Do you often get asked what you do for a living when you meet someone for the first time? It is a very common ‘getting to know you’ type question and when I say I am a ‘Life Coach’, people at times look perplexed. The brave ones go a step further and ask: ‘So what is a life coach exactly and why would I need one?’
Before I provide them with my answer I like putting the spotlight back at them first (after all most people like talking about themselves) and I challenge them to answer the following question: ‘Do you believe you are living your highest potential in everything you do in your life right now?’ I am yet to meet a person who says ‘Yes’ to this question, by the way. Many people are either in careers they don’t enjoy or/and are procrastinating about certain life changes they’ve been longing to make. When drilling a bit deeper, fear and limiting beliefs surface as the most common reasons for feeling stuck or unfulfilled. However almost everybody says if they knew how to go about changing their situation and they had someone to support them, they would likely pursue it.
It is exactly in these situations where a role of a coach (life or business) comes into play and can make a big difference to someone’s path in life.
Summer Engman, a fellow coach expressed the impact of a coach in a very interesting context in her recent article on Huffington Post where she writes: “Have you ever had the experience of being on a vacation and feeling wild, free and truly alive for the first time in a while? It’s that moment when you suddenly realize what’s really important in life and wonder how you could have ever been so caught up in all the trivialities of your day to day grind.
That’s what it feels like when my coach blows open my perspective. Except I get to experience it every week and regularly put it into practice as I build my life based on my dreams.”
A COACH IS NOT A CONSULTANT
‘So are you telling me a coach is not someone who will tell me what to do?’ And there you have it, misconception number one. There is a difference between a consultant who you might hire in your business to analyse a problem or to help you with a project and a coach. In these instances, a consultant would suggest a solution for you. It is most definitely not what coaches do.
A good coach has a very high no BS detector and helps you set some meaningful goals supercharged with strong underpinning action items that you then carry out in between of sessions. But at all times, it is you who is in charge of your goals, formulating them and pursuing them through inspired action. A coach will hold you accountable and discuss anything that might come up as a result of the change process. They might challenge your perspective to initiate a productive discussion but they would never tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.
A COACH IS NOT A GURU
Misconception number two is that coaches know better and they have some secret formulas for success. Those who tell you that, are very good sales people, not coaches. There is no such thing as an overnight success and further more what works for one person may not work for another. We are all unique and a good coach knows that.
A coach might reach for an example of a situation they experienced themselves as a demonstration of a challenge however they wouldn’t be using it as an example of best practice.
A COACH IS NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST
Misconception number three is that coaches play a role similar to that of psychologists. There is a distinct difference between someone who is ready to set some life changing goals and someone who needs help and support in overcoming ongoing difficulties.
A person who is ready for coaching is also ready to do the work. They are persistent with their actions, have an internal drive and ‘hunger’ for change and show up for their sessions on time and excited to work with a coach just to name a few traits.
Signs like frequent rescheduling, being unprepared for sessions and finding constant excuses indicate that the person might be distracted by a deeper underlining issue, which might require closer attention by a counselor. Depression, addiction or deflection would be some of the examples of situations where a coach would recommend seeking help from a psychologist.
The end of the year is often the most common time we do our ‘inventory’ of what we’ve achieved and what might have slipped our attention. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the only time, though when we set goals. Keeping on track with progress takes a degree of dedication and accountability, which is where a coach can play a very important role for you.
I would encourage you to consider working with a coach if something in this article resonated within you. It can make a difference to you having a super productive and life changing year or another one where you play the ‘coulda-woulda-shoulda’ song in December.
What is it going to be, Lovers? Have a super productive week and share your intentions for the New Year with me if you feel so inclined. I’d love to hear from you.
Love and light,
SIDE HUSTLE TO FREEDOM
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