So what is life coaching exactly?
Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Good question. I used to think it was someone who gave really good advice and was therefore also possibly a little self-centered if they thought they knew more about me and my life and what I should do with it than I did.
I also questioned how legitimate it was. Anyone can call themselves a life coach and a lot of people who do, believe what I used to (that because they’ve been through something, they are in a better position to share knowledge and advice with the world).
I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. But life coaching, at least the way I learned it, goes a little something like this:
At its most basic, coaching invites you to think about your life in a new way.
Through questions and conversation, a coach challenges you on why you think, feel and act the way you do and helps you change your thoughts, feelings and actions so that they work for you.
In my case, people who feel stuck at work or like something is just generally missing from their life (like there is something more out there they should be feeling or experiencing but they’re not sure what) generally continue making excuses for why life should stay the way it is and for why it can never or will never change.
As a coach, I will help you see past those excuses. With coaching, you will experience a shift in your attitude and perception so that you see opportunities for yourself and your life that you never saw before.
You can see why a simple self-help book, resource or inspirational talk cannot achieve this. That kind of work takes time (which is why coaches offer packages - a series of coaching sessions that unfold over a period of time), reflection (which requires conversation, time and new questions) and following through on action (which requires goal setting and accountability).
This is what coaching offers, and why it works.
And a good coach should never give advice or lead their client to do any particular thing. Coaches might be knowledgeable in different areas, but should only ever offer suggestions, not advice, and shouldn't be attached to whether or not the client follows them. A coach also doesn’t do a lot of talking about themselves, or referencing their own life or experience.
(Although I do find it helps to have a background in positive psychology so I'm full of research-backed tips and tricks to help get you feeling re-inspired).
Coaching is all about you, the client.
All the coach does is listen, ask questions and encourage.
Trust me, it’s amazing.