Do you feel stuck, overwhelmed or disappointed about your life, career, health, finances or relationship? Are you afraid that your dreams will never become a reality? Or that you’ll never live up to your fullest potential?
Most everyone has a vision of the ideal life. You’d love to become a better parent or partner. You dream of living more simply with less stress, becoming more successful or having a better work-life balance. Maybe you always wanted to be a writer, healer, musician or entrepreneur. Yet you aren’t sure how to get from where you are now to your desires and dreams. That’s where working with a life coach can be beneficial. If you want positive change, a better life, or support in achieving your business or personal goals, then a life coach is a highly effective resource.
As the International Coach Federation says:
“People hire a life coach because:
They want more.
They want to grow.
They want it easier.
It’s as simple as that. Life coaches help a client get all three. Quickly.”
What life coaching is not…
Life coaches offer clients insight, objective perspective, and enthusiastic support – all of which can accelerate growth, transformation and success. What a life coach doesn’t provide is therapy or advice. They are not your best friend who hesitates to tell you the truth or a business consultant that provides technical expertise or information. You don’t need another parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker telling you what you should be doing. Instead, coaches help you explore and come up with the best choices for you based on where you are and your vision for your future. A good coach isn’t there to “fix” anyone, but to help you navigate toward a more engaged and compelling future.
A life coach helps you to be accountable, brings clarity to your beliefs, goals, and values, and is your advocate. A life coach cheers you past old patterns so you can take your life, career, or business to the next level, in less time than if you were on your own.
1. Accountability. Most life coaches have several calls a month with their clients. This regularly scheduled call prompts you to get more done than you would if left to your own devices. Think about it, if you work out with a personal trainer at the gym, you work much harder than on your own. You take bigger actions, set bigger goals and think bigger when you work with a professional coach. Your coach will hold you accountable and challenge you to grow and do more than you think you can do.
2. Clarity. The trained life coach knows how to help you identify your beliefs and values, set the right goals, make more money, and structure your personal and professional life to achieve greater productivity with less effort. You’ll achieve more in less time with the input of a life coach on your side. A life coach also has the ability to bring outside perspective to your situation and challenges, enabling you to see new possibilities and solutions.
3. Advocate. A well-trained coach is your advocate, recognizing when you get mired in old patterns and cheering you on when you feel stuck. Your life coach knows how to use the right words so that you are naturally motivated. It doesn’t take browbeating or nagging when you are working with a skilled life coach. Coaching typically works best with a regular call so you have time to integrate new ways of thinking and take steady action toward your goals. The experience is challenging and uplifting.
4. Speed. Most people find that things start to happen very quickly after hiring a life coach.
You might work with a life coach when:
- You feel out of balance
- You are facing a transition
- You are experiencing burnout
- You’re coming out of a crisis
- You feel bored in life
- You’re unsure about what is “missing” in life
- Relationships and intimacy
- Stress management and balance
- Spirituality and personal growth
- Entrepreneurial and small business development
- Career planning and development
- Motivation and time management
- Creativity for artists, writers, musicians and performers
- Finances and budgeting
- Health, aging, lifestyle and self-care
- Family and parenting
- You discover what is most important to you in your life
- You start taking more effective and focused actions immediately
- You stop putting up with petty annoyances
- You create momentum so it’s easier to get results
- You set better goals that are based on what you really want
- You more quickly overcome obstacles and patterns
- You hone in on your strengths, talents, skills and ambitions
- You feel supported in making major life decisions
- You feel more organized
- You move past blocks and fears
- You create more financial security and independence
- Your business and personal life are more balanced
- You communicate more powerfully and succinctly
- You find your ideal career, work or business
- You meet your ideal partner or create a better relationship
- You (finally!) get out of that rut
- You start or grow your business
- You begin to life your ideal life
- You identify core values and passions
- You feel more fulfilled
- You make more money
- You feel healthier and have more energy
- You have more time for adventure, play or fun!
There are a wide-variety of life coaches, often with their own specialty. Some life coaches focus on only one type of client while others address a wide variety of life and business challenges.
