How to choose a life coach that’s right for you!
This blog is a guide on to how to choose a life coach that’s right for you. It explains what a life coach is and what they do, what they are not and questions you may want to consider before you hire a life coach.
Choosing anything in life can be tricky. When we are buying an expensive purchase such as a car or a holiday we can spend considerable time researching and going over the options in our head. If we need a new hairdresser or dentist we tend not to rush into the first place we see. If we’re planning a celebratory dinner somewhere new we won’t just pick a place out at random. We consider the options available to us, get recommendations from friends or read reviews. Choosing a life coach also requires some research and consideration.
What is a Life Coach?
Primarily life coaches are engaged with the here and now, moving you from where you currently are, to where you want to be. They work with high achievers and people who want to improve aspects of their professional or personal life. A life coach empowers their clients using a framework to identify and overcome their obstacles, enabling their clients to live a better, richer life that meets either their personal or professional goals or both. Life Coaching is for those who feel their life isn’t where they want it to be and they feel they haven’t the tools, know-how or confidence to make those changes.
What does a Life Coach Do?
A life coach can help you with one or multiple goals that you want to achieve. These can range from your career or work projects, through to your lifestyle, emotional states, relationships and personal development. For example, you could need help getting motivated, fitting in time to have more fun, money management. Or personal wellbeing, stress management, assertiveness and confidence building, or time management.
A life coach should never tell you what to do, but use specific questioning techniques and models, that bring structure in order for you to make decisions for yourself. A life coach empowers and motivates you by equipping you with the tools to allow you to overcome personally challenging situations.
What a life coach isn’t
A life coach is not an agony aunt or your new BFF, therapist or psychotherapist or counsellor. A life coach is not your superior, but is an equal. They do not diagnose or determine a mental health issue, nor do they give you medical advice or prescribe you medicine. If issues relating to any diagnosed mental health issues transpire in the coaching conversation, a life coach will request that the client seeks medical advice from a medical professional. Having said this clients living with mild depression can benefit significantly from the coaching relationship.
Finding the Right Life Coach for YOU
Employing a life coach can be one of the most rewarding investments in your life. There are many types of life coaches for you to choose from, these include business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, holistic coaches, health & wellness coaches and sports coaches.
Before you consider which life coach is best or whether you need one, I would firstly encourage you to consider Are you ready for the coaching relationship? This is absolutely crucial to achieving successful outcomes. Are you ready to put the effort in and commit to making those changes? Life coaches are not able to help you if you’re not prepared to help yourself by being fully committed!
So you’ve decided you want to hire a life coach, consider these points.
1. Be clear what you want a life coach you need and what you’d like to achieve from the coaching relationship. This could be something as specific as how to deal with a difficult boss or more general such as wanting a career change but have no idea what it is you want to do. Once you have decided this it will narrow your choices down a little. Most life coaches specialise in specific areas.
2. Talk to your potential life coach. Most offer a free consultation over the phone and they should do, it’s not just you choosing a life coach, the life coach needs to be sure they are the right person to help you.
Before you speak to a coach write down your questions so you can be clear what you want from them.
4. Avoid being pressured into paying for 100 hours in advance because they think you ‘need it’. Of course your life coach will be able to make recommendations, but avoid someone who is trying to strong arm you into committing too much, especially before they’ve met you and evaluated your needs.
5. They won’t necessarily have to have had the same experiences as you. It is often better if they haven’t. If you are looking for career guidance choosing someone with a background within your current industry may mean they may not be able to think outside that box and will have preconceived notions about what you are going through or accept a status quo. The principles a life coaches uses should be relatable to you as an individual and not already have bias and see the same constraints you do.
6. A good life coach make won’t make wild promises to you, nor will they be vague. They should help you to create a clear plan of action. After your first session you should have established goals, both short term and long term.
A great life coach is an important decision to make. Use this guide to help you find the right coach for you and your life. Remember to use the points mentioned above to find the right coach to support you. After all it’s your life, so make it a full, happy and rewarding one.
To learn more about making a decision about starting life coaching read my blog on Committing to Life Coaching
I wish you all the best in discovering YOUR star potential.
Are you ready to commit to the life coaching relationship?
How do you know if you are ready for a coaching relationship? Do you have the drive and commitment required to achieve your goals? Are you really looking to make changes? Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in life? This blog answers these questions. You will find sections concerned with WILL and PURPOSE to help you discover whether hiring a life coach is the most appropriate course of action for you to take.
With the best will in the world a life coach is not a miracle worker. We do require certain qualities in our client’s mind-set for us to be able to work our magic. All you need to do is answer YES or NO to the statements below.
1. There are areas in my life where I want to make a make positive change
2. I am ready to trying new experiences, ideas and ways of thinking
3. I am ready to let go of beliefs that hold me back
4. I am ready to have honest and open conversations, even when they are challenging
5. I am committed to putting in the time to make that change happen, even when it gets tough
6. I am committed to keeping my promises
7. I am ready to let go of beliefs that hold me back
8. I have the support I need to make any significant changes
9. I am mentally/emotionally stable to be in a coaching relationship and do not require medical treatment or therapy from a professional
10. I am able to take full responsibility for my own life and the decisions I make
If you have answered NO to a couple of these statements, then it might not be the right time for you to experience the coaching relationship just yet. If you are prepared to make adjustments to the NO statements, life coaching could still be the right choice for YOU!
