What’s a Life Coach?

And will they make my dreams come true?

Life coaches are not fairies that can grant wishes. Sorry, if that’s all you wanted to know you can stop reading here. We have all heard about people who win the lottery and end up broke and depressed. If a life coach could hand you your dream, you may end up like those winners. Would you like to know why?

For most of us, success is determined by having a role or responsibility in reaching our goal. There is no joy without progress. If the results are handed to you, you are at the top, and you played no part in getting there. Then the only way to go is down! You can’t replicate the process that got you to the top.

That’s what your coach comes in. They will teach you the steps you need to reach goals and continue moving up. A life coach will guide you to take responsibility and play an active role in designing your own life.

Life coaches usually have training. There are so many different modalities that someone can study to become a coach, and there is no regulating body saying which preparations are legitimate. There are life coaching certifications as well as courses on therapies that can help clients make changes rapidly.

While the variety of problems people have may seem infinite, with a toolbox of coaching methods, almost anything is possible. The coach doesn’t even have to understand your issue to coach you through it. All of the answers are inside YOU. The coach helps you find them and pull them out.

Let’s clarify that a life coach is not a therapist. Most do not have a degree in counseling or psychology. If they do, they have left the profession to be a life coach for a reason.

You have everything you need inside you.

Life Coaches Help you Shift Your Perspective

Now, it may make it sound like you don’t need a coach since you have the answers inside. However, from where you are right now, it may be impossible to see those solutions. That’s where the coach can come in handy.

A life coach will challenge you to look at things from different perspectives. They will question your actions and the goals you claim to have. A lot of life coaches have a life coach! Because even when you know the methods, it’s hard not to be biased about your own life when you are living it 24/7.

A life coach will help you narrow down what is helping you move forward in life and what is holding you back. The goal is to move you toward being the best version of yourself. Life coaches may call you out in a way that a traditional therapist would not; they will guide you to take responsibility for yourself.

When you take responsibility, then you become empowered to change the way you think and feel about issues. Naturally, when we have experienced trauma or past adverse events, we adopt feelings and attach meanings to things that occurred. For example, we say, “I feel like ___ because when I was a kid, my parents did _____. “

It is considered normal when we talk to our friends because society accepts these aspects of psychology as a fact. But when you feel like a victim, you are powerless. Your life coach can help you stop believing that you must be a certain way because of your past. You have to let go of that belief to move into the future with positivity. It won’t be easy, but that is why having a life coach can be such a life-changing experience.

Since nothing is perfect, I don’t need to be perfect to be good enough.

Life Coaches Focus on the Future

The coaching program is more present and future-focused. A life coach will guide you to look for solutions rather than dwell on what has already happened. They will ask you to look inside yourself, define your values, and your overall life vision. Then you can break down the steps and set up goals and milestones that inspire and motivate you to keep moving forward.

When you start talking about something in your past, your life coach may cut you short and remind you that it’s not helping you to continue dwelling on what has already happened. They will help you put a positive lens on the world and keep looking ahead.

What you focus on you feel.

The Life Coach Relationship

A life coach can be like a friend. The relationship tends to be informal. However you pay this friend to be direct, ask you the tough questions, not judge you, hold you accountable, and of course keep everything confidential.

You may meet with your life coach face to face, over the phone, or on video chat. You and the coach will determine the schedule. Maybe you want to meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The goal is to figure out the frequency that keeps you moving forward.

The quality of my life is directly proportional to the quality of the relationships that I keep.

Is a Life Coach Right for You?

Before seeking out a life coach, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you ready to make changes?
  2. Is your mind open to looking at things from different perspectives?
  3. Do you have time, or are you willing to make time to take steps toward changing your life?

If you say no to any of these, a life coach may not make much difference in your life at this time. You must realize a life coach is not a genie that will make all of your wishes come true. They are there to guide you and hold you accountable if you ask them to.

However, they cannot do the work for you, the desire has to come from you. If you say no to any of these, but you want to say yes, be upfront and honest with your coach so they can help you identify what’s in your way.

The best thing I can do for those around me is to accept them entirely precisely where they are, right now.

What’s Your Experience with a Life Coach?

When I told friends I was seeing a Life Coach, the most common response was, “What’s that?” It was a question I wasn’t ready to answer.

“Someone who can help me figure out my life, what I’m doing here, what my purpose is.” My friends didn’t get it.

The Merriam-Webster definition says a life coach is an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems. But I felt like mine was so much more than that. I hope yours will be more for you too.

The difference between your dreams and reality is called ‘action.’

If you are interested in knowing about Narcolepsy Coaching, click here! Spoiler alert- it’s not so different from life coaching…

Originally published on Medium September 3, 2019

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