What is life coaching?
Life coaching comes in many different forms. However, simply put, life coaching aims to help people meet goals in their lives. Life coaching can guide people towards new methods to help them solve problems they are facing in their personal lives or at work and can set them on a path to achieving their ambitions. It can be delivered face-to-face, over the phone, or even by email. Typically, life coaching will look to help individuals find their own answers to 3 important questions:
- What do I want to do with my life?
- What is stopping me from doing it?
- What am I going to do about it?
These are simple questions. However, the answers are not always easy to find or articulate. Fortunately, life coaches help you to find the answers that are right for you. Like a personal trainer for your life and career, a life coach will work with you to improve all areas in your life by helping you work out where you want to go and how you will get there. Life coaches seek to help people to actualize their full potential and lead purposeful and meaningful lives.
Life coaching can help people identify their life values and clarify what they want from life. It can help you to set effective goals to meet your ambitions, monitor progress on your journey of change, help you to stay focused and challenged, make sure you stick to your commitments and take you beyond your initial ambitions through continual reassessment and re-examination of your ideas, plans, and strategies.
How can life coaching help me?
Life coaching can help with issues big and small. It can help whether you’re stuck in a rut or already feel successful. Ultimately, it can help take you closer to the life you really want to lead. So whether you want to find a more satisfying career, need support dealing with tricky relationship issues, or simply want to get better with time management, life coaching can be beneficial to help you find solutions and help you to achieve your goals.
Life coaching can help you create sustainable change for the better in your own life. Whilst many people can make changes in their lives easily, keeping a programme of change enacted is often much more difficult. Often this means we don’t achieve our goals and it makes it harder the next time we try to make a change in our life as we expect failure. However, a life coach can help you stay on track, avoid blockages to your progress, and make sure the changes you make are the right ones.
Other goals life coaching can help with include things like:
- Making wise decisions
- Dealing with relationship issues
- Finding more meaning and purpose in life
- Becoming happier and more satisfied with life
- Understanding and managing their feelings and emotions
- Dealing with presentation anxiety
- Increasing self-esteem
- Building confidence
- Finding your vocation
- Making a difficult decision
- Career dilemmas
- Being clearer about what you want from life.
Finding solutions to these challenging issues are some of the realistic benefits of life coaching that you can expect. Some life coaching approaches help push you towards your goals by changing the way you think about things and making sure you keep motivated. This method can be great for shorter-term goals, however, for longer-term change that is more sustainable, it is worth seeking a life coach using a psychological approach.
Who is life coaching for?
Life coaching is for everyone! As already alluded to, life coaching can be beneficial whether you are feeling down in the dumps or flying high. Interestingly, acknowledging that we need the help of an external professional can actually feel empowering. However, once we recognise this, we can get so much more out of our journey and more quickly achieve our goals.
As an analogy, if we go on holiday and want to take a walk up a mountain, we may be perfectly able to do this on our own. However, if we take a guide, we might find we are able to do this without taking any wrong turns, we might feel safer on our journey (experience a feeling of empowerment), and we could learn more about the route we take, where we have been and where we are going.
This serves to show that absolutely anyone can benefit from a life coach as anyone can reap the rewards from added direction to their lives. When we welcome the support of a professional it can liberate us from fears we have about exploring issues, ideas, or emotions and help us to find simple steps to follow to empower ourselves. However, we also need to take care to choose the right life coach for our needs.
Finding the right life coach
The field of life coaching has become flooded with options, which can make it difficult to know where to start. Here, we outline 4 tips to help get started and make sure you know how to choose the right life coach for your needs:
Make sure it is a life coach you’re after
Sometimes, coaching can be confused with therapy or mentorship. However, whilst these three areas do share overlaps, they also have significant differences. For example, therapy tends to be much more past orientated and seeks to diagnose and treat dysfunctionality. Meanwhile, mentorship tends to be offered by someone who has been in your shoes previously, so they are well-placed to help you to, for example, adjust to a new role.
A life coach is much more future-orientated, based on action, and helps individuals visualise and attain their own solutions. They are not restricted to the field of mentorship or focused on the past like a therapist. So if future focused change is what you are after, then a life coach is likely for you.
Make sure they use a psychological approach
As mentioned, the life coaching field has been flooded by a variety of options. However, where possible, it is best to look for life-coaches offering methods grounded in a psychological approach that is backed up by science. This is because simply being pushed towards goals and thinking differently about things can only keep you motivated for so long. For deep and meaningful changes to be made that are going to last for the long-run working with a life coach who understands psychology and is able to help you implement a system for behavioural change will be both more effective and sustainable.
Ask them about their methods and coaching style
It is important to find out about both of these things. Some life coaches can be focused on structure whilst others may be more flexible in their approach. Some people find it helpful for their life coach to be confronting and to really challenge them whilst others prefer more gentle support. It is also important to check the methods they are using are proven to be effective and that they understand them well.
Have a trial run
Most life coaches offer some form of trial run or discovery option that lets you get a taste of there working methods and coaching style. This is a great chance to see if they are going to be a good fit for you and to check if you feel at ease with the person and that you connect with them in some way. Even if you think the first person you try is a good fit, it also doesn’t hurt to try at least a couple of trial runs with different coaches to help make sure you can make a more informed decision.
Mind Owl Life Coaching
Mind Owl offers Acceptance and Commitment Coaching (ACC) which is based on ACT – Acceptance and commitment therapy. ACC seeks to develop ways of taking more effective action in life by helping people to learn to respond more mindfully and skilfully to their thoughts and emotions. It focuses on improving people’s psychological flexibility – their ability to feel and think with openness so that the directions people take move their life towards their aspirations and in accordance with their underlying values.
ACC achieves this using a 6-step programme for transformation and change:
- Being present
- Defining valued directions
- Taking committed action
- Seeing the self as context
- Practising acceptance
- Using cognitive distancing
The effectiveness of ACC in building psychological flexibility in people has been shown in over 300 scientific studies. For more information on the life coaching we offer, please check out our coaching packages.
Life coaching can be suitable for anybody, whether you are feeling stuck in a rut or want to achieve even more than you are currently. However, it is important to take the time to find the right life coach and check their methods and style suit your needs. Ideally, they should offer a psychological approach if the work you do with them is going to be long-lasting, effective, and grounded in science. If you’re interested to find out what life coaching can do for you, why not give it a trial run with a discovery call today?
MindOwl Founder – My own struggles in life have led me to this path of understanding the human condition. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy before completing a master’s degree in psychology at Regent’s University London. I then completed a postgraduate diploma in philosophical counselling before being trained in ACT (Acceptance and commitment therapy).
I’ve spent the last eight years studying the encounter of meditative practices with modern psychology.