What is a Life Coach? The term has become notorious, which has led many people to believe they also know its definition and purpose. I beg to differ. Perhaps, some view a Life Coach as a cheerleader disguised as a therapist. These terms engender specific, albeit stereotypical, images in most of us: the cheerleader, endlessly smiley and supportive of their team; the therapist, serious and full of deep questions about your childhood. In fact, a Life Coach is neither a cheerleader nor a therapist.
Yes, of course a Coach can be supportive and also ask clients to briefly delve into their pasts, but that isn’t their primary aim. The focus of a Coach is instead centered on discerning the true hopes and beliefs of each client. These two systems of thought are deeply ingrained and intertwined in all of us, and a Coach is trained to elucidate them, guiding each client into a new perspective, full of self-awareness and purpose.
Coaching is based on the understanding that each client has the potential to live their best life; however, the means for making this a reality are usually hidden deep beneath learned systems of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Coaching methods are meant to break through these learned patterns and find the brave, curious, and purposeful underneath. These methods aren’t built on advice-giving, but rather open-ended, powerful questions, and various spatial, mental, and written exercises, designed to urge the client to reconsider much of which they “know”.
Principally, a Life Coach is driven to help clients envision a bold, bright future, and collaboratively create strategies to begin forging it. Most of us will find ourselves stuck, overwhelmed, isolated, or discouraged at some point, but, what’s difficult to realize in those moments, is that we alone are holding ourselves back and are charged with making a change. In those times, a Life Coach can be that helping hand that restarts or revives your life and gives you focus and purpose. After all, life is too short to live by default. Give Coaching a try and you may find your desired future closer than ever before.