What is life coaching?
The short version: Life coaching is a professional service in which the main component is forward-thinking, deep-digging, truly honest conversations that have the ability to take your life from good to holy crap I didn’t even know being this happy was possible.
The long version: Life coaching is a conversation, usually a series of conversations, that asks you to question everything you believe about yourself and the world. Usually, when someone invests in life coaching, it’s because they feel like they want more out of life, yet they don’t know how to achieve their “more”. Sometimes they don’t even know what their “more” is. Then a coach comes in, and helps them see where it is they're getting stuck. Helps them understand that the ability to achieve everything they could ever want out of life already lives inside them, it’s just a matter of unlearning a few thoughts and behaviors that are limiting their success.
So… it’s like therapy?
Coaching is different from therapy in that it is more about the future than it is about the past. That isn’t to say that the past doesn’t matter, it definitely does. When I coach someone, I’m extremely interested parts of the past because the past is what has shaped your life thus far, and it can help identify the limiting beliefs that may be keeping you stuck. Therapy is designed to help you heal and overcome problems, and at times it can include a diagnosis. Coaching is designed to propel you forward towards established goals and ideas.
I recently read an article that described this difference quite perfectly. The article is called Life Coach vs. Therapist and can be found on tonyrobbins.com. It stated that it might help to think of coaching vs. therapy by imagining you are going to climb a mountain and you have the option to enlist the help of either a Sherpa/guide or a doctor.
“If you are physically unwell, or would be in danger if you even attempted the climb, a sherpa and guide wouldn’t do you any good. You need to be at a baseline level of good health before you can make the climb at all, so if you’re not, you might need to see the doctor before trying something that challenging. However, if you’re healthy and just need someone to help you with climbing strategy, carrying the load of supplies and finding the best path, the sherpa and guide is the best bet.”
As a life coach, my goal is to be your guide. To identify your best plan of action (which I would do by discovering it within you) and help you stay on track and achieve your own version of holy crap I didn’t know being this happy was possible.
Questioning almost everything
My two favorite questions in a coaching session are “what else?” and “is that true?". Seriously. Ask yourself those questions all day long and see how your life can start to change. Think of what you truly want out of life. Maybe it’s a new career or a romantic partner. What else? And what else after that? It’s important to get really clear on what you want. All of it. There is always more available to you, so long as you know how to ask for it. Similarly, it’s just as important to question everything because you just never know where you're getting stuck. Okay... almost everything. I’m not suggesting we start making problems out of nothing here. But what I am suggesting, for example, is if you are fearful that your boyfriend doesn’t want to move in with you because you assume he will feel stuck and unhappy, ask yourself “is that true?".
Okay, that was me being vulnerable and letting you know that yes, I actually thought that way. I believed that I was unlivewithable, and that my boyfriend would regret moving in with me. All because I had a limiting belief that I wasn’t good enough. Through working with some really amazing coaches, I have been able to transform these beliefs and use them to make me better. So when it came to my negative thoughts about my new living arrangement, I finally asked myself, “is that true?” No! Of course it isn’t. Even though it felt so very real to me. I was compassionate with the part of myself that believed it was true, and challenged it over and over again, until I knew deep down in my bones that I had the power to choose a better way of thinking. The art of coaching amazes me everything single day because of how simple, yet powerful it is.
More food for thought...
When you hire a life coach, you are not buying their time per hour, you’re buying your dreams come true. Similarly, their fee isn’t only a 60 minute conversation, but all of the personal work and growth that they bring to your sessions.
Life coaching is a string of honest conversations that ask you- What does your life look like? What do you want it to look like? Why do you think it doesn’t look like that? What else? Is that true?
Life coaching is being supported by another person through it all. Being held accountable on your journey towards achieving your dreams. The dreams you haven’t even dreamed of yet.
Life coaching is taking your limiting beliefs and behaviors, and turning them into stepping stones raising you higher and higher towards your goals.
All coaches are different, but our goals are generally the same (to lift you higher)
Many coaches have their own unique story to tell, people to help, and path to help them. As for mine, I’m all about gentle yet firm guidance. I love to confront my clients with kindness. I love to meet my clients where they are at with all of their “what if’s” and “should’s” and “but, but, but’s” and meet them with understanding. I love to stress the vital importance of self-love and self-acceptance. I love to transform self-doubt into self-confidence. I love watching my clients step into this newer, sexier, more powerful version of themselves and achieve their holy crap I didn’t know being this happy was possible.