What is a Life Coach? Find out how coaching can help you

Do you have unfulfilled goals or desires? Are you worried about an upcoming change to your life? Would you like to know more about your strengths and abilities?

Then you could benefit from seeing a life coach.

What is a life coach?

Life Coaches help you realise your goals and desires

A life coach is someone you talk to who asks simple but effective questions designed to make you think about what your goals are and how you can achieve them.

Many people have goals or want to make changes in their lives, but they aren’t sure how to do this. Life coaches are able to help people discover what they want to change, how to make these changes happen, and how making these changes will improve their lives.

This enables people to live more fulfilled and satisfying lives not only because they have accomplished something, but also because they made those changes themselves, using their own resources and with their own road map.

Life coaching helps you discover what you want and how to get it

Coaching is based on building a respectful professional relationship (different than the relationship between friends or colleagues) between the coach and the coachee during their sessions, which are usually one hour long (although they can be longer if the coachee wants them to be) and held weekly or fortnightly. Coaches use a conversational approach and ask their clients questions that will enable the coachee to:

1) Understand what their goals are

2) Discover what strengths they have that will help them achieve these goals

3) Identify what challenges and roadblocks they should expect to encounter

4) Build a plan to achieve their goals without being stopped by these difficulties

5) Develop methods that will keep them motivated and accountable while they work towards achieving their goal

Life Coaches guide you on a journey of personal discovery

Life coaching is question-based

Some questions a coachee who wants to accomplish a goal might be asked are:

  • If you achieved your goal, what would it be like?
  • When you hear yourself saying this, what are you thinking now?
  • What is the possible outcome if you don’t achieve what you want?
  • What other actions/approaches have you used in other situations?
  • What’s one thing you are ready to try?

Someone who wants to change something about their life could be asked:

  • What is the situation right now?
  • What effect does this have?
  • What is it about the situation that you don’t want?
  • What do you need to do to overcome that?
  • If our roles were reversed, what advice would you be giving me?

These are open-ended questions that will allow the coachee to think critically about their goal or their situation and what options they have to take action. Questions are often simple so that the coach doesn’t give the coachee any answers. Life coaches ask coachees about their present and future because, unlike therapists, they believe that if change is to be made in the present and future, then that is where the coachee’s focus needs to be.

Life coaches never give their coachees advice as the point of life coaching isn’t being told what to do, but rather for the coachee to realise their own potential and formulate their own plan for success through the guidance of the coach. This allows coachees to explore the possibilities they think of and develop a greater understanding of themselves and their ability achieve their goals, as they use their own resources to make a plan.

If a coach gave advice, they would place themselves in a position of authority. They would take power away from the person receiving advice by denying them the opportunity to make their own decisions. Rather than giving coachees advice, life coaches set coachees up to give themselves advice instead.

By discovering your strengths and abilities, you will be able to more clearly see your potential

Life coaching is action-focused

To make coaching more effective, it is important that coachees focus on thinking of realistic options that will lead to action, instead of just reflecting on their current situation. Coaches often ask their coachees what they could do to get closer to accomplishing a goal and ensure that they are motivated enough to do it. If the plans for completing a goal are too unrealistic, the coach and coachee would work together to identify more actionable goals the coachee can complete.

For example, a coachee may want a promotion at work, but is unrealistic about what is needed. In this case, the coach and coachee would consider what options there are to get a promotion and keep thinking until they have many different options to choose from. Then the coachee would consider which option they prefer and progress it. Working with the coach, the coachee develops a specific measurable and actionable plan. In this example the options could be: getting training, talking with the manager to get ideas about what to do to advance, or talking to a business mentor.

Because life coaching requires the coachees to take action, it is important that they are honest with themselves and with the coach about what they will do. If coachees never take action, then they will never accomplish their goals or make positive changes in their lives.

Reaching your goals can be tough, and they might not be within your reach without hard work

Life coaching helps you discover your goals and desires

Without thinking carefully, not everyone knows exactly what they want from life. That is why the first step of life coaching is for coachees to define what they want to get out of coaching. This way, the coachee and the coach understand what brought them there and how to work towards it.

Saying that you feel stuck in a rut is easy, but knowing what is keeping you there is much more challenging.

Some people know exactly what they want to change about their lives, like wanting a better job or a more interesting relationship. But they don’t really know what they want that change to be like.

You might know that you want to quit your job, but you have no idea what career you would like to have instead. Without having ideas about you’ll do after quitting your job, you won’t be able to plan for the future.

