I have been a Life Coach for more than eight years, and I hear this question a lot: What is life coaching? Similar to other practices, such as consulting, mentoring, and therapy, Life Coaching is a one-to-one relationship that incorporates some aspects of each of those modalities. However, Life Coaching is defined by its philosophy that the client has all of the answers within them. A Life Coach will help you reframe your way of thinking and define your goals based on what you value. He or she will support you in creating the life you desire while bringing out the best in you.
Life Coaching is not therapy or counseling. Traditionally, therapy focuses on fixing problems or resolving issues that have happened in the past. Although Life Coaches will acknowledge the past, they won’t spend too much time there. Coaching is about moving you, the client, forward from where you are now to where you would like to be.
The best Life Coach is someone who is creative, non-judgmental, asks powerful and revealing questions, and is a good listener. Their purpose is not fix you but to help you manage and enjoy your life. Life Coaches have unwavering faith that you have your own answers, and it is their job to draw those out of you so that you can attract the things that you desire and create a life you love.
How Is Life Coaching Different from Mentoring or Consulting?
A mentor has a proven process that he or she will ask you to follow so that you can create your own success that is based on his or her specific method. A consultant will look for problems and find ways to solve them for you. Coaching, on the other hand, is a partnership between the client and the Coach. Your Life Coach will not identify your problems or tell you what to do to fix them.
At this point, you might be wondering why you would want to work with someone who makes you figure out your own answers instead of just telling you what to do. I believe the power of connecting with your own truth can be infinite.
Think about all of the times your parents or teachers told you not to do something or that you should do something. Unless you really understood for yourself why you wanted to do or not do those things, you were probably unsuccessful or, at best, inconsistent in following through. It is the moment that you realize for yourself why you want something that the real magic happens.
At times, a consultant or mentor will be exactly what you need to resolve whatever it is that is holding you back. They may have knowledge that will support you on your journey to reaching your goals. However, consulting and mentoring don’t connect you with your own natural motivators, especially if you are unclear or unwilling to do the things that are being asked of you. Imagine how your motivation might be affected when you are working on a plan that you created versus being told what you should do. A Life Coach will partner with you to create a plan that will help get you closer to your goals and then help you stay on track, working through any of the blocks or obstacles that might be getting in the way of your ability to follow through. Coaches are experts in asking questions, utilizing tools, and methods that help YOU produce the results that YOU want.