When I tell people “I’m a life coach”, what usually follows is a puzzled look and a ”what’s one of those?” type questions.
So here’s what you need to know about coaching and 7 reasons for you to seek out a coach….
First thing’s first…
One thing that it is important to understand about coaching is that it isn’t here to “fix you” or offer a “quick fix”. The reason why coaching doesn’t offer this is simply because the philosophy is based on the fact that you are not broken! So even when you feel in emotional turmoil or completely lost, coaching comes from a place of understanding that you are a resourceful, powerful and wonderfully creative individual. And a life coach will help you tap into that.
Some people find it a challenge to accept that the solution comes from within themselves but this only happens because fear or external ‘noise’ gets in your way. So a coach will help you to look at things from different perspectives and move you away from a place of fear towards where you want to be.
Coaching is about focusing on who you are, what’s important to you and the things that you believe are possible for yourself. It will help you to get to know yourself even better and increase your self-awareness.
This is important because knowing yourself better gives you a solid foundation for personal growth to take place and develops your adaptability for the future.
In the words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
How do you know if coaching is what you need? Here are 7 examples in life where coaching can really help you:
#1. You’re lost. You’ve been through significant changes in your life and you haven’t got a clue who you are anymore or what you want to do with your life. Maybe you don’t really know what your “purpose” is. Maybe you’ve fallen out of love with life or you find it hard to motivate yourself each day. It’s possible that you’ve just got out of a relationship and you’re wobbly and fearful about your future. Perhaps you’ve been in full time studies and followed a path that you no longer enjoy. Or, it could be that you just feel in some way, unfulfilled and like there’s more to life. You might even be feeling guilty about the fact that you feel this way.
You’re not alone in this. This was one of the things that coaching helped me to breakthrough. The fact that you’re lost means that awesome things are about to happen for you.
A life coach will help you sort out what you really value in life and what’s important to you. Often we get into a negative state because we feel as though we cannot honour what we actually want from life v what we have been conditioned to believe is the ‘right path’ for us. Coaching will give you the freedom to choose and the confidence to follow it through.
#2. You’re stuck. You either have a decision to make or you feel like something needs to change in your life but you don’t know where to begin. Maybe you want to change your career, to seek out a new relationship, relocate or move house or go after your big scary but exciting dream. You’re inner self-talk is confusing the hell out of you with lots of “should, could and woulds” or you feel like you’re drowning in a million different ideas and not sure which way to turn.
Let’s be clear, a coach will not give you the answer or advise you on what to do. But coaching will help you to find clarity and see what’s going on for you underneath all of those thought and feelings. It will also help you to discover what’s important to you about this decision and tune into your own intuition.
#3. You’re scared. Look, most of us are scared of something. It’s ok to be scared. But it’s not ok to allow your fear to get in your way or hold you back. Maybe you’re afraid of screwing up or maybe you’re afraid that you might actually be successful. It’s amazing how your brain works isn’t it? And when you think about it, kids hold very few fears.
But adults are afraid of heights, enclosed spaces, public speaking, the dark, afraid of looking silly, afraid they might fail, afraid of what people might think, of being alone or of putting themselves out there, afraid of change and new environments….the list goes on…
A life coach will hold the space for you to label your fears and then start to move past them. The awesome thing about coaching is that you will gain all kinds of cool tools and techniques to practise with. A coach will gently encourage you to feel the fear and do it anyway – because of your fears. Having had anxiety for most of my life, I can certainly relate to how powerful coaching can be in this scenario. This is about giving yourself permission to accept your fears and be free from any hold that they’ve been having over you.
#4. You’re unhappy. If you’re unhappy, then it’s likely that you need change. Either a change in your life or a change of you. Maybe you’ve had a curveball thrown at you and your life feels like it’s spiralling out of control or you feel like you’re losing your marbles.
Whilst coaching is different from therapy, a life coach can help you through such times. A coach will help you pinpoint what’s making you unhappy (it’s not always what you think it is) and help you make the changes that will re-gain some stability. Coaching will help you to identify with the things that make you happy and how to get more of that in your life.
#5. You’re overwhelmed. You’re full of dreams – which is awesome. But you have 1001 ideas about how you could get there. You start on Plan A and then before you know it, you’ve switched to Plan B, C and H. Maybe you spend your days procrastinating about how to get started on making the significant changes that you’ve been wanting for so long. Or maybe you find it difficult to stick to anything because you get easily distracted or start panicking about the stuff that you’re not doing.
If you’re wading through treacle or feeling overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done then coaching will help you deal with that ocean of emotion. A life coach will help you to pin-point your starting position and chunk your actions into manageable, bite-size pieces. Coaching can give you accountability and the consistency that you need in order to move forwards and finally feel like you’re getting somewhere.
#6. You’re therapy is done. Therapy and coaching can make a great marriage together and life coaching after therapy can be a perfect lead on in your journey of self-discovery. Some therapists are also qualified life coaches so they have the flexibility to cross over into coaching. If however, you feel that your relationship with your therapist has come to a natural conclusions then a life coach maybe just what you need.
Maybe you’re unsure whether you need a therapist or a coach at this stage. There are some distinct differences so doing your research will help. In my personal experience of therapy, it helped me to survive and to get my life back onto a level playing field. Coaching took things to another level where I felt able to thrive. It was a game changer and really complimented the work that I had done in therapy.
Therapy can help you to uncover and heal your issues from the past. This is essential for being able to move on from potentially traumatic experiences. Life coaches generally don’t need to know about your past because what we’re interested in is where you are now and where you want to get to. I do know of some mental wellbeing coaching specialists. In my opinion, most life coaches will work with people who are not in the midst of experiencing any mental illness or emotional trauma.
#7. You’re sorted. So, why would someone need a life coach if they’ve already got their shiz together? Actually, it’s the perfect time for coaching. When you’re happy in your own skin, and you love where you are in life, you’re more likely to be open to growth. You’re more likely to be curious about what else is possible for you and more willing to step out of your comfort zone. Happy is a pretty awesome motivator.
Working with a life coach will always help you clarify what you want and why it’s important to you and how you can get it. You can brainstorm, strategise, explore and clarify together. The world really is your lobster!
There is also such a thing as too comfortable. With every routine, comes a lovely comfy zone. But any hint of stepping outside of your comfort zone has you quietly freaking out inside. It’s true that life shouldn’t be uncomfortable but are you really stretching yourself and more importantly, are you finding excitement in the things that you do?
Coaching will gently nudge you to step out of your comfort zone. A coach will challenge you to be the best version that you can be. If this sounds scary then that’s a good thing.
Ok, that sounds like you – now what?
What I want most for you is to know that when you’re ready, you can start to change your situation by making one baby step. Get a coach. Coaching doesn’t have to be (and neither should it be) about investing your life savings on a glossy coaching ‘package’. All coaches have different offerings, different styles and different life experiences so do your research and choose one that intuitively feels like a good fit for you.
If you would like to talk further about whether my coaching is right for you then I’m always happy to have a chat.