10 Reasons Not to Engage a Coach

Coaching is a powerful way for personal transformation and to empower you to achieve your goals and dreams.

However, like any journey, coaching is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are instances when engaging a coach might not be the ideal choice. Here are the top 10 reasons why one should NOT engage a coach.

Lack of Commitment

“Don’t have time? It’s too difficult?”

If you’re not ready or willing to invest time, effort and consistency in the coaching process, it may not yield the desired results. Coaching will be uncomfortable, and it will require you to move out of your comfort zone. It requires commitment, accountability and time to propel you to achieve your goals.

External Blame

“I don’t need to change. They do. My boss is being difficult. The company has issues.”

If you want someone else to change, hope the world sees it your way, or unwilling to take responsibility for your actions and choices, and expect your coach to solve all your problems, then you will be disappointed. Coaching is about you – helping you to change your thinking, your mindset, your physical being, your emotional reactions to help you generate more options for yourself. It is not about changing others.

Seeking Quick Fixes

“Just tell me what to do. I need a solution.”

Coaching is a process, and meaningful change takes time. If you are looking for immediate solution without committing to long-term personal growth, coaching will not be beneficial.


“It’s always like this. I cannot change.”

If you are not open to feedback and approach coaching with a closed mind, coaching will not be effective. Coaching challenges you to embrace new perspectives and ideas, learn new skills and try new things.

My good friend or partner supports me.

“I speak to my good friend about my frustrations. My partner supports me.”

A good friend or a supportive partner that will give you honest feedback and challenge your behaviour may be a great avenue for personal growth. A coach could go a step further by being objective and giving unbiased feedback that will challenge your self-limiting beliefs. A coach may also have tools and frameworks that you may apply and practice that will facilitate breakthrough.

No Clear Goals

“I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure where to go.”

If you are uncertain about what you want to achieve, a coaching process might lack direction and fail to deliver the intended impact.

Conflict of Values

If you fundamentally disagree with the coach’s approach and values, there will be a barrier to building trust in the coaching relationship. In such an instance, you should look for another coach that aligns with your values to have the right synergy.

External Pressure

“HR arranged the coach for me. My husband asked me to be coached.”

If you engage with a coach purely because of external pressure from family, friends or organisation, then the coaching process might be ineffective. Without an intrinsic motivation for personal growth, you will not be committed to the process and practices for transformation and growth.

Financial Strain

“Coaching is expensive. I can’t afford it.”

In general, coaching tends to be costly and rates might be as high as thousands of dollars per hour. However, there is an increasing number of coaches who truly believe in the betterment of society and offer pro bono (free of charge) coaching to individuals and organisations.

Unresolved Mental Health Issues

Coaching is not a substitute for therapy. If you are dealing with mental health issues (for example you are unable to function on a daily basis, you have negative thoughts all the time, you want to disappear, etc), it is crucial to seek professional therapeutic support.

While coaching can initiate positive change, it’s essential to recognise when the timing or circumstances might not be conducive to a fruitful coaching engagement. Each individual’s journey is unique, and the decision to engage a coach should align with personal readiness, commitment, and a genuine desire for growth.

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