I’m a Coaching School Drop Out (You Should Hire Me)

by P. Braithwaite


I went to my first Health and Wellness Expo a few months ago in Sayreville, New Jersey where I met a really nice social worker who was also a relationship coach. We chatted for a bit about mindfulness and such, and then she glanced at my bio and asked the dreaded question:

“Where did you get your training?”

“Oh, I studied at NYU.”

Ironically, no potential client has ever asked this question. I answered. She nodded in approval, but inside my soul farted a little…

I studied at NYU, but I didn’t finish; I’m not gonna lie, I felt like the whole coaching program was kinda bullsh*t. Very very very expensive bullsh*t.

Before I move forward, let me back track.

I got my Masters because I thought it would make me a writer. I thought if I paid money, took classes and read books, I’d be a writer. The degree was going to make me a real writer (HINT: writing makes you a real writer). Midway through my thesis, three years into the grad school life, I realized I was a writer before I got there. The MFA allowed me space to own who I was, but it didn’t make me a writer. It created a set of circumstances to help me experience myself. It gave me resources and time to refine my skill.

But schools make scholars not practitioners.

It took THREE coaching classes to realize I was already a life coach (and I still came out with wicked awesome friends). I’d spent years coaching adults as a SUNY writing coach. I’d spent years coaching students as a teacher. I’ve facilitated more workshops than I can count. I’ve held the space for students grieving, struggling, and thriving (some were also procrastinating and failing). I conferred with students, let them get angry at me, and watched them settle and share the truth behind their rage. Almost a decade of my life has gone toward helping people gain confidence, remove blockages, and find their own voice. I taught writing before I realized I was a writer. I life coach others while actively learning how to embody my own life.

I am always learning while I’m teaching. This makes me more capable than I can even imagine.

I failed myself when I told the other coach I studied at NYU. I was intimidated by her credentials and so I discounted my own. I didn’t stand in the truth of my experience. I relied on credentials I don’t even believe in.

Credentials I actively rejected.

Every day I am afraid that my lack of a coaching certificate will invalidate what I can offer. Every day I question my ability to show up for clients and to serve in a meaningful way. But every single day, though coaching my clients, through reader email, through this blog, and informal chats, I realize that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do.

So today, I come out of the closet as a coaching school drop out. I free myself from shame and step into the truth: I’m here to serve as I know how. I’m qualified to serve as I know how.

I’m ready to serve as I know how.

Whatever you’re processing or going through, know that you, exactly as you are, are enough. You, as you are, are helpful, valuable, and complete. No credential, no certificate, no fancy book-learning degree makes you anything other than whole and wonderful.

I’m not saying you can’t benefit from training, and I’m not even saying that someday I won’t decide I need to formalize (read: westernize) my training, but everything else is icing on an already delicious cake. Everything else is simply formality and circumstance.

You are already who you are striving to become.

So go write the book, run the marathon, be the healer, start the business, leave the country, start the charity, leave the job — everything you need is inside. Everything you need to learn will find you on your path, and for some, that might be formal education. But just know….as you are…you are ready. Life is the process of perpetual becoming, but the seed is already the flower.

You are simply in the act of blossoming.

That’s what I’m in then process of owning. That is my lesson of the moment.

Anything you wanna step out of the closet and own? Com’on! Authenticity loves company!!!