If you answered YES to all the statements then that’s great! You are well on your way to getting the most out of the coaching relationship.
Are there any aspects of your life or career that you feel could be improved upon? Are you living an OK or it’ll do for now life? Do you have aspirations of living a life that is truly fulfilling, purposeful, meaningful and rewarding to YOU?
The next 7 questions identify if you have the ‘Purpose’ for a successful coaching relationship. They may be more difficult to answer. The reason I say this is because unless you know your authentic-self the answers to some of these questions require investigation, so I’ve included some examples to help you figure this out.
1/ What type of life do I want to live?
Think about the type of career you’d love to have, or places you’d love to travel to. You could have too little time on your hands and want to live a life that is more balanced. Perhaps you’d like to fit in more exercise. Maybe you’d like to be able to talk to people with confidence and ease, or have a wider circle of friends. Are you artistic or creative and want a life that nurtures your talents with your lifestyle and career ambitions. Or that business idea you’ve been promising to get off the ground, but you have no idea where to start.
2/ What does success look like to you?
It’s important to have a clear vision of what success is for you, so that you can visualise what achieving the goal will look like to you once you’ve accomplished it. So imagine for a moment that you’ve planned out the type of life you want for yourself. What will you be doing? Where and how would you be living? What are the sights and sounds around you? If it’s a business venture what sort of income do you expect from it? If you want to have a more balanced life, how much of your day, week or month will change? What percentage of your time will be free-time and work time? What would you do with more free-time? How will this make you feel to achieve this and how will this change and enhance your life?
3/ What do you want to achieve?
Perhaps you’d like to lose weight for that holiday of a lifetime or just feel fitter and healthier in general. Maybe your life is too stressful and you want to simplify it. Do you have specific goals in mind that would support you to create the life you dream of living? It doesn’t matter if your goals are big or small, or that they are long term or short term goals. If you need someone to support you to achieving those goals then a life coach can help you get there.
4/ Do you need support?
It can be extremely difficult trying to achieve a goal without the support or encouragement of another fellow human being. A life coach could be the strength you need to help get you focused and move from you where you are now to where you want to be quicker than you can do it on your own. They are your motivator and champion, encouraging you to pass the finish line. There is no one more proud of you (with the exception of yourself) than your life coach when you achieve the goal or dream you set out to achieve. So if you don’t feel you have that support, but you are highly motivated to make changes, hiring a life coach might be the perfect solution.
5/ How much time and money are you willing to invest to achieve this?
Is this something that will take up much of your time? What length of time do you have in mind to complete these goals? Having an idea of the time you are prepared to invest to achieve the goal will give you an indication of how long it will take and discover if it’s realistic or not. This will also identify how many hours coaching you will need and a clue of how much it will cost you financially.
6/ Am I ready to take action now?
So what are you waiting for? If not now when and why? How long are you prepared to wait for that perfect sometime? You know what they say about tomorrow – it never comes! This is an old English proverb that warns of procrastination. What you are really saying to yourself is “I’m not ready yet!” This could be for several reasons; you don’t have the confidence, you don’t know enough, you don’t want to take the risk. You’re scared that you might fail.
Let me reassure you these mental scaremongers that buzz around everyone’s brains can all be resolved in the coaching relationship when you find the right coach for you. It’s ok if you are content with what you already have, just avoid looking back in years to come and saying, “Life could have been so different if only I’d have done…” or “Why did I never get round to doing…?” “Why am I still doing this job I really don’t enjoy anymore?”
7/ What type coach would be best to help me with this?
Employing a coach can be one of the most rewarding investments in your life. There are many types of coaches for you to choose from, these include business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, holistic coaches, health & wellness coaches, personal life coaches, sports coaches and niche coaches. They may also employ very structured methods of goal setting or can be more intuitive to delivering a more authentic, holistic and customised coaching relationship. It’s really up to you to decide what works best for you.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it’s cleared up any thoughts you might be having, as to whether you have the will and purpose and ready to enter into a productive and rewarding coaching relationship.
I wish you all the best in discovering YOUR star potential!
If you have the time I would love to hear your feedback from this week’s ‘Julia’s Journal’ article.
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Discover your authentic-self in one day! :
What authentic-self isn’t!
1. It’s not saying what you like without filters – It’s being considered, selective and appropriate.
2. It’s not pushing your opinions on others - its being assertive, self-assured and saying what you want to say, and getting your point over to others in a respectful manner.
3. It’s not saying the first thing that comes into your head - It’s laying out mindful, well thought through well-balanced opinions and arguments.
