How can life coaching nourish your soul?
A life coach is trained to help you define your goals and priorities, and empower you to overcome the obstacles that have been keeping you from living at your full potential. Life coaching hinges on the idea that a person already has the qualities they need for success. By asking the right questions and providing creative strategies for solving persistent behavioural problems, a coach can help their client harness their innate strengths and abilities.
Life coaching is not a regulated modality, and the quality of training available varies greatly, so it is worth checking if the coach you wish to hire is registered with the International Coach Federation. Asking people you know for recommendations is a good step, but check whether they get a payment or discount for clients they refer to the coach. Look for independent reviews of the coach you’re thinking about hiring, and ask them for references from previous clients.
Benefits of life coaching
Life coaching can help you evaluate what is important to you, as well as discover your strengths and learn how to build on them. Coaching can help you conquer procrastination, empower you to take meaningful action, and teach you to manage your time effectively. Another major benefit is that a life coach will hold you accountable to the commitments you’ve made in working towards your goals.
The results of an exploratory study suggest life coaching may be an effective way of applying positive psychology to improve quality of life and the ability to attain goals.
Research suggests life coaching may have positive effects on work/life balance by revealing and addressing the underlying reasons for difficulties in this area. Life coaching has also been described as a “well-established” path towards work-related stress management. It has been reported that coaching which relies on evidence-based techniques may significantly reduce depression and build resilience among high-school students.
Most life coaches have a good understanding of subjects related to personal and professional wellbeing, ranging from ways to relieve stress and coping with confidence issues, to conflict resolution to business development. However, if your concerns are beyond the scope of their training and expertise, they will recommend a specialised professional, and there are formal guidelines about referring a client to a psychologist or other mental health practitioner.
Life coaching can assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Anxiety and stress
- Fears and phobias
- Mental health
- Stress management
What to expect from a life coaching session
Finding a coach with whom you have good rapport is essential, so many coaches will offer an initial ‘discovery session’ for free or at a discounted rate. During the first session, they will ask you about what you hope to achieve and what areas of chronic difficulty you might be experiencing, such as procrastination, low self-esteem, or uncertainty about what you want out of life. Life coaching is often conducted face-to-face, but many coaches also work via online conferencing such as Skype or may offer phone-based coaching.
Although life coaches apply many different techniques and approaches, the general process is to define a clear, specific goal and then empower you to achieve it. If you have trouble even figuring out what you want, your practitioner can use strategies such as a profiling questionnaire which will enable you to identify values and priorities that can give your life greater meaning.
They will then work with you to map out a path from where you are to where you want to be, and structure the journey as a series of achievable steps. You will usually need to agree on a time frame for completing each step, and your practitioner will check in with you to ensure you are meeting your deadlines.
Sometimes it only takes a few coaching sessions to help you find the clarity you need and define a suitable direction for navigating to your goals. In general, however, you can expect a coaching engagement to last several months while your practitioner supports you in establishing new habits and working through limiting mental patterns. Completing your action steps will boost your self-confidence and inspire you to continue making progress towards success.
Don’t hesitate to speak with your coach if you have trouble hitting the targets that you’ve agreed on. Your coach will provide you with support and equip you with the creative strategies you need to discover new ways of solving problems, keeping you on the path to success.