Lindsay Dotzlaf

Turn Your Dream Project into Reality This Summer: From Idea to Launch, Your Best Summer Awaits!

Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | Healing Is Not Your Purpose

Ep #147: Healing Is Not Your Purpose

One of the best parts of being a coach is the fact that we create a much more intimate relationship with ourselves. For me personally, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my self-trust and the level of awareness around my thoughts and feelings, and how they influence the outcomes I create.

However, I’ve noticed recently that many coaches tend to fall into the trap of overlapping their personal growth with their coaching businesses. This can turn your healing into a double-edged sword. If you’ve noticed that your goals are attached to your worth as a human, or if how you show up in business is dependent on how your life is going, listen in.

Join me on this episode to discover how you might be unintentionally turning your personal development into a chronic problem to solve. You’ll hear specific examples of how this can show up, the importance of not letting your personal work and your business overlap, and how to check in with yourself if you’ve developed a sense of codependency between the two.

Episode 150 of Mastering Coaching Skills will be a Q&A! Click here to send me your questions, or DM me on Instagram, and I’ll answer them on the podcast.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Examples of how your self-awareness can become a double-edged sword.
  • Why it’s a problem when you measure your success and worth by how healed you are.
  • How to identify when coaching has become a need, rather than a want.
  • The importance of not letting your personal work and your business overlap.
  • How to check in with yourself if you’ve noticed a sense of codependency in coaching.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Episode 150 of Mastering Coaching Skills will be a Q&A! Click here to send me your questions, or DM me on Instagram, and I’ll answer them on the podcast.
  • For even more resources on making your work as a coach and success for your clients easier, I’ve created a freebie just for you. All you have to do to get it is sign up to my email list at the bottom of the home page!
  • If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique, The Coach Lab is for you! Applications are open, so come and join us!
  • Click here to get on the waitlist for the next round of the Advanced Certification in Coaching Mastery!
  • Ep #143: Self-Coaching: Everything You Need to Know

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 147. To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, I am so happy you’re here today. I want to talk to you about something today that I keep seeing coming up over and over and over. And I’ve had enough, it’s time for us to talk about it. And I actually recorded, I mentioned this a few episodes ago. The episode where I gave you my playlist I mentioned that I had recorded an episode that I hadn’t released yet.

And it actually was on this topic, but I have spent more time thinking about it and I have a little more clarity around it. And so I am re-recording because I do think it’s a really important topic. And it’s one of those things that piqued my reticular activating system, right, which is like once you notice something, then you start noticing it everywhere.

Now that I’ve noticed this and I’ve talked to many people about it, my colleagues, my friends, my whoever, coaches in my life, I keep seeing this come up. So I want to share it with you because it feels really important. And I don’t think that I’ve ever heard anyone really dive into this. Maybe they have, but I’ve not heard it. So I’m going to do it today. All right? Are you ready?

What I want to talk about today is the overlap between your personal life and your own personal development, I’m saying that with quotes around it, your personal development, and your coaching and your coaching business. And what I mean by that is when I see, I’ve noticed often recently, a lot of coaches that have really created this huge overlap of their own work, their own growth, their own healing, their own personal development, and their coaching business.

And this shows up in multiple ways. I’m going to go through all the ways it shows up and what isn’t great about it. And I want to be really clear upfront, I’m not suggesting that you don’t seek whatever help you want, right, from coaches, from therapists, from any type of mental health advocate, right? Like any of those things, they’re all amazing, they’re all super helpful.

And sometimes there’s a point where it goes too far. And I think, as coaches, that it’s this unique thing that I’ve only really seen with coaches. Even when I was surrounded by psychologists and therapists when I was in the educational world doing all of that work I didn’t see this happening. It may have been, I don’t know. But I didn’t see it nearly as much as I do in the coaching world.

And so what I mean by this is when you’re a coach, one thing that’s amazing about being a coach is that you really learn to have, at least for me, I’ve really created a much more intimate relationship with myself where I have so much more self-trust, but also so much more awareness.

I have way more awareness around just my thoughts in general and how my thoughts influence my day, how they influence the outcomes that I’m creating, the goals that I’m going after, all of those things, right? How the way I think every day, the way I’m feeling every day really influences the way I show up in every aspect of my life.