4. It’s not confronting – it’s confirming!
Embedding authenticity into our day to day lives
To summarise. In order to embed your authentic-self, you are on a continual journey to;
o Live the life you love, incorporating all things that you love in life
o Be true and honest with yourself and others
o Be assertive and respectful of others
o Offer mindful, considered, well-balanced opinions and arguments
o Maintain a sense of personal worth
o Maintain a deep level of self-awareness
You have now learnt what is meant by the term authentic-self, what the benefits are, the characteristics of an authentic-self person, and benefits of being your authentic-self. Also how you can embed your authenticity into your life.
For your interest I will leave you with some Authentic living quotes.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for discovering your authentic-self, so please leave your comments after reading this article.
Discover your star potential!
Low self-esteem and lack of confidence?
12 ways to calm the mind and give yourself a boost
This blog explains why you feel this way and offers 12 ways to claim back your confidence and self-esteem, banishing negativity and self-doubt once and for all.
We all ask these questions of ourselves from time to time. When you are feeling stressed, insecure and vulnerable and your confidence and self-esteem are at a low, it’s important to take some positive action to manage negativity.
The science of low self-esteem and confidence
Daniel G. Amen MD helps us to understand why our brains default to Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANT’s. Without going into too much detail, ANT’s occur when the Limbic System, where our emotions related to our instincts and memories are thought to be controlled from, becomes overactive, and induce negative thought responses. It’s the brains primitive natural response or defence mechanism when we feel threatened.
While this defence mechanism was once a life saver in our modern day existence it’s often detrimental to our mental health and ability to be self-actualised people, that’s living life to one's full potential.
Tips for beating low self-esteem and confidence
A key step, is to reset your brain’s default from negative to positive mental behaviours. Employing a Life Coach is also a great way to keeping you motivated and achieving personal goals that you want to achieve.
Here are my top 12 tips I’ve put together to improve your mental health and grow in confidence.
1. Positive thinking
Identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. For example when bad things happen, think what lessons you have learnt from that experience. Try to think of one thing that you can take away from a bad experience and see a way of turning it into positive thinking. For example learning from a mistake or seeing that painful experience has taught you empathy for people who have experienced this.
2. Set yourself challenges
Start with small challenges that are relatively easy to achieve. Perhaps a personal development goal, fitness, something that makes you feel proud of yourself for achieving. As your confidence grows you take on more challenging goals which require a greater level of confidence to achieve, thus slowly restores your self-esteem.
3. Practice forgiveness
Don’t let past hurts eat you up inside. Let it go, show compassion and forgive them (or yourself), allowing you to focus on what’s important in the here and now and in your future.
4. Acknowledge your gratitude
Acknowledge what you’ve got that’s good in your life and show gratitude for it, don’t take them for granted. There’s always someone worse off than you. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for. This promotes good mental health, as well as an overall sense of wellbeing and happiness.
5. Helping others
When you can see that others need your help, support them if they need help, not to the point it hurts you to do so or you become intrusive. The act of giving is a powerful thing, leaving you with a sense of raised self-esteem, social connection and happiness.
6. Spend more time with morale boosters
These are the people that make you feel good about yourself. Spend time with a positive friend or someone who always makes you laugh. Try to dodge the negative sponges who drain you of your energy and happiness; the moaners, pessimists, the glass is half empty type people.
7. Avoid playing the victim
Playing the victim and playing the blame game feeds negativity. Remember this is your life to live, so take responsibility for it. It will empower you all the more and your self-esteem and confidence will be boundless.
Mindfulness exercises and meditation are a great way of calming the mind and reducing anxiety. Practising these regularly will restore your self-awareness by being present in the moment.
9. Eating a nutritional, healthy, balanced diet
What you eat really can relieve you of negative thoughts and offer clear benefits to our mental wellbeing. Although research is in its infancy, there’s mounting evidence which suggests what we eat affects the function of our brains. See this article published by Community Food and Health (Scotland), ‘Food, mental health and wellbeing’. A word of advice though, speak to your GP before making any changes to your diet.
10. A regular exercise regime
I can vouch for this claim for its powers in suppressing negative thinking. Regular exercise hugely supports a positive frame of mind. The NHS urges that we should ‘Get active for mental well-being’.
11. Reconnect with nature
Experience the outdoors. Take a walk in the woods or a place that makes you feel joy, happiness and fully alive. Immerse yourself in the environment. I like to walk with my dog around the local park near Twickenham in West London or go for a ramble around Richmond Park.
12. Earthing yourself
This is the simple act of connecting our bare feet or body to the earth, ideally on a daily basis for around 15 minutes a day. If you want to learn more about earthing I urge you to read the book by Ober, Sinatra and Zucker (2010) Earthing: the most important discovery ever? I’ll also be writing an article about this in one of my future blogs, as well as other life coaching tips, so keep an eye out on my page ‘Julia’s Journal’.
You now understand the sources of low self-esteem and confidence, why they occur and some great tips of how to improve your self-esteem and confidence, allowing you the freedom of mind to live the life that enables you to reach your star potential.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for beating the blues, so please leave your comments after reading this.
Living With Change