“What is life coaching?” is a question I get asked often.
Depending on the situation, these are the ways I most often answer:
If I’ve got 20 seconds:
Think of a personal trainer. A client goes into the gym because they want to see some specific change in their physical appearance, so they hire a personal trainer who can help them meet those goals without having to learn all about exercise and physiology, come up with training programs, learn about nutrition, etc. The trainer fast-tracks the client to where they want to be. So what does that person do when they want to see some specific change outside of their physical appearance? They would hire a life coach.
If I’ve got a few minutes:
A life coach helps a client create results for specific goals that they have. Some coaches are specialists and will only work with executives, some are money whisperers that help people create financial freedom. Some are relationship coaches that help their clients create meaningful marriages.
There are some, like me, who are general life coaches. That means that we work with clients on a wide variety of goals. I’ve got clients who are transitioning businesses, working to create more meaningful home lives, figuring out how to retire, finding ways to get more clients of their own, as well as clients who are trying to create a better balance between the work they love and the people they love. General life coaching tends to be less laser focused and a little more big-picture oriented. We want to know why that goal is important and figure out how attaining it might affect other parts of your life.
We also help folks who don’t know what their goals are yet. The seemingly simple act of creating a goal can oftentimes feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t have any ideas about what you want to happen in your life. Having an effective coach means having somebody to bounce ideas around with, somebody to help clarify your thoughts, and somebody who can help you orchestrate your next steps to get you where you want to be FAST.
We LOVE to see our clients get the things they want and need, and we appreciate that we get to be a part of that process. I know that I absolutely love the look on a client’s face when the goal that they thought was impossible is now a reality. I love being a part of empowering people to create the lives that they want and deserve.
What’s the difference between a coach and a psychiatrist?
This is another question that I get asked a lot and one which is really important for people to understand. The easiest way to explain it is that psychiatrists (a.k.a. therapists and shrinks) often focus on understanding your past, with the idea that the key to your future is back there in the things that have already happened to you. Coaches are far more focused on the future. We want people to take control of their lives to create the environment they need. This comes with a big dose of optimism that everybody, at some level, is able to change who they are in order to get the things they want and that our past is not necessarily a limiting factor.
Coaches are focused on creating and attaining goals with their clients. If something in your past is really holding you back from that goal then we are happy to dive in and look at the past with you, but only as much as is necessary to get you moving on the road forward.
You aren’t broken.
The last important thing that I always let people know is that they aren’t ‘broken’, and I am definitely not here to ‘fix’ them. Nobody NEEDS a coach or a therapist in my opinion. Many people get value out of one or both of them however because they make the CHOICE to work towards a better version of themselves. For some this thought is terrifying and for some, it is liberating. Either way though, you don’t need me in order to be a whole and awesome human. I simply help to fast-track you to where you were already going.
So, what do YOU want to work towards?