April 12

What Life Coaching Is (and Isn’t)


While life coaching has grown dramatically as a field over recent years, there’s still a lot of misconceptions about what a life coach does, and does not do. Many people still think that coaching is synonymous with therapy. Even potential clients might not have a clear picture of what a life coach can do for them. 

With more and more people enlisting the help of a life coach, the idea of coaching is becoming more familiar to people across the world. However, as a new life coach, you’ll probably find yourself explaining your profession quite often. 

Are you thinking about becoming a life coach? In this post, we are going to explore what life coaching is, and what it isn’t. 

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is all about empowerment. Empowering your clients to address some of their most urgent, challenging or important life situations. 

Clients may seek coaching to determine how best to deal with an impending career or relationship change. Other clients may be seeking help to create a clear plan for establishing a work-life balance, more successful relationships or a career transition. Coaching helps people to gain clarity on their goals and create next steps to achieve a life they love. 

Life coaching is about moving clients to a future that excites and motivates them. It is action-oriented and focuses on lovingly pushing clients forward in their lives. Coaches help people to envision their ideal futures and figure out strategies for creating it. Life coaches act as accountability partners, unbiased listeners who can help clients navigate life’s tricky situations.

  • Coaching is a positive and encouraging space for clients to create goals for the future they want.
  • Coaching helps clients identify how they want to feel in the future and supports their journey to achieving those feelings. 
  • Life coaches listen and ask questions to help clients get a better understanding of their deepest desires for their lives.
  • Coaching helps clients to create actionable steps for achieving their chosen goals.  
  • Life coaches hold clients accountable to the goals they set out to achieve.

What Life Coaching is Not

Life coaches are not therapists. Coaching does not focus on the past; rather, life coaching focuses on the present and creating the future that a client hopes to achieve.

Life coaches are not consultants. A good life coach will not tell clients what to do or prescribe specific courses of action based on their own desires. Instead, the coach-client relationship is about empowering the client to create goals that light them up, with the coach acting as a guide, motivator and facilitator to reaching those goals.

A life coach is not a mentor. Mentors typically use their own life or career experiences to provide knowledge or to advise clients on a course of action. A life coach may utilize the wisdom and guidance from their own personal experiences, but it is to allow clients to gain different perspectives as they embark on their own life coaching journey. 

Life coaches are nonjudgmental. Their job is not to determine if a client’s choices are right or wrong, good or bad. A life coach accepts who the client is and helps them achieve their goals and improve their lives, in whatever way the client wants.

Life coaches are not client’s BFFs. The coaching relationship is quite personal and intimate due to the vulnerable nature of client-coach interactions. Although it is normal for coaches and clients to establish a good rapport and care about each other, a coach does not interact with clients as a best friend or family member might. Coaches support clients while still remaining impartial and holding clients accountable in a positive way.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Life Coach?

If you are interested in becoming a life coach, learning what a coach is and isn’t is a great way to start your research. At Life Purpose Institute we have plenty of great resources that provide insight into the field of coaching, including steps to becoming a life coach and the salary of a life coach.

We encourage potential coaches to read through our blog and other resources on the website and then contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more about the life coaching certification programs offered at Life Purpose Institute. We have a reputation for being one of the most personalized life coach training schools in the country and we pride ourselves in providing the best curriculum and the most experienced instructors. 

Ready to learn more about life coaching?

Contact Life Purpose Institute today for a Free Online Life Coach Training Class to learn more about our programming and what a career in life coaching can mean for you. 

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