That’s amazing, and it can be a little bit of, what’s the word, like a double-edged sword, right? Where it’s amazing up until it becomes a thing where you’re so focused on, like, you see so much. You see, oh, I’m not maybe having the results I want here. I’m not having the outcomes I want in this part of my life. I’m having all of these thoughts or these emotions, these feelings that I don’t want to feel in this part of my life.

And it can become a little bit chronic like, okay, I need a coach for that. And I need a coach for that and I need a coach for that. And I want to say first that not only have I heard people talk about this, but I’m also saying this from experience. There are times in my life when I have, it’s like I don’t know what happened but I just woke up and I have like four coaches, right? And it’s like, whoa, hold on. How did we get here? So this is a little bit of what I’m talking about.

When you are able to create all this amazing awareness for yourself and then you immediately go into, oh no, I can see all these things that aren’t serving me and I must immediately fix all of them. This is what kind of led me to that song, that very first song on the playlist that I shared, which was a couple of episodes ago. You can go back and listen to that if you haven’t listened.

I shared my whole playlist for really getting into my body, feeling all the feelings. And the very first song or spoken word that I shared, it’s called Healing Is Not My Purpose, and I think that sentiment is so important here. Where sometimes when this goes too far I think it can turn into, I’m not good enough yet. And the whole purpose of me, being in this business, and doing this work is to be like the ultimate, most healed person, right?

Or to be constantly seeking constant growth and making every goal that you set attached to kind of your worth as a human and your growth. And just measuring your success as a human, but also your success in your coaching business on how great your life is and how healed you are, right? How much growth have you had as a human?

So I’ll give you some really specific, if you’re like I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m going to give you some very specific examples of how this shows up and why it’s a problem. So one way that it shows up very specifically, I see a lot of coaches do this and I know I’ve done this in the past is it might distract you.

Like there becomes so much of an overlap of your own work and your coaching business that your own work gets in the way of you actually working on your business or in your business doing the coaching with your clients. So what that might look like is on a Wednesday when it’s your scheduled work hours, now you have a call that’s like a marriage coaching call or whatever, like something that has nothing to do with your business.

Now, and I want to be very clear, this is not a problem. You can do that, but what happens when you have a marriage coaching call on Tuesday, and then for a couple of hours after that you’re really distracted because your mind is just on your marriage. And then on Thursday, you have your nutrition call and it kind of can spiral out of control.

And not only that, but it’s probably not only maybe the hour that you’re taking out of your day for that call, but what’s the time that you’re spending after that thinking about your marriage, thinking about your macros, thinking about your whatever the thing is that you’re working on on that call and you’re not noticing that this is distracting you.

To me, that’s the biggest problem. It’s not that you’re doing it, because for sure we’ve all done this, right? I highly encourage you as a coach, if you can, to have calls during the day so you’re not doing all your calls in the evenings. But there’s a big difference between, for example, me saying, okay, on every Wednesday I have a call with my marriage coach. And I’m going to very specifically schedule it at a certain time so that I know at three o’clock on Wednesday I’m just finished working.

Because now it’s this call and then I have an hour or two afterwards that I just know I’m going to be distracted and processing things. So I’m specifically blocking that time off. I don’t work after three on Wednesdays, period, right? Or maybe I don’t work after two on Wednesdays because I spend 30 minutes preparing for that call or doing my homework or going through seeing what I want coaching on or whatever. I’m just making this example up.

But there’s a big difference between doing it on purpose, and not realizing how much time during your week you’re spending doing that. And then it can bleed into becoming very almost like a codependent relationship between your own personal development and your business, right? Like your business can become very, very dependent on how you perceive you’re doing as a human, which really isn’t healthy for you or for your business, right? It keeps them very overlapped, very intermingled with each other.

And then I’ll come to my next point, what can happen is that your business, your coaching, the way you show up for your clients and your coaching business become very dependent on how your life is going or how you are perceiving your measurement of personal growth or measurement of how you’re doing in these other areas that you’re working on.

