March 5

Do You Need a Life Coach?


Are you wondering if a life coach is the right move for you? Maybe you’ve heard of a friend hiring a life coach or simply read about them in a magazine. If your life is like most people’s, you may have taken a hard look at your life and wondered whether you might need a life coach as well. To answer that question, you first need to know what a life coach is, what they do and what they don’t do.

A life coach provides direction and structure.

Do you have a project you’ve always wanted to do but never seem able to start? Perhaps you’ve thought about pursuing a degree and completely changing your career. Yet, you never seem to find the right time to begin. Or maybe you can’t figure out where to even start.

A life coach is, at their core, an honest to goodness coach. Yes, just like in high school – just with more adult problems and less teen anxiety. A life coach’s mission is to step into the game you’re playing with your life and whip you into shape for competition. What particular form that mission takes depends on what you consider to be a winning game.

A better work/family life balance? Sure. A better job or that promotion you’ve been wanting? You betcha. It’s up to you to define what winning is, it’s up to your coach to figure out how to get you there. 

Turning a mountain into a staircase.

Life coaches generally follow a tried and true playbook. Step one is to look at where you are right now and where you want to be. Clear goals are important here. The game plan will revolve around it. So make certain you are clear with your coach what it is you want to accomplish.

The next step is for your life coach to take your desired results and turn them into smaller, achievable steps. There will be a plan for each step and a clear target for success. This cutting up of your goals into smaller steps serves a clear purpose. It gives you realistic targets that won’t discourage or overwhelm you. Sure, getting an MBA might seem a dream goal, but seriously – you can at least fill out the entrance form by next Wednesday. 

Yes? See? That wasn’t so hard.

Now, the third part is decidedly the least fun part. Remember, it’s a life coach you’re working with – coach being the operative word here. He or she is absolutely not doing any of your work for you. A coach’s job is to whip you into shape, not carry you across the finish line. So get ready for spring training. 

When not to hire a life coach.

A life coach can be invaluable in helping you restructure your life and achieve you goals. Make sure you don’t confuse a life coach with a therapist though. A good life coach will be the first to explain this to you.

A coach’s job is to take an assessment of your current situation and habits and work with you to formulate a plan to help you reach your goals. A life coach is not interested in your past. They won’t help you explore any underlying reasons your behavior might be causing problems in your life. 

This is not to make light of these issues. Anyone who feels they need therapy should always seek it. The point is only that this is not what a coach does. Be sure a life coach is what you actually need before seeking one out. Or, simply sit down and ask a life coach directly. They will readily explain to you what they can and cannot do.

Go pro in your own life! 

You may think “Team You” isn’t performing up to your expectations. You’ve got the skills to move ahead and you’ve worked hard. Somehow though, you just aren’t quite getting over the finish line. 

Like any team having a challenging season, you may want to shake things up and bring in a new coach. You, the team, are fine. You just need a coach to bring you up to the pro leagues with a playbook and a firm hand. Through self-empowerment, discipline and a commitment to continual improvement, your life coach could get you to the championship round of your life.

Are you ready to go pro in your life? If you answered yes, you might really benefit from life coaching. There are many life coaches out there. Do your research and find one that resonates with you. Ask friends for their recommendations or schedule consultations with coaches after reviewing their websites. 

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