Why I waited 4 years to get my Life Coaching Certification

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Two weeks ago, I became a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach! Woo Hoo for me!


I graduated in 2015 and have been coaching for 4 years already, but I didn't choose to go through the Certification process until last month. It wasn’t because I was afraid, or thought I couldn't do it. Instead, I wanted to believe in myself and my skills so fully that it didn't honestly matter whether or not I became certified ever.


Many years ago I was part of a yoga system that had a rigorous certification process. It included a huge written test and video assessment of your teaching skill. You were mentored by senior teachers, but ultimately your fate was in the hands of one man who said yes or no.

For years I believed I had no skill as a yoga teacher unless that one man said so. I believed that I had no value to my students. That I didn't know enough and could never be enough of a teacher until he said it. AND I believed that when he said I was enough (as I eventually knew he would) that I would have "arrived" somewhere and would be the S*IT. Somehow having that piece of paper would prove something to me and the world. I was building my ego around it.

I was afraid of his power. And it held me back from being the teacher I could have been then.

When the yoga system had a meltdown I had just gotten the courage to start the Certification process. Instead, I resigned.

When I resigned I found out I what skill I already had. I found out that my students could've cared less whether I was Certified or not. They came to class anyway.

I promised myself I would never let another person's approval or lack of approval hold me back like that ever again. And so far, I haven't.


So when Certification came up for Life Coaching I stepped way back, took a pause and remembered: It is NOT about having the piece of paper in my hand. It is not about having the approval of another person (or group of people). It's not about what other people think of my coaching.

It is about believing in myself and trusting my own skill and knowledge. It is about the change I support my clients to create in their lives.

That’s the thing, if you’re like I used to be, you’re always waiting for someone else to tell you you’re good enough. You put your trust in another person who somehow is supposed to know whether or know you have enough skill and knowledge to do the job and do the job well. Or you’re always looking to a book or a so-called expert to tell you what to do and how to act. When you probably really already know what works for you.

When you look to someone else instead of looking to yourself you are giving your power away to that person. It is as if you are saying “I can’t possibly know whether I know anything, I can’t possibly trust my gut… so YOU tell me the answer.” But how can that other person know anything about you if YOU don’t know anything about you. You are robbing yourself of your own innate knowing.

It’s time to take that power back and to remember that you are the ultimate authority on your own life. You know what you know. If you need more skill or knowledge, you can find a way to get it. But not knowing something doesn’t diminish your worthiness. You are good enough for whatever you want to bring into your life. Don’t let another person’s opinion or authority scare you out of your own power.


I waited until I knew my coaching skills inside and out. And it became absolutely ridiculous that I wasn't officially certified. My mentor in this process had no notes on my "skills review" and gave me a complicated and hard issue to coach her on. And after the call she asked: "How does it feel to be Certified?" And I answered "Wonderful!" and it does.