Personal and Relationship Coaching
- Past lives
- Family of origin
- Envisioning ideal life
- Emotional release
Executive & Professional Coaching
- Career goals
- Leadership development
- Business creation and building
- Marketing & publicity
- Online & website support
Self-Care and Development Coaching
- Work-Life balance
- Weight & nutrition
Life Transition Coaching
- Leaving home
- Pre-marital issues
- Becoming a parent
- Separation and divorce
- Empty nesters/baby boomers
- End of life/grief
Organization & Clutter Coaching
- Time management
Who works with a Life Coach?
Entrepreneurs, executives, business leaders, actors, musicians, creative people, healers, managers, small business owners, start-ups, professionals and moms and dads all reach their goals with the help of a life coach. If there is a gap between where you are now and where you want to be, there is room for life coaching. Not only will your life coach help you close the gap, your life coach will help you break through your limited beliefs and challenge you to think bigger.
How do I know if I need a life coach?
If you want to make a change in your life, then give coaching a try.
Do we meet virtually or in person?
Both are options. Coaching by phone, or using Facetime or Skype are all effective. If it is convenient to meet in person, some clients enjoy the face-to-face interaction.
What happens during a life coaching session?
Many coaches begin with a pre-coaching assessment to clarify what your challenges and hopes are in working together.
Then, during your first session, you’ll sit down with your life coach over the phone or in person. The sessions will range from 15 minutes to an hour. During that time you’ll talk about what you want to accomplish.
Through the questions your coach asks, together you’ll define your goals and the challenges that could stand in your way. Then you’ll outline the steps you’ll need to take to achieve those goals.
You’ll have homework assignments – things to think about or do between coaching sessions to work toward your goals. You might need to write in a journal or create “action plans” of things you want to accomplish.
Your life coach will offer support and guidance along the way. And your coach will hold you accountable for achieving your goals.
How much time and money do I have to invest in life coaching?
Clients can achieve remarkable progress toward their desired future in less than an hour per month of coaching. There is a wide spectrum of how coaching is delivered. Some coaches prefer to meet one-on-one with clients in an office, but most recommend telephone sessions for the ease of use, minimization of distractions, better privacy, greater efficiency, and for (yes, apparently) better connection to the client. Best practices in coaching call for between two and four sessions per month that last at least 20 minutes and up to 60 minutes. A sweet spot for many coaches and clients seems to be three sessions per month for 20 to 45 minutes a session – a miniscule investment of time for the results achieved.
The cost of coaching can vary. According to company web sites, a coaching session can cost from about $75 to $300 an hour, or $150 to $1,000 a month.
You’ll work with your coach for a period of a few months or longer. The time frame depends on how often you meet and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Some clients enjoy long-term relationships with their life coach and continue receiving support for years.
Shouldn’t I be able to reach my goals on my own?
Many people are tired of doing what they “should” do and are ready to do something special and meaningful for the rest of their lives. Yet you might not be able to envision it, or if you can, you can’t see a way to reorient your life. A life coach can help you do both.
With the help of a life coach, you can accomplish goals that might have felt out of reach or like a pipedream. A coach is not a miracle worker (well, they are, sometimes) but a coach does have a large tool kit to help the big idea become a reality.
How do I find the right life coach for me?
The most important factor in selecting a life coach is that you should be comfortable sharing your life’s vision with your coach. And you should feel secure that your coach will help you achieve that vision.
Before you sign on for any coaching sessions, interview a few prospective life coaches. Ask how the coach typically works with clients. Also ask for references so you can get a sense of the coach’s personality and style and whether they fit with yours.
Anyone can call themselves a professional coach or life coach, regardless of the amount of their training. Inquire about who they trained with and for how long. There are many wonderful life coaches associated with Au Soleil Healing. You can also look for coaches that are accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) or CoachU.
Compiling a ‘history’ of life coaching is no straight-forward task. Life coaching does not have a particular ‘beginning’, or a precise date to mark its birth. There was no one ‘inventor’, or one particular place of origin. The idea of self improvement is nothing new. Humans seem to have an innate hunger for knowledge, understanding, progress and enlightenment that can be traced back to the very beginnings of civilization.
As a term and a profession, ‘life coaching’ only really came into fruition in the 1980s as an extension of sports coaching and business coaching. It has since become a multi-million dollar industry with an estimated 100,000 life coaches working professionally across the world.
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