What is Life Coaching?

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Life Coaching is a powerful methodology designed to take you from where you are today to where you want to be. The speed and ease with which you can reach your goals and grow in life is accelerated when you work with a coach.

When considering a particular area of life, be it career, family, relationships, health, and so on, individuals fall into one of five camps:

1. I don’t know what I want;
2. I know what I want, but don’t know how to get it;
3. I know what I want and how to get it, but something keeps holding me back;
4. I know what I want, how to get it and I’m motivated and on track; and
5. I know what I want and I’ve already got it!

The life coaching process is most relevant and beneficial for those people falling into the first three camps above. A fundamental principle behind coaching is that each person knows best what they want. Friends, regardless of how well they may know you or whether they have your best interests at heart, still see your life from their perspective. Parents, mentors, counsellors and the like bring to the table their experiences and advise you on what you should do based on that. However, what may be relevant and important to them, may not always be equally so for you.

Call it gut-feel, intuition, or a hunch you generally do know what you want or don’t want at some level. It may not be at a conscious level, or worse yet it may be well hidden but at your very core you do know. An effective life coach is one who is able to help you access your own inner knowledge. In doing so, you establish what you really want in a particular scenario. The coaching techniques employed to do this vary from person to person and range from asking powerful open-ended questions and creative visualisation to considering the same subject from a variety of different perspectives.

Once you’ve established what you want, life coaching aims to increase your resourcefulness to figure out how you can get it. Again, you know best what your capabilities are and where you might need help. An effective life coach at this stage challenges and supports you to define the concrete, realistic steps you need to take going forward. Helping you clarify what your internal resources are and what you still need, as well as which things that are within or outside your control is one of the most useful functions of a coach.

Maintaining your self-confidence and motivation to do something you know is important to you is often the most challenging stage in the process. When there are no hurdles and the value of what you are pursuing is high, it’s much easier to motivate yourself. Sadly, such situations are rare. Things will not always go your way and sometimes obstacles may seem insurmountable. During this stage, the role of a life coach is to keep you focused on your goal and to reinforce why it’s important to you. Your resourcefulness often needs to be increased to deal with your challenges and your state of mind needs to be kept calm and confident to cope effectively. An effective life coach will support you with both these tasks.

People who are attracted to coaching are often already successful in some areas of their life. They want to take their success to a new level and breathe life into those areas that are not working as well as they could be. If you can see such a gap in your own life, and particularly if it’s an uncomfortably large one that’s been lingering around for a while, perhaps now is the time to take the first step toward closing it.

Jaime Rojas