5 Things You Need to Know About Life Coaching
I believe in the power of life coaching. I’m a passionate life coach myself and only got to be one because I chose to undergo life coaching for my own transformation. I used an unconventional path first and started exploring the power of the mind through shamanism. It was my shaman teacher who advised me to study more about personal development.
So, I did exactly that and signed up for the New Insights Life Coaching training program. My intention was to train as a life coach so I could help others transform their own lives for the better. Little did I know that my training would take me on my own inward journey of discovering who I am and finding my life purpose.
That’s life coaching in a nutshell. It’s the inward journey of exploring everything that is holding you back and how to change it so you can become the person you’re meant to be. Life coaching empowers you to discover your true potential.
If you’re thinking about transforming yourself and your life, then read on to find out what you need to know about life coaching.
1. It Takes Courage (and you’ve got plenty of that)
Life coaching is about making some changes. These changes mean going inward and looking at everything that makes you tick. The first step you need to take is often the most courageous one and that’s the one acknowledging your life isn’t working for you.
Most life coaching programs will ask you to take a serious look at your life. You’ll be asked to rate how certain life areas are working out for you. This could mean honestly rating the following:
- Health: I could do more to improve my eating habits (time to ditch the MacDonald drive-thru trips) and up my exercise regime.
- Relationships: How is your marriage going? What about the partner you’ve been with for years and now he or she is simply a comfort zone for you? You’ll be asked to reflect on all your relationships including those you have with your family and friends.
- Money: Ah, this one gets a lot of people squirming. We know it sounds ungrateful to ask for more so we settle for less. Or, we are disrespectful of the money we have and spend it recklessly. What is your relationship with money?
- Spiritual: Do you wish to find more mindfulness or a deeper connection with God, the Great Spirit, or whoever it is you believe in? Our souls hanker for a deeper connection and it’s wrong to deny that calling.
- Emotional: This is one part of our life we tend to ignore and yet it’s crucial if we want to really make a constructive and positive change in our lives.
- Vocation/Career: Are you doing what you really want to be doing?
- Personal development: How would you rank your personal development today? Would you like to do more to improve yourself?
It’s not easy to sit down and face these questions head-on and to rate them. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and admit that some parts of your life rank only as a 2 or 3 instead of the ideal 9 or 10.
I recommend reading Brene' Brown's book, "I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey From "What Will People Think ?" to "I am Enough" to explore how courageous it is to be vulnerable.
2. It Takes Honesty (and we shy away from that when it comes to us)
Admitting that your life is not exactly how you had planned it to be can be a bitter pill to swallow. So, what do you do instead? You bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is hunky-dory. You post images on your Facebook page showing your friends and family you’re living the life of Riley. But, meanwhile, back at the ranch…
It takes honesty to tell your life coach your life isn’t what it seems to everyone else. Your marriage is a sham, you hate your job that your best friend would die for and you want to live in the countryside instead of the concrete jungle.
Being honest with yourself takes a lot of courage (yes, there’s that word again) and I can assure you, you’ve got more than enough of it. You just need to believe in yourself. When you start being honest with yourself, you’ll start to see the changes happening.
A good life coach will ask you to be honest at all times, no matter how painful it is. If you want to get the most out of your life coaching journey, then honesty (with yourself and with your coach) is key.
3. It Can Be Painful (but so empowering)
Let’s get one thing clear. Change of any kind is painful even if you consciously make the choice to change. Life coaching entails going deep inside and acknowledging all the bad and good about yourself.
Discovering your limiting beliefs can be a daunting exercise which is why you’ll also look at your positive beliefs. Once you realize just how powerful you actually are, you can start to shift what’s holding you back. How’s that for empowerment?
A well-trained life coach understands the pain you’ll feel as you start to unpack your beliefs system and explore the root of all your beliefs, both negative and positive. Your life coach will help you to manage that pain so it becomes integrated into your journey. You’ll learn to recognize the pleasure of overcoming your pains.
4. It’s a Liberating Experience (you’ll discover the key to your freedom)
Life coaching programs are designed to help you find the key to your own freedom. Once you start tapping into the power that is your mind, you’ll start to take responsibility for your choices. And, therein lies the key – responsibility.
When life is not going according to plan it’s often because you’ve fallen into the “victim” role. You’re constantly blaming and justifying your situations on other people and other things. This “blaming game” perpetuates your victimhood and as long as you’re in that trap, you’re not free.
Life coaching teaches you about the power of being responsible for yourself. It teaches you how to take charge of your mind, your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions. But, to get that key you need to have the courage to go inwards and to be honest about what you find.
Read this other book by Brene' Brown called "The Gifts of Imperfections", to explore the value of authenticity and your own worth.
5. It Takes Commitment (to yourself and no-one else)
I always tell my new clients to see their life coaching program as a self-care package. It’s all about gifting yourself a wonderful present that’s going to unravel and show you who you are. But, this gift comes with some conditions and one of them is a willingness to commit. Not to your coach, not to your family, and not even to your boss. It’s a commitment to your SELF.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the novelty and excitement of starting something new. I see it all the time which is why I always tell my potential clients to go home after their first session and give some serious thought to the coaching process.
Life coaching is not an overnight success. It’s hard work and if it’s anything like my programme, it requires a commitment to meet up every second week for six months – at least. What’s more, it’s a commitment to self to allocate time every week to do the homework.
It’s also a commitment to actively integrate everything learned during the programme into your daily life. This is not a self-help book you pick up and read, only to put it back on the shelf when you’re done, forgetting all the tools and tips that have been shared.
A passionate life coach will hold you accountable. They’ll make sure you’re putting in the efforts to fulfill your goal to make the change you want to see in your own life. He or she is your cheerleader, the person who’ll listen to what you have to say and guide you as objectively as possible.
But, without your full commitment to your SELF, your life coach can’t make your changes for you.
Another great book to read by Brene' Brown is her "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead".
Many times, I’ve looked back on my journey since starting my own inner work and I’ve wondered how I had the courage to do it. But, amazingly, that courage resides in all of us without even realizing we have it.
It was tough being honest with myself and sharing this honesty with my own life coach and other mentors. It’s extremely painful unraveling the mess within myself but oh, the joys of finding my strengths!
Letting go of the victim that was ME took a lot of courage, honesty, pain and responsibility. But once I did that, I felt liberated. The key to freedom truly lies in your choice to be responsible. At times, I wanted to give up the whole experience. Inner work is tough but realizing it was one of the greatest gifts I could give myself, I committed to the process.
You may be reading this and thinking I have more than you have, but I don’t. I truly believe each and every one of us what it takes to make the changes we want to see in our lives. I’m living proof of it and each of my clients who have completed my life coaching programme is proof of this.
Life coaching is an incredible journey. I believe everyone deserves the chance and the opportunity to be empowered. Find your courage, be honest, acknowledge the pain, take responsibility and commit to your SELF. Only then will you live the life you want to live.