Everybody could use one.
I never knew how much a life coach could make a difference in my life until I hired my own. I went from unsure to clear, discouraged to confident, and stuck to on my way to a whole new way of living. I created a vision of my future and a plan to make it happen.
I was so inspired that I became a certified coach myself.
You might be skeptical of those with a weekend coaching diploma or the far-reaching claims of a celebrity life coach who makes you walk on coal. But speak with virtually anyone who’s hired an experienced, credentialed life coach, and you’ll hear that it works. There is no magic, just the power of a tried-and-true coaching framework in which the coach is the guide and the client – you – do the work.
A quality life coach won’t try to fix you or solve your problems, either. Their focus is to light the way to your own empowerment so you can go from good to great.
Of course, a coach can work with you through some difficult times, too. Life isn’t always easy, and yes, you can accomplish a great deal on your own. But sometimes a whole lot gets thrown in your path, and you can’t see the forest for the trees.
A coach knows that you’re creative, resourceful, and whole – and you’re quite capable of getting to where to want to go. Maybe you just need a bright light shining on your strengths and a little nudge.
Here the 12 ways that a life coach can work with you to get what you want, supporting you to achieve your goals and dreams faster, better, and with greater ease:
1. Listening with you.
A professional coach listens beyond active listening, tuning into the client’s agenda, vision, desires and values. He or she listens to their client with their whole heart and walks in their shoes. You will feel heard, maybe even for the first time.
2. Bringing a new awareness and clarity.
Occasionally you are so entrenched in a situation and you don’t see what’s really happening. I good coach will ask you powerful questions and hold a mirror up to you so you can finally become fully awake.
Sometimes this means being respectfully direct about what they’re observing, and other times, it’s demonstrating with metaphors or analogies. Either way, you’ll have the clarity to move forward with your new-found perspective and confidence.
3. Giving you tools to envision what you want in your life.
Besides affirming with you that you’re capable of achieving your aspirations, coaches know that you’re worthy of living your life, your way. You’ll not only get some tools to visualize your goals and dreams, but you’ll work on setting boundaries.
I had one client, Lara, who was living her parent’s expectations. Through coaching, she realized that she needed to be the driver of her career and her life. I worked with her to explore her passions and personality type, created a vision board that called to her, and she set out on a course of authenticity.
4. Shining a light on your strengths and building your confidence.
As a coach, I believe in a strengths-based approach, that is, I work with clients to unearth – often through personality instruments – their strengths, innate gifts and preferences, and find ways to bring these to the world. So, if you’re running low on self-esteem and you’ve forgotten what it is that you’re good at, a coach can help you uncover your brilliance once again and open the door to empowerment.
5. Supporting you in eliminating self-defeating habits and adopting healthier ones.
Old habits can die hard. But if you work with a coach to get underneath your beliefs that are leading you to maintain them, you can free a path for a more positive lifestyle. That also means making progress against your goals, too, and success will breed even more success.
6. Offering up a different perspective.
If you ask a coach for their take on a situation, they will offer it to you. More often then not, they can ask the right questions or offer techniques like reframing or perspective taking so that you find one all on your own. What’s more thrilling than having an ah-ha moment?
7. Illuminating your limiting beliefs and fears.
Often, we get in our own way. It’s a coach’s job to notice things that you might not and inquire about your beliefs. One example is your attitudes about money and self-worth. Jayne grew up in a working-class family, and her mother didn’t work outside the home and had very little money of her own to spend. Jayne was hesitant to spend a dime on herself, or even share with her parents how well she was doing career-wise. Through the coaching conversation, Jayne realized that she was unconsciously holding herself back.
Other times, a coach can surface fears that you have, give you tactics to flip them and bury them for good, so that you can be free to live your best life courageously.
8. Suggesting ways to manage your stress and deal with overwhelm.
If you’re going through a life transition like a job loss, having a baby, recovering from divorce, or facing the realities of mid-life, it can be a lot to take on, especially on top of regular day-to-day life pressures. You might even fall into what you think is depression or anxiety.
Yes, you very well could need to see a psychotherapist. Or, you might be in the doldrums, which is a normal stage of change and human development. With greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-care, you’ll move through it, ready to face your challenges.
Many coaches are trained in mindfulness and cognitive behavioural coaching techniques, and if you’re willing, you can learn how to incorporate these into your life. Even if you’ve lost hope or you’re immobilized, working with a coach can help you to put in place strategies to regain your footing and move forward with more self-assurance.
9. Opening you up to new possibilities.
Whether it’s identifying ways to get unstuck or realize your life-long dreams, an experienced coach can work with you to identify opportunities and options. You might not have a clue how to get out of a blood-sucking situation at work or find your true love, but with a coach and dedicated time delving into the possibilities, you’ll be further ahead than working on your own.
With your permission, your coach will share with you their own ideas, too, many of which you’ve probably never thought of before. Your coach will promote self-discovery and challenge your assumptions. With all this, you’ll be opened up to a whole new level of thinking about yourself and your situation.
10. Working with you to create action plans to meet your goals.
If you’re a quick-start personality, you tend to lose momentum, or you’re all ideas but no plan, coaching might be for you.
Apart from the coaching goal of creating awareness, a key objective of coaching is to forward your action. That means working with you to develop plans that you can get behind and that get you specific and demonstratable results. Even more important, a coach will help you uncover what it would mean to you to achieve them in the first place.
Most coaching clients report that they got better outcomes faster than any other approach they’ve tried.
11. Keeping you accountable.
Should you choose, you can ask your coach to be your accountability partner. They will gently remind you of the commitments you’ve made to yourself and inquire about what got in the way if you haven’t met them.
They won’t nag or chastise you for not getting your action plans done; they will help you figure out how you can get your plans back on track. You’ll want to stay focused not because you have someone to report back to, but because with their help you’ve realized how much success matters to you.
12. Standing with you and for you.
Sadly, many clients tell me that they don’t have anyone in their corner supporting them through some of the most significant changes in their lives. Their parents think they know what’s best for them, their partner is focused on their own needs, and their friends pay lip service to their goals and dreams.
A coach will hold your vision, purpose, goals and dreams in the highest esteem and they’ll be there to see them through, for as long as you continue the coaching relationship. You will not only feel listened to and supported, but you’ll also feel empowered to take on any challenge and reach higher heights.
If you’re ready to take full responsibility for your life and you’re serious about getting results, hire a coach.
It might even cost you more not to. Why waste time, money, and effort when you can have someone in backing you up, propelling you to be the best possible version of yourself?
The beautiful thing about coaching is that you get to decide how to best use the services of a coach. You can gain greater clarity, work on goals, get an accountability partner -- and more.
Ultimately, you do the work and your results are your own, but if you’re open to it, working with a coach can take you farther than you ever thought possible. Make the investment of your life.
Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach (ACC) who works with resourceful individuals who want to be their best selves, achieve their goals, and create a life they love. Visit her website to learn more about her signature programs and services, contact her for a breakthrough coaching call, or sign up for her newsletter for even more inspiration.