What You Call Yourself Matters
I admit it, I hate the word coach. I loathe it for me. Not for the world, and not for anyone else who identifies with it, but, for me, calling myself a coach felt like puking.
And yet, I tried it on because I thought it was a term people could understand best.
People finally understand life coaching (bleh), and business coaching (slightly better), and I thought I needed to identify with terminology they understood.
First mistake, my friend. Not because it’s wrong to use terminology that people identify with. If it resonates with you, by all means use it and congratulations because your ability to explain yourself is now much easier. But if the language makes you pukey, the last thing you want to do is use it — as I have done.
The main reason being, you won’t want to talk about what you do, which is problematic for a business. And if you do talk about it, you’re likely to shrink and come off as inauthentic or without confidence — again, problematic.
As a writer, a master of words, a translator of inspirations,I certainly couldn’t be tripping over the simple question of what do you do?
So, as logophiles are wont to do, I looked up the definitions of coach, guide, mentor and teacher to see which resonated best.
I am quite comfortable with the words guide and mentor. They feel cozy, like a blanket, and very suited to what I actually do in this world.
They’ve felt good for years, and I believe they will always feel aligned, but over the last few months, I’ve done some deep searching. At times it felt like a blindfolded walk around a cave of glass stalactites, but I’ve been willing to walk (that’s brave right there, my friend. Simply being willing to walk, however uncomfortable), and, while those titles are a part of me, there’s another that feels the truest, the tightest fit, like Spanx (which I’ve never worn, but clearly Sara Blakely tapped into the collective desire)
That title is Writer.
And guess what?
Through writing I guide, through writing, I mentor, through writing I help people to know and express themselves. I write for others’ businesses (sales pages are my sweet spot), I write for myself (working on a fantasy novel right now!), I write for you (this email for example).
Writing is my business, writer is my title. It’s always rolled off my tongue with effortless ease.
That is what you’re looking for, when you’re describing anything you do, how you feel, what you desire.
Ease, resonance, truth.
That’s what you want to feel.
For those of you working jobs, or are certain your title suits, this applies to you too.
Pay attention to the words you use to describe yourself, your service, your position, your circumstances and how they make you feel (the second part is way more important).
What titles are you giving yourself?
Mother, sister, friend, business owner, coach, therapist, writer, dancer, fat, unmotivated, lazy, tired, helpful, good, employee, slave to the man, lightworker, lover.
What words do you use?
If they don’t resonate, if they make you feel even slightly off, change them.
Pick up a thesaurus, open a dictionary, and find a better word.
Because the words you choose are unique and powerful and they should fit like Cinderella’s slipper.
Love and magic,
PS — This piece is part of my Sunday Reflections that I send to my community each Sunday. Sign up below to have these snippets of delight delivered straight to your inbox.