What To Do When You Want To Quit Coaching

Honestly, Sometimes Being A Coach Sucks

Toku McCree

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At least a couple times a year, I want to quit coaching.

The clients are so annoying, they don’t want to do the work, they don’t want to change, and I start to feel like being a coach is pointless.

The money (while good) is unreliable, it feels like I’m always just a few canceled contracts away from being stressed about money. Sometimes I’ve got plenty of prospects other times it feels like I only have a few.

The work (while rewarding) is super difficult. I have to be the constant stand for deep possibility for each one of my clients. Even when those clients are being asshats. I have to do this even when I feel like I’m not present to much possibility in my own life and in the world in general.

Wanting to quit is a normal part of life.

During my marathon, I wanted to quit. During most of my long term relationships, I’ve wanted to quit. Hell even while writing this post, I wanted to quit.

Stepping into anything worth doing creates tension.

There’s the desire to complete the task, to keep going, to do the work, and the desire to get out of the tension, to take the day off, and do something easier or more enjoyable.

Getting out of the tension always feels pretty good. At least for a moment.

Before the desire to quit shows up I feel this pressure to execute, then a thought occurs to me I could quit! and a wave of relief comes over me. I could be free of this whole thing if I just walk away.

But of course, whenever I do this I eventually look back and wonder, “Why did I quit?” If I had just kept going I would have:

  • Written that book
  • Learned something about myself
  • Created something I was passionate about
Coffee table with a computer and coffee

So while the tension is uncomfortable, removing it as a strategy rarely leads to lasting satisfaction. And yet in the moment, it feels so tempting. A temptation I’ve given into so often I can hardly imagine listing all the things I’ve quit, though I can start with a sample:

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Toku McCree

Executive coach and writer. I’ve toured with rock bands, trained as a zen monk, and taught preschool. My hope is that my writing makes you think.