So just notice, first of all, there could be a lot of you right now that are like, oh my gosh, I’m definitely doing this. So the first step here is we’re just going to notice it, okay? And I’m going to keep going, I’m going to give you some more. But for now we’re not going to beat ourselves up. After I go through all of them I’m going to kind of tell you what you can do about this, if you relate to this, if this is you.

I’m going to tell you a couple other ways this shows up. So the next way is it might show up in your actual coaching, right? Especially if the area that you think you need to work on, or that you’ve been working on, or that you have goals, looking for different outcomes, it overlaps with what you coach on.

So for example, if you’re a dating coach and you yourself are currently dating and maybe something happens in your dating life that you don’t love, now possibly you’re going to show up to your clients a little distracted, a little maybe in the pool with them, which means agreeing, like you can’t see kind of outside of their problem because you’re in it with them. Or it’s going to have you second guessing yourself and your coaching during coaching sessions.

To me, of course, because of what I teach, this is one of the most important areas to be aware of. And if you’re a brand new coach maybe also consider when you’re thinking about what your niche is or what you want to coach on. I think it can be really common to pick a niche that something that you’re like, this is all I think about all the time, so of course I want to coach on this.

So for example, a dating coach who is dating themselves. Or a business coach who just is starting a brand new business themselves. Or a marriage coach who is in the middle of some marriage things themselves, so they’re spending a lot of time working on their own marriage.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to choose a niche that way because I think it is important to choose a niche on something that you really feel confident coaching on and that you have maybe experienced yourself. But there’s a difference between, okay, I feel like I’ve made plenty of progress in this area and no matter what happens to me in this area, I feel very confident that I can coach my clients on whatever it is that’s coming up for them.

The next way that it might show up is it might have you constantly seeking. Like when you think, okay, my personal development is attached to my business success, it will have you constantly seeking that personal development, right? Because if it’s attached, then you have to keep doing it in order for your business to thrive or even survive, possibly.

And so it will have you constantly like, okay, what’s the next thing? Even if let’s say, I keep using the example of a marriage coach, so let’s just stick with that. Let’s say you’re working with a marriage coach and it’s amazing. And you work with her, or him or them for six months and then it’s complete and you feel great about it.

Instead of just feeling great and thinking I’m so glad that I hired this person, I’m so glad for all the progress that I’ve made. I really see the changes in my relationship, it might have you thinking, okay, what’s next? Who’s next? What’s the next thing I’m going to work on? What’s my next investment? Speaking of investment, this is also where it can get a little tricky, the overlap between an investment in your life and an investment in your business. And then the last thing I have, which is very connected to the one I just said, it can have you overspending in coaching.

So a lot of times when I’m working with newer coaches, one thing that sometimes comes up is they’ve spent a lot of money learning to coach or maybe working with a business coach, or just spent money on coaching, which in itself is not a problem at all. It’s amazing. Of course, when you love coaching and you believe in it so much, you’re going to spend money on coaching.

But just notice when they become connected it can almost feel, again, this would bring you back to the kind of codependent relationship. It can almost feel essential. Like I have to spend this money in order for my business to thrive or survive, whatever it is, right?

I have to spend this money to make sure that I am getting my workouts in every day. I’m going to work with this health coach. Or I have to spend this money to, like no way can I possibly coach my clients if my marriage isn’t perfect, or you can fill that in with literally anything, right?

Now, of course, once again, I’m just going to reiterate just so you hear me, spending money on coaching is amazing. This is not a problem. It’s only when you don’t do it purposefully and it becomes, and you can probably feel it in your body, when it becomes almost like a need instead of a want. Or instead of this feels amazing, I cannot wait to hire this person to work on my relationship.

It feels very different in your body when it’s a need, right? When it’s dependent on it, when everything is dependent on it. Your business, not only your relationship, which might be happening in your head if that’s the type of coach that you’re hiring, but also your business, your personal health, like all of it can just become all jumbled up.

So if this is you, if you’re like, oh no, I might be doing this, here’s, I think, a couple of ways to know the difference. One goes back to something I kind of already touched on, which is just being very purposeful about it, right? Just like does this make sense for me right now? Is this something that I really want to work on or is this a distraction from my business?

Is this just another way of like, oh, let me spend more money on coaching because the more I invest in coaching, the better coach I’m going to be or the more money I’m going to make in my own business. It proves my belief in coaching, which sometimes, yes, that can be true.

