I am going through my third cycle of life coaching and I got inspired to share my experiences.
What is Life Coaching?
Life coaching is the process of helping people identify and achieve personal goals through developing skills and attitudes that lead to self-empowerment. – Wikipedia
Life coaching is therapy
Yes, there are many elements similar to therapy, there’re the questions, the mirroring, the empathy, someone to listen, the shoulder to cry on, but life coaching is much more action-oriented: after every session, there’s a list of commitments.
You’ll get advice
The coach is not some wise, old person who gives you advice. Never has a coach given me concrete advice. Their strongest tool is the Questions. They work out of you, what you tell them, what they see you’re struggling with – and then with questions, they lead you to realizations. Most often, you know too well what the right thing to do is, what the next step is – the coach doesn’t tell you – they just pull it out of you so you can see it.
There’s something wrong with you if you seek professional help with your life
We live in the informational era and the possibilities are endless. Not only we have access to the all potential partners on Tinder, professional connections on LinkedIn, and potential friends on Meetup, indefinite knowledge and skills from Udemy, Coursera, access to a huge book pool on Amazon, but we also have all the world’s wisdom on the tip of our fingers. It’s overwhelming (at least for me).
We never take definitive decisions for Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). The tabs of our brain are pilling up and hang. The coach is someone who sits next to you and helps you filter out what’s important and what not.
You can figure it out on your own
We’re trying to be heroes, and never ask for help but it’s stupid not to use the power and wisdom and support of a professionally trained coach (who has seen it all).
Life coaching is easy
To be coached is not easy. It’s actually hard work – you do the work, not the coach. You face your doubts, fears, you go deeper into yourself, where you challenge old ideas, structures, and frameworks which have served you well, but it’s time to move on. You make the decisions what to pursue, and what to shed off.
Often coaching sessions end in big commitments – like taking a sabbatical, terminating a malfunctioning relationship, choosing your own well-being despite feeling egoistic for it, changing career paths or deciding to forgive and snap out of victim mode.
After every session, there’s a list of commitments which you voluntary commit to. The coach is an accountability buddy who checks back with you at the next session. This was extremely valuable for me – as I often enthusiastically commit to things, and after a while, I talk myself out of it – because no one checks, right? Life coaching taught me to be careful when I make commitments, in the first place to myself, and in the second to others. Once I have made a commitment, I better keep it – there’s someone that’ll keep me accountable.
There have been sessions where I just burst in tears – that’s also OK. The coach is there to listen, they let you express your emotions, and take it all out. We often build up tension in ourselves, until the moment a seemingly insignificant event triggers a huge explosion. I find it much safer to explode in this dedicated environment and to work with what comes out of it.
We’re so much in our heads. There’re all kinds of thoughts, impressions, memories, mixed with unconscious urges by the survival instincts, patterns, frameworks, models we took as our truth from our parents or society without consciously accepting them as ours. They are entangled in our brains and cause us to act in certain ways.
Have you ever wondered what triggers you? You want to be a reasonable person, but you have all these involuntary impulses? A life coaching session is where you can talk about it at lengths, the coach then often mirrors you (repeats back to you what you say) and you externalize your mess. You can clearly see what’s entanglement is happening within you and counteract it (or tidy it up).
Often times you already have the answers. You know what the next step is, you know what you’re longing for. The coach just helps you vocalize it and put into words, and then into actual actions (the session commitments).
Coaches help you cut the crap – so many times, I’ve been telling my story and bull shiting myself – the coach helps you drop the stories and own your power and truth.
At the beginning of a coaching cycle, you define goals with the help of the coach. What I love about the coaches I’ve worked with is that they encourage me to think big. Things that felt HUGE and impossible and I would never commit to (if I had to do it on my own) were just like ‘easy-peasy’ goals. To have someone across react positively, and unimpressed by the hugeness of my goals was really encouraging to me.
The commitments at the end of the session, address the physical, mental and emotional body + completion, and exploration question. This is something very important for me – I hold this question between sessions and I am much more perceptive of any possible answer.
The answer comes so randomly – by observing an interaction in the tram, or having a random thought, or a line in a book that speaks to me. If I hadn’t set the question consciously, I wouldn’t have been sensitive to receiving the answer.
Shortcut to your goals
Yes, you can do it alone. Yes, it’s all within you. But how long would it take you? How much will you be struggling until you find clarity and roll your sleeves and get to work? A life coaching is an investment which pays over and over again.
Although coaches haven’t given me advice, they’ve directed me to books, events, they have shared stories and insights that have further enriched my understanding and help me move on
Now go and do something awesome with your life!
Photo by Lindsay Henwood and Peter Conlan on Unsplash
That sounds so good! But how find a good coach? Do you have any advice on that to share? Because just everyone can call themselves “coach”…
Thanks for this clear and motivating article.
Kate App says
the best approach is to get a referral from a friend. Then take the first session (it is usually free) and decide for yourself if the coach feels right. You can “interview” a few coaches until you find the right one.
Not all coaches follow the same approach. You won’t only be investing your time and money but you’ll be trusting them with your most intimate thoughts and emotions. I would definitely not go with anyone who calls themselves “coach” without any proof of experience or training.
All my 3 coaches have been trained with Creative Consciousness (https://creativeconsciousness.com/) which is accredited by ICF (https://coachfederation.org/)
I hope this helps!