By Renae Leith-Manos
To find out if you need one, the first question is what is a life coach?
A life coach will usually ask you to sign up for a series of sessions to ensure you have enough time to develop your relationship and explore ideas. But there’s nothing to be afraid of – it is a relaxing and enlightening process, and different from traditional therapy therapy as Life Coach Domonique Bertolucci explains; “ A life coaching session should feel relaxed and natural, just like a regular conversation, except that the coach does all the asking and the client provides the answers. Like counselling or therapy, life coaching is an ‘ask’ based discipline. [as compared to training or consulting, which are ‘tell’ based).
Life coaches work with fundamentally happy, healthy people who want to move their lives from fine to fantastic.Most counsellors or therapists work with people who have issues they need to resolve in order to move forward in their life. Life coaches work with fundamentally happy, healthy people who want to move their lives from fine to fantastic.
Life coaches work with fundamentally happy, healthy people who want to move their lives from fine to fantastic.
Sessions are outcome focussed, so clients set goals, discuss options and agree actions. A life coach will also look at the internal changes a client needs to make to achieve their goals, like building confidence and self esteem, overcoming limiting beliefs and conquering fears.
Life coaching is life changing, but not always for the reasons you think. You can learn a lot about yourself through the process, and about what you want from life.
If you answer yes to some of these, a life coach may be for you:
1) You want something in your life to change, whether it be improved fitness, health, better relationships, a new job or anything else.
“A lot of people don’t know what a life coach is until confronted with one, and then they quickly realise how life changing and beneficial they can be,” explains life coach Katie Humbert. “For me it happened at a fitness expo several years ago. I was introduced to one, and had some sessions where we focussed on nutrition as well as fitness, and my life subsequently changed significantly. Interestingly, the changes were not limited to health but filtered into other areas of my life in a positive way.”
2) You want someone to listen, help and support you in a specific area of your life.
Many life coaches specialise, and there are a lot of areas of specialisation from business to relationships, fitness, family, health and so on. “Choosing someone who specialises in the area you want to focus on is important” says dating and relationships life coach Deb Smith. “They can fully support you through the process, and often they have had their own experience in the same area, so know how to help. Ten years ago for example, I was struggling with my own issues, and someone recommended I see a life coach, and after six sessions, I saw results. I have been married and divorced and then married again. I know how difficult it can be not only to meet someone but to maintain a relationship.
3) You don’t have a lot of time to invest, but you want major change.
A life coach can quickly help you re-frame every aspect of your life. The key is they draw the skills and information out of you to do it all yourself. Many life coaches will coach you over the phone or on skype. You have to commit to a minimum of six sessions initially, and you will have follow up work. Sessions typically go for one hour.
4) You don’t want to dwell on or go over the past.
“One of the big differences between life coaching and other therapies is that life coaching is about looking forwards. It is not about the past, but the future, and working out what you want and how to get it. Life coaching sessions are outcome focussed. Clients set goals, discuss options and agree actions. A life coach will also look at the internal changes a client needs to make to achieve their goals, like building confidence and self esteem, overcoming limiting beliefs and conquering fears.” Deb Smith says.
5) Something in your life has changed and you want to change with it, such as getting married, moving to a new location, changing careers.
Many people don’t realise that any life change – negative or positive is a catalyst for change and you may need a new direction and support in re-structuring your life or the way you view i. Most life coaching is conducted as a ‘program’ of sessions, often a minimum of 12. At the end of each session you agree on a series of actions he/she commits to undertake prior to the next session. Some of these actions will be determined by the client and others will be exercises or activities initiated by the coach.
“In a sentence, we all have resources inside us, and a life coach helps you get in touch with that resource, and get the most out of your life, ” says Katie.
Most life coaches offer a free initial consultation so you can test the water and see if you get along with the life coach, and see how you feel about the discipline. The best way to go is look for someone in your local area, near your workplace or home or get a reccommendation from a friend.
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