Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘life coach’ thrown around in discussions about self-improvement. But what does a life coach do exactly? These professionals work with their clients to help them achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and make changes in their lives. They help people with their day-to-day struggles and give them guidance to define their personal visions. A life coach can help a client move past limiting beliefs and personal roadblocks that keep them stuck where they are in life.
Life coaches work together with their client in a symbiotic partnership. The client has the answers to their problems locked away inside of them; it’s the job of the life coach to help these individuals unlock their fullest potential.
Who should work with a life coach?
Certain individuals might show signs that they would benefit working with a life coach. Those who have an inability to break bad habits have a high sense of stress or anxiety or experience a lack of satisfaction and fulfillment in life might look to hire a coach to help them get out of the rut they find themselves in. Of course, these are not limiting factors on who might take advantage of having a life coach working alongside them. Just as professional sports players go to training camps and have their own coaches, so can those looking to achieve any sort of goal or to improve themselves.
Is a life coach like a therapist?
It is essential to note that a life coach is not the same thing as a therapist. While the two may seem similar in the formation of long-term goals and the pursuit of those goals, therapy goes much further into depth when it comes to the client’s personal life. Those looking to employ a coach should not expect the same experience that one would get with a licensed therapist. This isn’t to say that someone can’t employ both coaching and therapy in their personal growth plan. However, those who choose to do so would need a separate therapist from whatever coaching experience they choose to seek out.
Therapists often focus on a client’s past. They look to fix immediate problems and to address mental illness. If you and your coach choose to do so, they can help you incorporate the things you learn in therapy into your long-term plan.
Life coaches do not counsel or analyze the past. Coaches focus on the present and the future, on what you want to achieve as you move forward in life. Life coaching is centered on the idea that the client is capable of determining and achieving their goals.
If you are experiencing mental health problems, it is important to consult a mental health professional.
Do life coaches need to be certified?
When looking to hire a life coach, be sure to employ one who is sanctioned and certified. Make sure that you always ask for credentials and schooling certificates. Look for a coach who is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF). In the words of the ICF itself, “ICF Credential-holders are part of a self-regulating group of elite coaches who provide accountability to clients and the coaching profession as a whole. They pursue and complete rigorous education and practice requirements that provide unquestioned legitimacy to their commitment to excellence in coaching.”
With the difference between a coach and a therapist established and with the proper credentials to look for in a coach laid out, it’s time to talk in depth about what a life coach can do for you. A good life coach is going to use strategies and skills that work for you to help you create the life you want to lead. They will also help you define who you are as a person. They are there with you through every milestone you achieve, helping you focus and providing direction.
What should I look for in a life coach?
The proper life coach will challenge you while also supporting you and motivating you to achieve your goals. Perhaps most importantly, they will celebrate with you as you make your way along your personal journey to success. This is done through the creation of a detailed roadmap that will guide you to your goal, keeping the end in sight as you work your way through smaller, more manageable steps. It won’t be easy all of the time, and your life coach is going to hold you accountable for following through with each of your action steps.
Your life coach usually won’t give you all of the answers or tell you what to do. Instead, they will work alongside you to help you discover these answers yourself by finding out what feels right for you as an individual. This might be done through brainstorming, discussion, and/or reflection. Whatever the tactic, when you come across your answer, you can be certain that it is right for you personally.
When working together with you on your personalized plan for success, your life coach will use a variety of skills they have attained to best help you along the way. Commonly used skills such as observing, listening deeply, and motivating will be used. Your coach may ask you empowering questions as well. “What do you truly love in life?” “Right now, at this moment, what is it that you want the most?” “What is standing in the way of your happiness?”
What can I expect when working with a life coach?
Perhaps your goal is greater financial security. Maybe you’ve found yourself desiring a better work/life balance. You may be looking to embrace your creativity. No matter your end goal, and no matter where it is that you start, your life coach will meet you where you are and show you the way to creating a better you. They will encourage you to embrace the potential that already lies within you and coach you on the best ways to unleash that potential into your life, your world, and your future.
Your relationship with your coach should be based on trust. Your coach should hold you accountable for the plan you have developed together, and you should constantly be challenged to become the individual you desire to be. They should ask you questions and help you find the answers you seek on your own. Your coach is in your corner to support you and to hold you accountable.
However, your coach is not there to be a supportive best friend or a magic crystal ball with all of the answers you seek. They are a non-judgmental third party who will encourage you to look at things differently and to stay on the right track. Your relationship with your coach is, first and foremost, a partnership. For your bond with your coach to be successful, you must be willing to take a critical look at yourself and at your life. You must also be willing to do the work, no matter how challenging it might seem. The responsibility for the success of your program lies on your shoulders.
Am I ready to hire a life coach?
If you’ve made the decision that it’s time to form an action plan, hiring a life coach is right for you. Be open to new ideas, be determined, and get ready to implement positive changes in your personal, professional, and family life. You’ve taken the first step to become the best you that you can be. If you are ready to start your journey, schedule a free consultation with a licensed life coach to take the first steps towards your goals.
Want some guidance to your goals?
Sign up for my free webinar on January 7th at 8 pm EST.