What is life coaching and is it for me? Seeing a Life Coach is a bit like having a personal trainer at the gym, you don’t have to have one, in fact you don’t have to go to the gym at all, but many people find having someone dedicated to their development, to listen, encourage and at times challenge them, can be beneficial in many ways. Personal life coaching can help clients: Unpick thoughts and gain clarity in a particular area of life Learn new strategies to help view situations/experiences differently and change negative patterns of behaviour Prioritise and set goals to achieve positive outcomes – This could be a career change, loosing weight, strengthening a relationship… Benefits of seeing a Life Coach rather than speaking to friends and family: Dedicated Time Seeking support and advice from family and friends can be great, however conventional conversations allow for both parties to share. You may find you start sharing about an issue when your friend jumps in to tell you about their problems. Sharing with those close to us is useful for building trust and empathy, but you may find this type of interaction doesn’t necessarily help to move you forward. With a coach you can feel confident that time is dedicated to you and that you’re really being listened to. Non-Judgemental Understandably those closest to us often have strong feelings about us and can have a tendency to lead us in a particular direction. A coach is likely to challenge you at times, helping you to find different ways of viewing situations – or may, for example, challenge you on the limiting beliefs you hold about yourself and your capabilities. They will guide you to make your own choices; never telling you what’s ‘right’ or ‘best’ as only you can determine this. Confidentiality Your coach will not be gossiping about you! Unless your coach has a serious concern about something you’ve disclosed, which could lead to you or someone else being harmed, what you share is private. Productivity Coaches have different strategies and ways of working with clients. Some are more target based than others and some focus on specific areas e.g. relationships or career changes – whatever your coach’s approach, you can expect positive results. The time should be insightful and productive; helping you to move forward in some way. How do I know if life coaching’s for me? Coaching is for anyone feeling stuck in a rut or struggling to get clarity on their thoughts. If you’re ready to make changes and take action a coach will provide support and guidance to help facilitate this. Coaching isn’t done to you, it’s done with you. Your coach is responsible for providing you with the tools, but the results are up to you. Life coaching is very much about taking action and making progress, with the emphasis being on where you’re heading. It involves assessing the current situation and what you want to achieve. It’s different from counselling which tends to focus on what’s happened and how experiences have impacted your life. Counselling is a type of therapy, so although life coaching can be therapeutic it tends to be more goal orientated. Mental health Life coaching is not a form of treatment for anyone suffering from mental health issues; seeing a qualified doctor or therapist would be more appropriate. Coaching is for those who are mentally sound but struggling with practical and/or emotional challenges.