I was talking with a colleague the other day and the question came up, “is the life coaching industry inherently racist” and I think, yeah, it is. It’s not just because the predominant demographic of life coaches are white folks–it’s because it’s an industry that is set up to serve white folks. Don’t believe me? Well, I just did a search for Latina Life Coach Denver and guess how many life coaches came up meeting that description. If you guessed zero, you’re absolutely right.
With the intense focus on Law of Attraction, manifesting and that bullshit we call spiritual bypassing, it’s easy to ignore the real issues that people of color (POC) face. Then, when POC speak up, they are quickly silenced and often pushed out of those groups. It’s happened to me in a number of spaces when I called out cultural appropriation, racist terms, microaggressions and it’s happened to many of my friends and colleagues (if you don’t know what these terms mean, definitely join the group below).
When a life coach doesn’t address systemic oppression, racism, inequality and the other issues that POC face, they are missing the boat and not seeing the whole person. It is WAY TOO COMMON in most life coaching circles to see a predominance of white folks who are quick to silence the voices of POC. That is the exact reason why I and many others have pulled out of many of those circles, left groups and stopped participating in those venues.
YOU CAN’T TELL ME YOU CAN HELP ME BE FREE IF YOU IGNORE THE FORCES THAT WORK TO KEEP ME IMPRISONED
Some of the most common things that have been repetitive issues I’ve seen in these circles:
*Homogeneity (most folks look/think/sound like you)
*Cultural Appropriation (locs, clothing & terminology)
*Lack of awareness of personal biases
*Spiritual Bypassing and over focusing on positivity to the detriment of naming real issues
*Pricing and structures that make accessibility almost impossible for POC or Women of Color (WOC) i.e. blindness to privilege
*Overt & covert violence directed to POC with “leaders” who never intervene when shit goes south.
Here’s the deal–there are SO MANY resources available for you to educate yourself to stop this behavior but as with all things, it starts by recognizing there’s a problem. If you can’t look within and be unflinching in your assessment of yourself, you probably have no business helping others do the same.
Get uncomfortable. Do you own work. If you want to shift the world, shift your own consciousness.
*To this end, I recently opened a group on Facebook for women entrepreneurs, life coaches, healers and leaders who have realized that they need to address some of their behaviors and who need some support along the way. You can find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/175529596345696/