What Is a Life Coach?
What actually is a life coach?
Life coaching started back in the 1980s as a spin off to sports coaching. It has picked up momentum and become an ever growing industry – and rightfully so!
Let’s get clear on some of the main misconceptions:
A life coach DOES NOT assess, diagnose or treat mental health illnesses. A life coach is also not affiliated with or regulated by any medical boards or medical practices. (They aren’t doctors – but that doesn’t mean they’re not clever !)
If I had to sum up what a life coach does in one sentence I would say this. The essence of a life coach is someone who helps you overcome obstacles and to achieve your goals through support and guidance.
A life coach works with you by looking at your present in order to help you create the future that you want. In an article by Oprah Daily, according to Jane Scudder, a successful certified coach and founder of the leadership development organisation The New Exec, she explains that, “Life coaching focuses on what’s happening right now, what a person wants next, and how that gap can be bridged.”
Life coach is a very broad term. You can find life coaches that support you with life in a general sense or life coaches that specialise in a specific area or topic. You can find life coaches for all sorts of industries like business, spiritual, dating and relationships, communication, life decluttering (that’s me!) and everything in between.
If you want to improve on something or want support with a specific area in life, there is (most likely!) a coach out there somewhere who specialises in exactly that!
What Are The Benefits of Having a Life Coach?
A life coach can help you:
- Develop your potential
- Improve your performance in a certain area in life
- Build effective strategies
- Come up with solutions to issues you might be facing
- Find direction in life
- Set appropriate goals
- Improve your self-confidence and self-esteem
- See situations from a different perspective
- Identify areas of resistance
- Support you in identifying your values
- Bring back your motivation
- Give you that support in life that you have been needing in order to make the progress you desire
There are so many other outcomes that you could get by working with a life coach. However, they all depend on what type of life coach/what area of life you are getting support in life coaching. Some outcomes might include growing your business, making more money, forming stronger relationships, sleeping better, being a better communicator, losing weight…the list could go on!
What Does a Life Coach Not Do?
I’ve already mentioned that a life coach is not a medical practitioner and does not asses, diagnose or treat mental health illnesses.
The one thing a life coach WON’T do is give you the answers directly. You might be thinking,‘What’s the point of working with a life coach then?‘ but hear me out…
The whole point in working with a life coach is that they help YOU find your own answers and solutions. This is intentional so that you can personally progress and develop without depending on someone in future. An effective life coach will listen, understand and then provide guidance in a way that will lead you to making the right choices for you. This provides long-term change and benefits rather than just results while you’re working with your coach.
They may, at times, make helpful suggestions or give advice if requested but it’s not a system where you have a problem and they have your answer. They will help you dig deeper into the root of the problem. This helps you to understand the REAL underlying issue. From here, it’s much easier to find possible solutions that will be effective for you.
A coach will want to show you and teach you strategies that you can then apply yourself to continue to reach your future goals.
Yes, you might want to continue working with a coach long-term if you have new goals you want to achieve or a new topic you want to address in life. But it shouldn’t be a relationship of dependence and attachment.
You might very well fall in love with working with a life coach. It can be such a powerful tool in life! But you don’t fall in love with the coach themselves. You get a taste of your personal growth and life progress and you just want more of that!
What Makes a Good Coach?
The life coaching industry is pretty much unregulated and anyone can be a life coach. (Sounds scary but it doesn’t have to be.)
For that reason, the most important thing for you to know is that a life coach should be someone whose energy attracts you. Someone that you resonate with and want to work with. Someone that you see as trustworthy and has life experience. They walk-their-walk and not just talk-the-talk.
Someone that is authentic – who can show you why they’re a good fit.
When it just feels right to work together.
Many life coaches get certifications and specialised qualifications but this is not necessary. I’m qualified and certified in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Time Line Therapy and Reiki Level II but it’s not something I had to do. It’s more something I wanted to do for myself, for my own personal development and interest.
It’s all about life experiences and what a coach actually knows about personally. In my eyes, a person who has launched and built their own business would, by far, make a better business coach than someone that went to business school and was taught how to do it but never actually applied it in real life.
A life coach’s personal experience is invaluable.
How Do I Know Which Life Coach Is the Best Fit For Me?
One important thing to remember is that a coach doesn’t have to be ‘the best’ at what they do. They don’t have to have a list of accolades and achievements under their name. They just need to be a few steps ahead of where you are in order to be of value to you.
In fact, for many areas in life, this is better. Take, for example a business coach. If you were earning £2,000 a month and wanted to scale your business to £5,000 a month, a coach that is earning £100,000 a month might not be the best fit. Their strategies or methods might not be in alignment with where you’re at at the moment and might be too advanced for you to take on at this stage of your business. They may have lost touch with what strategies are best suited for starting businesses.
The coach that is earning £10,000 – £50,000 will probably have a better grasp of where you’re at and more able to guide you to your goal. Then, once you reach that goal, you can advance and get support from someone who is in the next stage that you want to get to. (And at that stage, it might be the same coach as they continually grow and develop too!)
This isn’t a hard or fast rule. It’s just an example that your coach should be able to relate to where you are at right now in life. Someone who is not out of touch with your current reality.
So you see, you need to look for what is best for YOU and not necessarily who is the best.
Yes, prices can vary drastically between coaches and it’s not necessarily based on experience or qualifications. If a coach knows that they can deliver the outcome you desire, then it’s worth paying for.
I can’t even give you a ball-park figure of coaching prices. They vary from tens of pounds to thousands of pounds per session!
Having said that, just like anything in life, if a coach is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best. And it works the other way around too. If someone is cheap, that doesn’t mean they’re not as good as a more expensive coach. Because it’s not regulated, coaches are able to make their own prices. It’s up to you to decide what your coach is offering and what you’re willing to pay for a certain outcome.
I have worked with coaches that charged anywhere from £40 to £5000+ to work with them. I had to decide what it was I was paying for and if it was worth it to me.
What Does Working With a Life Coach Say About Me?
We’ve had this idea ingrained in us that we should all be independent and do things for ourselves . But this is so out of touch with the real world. What we need is compassion, connection and support. The most effective way to achieve a goal is to have a support system in place. To have accountability.
Working with a life coach is that support system. A support system that is specialised to support you in that specific area of life whether it be through one-to-one coaching or in a group coaching setting.
A life coach will hold you accountable.
And do you want to know something else that is incredibly effective?
If you invest nothing, there is no motivation. No drive behind achieving anything.
If you invest in something, you have an interest in the outcome. You will damn-well make sure that you do your best.
Working with a life coach shows that you are prepared to invest in yourself and that you value yourself enough to get support when you need it.
Working with a life coach shows that you value growth and personal development and that you are ready to thrive.
In short, working with a life coach is a sign of strength and integrity because you are making yourself a priority. No more putting other people’s dreams first. It’s time to make YOUR life the way you want it to be.
Is Working With a Life Coach Right For Me?
Just to leave you with a thought…even life coaches have a life coach! That’s how effective and impactful it can be to work with one.
So think about your life for a moment. Is there something that you have always wanted to achieve or improve on but you just didn’t know how? Working with a life coach might just be the missing link between you and your goals.
Is it time you put your wants as a priority?
*And I feel it is my duty to also say that if you have concerns about your mental health, it is always best to speak to your doctor first.
Feature image by cottonbro
If you’d like to work with me to declutter your life and scale back the crap that is taking away too much of your time, energy and space, click the link below to find out how I can help.
And don’t worry. I’m not a minimalist. I just believe that our lives should be filled with what we WANT and it’s my passion to help others make this happen in their lives too!