What is Life Coaching?
Life coaching can mean many things for different people, but to put it simply, the non-directive practice aims to help individuals make sustainable change, reach their goals, and get more out of life.
Life coaching is a collaborative conversational process that is driven by questions and reflections to empower the client to make decisions themselves. The essence of the practice is that there is no direct guidance from the life coach and this dynamic makes life coaching incredibly impactful.
We all go through our own individual hardships and have specific things we want to achieve, whether that be in our personal lives, at work, or in our mental state. Life coaching helps individuals find the way to their desires based on answering these three questions:
- What do I want to do in life?
- What is stopping me from achieving that?
- What can I do about it?
These simple questions can sometimes be hard to find the answers to and articulate, though this is where a life coach steps in. Life coaching can be delivered face-to-face, virtually, over the phone, or even via email.
What is the Role of a Life Coach?
A life coach’s role is to improve your life as a whole, looking at each area and assessing what you can do to get there. Life coaches hope to allow people to reach their full potential and live meaningful lives. Many people also turn to life coaches to learn about leadership and advice to reach their professional goals.
Big or small, life coaches can also help with tackling all sorts of issues: from needing better time management skills, having an unsatisfying career, or wanting non-judgemental support to deal with a difficult relationship issue. They can help their clients to find the solutions to overcome these obstacles that may be standing in the way of achieving certain goals.
Life coaches aim to peel back layers of their clients to discover who they are in the current moment. From here, an individual’s goals can be assessed to see if achieving them will genuinely lead to more satisfaction, and if so how to move towards them. To do this, life coaches try and investigate:
- What their client is thinking
- What challenges they find difficult
- How they are behaving
- Their beliefs and assumptions
- What drives them forward
- Which strengths are they utilizing
- Their current weaknesses
Who is Life Coaching For?
Whether you are going through the hardest time in your life or the best, life coaching can be taken up at any time by anyone. Looking to an external professional can actually feel empowering and liberate us to explore ideas, issues, and emotions that otherwise may have been ignored. Therefore, the added direction and assistance a professional life coach brings could add benefit to anyone’s life.
The Benefits of Life Coaching
To reap the numerous benefits of life coaching, you have to be honest and committed to your coaching sessions. Revealing your bad habits, life values, and troubles in your relationships can be awkward at first, though over time the positives of having a life coach hugely outweigh these difficulties. Here are some of the key benefits of having a life coach.
Helps You Gain Greater Self-Awareness and Find Your Purpose in Life
Life is short, though not many of us know exactly what we want from it or how we can go about getting what we want. Getting a better idea of who you are and gaining self-awareness allows greater clarity surrounding these fronts. Increased self-awareness is a pivotal tool for improving the efficiency of other techniques being used in life coaching, helping reach goals, and growing as an individual.
Self-awareness also helps in finding out what makes living meaningful to you. Catalytic questions from a life coach may be able to unearth some of yourself that may be hiding just below the surface and what you really want can be exposed. From here, a life coach would direct their client into setting out steps in order to go and get what you truly desire.
Increases Self Confidence and Esteem
By more deeply understanding yourself, your skills, gifts, and talents will come to light. It’s the life coach’s job to highlight these positive emotions and traits to help your personal development journey progress and build your self-compassion. Overall, this results in increased confidence.
Helps You to Set Goals and Make a Plan of Action to Achieve Them
A life coach can help people gain more clarity on their personal and professional goals, and help set realistic targets to effectively reach these ambitions. They are there to act as a source of motivation and focus, helping monitor progress to make sure their client is moving forward in their journey toward change.
Speaking regularly with a life coach allows them to get a good grasp of yourself and your plans. From this information, life coaches can keep reminding their clients of the path they need to take toward their end goals.
It can be tricky to set goals alone. Short-term ones can quickly slip away, due to people’s ever-changing waves of thought, beliefs, and wants. Long-term goals may feel overwhelming and their progress can be difficult to keep track of.
Professional observation not only helps people achieve their goals at a faster rate but also helps them realize the most effective way of approaching them. Life coaches also help people stick to their commitments and conceptually push them further by reassessing and questioning current strategies, ideas, and goals in place.
Helps Learn How to Engage and Be Fully Present
Life is a journey and a hectic one at that. It’s easy to get swept up in looking with tunnel vision into the future and missing all the wonderful little steps along the way in between. Life coaching can teach you to incorporate mindfulness techniques into your day-to-day life, allowing you to find joy in the simpler things instead of only being satisfied by a distant future goal.
