What Is a Life Coach?
There is a lot of misconceptions associated with who life coaches are and what they do. To get clear on what life coaching is, let’s start by describing what a life coach is not. First, a life coach is not a therapist or counselor. Therapy or counseling is a long-term process in which a healthcare professional works with a client to diagnose and resolve past traumas and issues and work towards changing problematic beliefs, behaviors, and relationships. To put it simply, a therapist focuses on the past while a life coach is focused on the present and the future. A therapist is analytical but not action-oriented while a life coach accepts your current reality and will help you create a game plan to improve your outcome moving forward.
Second, a life coach is not a mentor. A mentor acts similarly to a professional advisor and role model for their mentees by offering their knowledge, expertise, and advice. Mentors help mentees consider opportunities for career growth, confidence, improving interpersonal skills, and developing personality, and other personal aspects of their life. Mentoring is a long-term process that is focused on relationships and creates an informal association with the mentee, whereas life coaching is a short-term process that follows a more structured and formal approach. Put simply, a mentor helps the mentee develop skills and set goals that will serve them now and in their future while a life coach is focused on improving the client’s performance by breaking down their goals into concrete tasks to be completed in a specified time frame.
Finally, a life coach is not a consultant. Although both professions have similar outcomes, their approach and process are quite different. Consultants diagnose an issue and provide technical and professional recommendations in their area of expertise based on their understanding, knowledge, and experience. Consultants focus on the problem and offer best practices to address the problem. Coaching on the other hand focuses on the client, and empowers them to make their own decisions. Life coaches help clients tap into their own ability to solve the problems and challenges that emerge in their work and life. Experienced coaches are able to ask the right questions to help their clients come up with their own solutions so that they feel motivated to make their own rules and move forward in their life or business.
Life coaching is a career in which the coach has a clear understanding of the principles of success and their applications. The goal of a life coach is to provide their clients with the necessary tools and principles and teach them how they can apply these principles to last them a lifetime in their professional and personal life. A life coach can also help clients deal with stress and anxiety by helping them get clear on their vision, assessing their current circumstances, and matching it to their purpose in life and goals for the future. Once the client and the coach are clear on the vision and the challenges being faced, the coach will help the client develop a course of action to achieve their goals. In that sense, a life coach is analytical and action-oriented.
What Does a Life Coach Do?
Life coaching is a collaborative relationship between a client that is committed to tapping into their full potential and an accredited life coach committed to getting them there. A life coach focuses on identifying goals, prioritizing them, and choosing the right path to achieve them. A life coach works with the client to provide them with actionable steps to improve their skills and reach their goals in a specified period of time. In doing so, a coach provides clarity on the client’s vision and helps them become more accountable, goal-driven, and competitive. A great life coach questions the client’s decisions and encourages them to take a closer look at their approach, and provides them with the appropriate growth strategies to achieve their goals.
A life coach helps their client grow in their work and life by analyzing their current situation, identifying limiting beliefs and challenges, and then providing a custom plan of action to achieve specific goals and outcomes in their life. A life coach doesn’t diagnose a problem, instead, they partner with the client to explore possibilities for themselves by asking the right questions that will create an experience for the client to arrive at their own solutions, based on the client’s own terms. The role of a coach is to work as the client’s equal and help the client find answers for themselves and see opportunities that they might have missed.
A lifestyle coach works with the client to:
Create and clarify the client’s vision.
Modify goals by asking the right questions.
Encourage client’s self-discovery and growth.
Create a game plan that best fits the client’s goals, personality, and vision.
Increase productivity and performance by keeping the client accountable.
Why Would You Work with a Life Coach? What Can They Do For You?
People who choose to work with a life coach want to improve their output, accomplish more, and grow. They want to get things done faster, do it to the best of their abilities, and reach peak performance. Anyone can benefit from a life coach, including actors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, small business owners, creatives, and homemakers. No matter the industry you’re in, a life coach will help you reach your professional and personal goals and bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Some common steps clients working with life coaches take include:
Identifying and clarifying a vision for success.
Identifying and creating clear, specific, and measurable goals.
Identifying limiting beliefs.
Identifying and clarifying core values.
Creating professional and personal action plans for growth and peak performance.
Working towards financial independence.
Obtaining work and life balance.
Learning to communicate effectively.
Learning to be accountable.
Starting and/or growing a business.
Managing significant life transitions.
Achieving fitness goals.
A life coach is a professional who will help you excel in all areas of your life. A life coach is committed to your growth and is equipped with the right skills and experience to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. If you want to tap into your full potential, reach peak performance, and take your life to the next level, then it’s time to invest in yourself and hire a life or business coach.
"What you seek is seeking you." -- Rumi