Many who come into my world know what life coaching is, but some don’t and I wanted to explain what it is, how and why I coach and how it can help you. Sometimes when something is unknown or misunderstood we miss opportunities to utilise its power or enjoy its benefits, so I want to demystify that for anyone who reads this blog.
What is life coaching?
With all my 20+ years of experience coaching others and being coached myself this is how I would explain it:
Life coaching is an enabler to unlocking your truest potential, creating deeper self awareness and compassion for yourself and others, and helps you overcome your inner blocks and limitations. Through life coaching you gain and form insights and perspectives about yourself, others and the world around you that you hadn’t noticed or seen before. It’s a pathway towards feeling empowered and more confident in yourself in an holistic sense, not in just one area.
Coaching is a partnership between two people (the coach and the client) where they both make a commitment to the process and experience in equal measure. I see it as the coach bringing their time, skills and supportiveness, and the client bringing their openness and willingness to discover their own solutions and insights and make changes, even if they have no idea how; it’s about trusting the process.
How does life coaching work?
Firstly, and arguably most importantly, life coaching, like any form of coaching, only works if both parties trust one another and have a genuine connection or rapport. Qualified coaches, like myself, and those with good honour, abide by a code of conduct that treats individuals with respect, confidentiality and non-judgement. Someone will only open up, reveal their honest selves, thoughts and beliefs if they feel safe to do so. It’s my job as a coach to create such a space for you to feel able to share anything without fear of judgement in order for you to gain the greatest healing, benefit and transformation.
Coaching works in many ways and each coach has their own style, method and approach. It works on the basic principle of a client coming to the coach with a problem or desire to change for the better and the coach asking probing, open questions to elicit self-learning, ideas, solutions, different perspectives and insights from the client in order for them to gain clarity and confidence to overcome the issue, improve their performance or behaviour and make positive changes. Coaching works to empower the other person, so don’t expect to be told the answers necessarily, rather expect to unveil your own inner wisdom and what feels right for you!
What can life coaching help with?
Life coaching can help with pretty much any problem or aspiration.
Where you feel frustrated, resentful, stuck or lost, life coaching can really help you unpack what’s causing those feelings and challenge your ingrained beliefs and perspective, to shine a light on what’s not serving you and tap into your own wisdom and overcome your blocks. Innately we know the answers to our issues, but a great coach will help you unlock them and ignite your inner power to move forward in ways that work for you.
If you have goals and aspirations, life coaching is a superb enabler to help you create deeper clarity and aligned momentum to walk courageously forward on your life path towards greater fulfilment.
Sometimes we just can’t do things alone. We just can’t see ourselves fully or clearly enough (or don’t want to!). Think of all the self-help, personal development books you’ve read and not implemented the learnings from yet. Coaching helps you turn the ideas, the insights into tangible action to create new habits and embed lasting change. It’s like a self-help book in action, with support and encouragement along the way!
What are the benefits of life coaching?
Let’s be clear that coaching isn’t something that’s done to you and hey presto, you’re ‘fixed’. The endless benefits of coaching can only be realised if the coaching client has a desire to change and to take the action to change. It’s not about theories, it’s about the practice of being open to learning about yourself, tuning into your own inner wisdom AND taking the courageous step forward. A coach can’t do any of that, rather they’re there to support and guide you through those steps … and then the benefits come along.
Life coaching has so many benefits, but for me and my clients I’d say the top benefits are:
- Increased self-awareness, self-confidence and self-belief
- Identifying and working through limiting beliefs
- Clarity and courage to move forward
- Feeling empowered and stepping into their unique power
- Renewed sense of purpose, momentum and feelings of fulfilment
- Greater compassion for self and others
- Recognition of and gratitude for their own skills, qualities, character, experience
- Inner calm and enhanced well-being
- Improved relationships and more genuine connection to others
- Healing past wounds for themselves and generations to come
- A more wholesome, genuine, peaceful way of living life
What coaching is not.
⃤ Coaching isn’t about being given solutions, it’s about being empowered to discover your own.
⃤ It’s not about being ‘fixed’, it’s more about learning to appreciate and leverage all that you are, so you can step into your fullest, truest expression of yourself.
⃤ Typically, coaching isn’t about being told what to do, or being taught something. However, being intuitively guided and empathetic, if it’s appropriate, I will weave teaching, personal knowledge, advice and guidance into client sessions. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know which can cause frustration, limitation and stagnation, so I feel it’s also my role to help someone see a way forward via an alternate perspective or insight.
⃤ Coaching is not therapy. Although the benefits of sessions can feel very therapeutic, if you have a health or mental health problem, please do seek specialist support.
⃤ Sadly, a coach cannot do the ‘work’ for you. You have to be open, curious, give yourself time, take action and embody the future you. I will, however, gladly help guide you, support and enable you and hold you accountable on your journey and in the space we create together.
Why I personally love being a life coach.
Coaching has been in my blood since my early career years – there was something special about seeing the spark in others eyes, or the relief wash over them, as I helped them find the answer they needed or for an insight to reveal itself to them. It felt amazing to help unlock their potential, to help them realise their own power and build their own self-belief. Sometimes I could have screamed at people for the obvious potential they had, but couldn’t see for themselves. Coaching was my way of helping them open their eyes to their own inner magic (without the screming!) and go on to do amazing things, make courageous changes or steps, or really own and embrace their lives more fully.
As a child, like many, I felt inclined to be the ‘good girl’, wanting to make others proud of me, while not upsetting others, thus keeping my voice and talents small. I’d rebel, and instantly feel bad about it. I’d strive for independence, yet feel guilty for doing so. It created quite an inner conflict that I’m still unravelling to this day. It also gifted me empathy, intuition, an incredible ear for listening and a deep need to connect with others and help them safe to be themselves. It fuelled my passion for helping serve the world in some way, to heal our inner demons, to help others shine their light and for people to stand up proudly, unashamedly being their truest, fullest selves. Coaching brings all these elements within me beautifully together to help others so they don’t feel stifled or not good enough, like I used to. I’m proud and grateful for everything I’ve experienced in my life and for who I am today because of it … and I love nothing more than empowering others to get to this place of inner belief, confidence, fulfilment and peace, too. It’s definitely a heart-full vocation!
I hope this helps answer your questions about coaching and also give you some insight into how I coach.
If you feel that life coaching is what you need, my last piece of advice is to follow your own instincts and work with someone who you connect and feel safe working with. There are thousands upon thousands of coaches out there, and not everyone will feel right for you. Although I am an NLP, CBT and ICF trained coach, I won’t even say you should choose someone who is qualified, as I’ve been coached by incredible people who have a natural gift yet who are not formally trained. Just because someone is trained doesn’t make them a good coach or the right coach for you. You’ll know who feels right and who doesn’t, so trust those feelings.
I also wrote this blog to help you choose the right life coach for you. We’re all different and these key tips will help you choose well: Find the Right Life Coach.
Of course, if you’d like to see if we click, you can book a free Discovery Call here and we can talk more.
With love, Jo x