If you want to improve your relationship with your partner, then you must have think about what a better relationship will look like. Just saying “I’m bored with my relationship” is much less effective than telling your coach and yourself “I want to look forward to coming home because the time I spend with my partner is fun and exciting.”

Moving forward cannot happen without direction so coachees must be committed to identifying this direction if they want their coaching to succeed.

With a life coach, you will make actionable plans for your future

Life coaching is very similar to executive coaching

Often there are questions about the difference between a Life Coach, an Organisational Coach, and an Executive Coach. In general, they all follow a similar approach to assist coachees (sometimes called a counterpart but both words have the same meaning) to achieve their goals.

  • Life coaches can focus on many different types of circumstances as they deal with all matters related to achieving life goals – this could be becoming a great athlete or improving a relationship.
  • An organisational coach typically works with individuals or teams to achieve goals related to their workplace.
  • Executive coaches usually work with senior executives to assist them with goals related to their position. Most executives have performance requirements and executive coaches can help them meet these demands. They can be hired by the organisation or by the senior executives themselves. Executive coaches use methods that are very similar to life coaches, but they focus on the specific requirements of business professionals.

All coaches work with coachees to help them achieve their goals. This article will focus on life coaching.

Life coaching delivers different results to different types of people

Some people get exactly what they expected from coaching. Others can realise that what they thought they wanted isn’t what they want after all, and they begin to work towards this new goal. Someone could go to a life coach to because they want to get into better shape, and then realise that what they actually want is more self-esteem.

Coaching can also simply bring clarity to someone’s life, giving them less stress and making them more self-assured, which can also be a significant improvement.

People see a life coach because of change they are afraid of, or change they crave

Many people feel unsatisfied with at least one aspect of their lives and know that they want to improve, but they don’t know how or even what they should work on in order to feel better.

There are others who know what they want to change about their lives, but they don’t know where to start.

Some people have already tried making changes but they keep falling back into old habits.

A sign that someone could benefit from life coaching could be as simple as wanting to make a change for the better, feeling unsure what to do next in life, or feeling like life has stagnated.

Many people will want to talk to a life coach when there has been a significant change in their life, or there will be one soon. This could be: starting a new job or quitting an old one, having children moving out of the family home, a relationship ending, reaching a new decade (turning 40, 50, etc.), retiring, experiencing a loss, or moving to a new city.

These are external factors that happen to someone, often against their will, and they can make that person feel like a victim. Life coaching can help these people see these changes as something they use to shape the course of their life.

Another common reason people seek out life coaching is when nothing new has happened in their lives for a long time and so they feel dissatisfied and are determined to make a significant change and they want help accomplishing it.

They could want guidance in getting a promotion, becoming closer with their loved ones, or having a stronger group of friends.

If you make the decision to see a life coach because you are committed to making a change, then you are in a great position to make changes and get control over your life.

Realising that there is something that you don’t like about your life and choosing to get help is powerful.

Changes are unavoidable and often uncontrollable. But how you respond to them is within your control

Others see a life coach for self-discovery

People can also see a life coach if they wish to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their strengths.

Understanding your emotions is very useful. You will be able to know what you’re best at and how this can be used in everyday life. You’ll also know what is most likely to trigger you and how to overcome challenges.

Coaching is meant to be a positive and constructive experience to help people accomplish their goals. Therefore, anyone who has a goal or wants to change their lives for the better and thinks that doing this would be easier with some guidance and accountability could benefit from life coaching.

So what is life coaching?

Life coaching aims to enable people to make changes to their lives by encouraging them to think about what they truly want and how they can achieve it.

Coaches help people do this through conversations and asking questions.

The coachee must identify their objective and reflect on what they can do to achieve it. The coach and the coachee then make a plan of action, and the coach holds them accountable.

There is no ‘perfect coachee’ as anyone who wants to feel better about their lives or who wants to have a deeper understanding of their strengths could benefit from coaching.

Life coaching can be a different experience for many types of people, but ultimately it should make people feel stronger about their abilities and have a deeper understanding of their feelings and aspirations.

Do you have goals you haven’t been able to accomplish on your own?

Do you know that you want life to be better and different but you don’t know what you do to make this happen?

Are you worried about a significant event that will be happening soon but don’t know what you can do about it?

These are just some of the reasons to see a life coach.

If you believe that you could benefit from life coaching, please feel free to reach out to me.

I am an accredited life coach with over 25 years’ experience in coaching and counselling.

We can arrange a free 20-minute consultation to discuss your ambitions and how you can achieve them.

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