Why do I Need a Life Coach?
can a life coach help you reach your personal goals?
By Marialuisa Ferro, Heal Collective
Life Coaching is big in the health, wellness and personal development landscape. However, many do not grasp the meaning of this new profession. We’ll talk about what a life coach really is and how to find the best fit for you.
How big is the coaching profession?
According to the International Coach Federation, there are approximately 53,300 coaches worldwide. This number increased from 47,500 since 2011—and the number of people seeing life coaches is rapidly rising. Even though the US is the biggest market, the trend is rapidly growing in Europe, especially in the UK, Germany, France and Scandinavia. Yet, people are sceptical about the novelty of this profession, and the fact that some ‘influencers’ call themselves coaches also makes people question the profession as a whole.
Most people are unsure about how a life coach works with clients
When I tell people I am a life coach, I am often met with “oh that’s awesome! So, what does that mean?” or “Go on then, give me a pep talk” (life coaches often get confused with motivational speakers). No—I am not ‘just like Tony Robbins’. Instead, I work alongside individuals in a thought-provoking and creative process, using tools that inspire them to maximise their personal and/or professional potential. Having trained at the Animas Centre for Coaching, I also like to define it as:
“A collaborative, non-directive conversation that brings about change through inquiry, reflection, choice and new behaviours in order to help people make courageous decisions about their life, relationships and work.”
The key-term for me is “collaborative”. We are taught—and I genuinely believe—that our clients are “creative, resourceful and whole”. You already have all the answers within you, sometimes you just need to find a way to pull them out and make them happen.
What are the differences between coaching and therapy?
I am often asked what’s the difference between coaching and therapy. Though there are some strong similarities between the two, there are also key differences:
· COaching is Focusing on the present
Therapy often delves deep into childhood, focusing on past events which may have brought on certain issues or problems. Whilst coaching can touch on this, especially if the client is already aware and brings it to a session, it concentrates on how the issues are showing up today and what can be done to acknowledge and confront them.
· The coach does not give advice
The non-advisory part of coaching sets it firmly apart from both therapy and mentoring. Although the coach can suggest certain books, articles and other activities, the client chooses whether to go ahead with any of these and advice should not be given. As I’ve mentioned, the coach believes that the client, and the client only, truly knows what is best for them and their unique situation. We bring the tools for them to make the change themselves.
Whilst life coaching can help people who have already received/receiving treatment for any mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression, it does not diagnose or treat them. That is why we refer to the people we work with as “clients” and not “patients” as we are working together to find a solution and not a cure.
So why should you get a coach?
Is there any part of your life you would like to transform? Or even simply enhance? Do you just feel a bit stuck and not sure why? Do you feel as though you are on the right(ish) path but simply not reaching your life’s potential?
If your answer to any of these questions is even a “kinda” then you could definitely benefit from a coach. Through active listening, holistic observation and incisive questioning, coaching has the potential to transform your life. This happens slowly through rewriting the way you see the world and how you understand the way it works (referred to as your life scripts and paradigms).
How do you choose the right coach for you?
Apart from word of mouth or searching directories, there are a few ways to making sure you choose the right one. Trust your gut, make sure they know what they’re doings and find a style that works with yours. Whether it’s direct and ballsy or more soft and spiritual, all coaches have unique talents and ways of working.
Life coaching is now so much more accessible than it used to be. Long gone are the days when it seemed only 50-year-old CEO’s would get a life coach to further their empire. It is a service that many can access and everyone can benefit from. Whether it’s your love life, career, health or fitness, you can get coached in any part of your life that you feel could have a boost or a complete overhaul.