A life coach is someone who aims to help and empower others to make, meet and exceed personal and professional goals – including excelling in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled in the home, exploring the self and the world, and achieving ambitions.
By harnessing specialist techniques based on core psychological principals and natural intuition, life coaches provide clients with the tools to confidently face difficult situations, push past emotional barriers and eventually view life with fresh, hopeful and enlightened eyes.
Just as a sport coaching enables athletes to hone themselves into the fastest, strongest, most tactical competitors in their disciplines, life coaching helps people from all professional and personal backgrounds improve their strengths and build upon their weaknesses to make the most of their lives.
A life coach will never try to be an ‘agony aunt’ – he or she will never attempt to dish out advice because, firstly – giving advice is just a way of imposing a personal view of the world onto another person (who may or may not share the same view) and, secondly – it is not a life coach’s job to become personally involved in a client’s life. Life coaching is about objectivity, structure and empowerment, not instruction or indoctrination.
At the heart of it all lies the idea that clients must be given the power to help themselves. Offering advice, opinions and judgements would undermine some of the basic principles behind life coaching, which include:
A) Subjectivity: we all have different perspectives of the world – no one perspective is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but some perspectives are restrictive and can stop a person becoming who they want to be.
B) Empowerment: it is within everyone’s capability to adjust the limits of their own perspective. With the help of life coaching, anyone can learn to open their mind if they wish.
C) Guidance: there is a difference between an instructor and a guide. An instructor shows a person exactly what to do, whereas a guide provides the tools and support a person needs to do something for them. A life coach is a guide, not an instructor.
The term ‘coaching’ itself comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘carriage’, which is a means of transporting something from one place to another. A life coach therefore, is an individual who guides another individual from where they are in life, to where they want to be in life.
Life coaching sessions will be for a specific duration, 50 minutes. During the session, I will ask you about what you want to get out of life, what areas you’re unhappy with and where you’d like to see yourself ending up. Although I will work with you, it’s often up to you to challenge or reflect upon certain ideas to help you move forward with your life. You will never be forced to make any decisions you don’t feel comfortable with and all sessions will be confidential, allowing you to explore your thoughts and feelings privately.
You can have as many or as few life coaching sessions as you like. Some people hire a life coach once every few months; some people have a session once a week. It is entirely up to you to decide.
No, counselling and therapy traditionally start from the perspective that something needs fixing. With coaching, the bias is towards working from the perspective that you are fundamentally whole, healthy and strong enough to deal with the challenges of coaching.