Working with a life coach is a highly personal experience that involves quality one-on-one time and deep meaningful inquiry. Most people who choose a life coach are not only looking for someone to partner with to relieve and heal emotional pain but also someone who can teach them how to do that for themselves. It’s a more intimate process than reading a book or doing an online course, and that’s why, when clients and coaches are matched well, profound life changes take place organically.
So, who goes to a life coach?
It’s often people who seek a deeper understanding of their situation and challenges—individuals who have perhaps already tried a method or two on their own and were left with gaps still unaddressed. Through one-on-one life coaching such persons can access a more individualized approach to their emotional healing and, together with their coach, can co-create a process that is both effective and feels genuine. Such a program is often customized with the guidance of the client during the coaching sessions and built to respect and consider that individual’s ways of thinking and feeling, as well as allow the appropriate amount of time for progress to take place.
Contrary to popular belief, seeing a coach is not about being given advice; it’s about learning to give oneself advice that can be trusted. The best coaches combine their powerful self-inquiry tools with their clients’ personal life experiences to build new nurturing patterns, release sabotaging behaviors, and implement long-term fulfilling strategies. At first, the coach will act as an accountability partner for the ongoing emotional work, but in time, the coach will be needed less frequently as the client will become continually more confident from within.
Here are 7 of the most common ways working with a life coach impacts individuals:
- Improved self-acceptance and self-compassion. Most people tend to put a lot of pressure and expectations on themselves. Life coaching encourages a gentler attitude toward the aspects of being a less-than-perfect human being while finding ways to facilitate progress.
- Expanded perspective. Advice from a friend or family member tends to offer information filtered through personal attachment. Coaches are trained to remain uninvolved and can more effectively expand their client’s perspective. Soliciting a second opinion about an important aspect of life from a professional coach can offer the reassurance needed or a brand new way of seeing the situation that wouldn’t have been otherwise considered.
- Identification and best use of strengths and weaknesses. Few people are aware of all the intricate aspects of their own personalities and character. Self-assessment skills built in life-coaching sessions allow individuals to discover versions of themselves they are not yet aware of—it’s like running a personal audit.
- Awareness of emotional needs and the support necessary to have them met. Just like most buildings require scaffolding during a renovation, most people also need a structured coach for the additional support necessary as they go about creating progress in their emotional lives. Some of the most successful people in leadership and business work with coaches on a regular basis to help fine-tune and support them through their growth.
- Reduction of self-sabotaging behaviors. Emotional health achieved through life coaching helps people move from “emotions are hell” toward “emotions are supportive.” Coaches combine clients’ self-awareness with implementation strategies to create healthy new habits.
- Reduced anxiety and depression. Many life coaches act as partners in healing, assisting clients to minimize stress and design personalized and comprehensive stress-management programs.
- Healthier relationship development. Having clear boundaries with others, and raising emotional resilience and emotional intelligence are important benefits of working with a life coach.
Life coaching enables regular people to become their own built-in, take-along inner therapist—whom they can access wherever they are and no matter what is happening. This offers lifelong benefits of self-reliance and self-empowerment.
This article was published in Natural Awakenings Low-country Edition.