The myth of perfection and why it’s holding you back as a coach

The quicker you bust this myth, the faster you can get on track to live your dreams and be a better coach.

No matter where you are on your coaching journey, chances are the myth of perfection is holding you back.

You know what we're talking about, right? The myth of perfection is handed to all of us by teachers, parents and workplaces. It's that shiny gold thing shimmering just out of reach that for whatever reason we just can't grasp.

We're not enough.

So we sit tight and don't do anything. We wait, because we're afraid of not being be to live up to whatever we or someone else in our life sees as perfection.

Roll on a few years and we're still in the trap of waiting, to meet the perfect person, land the perfect job, have the perfect diet or car or modular sofa. Guess what? It never happens.

That's because perfection doesn't exist, say Matt Lavars, head trainer at The Coaching Institute.

"It's just some BS we've been sold."

Matt spoke about the myth of perfection at TCI's online Breakthrough to Coaching Success training on April 26, saying he recently met a new student in her sixties who wants to be a successful coach.

"One of her biggest regrets so far is not prioritising her dreams," says Matt, who will be part of TCI's first Power of Coaching: Become a Successful Coach and Make a Difference Anywhere in the World on May 2 and 3.

"A lot of people live that life, live that world," he added, quoting philosopher Henry William David Thoreau: "Most men and women lead a life of quiet desperation and they end up dying with their song unsung."

A lot of the pressure comes from the belief we have to have all our stuff together, which in TCI's world prevents people from becoming coaches.

"There's this idea, 'How can you coach someone if you're not perfect?' yet nobody's perfect," says Matt.

"If you have this idea you have to be perfect before you can make a difference then you'll never make a difference because you'll never be perfect. It's just the way it is."

Matt's favourite joke is, he says—doing some quick amateur acting—that he'll be on his deathbed, "trying to work something out, 'I've nearly got it', oops, dead.

"We're always going to be searching for more, figure it out, it's part of who we are. And when we embrace that and we're okay with it, we actually make a great coach."

The TCI trainer was expelled from two schools growing up and failed Year 10, "then essentially drank alcohol and took drugs for about five years. I did nothing except washing dishes in pubs but back then I was doing the best I had with the tools I had," he says.

"I didn’t know about resourcefulness and making good decisions ... so I can't look back at myself and say I should have done better. So when I started at TCI I was saying I want to learn about me. I said yes with low self esteem."

The powerful thing as a coach about acknowledging the myth of perfection is that your clients will relate to it.

"If you demonstrate to your clients that nothing's perfect and you're a work in progress, will always be a work in progress ... never aim for perfection, it just stresses people out," says Matt, whose tips on how to become a better public speaker could also be of help.

And then stressed people get worried and don't take action.

Your mission, starting today? Get committed to crossing out perfection.

Dream Team is the award-winning marketing and innovations hub for The Coaching Institute and the coaching industry. Whether it's testing new ideas or challenging the old, updating best practices or disrupting conventions, Dream is here for you with the latest and best in the coaching industry along with tools, tips, strategies and case studies of real-world results that are breaking industry records.

Dream Team
Dream TeamThe Coaching Institute