I just talk things through with my partner…

Partners or loved ones are great at talking through problems.  They support us through the rough and tough times and are always there, whatever life throws at us.  Or are they?  That may be their intention but hang on... they’re in a bad mood this week; they’re incredibly busy with work at the moment; they’re going through their own stuff right now; I don’t want to bother them.  If we're being strictly honest with ourselves, can you really say absolutely anything to a partner like you can a coach?  Oftentimes, too, the area of change that you really want or need in your life, inevitably has some impact on their life, meaning it’s impossible for them to remain completely unbiased. They may be thinking – at least subconsciously – how will this affect me?

My best friend can be my life coach…

Ah, best friends.  No one can deny that they're completely on your side and most of us remember when a friend got us through a really tough time.  So why do you need a coach?  The problem with friends is that they desperately want you to be alright again and will go about trying to solve or fix the problem to make you better as quickly as possible.  It makes them uncomfortable to think of you not happy and they want you sorted out.  This discomfort leads to a very hasty, suggestive kind of therapy.  Friends aren’t generally trained listeners and before you’ve got half way through explaining to them what the real problem is, they’ve already butted in with what they think you should do.  Either that or they've launched into a story from their own life that they think is the same as your situation but actually isn’t.

I can make this happen by myself…

You're strong, resourceful, intelligent; maybe you think you don’t need this kind of help.  And that may well be true.  It might be that you're pretty good at seeing your own weaknesses and even the specific ones currently holding you back.  It might be, too, that you see these weaknesses and that you overcome them quickly and easily, just as you do challenges in all different kinds of areas of your life.  It may be, also, that you find the right goals for the life you really want to lead. You might even have the clarity of thinking to organise and prioritise those goals into your already busy schedule.  Or maybe not.  It's not that you can't do these things alone. It's not that you die if you don’t have a coach.  Neither is it about making you dependent on their support.  Having a coach is just about making things easier, taking the struggle out of life and drastically shortening the length of time it takes you to work things out. 

I can already see my blind spots...

These things that we need to work out can often be the difference between us having a generally fulfilling life and a generally frustrating life.  A coach helps you see your blind spot, the bit of you that either you don't want to look at or can't see, because you're too busy focusing on your strengths.  The problem with not having a personal development expert on your side, watching your back, is that your weaknesses are always being pushed to the bottom of the list.  The problem with this is that it can often create a dangerously unbalanced existence.  Whether you’re the 50-year-old CEO who burns out because he has no meaningful relationships, or you're the people-person loved by everyone who can’t hold down a job, this kind of life just isn’t sustainable.  Having a coach helps keep tabs on your whole life. 

My life is fine as it is...

However intelligent or self-aware you think you are, it is sometimes difficult to see yourself without a professional reflecting back to you.  Great coaches are trained to spot limiting beliefs, hidden inside even the odd turn or tone of phrase.  These may not sound like much but left unidentified, these beliefs can sit inside your subconscious, actively restricting your perceived choices for the whole of your life.  But I suppose it all depends on what you want to get out of life.  As the great philosopher, Thoreau put it, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."  And perhaps you're quite happy with that lot.  If that's good enough for you - if you're happy living with a certain level of misery - turning up but not fully participating in the game - not really happy but not quite unhappy enough to do anything about it - then I agree with you, you don't need a coach.