'What is a life coach?' the question people ask me most.
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
I get asked this a lot. Understandably. Almost everyone I know asks me this question when I tell them what my latest career is.
What is a Life Coach?
I have a gym friend to thank for my move into life coaching. We were discussing what I could do next and she suggested I would be a great life coach, whilst waiting for the gym class to start. Interesting, I thought, but what is life coaching anyway? I actually came home and Googled it. Of course, I had a vague idea, but the more I researched, the more eager I was to start. It actually felt like it was something I should be doing; something that perfectly suited my personality and character. I soon started studying for my Diploma with Animas in London and was delighted to qualify and start down this new career path.
Every Life Coach is different...
Every life coach is different in their style, niche and delivery but the one thing we all have in common is the aim to help clients move towards their goal - whatever that goal is. We aren’t clinical therapists, and nor should we be, rather someone a client can have an open, honest and confidential conversation with that results in a specific outcome being achieved.
It’s actually very rare that people don’t have a goal to work towards… just think about something you aspire to, dream of, aim for and you’ll realise there is always an outcome that you would like to achieve, whether personally or professionally.
Most dreams and aspirations often remain as 'hopes' rather than reality
Life seems to propel us forwards, getting through the familiar, often monotonous, every day routines, but with our mind focused on whatever we are aiming for next, although that focus doesn’t mean we always get there. Most people don’t. Most dreams and aspirations often remain as such in the hope that one day they will come true. The problem for many is that you really need to put in the work for them to come to fruition and for many life, jobs or sheer procrastination get in the way.
A Life Coach helps you navigate your life
A life coach will be at your side while you navigate through the process of moving towards your goal, with the unique position of having absolutely no judgement. Judgement isn’t just negative, although usually thought of as such, positive or negative judgement can both be as detrimental as the other. And everyone you know will give you a dollop of it when asked their opinion, whether it is helpful or not. We all listen to it and take heed of people’s opinions and advice, but that doesn’t always result in your goal being reached.
Life coaching is about someone new in your life empowering you to make decisions based on your own values and beliefs – forget what others say, this is about you. It’s your goal – you need to find the best way of working towards it in a way that fits with who you are. Speaking to a life coach will guide you to rediscover your strengths, abilities and self-worth, while helping you challenge your way of thinking, quash limiting beliefs and take action accordingly to your own moral compass.
A Life Coach won't tell you what to do, they help YOU find the answers
Coaches won’t tell you what to do - that’s not our role - however questions asked during the coaching sessions will elicit feelings, thoughts and responses that have perhaps been buried deep for whatever reason, but their unearthing will bring a new perspective. You’ll be encouraged to find the answers that are there deep in you, but not obvious to you in that moment.
Basically put, a life coach wants to help you be the best ‘you’ possible. Sounds corny, but it’s true – why not live the best life you can? Why not achieve everything you dream of? What’s holding you back? Usually, the barriers are the self-belief and confidence that you can really do it.
You can make huge changes just by having a chat
So, what’s it like being a life coach? So far it has been extremely satisfying. To say it often leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling is true. Still now after many months of working with clients I am amazed how people can make such great changes in their lives just by having a chat. That’s what most sessions of life coaching feel like – having a chat with someone you don’t know intimately, but is someone you trust completely with your inner most thoughts and feelings.
I sometimes explain it like meeting someone on a long-haul flight that you tell your whole life story to and come away feeling exhilarated and excited see things from a new perspective, whilst knowing you’ll never see that person again. It's happened several times to me and it's always been a positive, uplifting experience. That's what the aim of life coaching is for my clients.
So, hopefully you have a little more understanding about what a life coach is, and if you are feeling the need of a confidence nudge or a friendly chat, get in touch.
*image is my new WFT space in the spare room where I will be writing my blogs