Most of us like to think we can navigate this thing called life without the need to employ a professional life coach.
I think I can manage my own life thank you very much!
There may even be a stoic sense of duty to oneself to know what is best, plough through obstacles and to go things alone. But for those who are hungry for change, stuck, indecisive or in self-sabotage mode, employing the professional services of a life coach can potentially work wonders to help you push through and really improve your life.
Firstly, a professional life coach will always respect you as the undisputed author and authority on your own life. No need to sweat about relinquishing your personal control over your own life! At best, the relationship between coach and client can be described as a respectful, equal partnership.
Life coaches help people to get strategic about making positive change. Oftentimes, people need to get clear about their motivation to implement change and, through a coaches skilful questioning, you can gain the necessary clarity on a situation which then can provide a great deal of impetus to follow through with action.
Another thing that can happen is that fear, which can be underlying cause of inaction, can be uncovered and brought into the light of day. Good coaches will provide tools and encourage perspective on your fears so that you can embrace it as a necessary part of your self-actualising journey.
People may choose to work with a life coach for lots of reasons. For example, they may be looking to change their career and select one which is more in line with who they are, they may be looking to resolve a relationship issue, find a partner, develop their personal agency and kickstart their personal growth to name a few reasons.
Experiences with coaches will vary depending on a variety of factors but for those who do feel the nudge towards working with a coach, here is what could happen:
• You become fully responsible for your life
Responsibility here has nothing to do with paying your taxes or taking the bins out each week but rather with fully owning the faulty thinking, neurosis, limiting stories and irrational drama that we often bring to our own lives.
According to Susan Jeffers, “Taking responsibility means never blaming anyone else for anything you are being, doing, having, or feeling.”
Tempting though it may be to blame or complain about others for causing our problems, the person working with a coach may discover just how they have been contributing to their own suffering in their lives. Once you realise this, you have a chance to address old unhelpful patterns and you can really own your own power and make fully conscious decisions. This is one of the keys to avoiding regrets later on.
• You gain perspective on your problems
One of the things that can become apparent through coaching sessions is just how attached we can be to a particular viewpoint on an issue we are facing.
‘My boss makes my life hell! ‘
‘Since my boyfriend broke up with me, I’ve been miserable.’
‘Losing my job is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.’
For example, a recent client of mine was facing an issue with a difficult boss at work which was causing her a lot of anxiety and unease. The coaching process allowed her to see the opportunity in adversity and used the challenge as a chance to tap into her inner reserves of resilience and implement some assertive communication strategies which she successfully used. It is undoubtedly true that many situations are challenging but we always have a choice in how we perceive what is happening to us. Reframing our problems positively is one of the keys to living well and helps us to develop that all important growth mindset.
• You become action-oriented
One of the defining aspects of coaching is its orientation towards doing. The success of coaching must always be dependent on the quality of action taken as a result. Sure, discussion and insight are important precursors of action but ultimately, a client really wants to see their lives change. Through the coaching process, don’t be surprised if you gradually start enjoying taking action. The sense of accomplishment that comes from this can provide a natural high!
• You discover who you really are
I know this might sound preposterous but how many of us really know who we are? I mean who we really are. I’m not talking about who society tells you you are (I’m a 35 year old single working mother) or what you do for a living (Hi, I’m a doctor) or how your parents might describe you to a new date (He’s kind and thoughtful) but who you really are on the level of thoughts, beliefs, needs, feelings, values, strengths, goals and life vision. Life coaching provides the space and opportunity to get to know yourself like never before. From a deeper level of self-awareness, change becomes more likely. You may even come to value, respect and accept yourself in a whole new way.
• Your confidence and self-esteem receive a boost
This is one of the wonderful side-effects of coaching. In addition to getting to know yourself and your positive qualities, realising you can change your life for the better does wonders for how you view yourself. Warning: people may want to know what your secret is!
• You fall in love with life
Loving your life need not be for the privileged few. Everyone deserves to feel the fulfilment and joy that comes from doing meaningful work, having fulfilling relationships and activities which provide joy and satisfaction. Working with the right coach can inspire you and remind you to live from a place of passion and connection. Don’t be surprised if you fall back in love with living when you start to consciously create the life you deserve!
If you are curious as to how a life coach can help you, have a look here.
If you are ready to fall back in love with life, gain clarity and perspective and get to work on identifying your passion and purpose, career, relationship or self-development goals, have a look at how working with me can help you do just that.