of confidence or self-worth. I want people to know there’s no right or wrong way to live.

I think it makes sense to look to coaches to help you find those gaps and give you strategies to negotiate them. I believe your life is more important than the Olympics, a game or match, an event, a competition therefore I believe you should look for the 1% where you can find them; not because you’re unhappy with where you are, not because you’re dissatisfied but because we are an animal of constant growth and learnings and you deserve to be constantly growing and learning. You can be totally happy with who you are and where you are right now and also looking to where you want to be at the same time. In fact I think it’s important you are.

So that’s my thoughts on coaching. Are there people out there trying to rip you off? Are there people out there faking their lives and their results to try and sell it to you? Are there bad coaches and dishonest people out there? Yes, yes and yes. But you get those in all areas and all occupations.

Do your research. Look for authenticity because being authentic is key in this day and age of image manipulation. For you, being authentic to yourself is actually the key to being happy in this moment right now. So you should look to connect with people that are authentic. It will be a match and you will gain so much from each other. Real eyes, realise, real lies. Find your truth and go live an authentically awesome life you love.