Better Equip You to Work Through Solutions to Specific Problems
When you are in a problematic situation yourself, it can be unclear exactly what needs to be done to overcome it. By talking to a life coach, they will be able to help identify obstacles that are stopping you from achieving your goals and assist in coming up with new solutions to move past these issues.
Help with Accountability
Accountability is an important element in pursuing your goals. The large majority of us lose our motivation, get distracted by life’s interjections, or struggle to prioritize time effectively, commonly making us fall short of our dreams. A life coach joining us on our journey adds extra accountability and helps you be held responsible for taking action. In turn, making you more quickly progress towards your goals and increase your chances of achieving them.
Helps to Increase Productivity
Often we feel as though we do not have enough hours in the day to get everything done we need to. But in reality, it’s less about how many hours we have and more about how we use them. Life coaching can help you realize how better to use your time and provide a solution to a lack of productivity.
A life coach will be able to help you put into place various structures and routines in place to make better use of your time, therefore making it more likely to reach your goals. These changes could range from incorporating a morning routine, to a system that helps better manage your email inbox. These daily changes allow for more time to be spent working towards your goals and personal development.
Allows Evaluation of Your Thinking, Beliefs, and Assumptions
As we go about our everyday life our thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions are ever-changing. While some of these new patterns of thinking are helpful in propelling us forward, some can be hugely limiting if we listen to them. A life coach can help challenge and help reframe some of these specific limiting beliefs that may be standing in the way of progress, as well as create various strategies to counteract these thoughts in the future.
Keeps You Honest
It’s easy to go through life pushing uncomfortable things down, though this can lead to a downward emotional spiral when it gets too much. A life coach assists you in confronting these difficult truths. When you are being more honest with yourself, your communication skills improve as you can be more honest with others.
Overcome Obstacles at Work
Whether it be facing career dilemmas, overcoming presentation anxiety, or needing a better work-life balance, a life coach can guide you through these issues to create more happiness and fulfillment in your career. After all, most people spend the large majority of their waking hours at their jobs, so it’s important to enjoy them as much as we can.
Become More Satisfied
Having a life coach can help on all of these fronts and all of these benefits combined can propel personal growth and development, plus, greater all round life satisfaction.
Improve Physical Health
More benefits of life coaching include the positive impact they can have on your physical health and help you lead a more balanced life. Some life coaches have specific qualifications or expertise in nutrition or fitness, and can successfully help put together a plan of action or set physical goals.
Finding the Right Life Coach
It can be overwhelming when looking for a life coach due to the sea of options available online. However, when you know what you are looking for it can make your life a little easier. Here are some tips to help you know where to start when choosing a life coach.
Do You Need a Life Coach, Therapist, or Mentor?
While these three areas overlap to some degree, they also have significant differences. Therapy looks into past events and looks to find dysfunctionality that it can diagnose and treat. Mentorship is usually offered by someone who has been in your current position previously and can take from their direct life experience. A life coach is much more future-oriented and focused on attaining goals. If future-focused change is what you are looking for, life coaching is the right choice for you.
Look for Someone Who is Certified
The leading global organization for coaching is the International Coaching Federation (ICF). If a life coach has been trained by this well-known body or been certificated this is a big plus. Having a certification shows that the person has invested in themselves before asking others to invest in their services.
Set Aside a Specific Amount of Money to Invest
Different life coaches cost varying amounts and different kinds of sessions also cost varying amounts – whether they be in-person sessions, online, or in a group. It’s important to decide how much you want to spend on coaching upfront as this will then determine the life coach you will choose and the style of coaching you will participate in.
Look Into Their Coaching Style and Methods
Depending on what you are like as a person, you may need different approaches when life coaching. Some people like to be confronted and directly challenged, whereas some need gentle and softer support. It’s important to make sure that you understand which approach may be more suitable for yourself and that your life coach can offer this. It’s also good to check which methods each life coach works with during their practices and that they understand them well.
Make Sure They Use a Psychological Approach
Look for life coaches that use a psychological approach backed up by evidence-based science, this is needed for meaningful, long-term change. Simply being pushed towards goals is useful in the short-term, but can only keep you motivated for so long. Finding a coach that understands psychology will be able to put together a behavioral plan together with you that can be both effective and sustainable.
Have a Trial Session
Many life coaches will offer you a trial session on request, working with their particular coaching style to see if you feel at ease with them. A good coaching relationship is vital to see the most effective change, so there’s no harm in trialing multiple people to see who is the best fit.
We could all do with a helping hand through life to motivate us and help us succeed. Here at Feinberg, we offer access to top-quality life coaching to help you do just that. Our experienced coaches offer personalized and compassionate support, helping our clients work towards their goals with confidence. Contact us today for further information to start your journey to a more fulfilled life.