What is a Life Coach? 5 things you need to know.
Have you been seeing all the life coaches pop up in your social feeds lately? Wondering what they even do? Well you’re in the right place!
Life Coaching is not a new profession by any means. It began in the 1980s with Thomas Leonard, an American financial planner who recognized his clients wanted more than just financial advice, they needed support in organizing their lives and planning how to achieve their goals.
In the 90s he created the first formal life coach training program (CoachU) as well as the International Coaching Federation (ICF), which was the first body to create a Code of Ethics for coaches.
Today coaching is one of the fastest growing professions in the world. According to the ICF’s 2020 Global Coaching Study Final Report, between 2015 and 2019 the number of professional coaches worldwide increased by 33% globally and 33% in North America!
Let’s dive into answering some of the most common questions about Life Coaching so you can decide whether it’s right for you.
1) What Exactly Is Life Coaching?
There is no one specific definition of a life coach. However, the ICF defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
A professional life coach is not a mentor, consultant, therapist, or advisor. Coaches do not have all the answers, nor are there to give advice. What coaches have is the experience to ask the right questions that will help you tap into your own wisdom and discover your own answers. Because YOU are the expert on you – no one else.
The Best Life Coach will help you deep dive into your beliefs and values so that you can get clear on your goals, make a plan to achieve them, and effectively execute your plan.
Key Benefits of Coaching
The Best Life Coach Will:
- Guide you as you define, refine, and work to achieve your goals.
- Help you break through the noise to connect to YOUR inner wisdom and bring it to the surface.
- Provide a safe space to talk through your ideas and/or problems, listen actively, echo back your thoughts, and ask powerful questions. So you can breakthrough holding you back and make you’re incredible ideas become reality.
- Support you in finding ways to hold yourself accountable.
2) Who Needs A Life Coach?
A football player needs a football coach; a swimmer needs a swim coach; a singer needs a vocal coach; and a liver needs a life coach. In short, Life Coaching is for everyone living a life!
You might be wondering, what can a life coach do for me? The answer is simple, a life coach can help you identify and make progress in pretty much any area of your life help you feel more fulfilled.
Think about how many times have you talked to family and/or friends about your problems, goals, plans, etc., only to walk away from the conversation wondering why you even bothered?
We’ve all been there!
Friends and family have the best intentions, but the truth is that you already have all the answers. You just need a safe space and someone to help you figure them out. Which is what a Life Coach does.
You’ll be surprised the answers that come up when someone else asks you the questions you’ve already been asking yourself for years!
Some signs you might want to work with a Life Coach:
- You are going through a big life transition
- You have high levels of stress and/or anxiety
- You feel a lack of fulfillment in your career or relationships
- You feel stuck or a lack of creativity
- You struggle to break undesirable habits and build healthy ones.
3) What Life Coach Do I Need?
Life Coaches can be generalists, or they can specialize in one of many different areas. For example, life or career transitions, relationships, parenting, communication, energy, wellness, mindset, confidence, business, and/or teenagers just to name a few.
Therefore the type of coach you need will depend on what you hope to get out of the relationship.
The coaching industry is unregulated and no one life coach certification is the best, so you want to take the time to work out what your needs are and find someone who has experience in the area.
Your Guide to Finding the Right Life Coach
This simple guide will help you:
☑️ Understand what a Life Coach does and how to find the right one for your needs.
☑️ Gain clarity on what you want from a coach and where to find one that can understands you.
☑️ Finally get the support you want so you can start living your Best Life!
4) What Is The Difference Between A Life Coach & A Therapist?
One of the most common misconceptions we hear about life coaching is that it’s some sort of therapy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although life coaches and therapists occasionally help clients with similar problems, our work is not the same.
𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗽𝘆 (or counselling) is a process where you with a healthcare professional to diagnose and resolve problems. A lot of the focus in therapy is on uncovering and healing past traumas to change self-destructive habits and improve relationships for a better future. Therapy helps to work through your past to heal and find closure. Therapists also diagnose and treat mental illness.
𝗖𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴, on the other hand, is a process where you work with a certified life coach to clarify goals, work through obstacles, and set a clear and achievable path forward. Coaching focuses on the present and is aimed at helping you take control and live your Best Life! Coaches are guides and cheerleaders. Unlike therapists, they do not diagnose or treat mental disorders.
𝙎𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪?
Many people work with both therapists and life coaches.
A great analogy is to think of preparing to climbing a mountain, like Everest. Would you hire a doctor, a guide, or both? The therapist is the doctor. They get you well enough to take on the challenges ahead. The life coach is the guide. They know the way and can help you reach the peak
Maybe you need one, or maybe you want both?! Ultimately it is a personal choice.
5) How Do I Find a Coach?
A quick Google search will bring up a ton of coaches. At the Best Life Coach Collective we make it easy for you! You can search our Find a Coach Directory for professional life coaches that have been through our rigorous application process. We did the work so you don’t have to!
Arrange a free discovery call with any of our coaches to get a feel for their style and if you will be a good fit for working together.
Life coaching has been around for decades and many of the world’s most successful people have worked with a coach to get to where they are today. Oprah has attributed some of her success to her life coach. Leonardo DiCaprio, Serena Williams, and Hugh Jackman have also reportedly worked with a coach.
Ultimately the point of a life coach is to help you live your BEST life. By the end of your coaching sessions you should have all the tools you need to life coach yourself.
Last modified: September 8, 2021
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