Life coaches have become a bit of a buzzword of late. But it’s not all hype, and the high fees charged by some coaches prove that a growing number of people are finding life coaches a valuable addition to their lives.
But what are life coaches?
If you want to know the reality behind the term, here is a comprehensive guide to life coaches. Here, we’ll run through what they do, what they don’t do, and what benefits a coach can offer.
What Are Life Coaches?
A life coach works with others to help improve their well-being and help them work toward their life goals.
Typically a life coach will work on a one-to-one basis with an individual. Still, some life coaches do offer group support instead.
Life coaching is a broad category, and most life coaches specialize in one area of support with their clients. For example, a life coach might specialize in career, relationship, business, or family, to name just a few.
Life Coach and Therapy
It is important not to confuse life coaching with traditional therapy. Traditional therapists often hold professional medical qualifications and focus on healing from trauma or mental health issues.
On the other hand, life coaches support a client with future goals or help them address a problem in their lives. That support might also lead to positive well-being and mental health outcomes, but life coaching isn’t therapy.
What Does a Life Coach Do?
Life coaching mainly occurs as a time-limited session or multiple sessions between the coach and the client, similar to a therapy session.
Unlike a typical client relationship, the connection between the coach and the customer is more akin to a partnership. They work together to support the client’s goals.
The First Session
During the first session, the two parties will work together to establish goals that the client wants to achieve as part of their time with the life coach.
That first session is also an opportunity to establish a few ground rules around the relationship. A good life coach will push from the outset for a relationship built around honesty and transparency.
After the initial meeting, a life coach will put together a set of goals for the client, and future sessions will focus on addressing those goals one-by-one.
An effective life coach might focus on particular achievements that the client will have accomplished by the time they finish working with the coach.
For example, a business coach might focus on a revenue target that the client will hit by the time they finish working with that coach.
The Main Benefits of a Life Coach
So why are life coaches becoming an increasingly popular choice for many people? Here are some of the main benefits of using a life coach:
They Challenge You
A good life coach will ask challenging and sometimes uncomfortable questions about you, your problems, and your goals. The purpose of this is to help stretch you to be a better version of yourself.
This is highly beneficial because most of us tend to stay deep within our comfort zone if we don’t have outsiders pushing us to do more.
They Can Offer a New Perspective
When faced with a problem in our lives, it’s often difficult to see the entire issue or the possible solutions because we are too emotionally involved.
Even friends and family are sometimes too closely involved to provide honest input and give us the support we need.
A life coach can give us that other perspective we often need to think through a problem in our lives. They bring an outsider’s viewpoint, and they also bring with them experience and expertise.
They Can Help You Navigate Your Life Goals
Many of us find it challenging to get a clear idea of what we want to aim for and what is important to us, whether business, money, relationships, or family.
One of the main benefits of using a life coach is that they can provide that navigation. They won’t tell you where you should go, but they will help you get to the point of seeing that goal.
They Help Remove a Stalemate
If you have spent time and energy facing a problem you can’t solve, you might have hit a stalemate. The only action to take might feel like inaction.
This is a common reason why people choose to hire a life coach. A good life coach can help you escape a rut, a mental block, or a stalemate currently causing significant issues in your life.
While there are clear benefits to life coaching, it’s essential to go into the experience with realistic expectations.
Life coaches can’t help a person unravel complex life trauma. Nor are they there to reverse any mental health challenges that need the support of a medical professional.
It’s also important to understand that you should set realistic timescales when working with a life coach. If you want actual transformational change in your life, that is not going to happen overnight.
Finally, a life coach isn’t there to do the hard work for you. If you set goals, the life coach can be your cheerleader and guide, but it is up to you to do the hard work you need to achieve those life goals.
How to Become a Certified Life Coach
If you are the type of person people reach out to for support and advice, life coaching might be a good career option for you.
A life coach is an excellent communicator and listener and can take information from client sessions and translate that into more concrete goals for a client.
They are also excellent at problem-solving and will work with clients on creative ways to address a challenge they are facing.
There are no formal qualifications for becoming a life coach, and you don’t need a university degree.
However, it’s worth getting a coaching certification as potential clients will frequently ask if you are a certified life coach before they agree to work with you.
Life Coaching Is Here to Stay
As more people start to use life coaching to unravel the challenges and ambitions in their lives, it’s clear that life coaches are here for the foreseeable future.
What are life coaches to you? Have you worked with one in the past? If you have, let us know in the comments below.