I believe so strongly in coaching that that usually is my first thought when something comes up that I’m like, oh, I’m having some discomfort over here, I really want to work on this thing. Amazing, and just check. What does this have to do with my business? You can just ask yourself that, right?

Now, maybe it’s business coaching and it’s like, no, this feels very purposeful, this is exactly what I want. But if it’s not business coaching, just to do a little check-in. Is this something I want to invest in right now? Or is it something I think I have to invest in right now for the success of my business?

I can’t tell you how important it is to not let those things overlap, right? Something someone recently said to me, a colleague said to me, oh, I just finished working with this coach. We worked for six months on this, honestly I don’t even remember what it was. It wasn’t something for her business, it was something for our personal life.

And she said, I just know I still have so much more healing to do and so much more work. And I just said, well, how do you know? What if you don’t? And she looked at me like she had just never considered that, right? That that wasn’t even, it was just so clear. It was like her duty to be healed. 100% healed, which in my mind is like, is that a thing? I don’t think it’s a thing.

So that’s something to just notice, right? Are you doing it for yourself because you want to? Are you doing it for someone else because maybe someone else told you you need to or because you think it’s going to improve, you know, be like a magic wand that improves things maybe in your coaching business, or just in your life.

I do think coaching is amazing and it does sometimes feel like magic. But there’s a difference between that and just thinking like just paying this money, investing in his coaching is the magic because usually, that’s not how it works.

The next thing to notice is if you go back to what I was saying about where’s it showing up in your day, one question that I ask myself when I’m thinking of hiring someone, I’ll talk about this in the Q&A episode because someone asked about this, what coaches I’m currently working with. But one coach that I work with right now, her name is Keena, she’s a financial coach and we’re just working on my personal finances.

And although I do usually meet with her during the day, it’s very clear what my boundaries are, I have very clear time set aside for it. And one thing I ask myself anytime I’m hiring a coach is would I be willing to do this work at 8pm? And you can pick whatever time that is for you. For me, it feels completely absurd that I would be on a coaching call at 8pm. It didn’t used to. In the beginning of my business I was doing, personally, a lot of coaching at all hours.

But now I don’t. I just have boundaries around my business. But also a lot of times my days are very full, I work really hard and I am exhausted by 8pm. There is no way that you could convince me most of the time to do a call at that time, which is why I ask myself would I be willing to take these calls at 8pm? And I just really explore that answer, right?

Sometimes it’s like, well, I don’t know, but I want to anyway. Okay, that’s fine. But if it’s a hell yes, if it’s like, of course I would, it feels that important, that really helps inform me of just making that decision, right? Would I be willing to do this, to work on this, if I could only do it 100% of the time outside of business hours because it has nothing to do with my business.

Now, I do want to end by saying, of course there are overlaps here. So I don’t want you to hear this as very black and white, right? Like, oh, I don’t need to do any of this work or I am only over investing in coaching or all of this that I’m doing is wrong. Absolutely not because there definitely is overlap.

I do think the more coaching I’ve had, especially in the beginning, the more aware I became of myself, the more trust I developed in myself, the more confidence I created through the coaching. And that all does feel really important, no matter if I was working, you know, having coaching on my business or relationships or money or whatever it was.

All of that coaching does feel important and did just continually increase and increase my belief in the power of coaching and the magic of coaching and what coaching can do. So I don’t want you to hear this and think, oh, I shouldn’t be doing any of these things, because that’s not true. I just want you to do just a little internal check-in if you think that you’ve developed a little bit of a codependency between the two. That is the thing you want to be aware of.

All right, I hope that this was very helpful. And if you have any questions, find me on Instagram, send me a DM, ask me all the questions about this because I do think it’s a very important topic, and I will talk to you next week. Goodbye

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at That’s Lindsay with an A, See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?


Copy of Bio Image

Hi I’m Lindsay!

I am a master certified coach, with certifications through the Institute for Equity-Centered Coaching and The Life Coach School.

I turn your good coaching into a confidently great coaching experience and let your brilliance shine.

50 Questions for Coaches

Questions are powerful! Grab my 50 questions for ANY coach for ANY client

follow along