Everyone needs a little help, from time to time. Life has moments that are beautiful, amazing, and inspiring. But as we all know, it can also be stressful, frustrating and overwhelming. So how do you achieve a healthy balance with all the balls you’re juggling, plus making decent progress towards your long-term goals? A growing number of Americans have found answers and relief in a life coach.
Why? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Life Coach?
A life coach is a trained professional who helps you reach your goals and get the most out of your life. That’s the short answer. This can include improving your relationships, advancing your career, and finding more fulfillment in your day-to-day life.
Life coaches will push you to identify and create goals in your target areas, then they’ll hold you accountable and encourage you as you take the steps to reach them. Just like a financial advisor, insurance agent or tax professional helps you get to where you want to be with your finances, a life coach helps you create strategies to overcome obstacles in your life using your unique skills, gifts and resources.
One thing to consider when selecting a coach is that the most effective life coaches complete extensive training. This is important, since rapidly growing field of life-coaching has gotten a little murky. It’s a $2.85 billion industry that is completely unregulated. The International Coaching Federation estimates that there are 71,000 professional life coaches globally with 23,000 of them in North America alone.
How Do You Know if You Need a Life Coach?
First, many people find the need for life coaches to help with guidance in navigating significant life changes or help reaching big goals in their career or personal lives. Have you started a new career? Recently married or divorced? Grieving the death of someone dear to you? These are signs you might need some extra help.
Here are few other signs:
- You lack fulfillment with relationships.
- You’re dissatisfied at work and feel plateaued in your career.
- You have high levels of stress and/or anxiety about day-to-day functions.
- Bad habits have you feeling guilty and stuck.
- You are having trouble reaching your long-term goals.
- You feel stuck in a rut.
- Your life isn’t “where you want it to be.”
- You’re having trouble with life balance.
Other people turn to life coaches for general help in reaching their life goals or other long-term objectives. There doesn’t have to be a specific reason or crisis. Sometimes a little outside perspective goes a long way. Many people have turned to life coaches to enhance their lives, finding more happiness and deeper meaning.
How Can a Life Coach Help You?
Working with a life coach helps you take that big step from where you are to the life you’ve always imagined. Here are some of the benefits you could look forward to in working with a specialized life coach:
- Figure out your core values and what you want out of life.
- Become free from your fears and the anxiety that holds you back.
- Enjoy stronger relationships with family and friends.
- Find a healthy balance between work and your personal life.
- Start a new business or be a better leader.
- Find more satisfaction at work and perform at your highest levels.
- Improve your communication skills.
- Branch out into new relationships.
- Identify any beliefs that could be limiting your success.
One of the primary benefits of working with a life coach is the opportunity to gain fresh perspective on who you are and the unique struggles you face. In addition to offering extra insight into how to solve your challenges, a life coach can help you flip negative patterns that could be blocking your success. There are areas of our lives where potential could be unlocked and working with a life coach can be far more effective than going at it alone.
Sometimes, you may know there’s a problem, you just don’t know where to start. Or you may Life coaches can help you zero in on what’s going wrong in your life, and how to fix it. not even see the need to change in an area of your life that’s the very key to why you’re stuck. A life coach is like a close friend who will hold you accountable when you start heading in the wrong direction. We all need tough love from time to time – from a neutral perspective. We also need someone who encourages us and can bring out the absolute best out of us.
How Does a Life Coach Work?
The relationship between a client and their coach is a special one. It’s definitely a partnership. From the outset, you’ll lay out what it is you want out of the collaboration. Your coach will express his or her expertise to address your expectations as necessary. They will encourage you on a journey of self-discovery and growth, laying out strategies and the best steps to help you reach your goals based on your personality and desires.
While it varies from person to person, coaching usually consists of a series of one-on-one sessions that typically last 45 to 60 minutes each. Meetings can take place bi-weekly or as far apart as monthly based on client need. You and your coach agree on what works best for you at the outset, and changes can be made if your schedule needs to be adjusted.
In the first few life coaching sessions, your coach will go over your goals, establishing what you hope to achieve. Many people have no idea what their goals are, other than in the broadest terms. A life coach will know the right questions to ask and will help you figure out what really matters to you… your strengths, values, and those things that bring you meaning and purpose.
You’ll probably have some homework after each session. This homework will consist of specific actions your coach will have pointed out to help you reach your desired goals. This is key, as accountability is one of the main principles of a life coach. How your life coach structures his or her direction for you is obviously based on your current situation, and where you’d like to be as the months pass by.
What Types of Life Coaches are Out There?
Some life coaches take a general, all-encompassing approach, but others specialize and focus on helping people in targeted areas. If you need help in a specific area, consider one of the specialized type of coaches below:
- Business, executive, and leadership coaching
- Career coaching
- Dating and relationship coaching
- Diet and fitness coaching
- Divorce coaching
- Family life coaching
- Financial coaching
- Health and wellness coaching
- Life skills coaching
- Mental health coaching
- Sales coaching
- Spirituality coaching
- Sports coaching
- Student coaching
What Should I Look for in a Life Coach?
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of turning to a life coach? What should you be excited about and what should throw up some warning flags?
- You have a trained professional dedicated to listening and understand your needs. You can be brutally honest! Whether your needs are personal or career, getting help from a third party can be huge.
- While a sounding board for your frustration is great, but a well-trained life coach will respond with practical advice and strategies to help you find meaningful change.
- Having someone who encourages you will help you believe in you. Motivation and self-confidence is important!
- Affordability is one of the biggest constraints in hiring a life coach. Hiring a good life coach can be costly.
- Almost anyone can call themselves a “life coach,” so be picky about who you choose. There is a legal requirement to become one, and it doesn’t require a degree. Finding the right coach in a sea of coaches can sometimes be a challenge.
- It can be difficult to trust an outsider with difficult areas of your life.
Need Help Finding a Qualified Coach?
There’s obviously a lot to think about when it comes to life coaches. But it might just be the right move for you. If you need help finding a qualified life coach in the sales and leadership space, reach out to Southwestern Consulting. Our specialized, 1:1 coaches will be able to assess your situation to determine whether coaching is right for you, as well as provide a free consultation.
Get a free consultation today!
Thank you so much! I’ve had numerous mentors, managers, etc., try to help me reach my potential. This is
the first time in my life that I’ve felt that coaching is worthwhile…In the short time that we’ve worked
together, my life has changed for the better, and I owe it to you! As you know, before I met you, I was
struggling to find myself again. One of my biggest goals was getting back to who I was before I lost
confidence and clarity. Not only do I have both of those back, but I feel like I’ve surpassed my former self in
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