Forget Your Friends. Hire a Coach.

Friends are important. You need friends. You need other nice weirdos who will tell you to chill out. And that’s exactly why none of those people will help you make big life changes.

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong. When you need a reminder that your mother is manipulative, call your best friend. When your boss screws up everything, call and complain to your friends. When you find new layers to the way your ex left a train wreck over what you thought was love, grab a six-pack and commiserate with your friends over a bonfire.

Friends respond to our weird. It’s kind of cool, actually. We attract a group of humans who not only share our interests but appreciate why we’re into certain things and why we can’t stand other things. Friends regulate this relationship dynamic. That’s why everyone agrees to stop inviting so-and-so’s new boyfriend to hang outs. That’s why everyone picks their second-favorite restaurant that has something everyone else likes.

Friends are important. Friends are like a thermostat. They’re slow to change, but willing to make the occasional drastic shift as necessary in order to maintain room temperature. You need friends. You need other nice weirdos who will tell you when you’re drinking too much or when you’re getting too political on Facebook. You need other people’s dogs to tell you truthfully whether you’re a good person or an untrustworthy dick.

All of that is exactly why none of those people will help you make big life changes. They can’t. They don’t want to. It goes against everything being friends means to us.

Talk to them about moving somewhere new, and you’re going to get a lot of shocked, defensive concerns about quality of life and how much you’ll be giving up. Talk to them about adopting a serious workout and diet routine, you’ll hear about how toxic that industry can be and how there are decent salads at the restaurant everyone goes to for Tuesday night get togethers. Changing careers mid-life? Are you sure? Do what makes you happy, I guess. Are you sure that’s what makes you happy?

Friends exist to maintain a status quo of friendship. They’re friends, not a study group. Not a mastermind think-tank. Not your therapist, your nutritionist, your side gig manager, or your New Age spiritual wilderness guide. And that’s okay. Again, we need friends. We need friends as friends and not in the dual role of professional consultant and social confidant.

And this is why if you’re ready to make a big change to your life, you ought to invest in a coach who can help you do it. Coaches exist to help with this stuff. Coaches wouldn’t be in the business if they weren’t successful. Their sustenance isn’t built on maintaining the status quo of your life, but in helping you identify and reach new goals, to push yourself, to change, to grow.

Coaches know you need to set the temperature of the rooms you want to be in. They don’t care about calling your bullshit. They care about challenging you to be accountable to the self you’re trying to be. They care about enabling you to make power moves even when they require huge changes to the way you’ve been living so far.

Who do you want to be? What needs to change in your life for you to be that person? What options do you have to reach that goal? What scares you the most about changing? Where do you want to start?

Your friends aren’t going to ask these things — at least, not without already having a counter-argument prepared in their heads. Your coach will ask. And your coach will listen. That’s their job.

Your friends aren’t your friends because they push you to achieve more or to become a different version of yourself. Let your coach help you do that. Let your friends be the people you bullshit around with when you get there.

nature boy // occasional wild man // photographer // compulsive writer // cat dad // sign-up for my journal WILD//LIFE at jozua.substack.com

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