Life coaching is defined as: "A purposeful conversation between two people, that inspires them to step out of their comfort zones and take the initial steps towards doing what they want and being who they want to be."
Life Coaching unlike many other types of Psychological therapies or emotionally supportive interventions, assumes that the client is able to mobilise their energy, and has sufficient internal resources to take responsibility, take the necessary actions and make necessary the changes that will enable them to achieve fulfilment and balance in their lives. The coaching process happens in the here-and-now (rather than focusing on earlier traumas or childhood development). We look at what it is that has someone feeling stuck and what the obstacles and challenges are that is causing this immobility or paralysis. The process is short-term, solution-based, pro-active and goal-oriented. It examines what is going on in the person's life right now, unpacking what their obstacles or challenges are, and formulating a course of action to help them achieve the things that they want in life. If you are utterly overwhelmed and "broken", if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless and useless, if you are deeply depressed or crippled by anxiety and require supportive and deep, healing, long-term therapy, or are wanting someone to "fix" you and pick up the pieces for you, then Life Coaching is not for you. The role of a Life Coach is to be an inspiring mentor who inspires, empowers and sometimes confronts and challenges you along your journey. It is YOUR journey and you have chosen the direction and destination and pit-stops along the way. The Life Coach will help provide soul food along the way, by inspiring you and helping you manage goals in bitable bits and chewable chunks, so that you don't choke by biting off too much to chew! The Life Coach will inspire and challenge you, (s)he will expect responsibility and accountability, (s)he will empower you to step outside your comfort zone and question your beliefs and perspective so that you can become your best and most functional and fulfilled version of yourself. You will identify hurdles and make the changes necessary to overcome them, you will identify goals and take the necessary steps of action to achieve them. The Life Coach is not a Guru, an adviser, a counsellor, an emotional crutch.... but rather a facilitator and mentor. A Life Coach is not there to hold your hand, but (s)he is there to "have your back" and keep you on track - to keep you REAL, to help you manage your expectations, to ensure you take responsibility and are accountable for your actions (and inaction).
Life coaching fundamentally believes that YOU are the expert on you, and that you hold your "truth" or answers within. It also believes that fundamentally you have the internal drive, motivation and capability of becoming WHO it is you want to be and doing what it is you want to do. The life coach is simply an expert of the coaching process, and their goal is simply to help the person discover what their own personal 'best' might actually be, and mobilise them to dare to be the best version of themselves that they want. Daily we make choices about what to do, and what not to. "Talk is cheap, but actions speak." Our choices affect the quality of our life, our self-esteem (sense of accomplishment), what we actually achieve and most importantly our feelings of fulfillment! By helping you to focus on your core values and the vision you have for your life, a Life Coach will encourage you to make wiser choices which in turn result in you leading a more effective, balanced, meaningful and fulfilled life. So, if you are still asking yourself whether to take the leap of faith, my answer to you is to remember that Life Coaching is not magic. So, it is up to you to decide whether you have faith in yourself and your potential; whether you are courageous enough to dare to be extra-ordinary (outstanding people usually stand out, and stand up for themselves); whether you have the resources, (time, energy and inclination to learn) to invest in yourself; whether you are brave enough to venture outside your comfort zone; and finally whether you have the trust that there must be something better in store for you at the end of this.