This is a question that I get asked on a regular basis and I love it because people really want to know what I do for a living, and we often get into a deeper discussion about what is possible to change in our lives and I’m here to tell you… I think the sky’s the limit! Seriously!
So what is a Life Coach exactly? Well we are many things. Newsweek described life coaches as, “Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals — career, personal, or most often, both”.
That’s an accurate description for life coaches in general and then we start to want to get into specifics. “What are the details?” you ask and every life coach will give you a somewhat different set of information.
Let’s get a little granular here in our digging. As an example I am a life coach. I coach people on making changes in all areas of their lives that don’t require a Dr.’s visit. So that pretty much covers all of someone’s life; career, family, home, work/life balance, lower stress in all of those areas, finding a job or career path that really makes your heart sing and feels meaningful to you. In the most general terms I help people recognize where they are stuck and I help unstick them.
Coaches work with you to help you achieve your goals.
CFO Magazine said that life coaching is tremendously useful because, “Coaches have the ability to view things from afar — in what some call ‘helicopter vision’ — and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate”.
Scratch below the surface of the coaching work I do and you’ll find that I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to my clients. About half of what I bring to the coaching experience is training and education and half is life experience. What do I mean? Well I am a certified and ICF registered life coach. This means that I had to pass a rigorous set of professional exams and must work within a published set of international guidelines and a code of ethics for coaching. It means that part of what my clients pay me for is my expertise and training, much like you pay a good surgeon or a great lawyer for their training and knowledge.
The other half of what I bring to my clients is my knowhow and life experience. I have been where you are right now. I have lived through really tough times, don’t believe me? Sign up for my Resilience Toolkit and get the down and dirty on me, or check out my open letter to clients to see what I’m talking about. I have worked in academia and corporate, freelance and as a small-business owner and all of those years of work, along with a few major job and life changes, have taught me that it’s actually possible to live a truly unstoppable life. For more details you can check out my story.
“COACHES HAVE THE ABILITY TO VIEW THINGS FROM AFAR — IN WHAT SOME CALL ‘HELICOPTER VISION’ — AND TO SHED NEW LIGHT ON DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. OFTEN THEY CAN ACT AS A SOUNDING BOARD THROUGH TOUGH DECISIONS, HELP SHARPEN SKILLS, AND MOTIVATE“
There’s actually one more part of being a coach, and yes, I know this adds up to more than 100%, Being a coach means really caring about our clients creating the lives they want to create. Coaching is “self-generative” work. It means that while the coach is assisting in the work of the client, both are working towards the client gaining the tools and awareness to take over the work for a sustainable future. Together we are always working in ways that grow clients into the life they want, growing to meet the changes they are desirous to create. In the end life coaches grow people into the lives they really want for themselves. For once, it really is all about you! And that’s neither selfish nor egoistic, it’s actually necessary.
There’s an old-school saying, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel” which means that we shouldn’t keep our good qualities and abilities from others. I often find that my clients have hidden their lights under bushels so well even they have forgotten they have those lights. Coaching helps them see their own abilities and strengths and how to use them to create lives they love living.
Isn’t that really what we all want? To live a life we are in love with of, a life that keeps us moving forward and motivated by excitement each and every day? A life that feels worth some work and effort? For sure that’s what I wanted and that’s what I created for myself and for all the clients who choose to take on coaching.
To sum it all up…. a life coach is a trained professional who can help you get your act together, get you unstuck when life drags you into the mud or who can help you figure out what it is that is missing even when you can’t yet put your finger on what’s missing.
And if you are still really curious about what it is a life coach does… well drop me a line and we’ll jump on a free 20-minute discovery call and you can ask me whatever you want to know about coaching.