What is a life coach?
I think many of us have this vague idea in our minds about what a life coach is, but don’t really have a clue beyond that. I always imagined someone who jogs alongside you on your morning run and shouts encouragement at you- it’s silly I know but when I consider what many people are missing, it would be the right kind of motivation to get up and go.
As it turns out there’s a little more to it than that- mixing in counseling techniques with language analysis and general social skills, personal trainers go through some very thorough classes so they can be prepared to ask the right questions and engage in open dialogue with the highest effectiveness.
Personal trainers are usually employed to help you reach specific personal milestones, which you would discuss ahead of time to establish what exactly you want to achieve. Life coaches are also trained to identify any goal limiting behaviors and language you may use to help you maintain a more realistic mindset when approaching your goals. Bamae has set out some of the main ways that personal trainers can benefit us, so you can see if a life coach sounds like something you might benefit from.
Help to pinpoint your main goals
By focusing on specific areas of your life that you want to improve, you can work towards your goals with far greater effectiveness. The main aim for life coaches is to help you reach your true potential and to approach life’s hurdles in a way that’s fair and realistic to you so you don’t miss any opportunities. Some of the most common areas that work coaches can help you are creating a work-life balance, or to help you improve your communication skills. They can also help you in your social and business relationships, or even start your own business.
To achieve this, most coaches will talk with you at length to pinpoint exactly what it is you are looking to do- either a life goal or what is motivating you. By asking you questions surrounding these areas, your coach can figure out the best plans to identify what limits you face, and how you would typically approach them. They can then create a tailored plan specifically to help you stay on track, which (most importantly) will be adjusted accordingly. Self-evaluation is an invaluable skill, and as we change the steps we take do too. Life coaches won’t achieve your goals for you but will instead help you reach your own conclusions and goals with greater precision.
Help identify your limits
It’s normal to be a little judgmental, we all do it from time to time. The problems here arise when we start to miss out on opportunities because we give up too early- if you don’t have your own back in the more difficult moments it can be extremely tough to make any decisions at all. If you find that your internal monologue is rather negative and you tend to dissuade yourself from making choices that can benefit you, then this could be an area that needs some attention. This is also true when considering failure- if you find that bad news or blows to your confidence make it hard for you to keep up your usual stride, then there are methods to help you hit the ground running. Life coaches can help you notice any self-limiting language or behaviours and gradually distance yourself from them, so you can always see the bigger picture.
A space to think intuitively and on your own terms
Sometimes what we need is a soundboard for our ideas- somewhere we can work through our mental notes without fear of judgment. It can be hard to make sense of the constant mental stream we flit through on the daily, never mind actually creating something proactive from it.
This is where life coaches come in- they ask the right questions to narrow down what you need and listen without judgment. This isn’t to say that life counseling is a replacement for therapy, but more a way to create clear goals in your own time. It may be that an outside perspective is exactly what you need- it can be hard to see the bigger picture when you’re in the middle of it all.
Give you that extra push you need
For many of us, we can be far more motivated when we try to reach our goals with a friend or a colleague. By doing this we hold ourselves accountable to others and are responsible for keeping up our commitments with them. This can be the extra push that some of us need to maintain our proactive habits, and life coaches can help tap into this helpful little method. Many of us put off our tasks for a later date and then become frustrated that we have made little progress- we may procrastinate or fear judgment from others and so avoid it completely. It’s always important to be patient with yourself in these moments- we all do it from time to time, but having a life coach can make that first step feel a little bit easier.
Help you engage and be present
As stated previously, it can be hard to not get swept up in the moment and stop thinking clearly, especially if a situation is causing us distress. Life coaches aim to help you stay in the present moment and face any obstacles head-on, and to take an attentive stance in your own life. This may sound simple, but being more self-aware is an extremely valuable skill that takes constant practice.
Ultimately, life coaches set the stage for us to become the best version of ourselves. We can improve our confidence and problem-solving skills; improve our interpersonal relationships and critical thinking. The key is learning the most effective ways to start the process going forward and to keep up with these changes even when they feel like a hurdle- we already have all the tools we need.