What’s a life coach?

The first time I signed up to work with a life coach, it felt like a leap into the unknown.

I had no idea what a life coach did.

I just had blind trust and hope that this would make a difference for me. Luckily, I made a great choice anyway.

Here’s what I would have liked to know before I started.

I’ve written this so your first experience of life coaching doesn’t have to feel like you’re bungee jumping off a bridge into a river!

A creative partnership

Life coaching is a modality that’s been gaining increasing popularity over the last 25 years.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.

A life coach will ideally have done substantial professional training, informed by a variety of disciplines including psychology, sociology, personal development and social development.

I trained as a life coach with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, which is affiliated with the ICF.

Life coaches are a diverse group.

Coaches come from all walks of life and all ages, skills, cultural backgrounds and life experience.

Many coaches combine coaching with training and/or skills in healing modalities, business, spiritual growth, and many other specialities.

What happens in life coaching?

A coach works with a client to clarify goals, identify obstacles and implement strategies and solutions that are specific to the client’s unique skills, gifts and desires.

Life coaching focuses on what’s happening now, what a person wants next, and how that gap can be bridged.

“Think of them as an action-oriented mentor who can help you reach your goals,” says Oprahdaily.com.

Is this like counselling?

Life coaching is very different from counselling. Counselling and psychotherapy are professional mental health specialties that involve exploring a client’s past, and healing traumas. Coaching is action oriented and forward-thinking. It’s about acknowledging where you are now and moving forward, to create exciting new ventures and opportunities in the future.

Some of the topics that people work on with coaches include:

  1. Clarifying your core values
  2. Identifying goals
  3. Creating professional and personal growth plans
  4. Identifying and working on limiting beliefs
  5. Creative projects – or just being more creative generally
  6. Finding work/life balance
  7. Improving relationships
  8. Achieving health and/or fitness goals
  9. Financial goals
  10. Managing an important life or work transition

Who is coaching for?

A wide variety of people from all ages and diverse backgrounds work with coaches.

If you are considering tertiary study, a coach can be very helpful. Getting clear on your desires and your options will help you make good choices.

The investment of working with a coach can help you make wise financial decisions.

Coaching can be especially helpful when planning or navigating transitions: career changes, life stage changes, relationship changes.

Business people often work with coaches. So do creative people.

Some coaches specialize in supporting particular occupational groups, e.g. nurses or teachers or small business owners.

How to choose a coach

There’s a huge variety of coaches out there. It’s not a “one size fits all” occupation.

Choose a coach who feels like a good fit for you. Check out their website and promotional material, and/or their social media profile.

The first time I worked with a life coach, I chose because something resonated for me. This felt strange and illogical at the time, because I was used to making decisions from my rational brain. But I’ve since learned that “gut feeling” can be a good way to choose a coach.

Most coaches offer free introductory sessions, so you can get a sense of what they’re like in person, before you commit to a coaching series.

If you choose to work with a coach online via Zoom or Skype, you’ll have a much wider choice than if you’re looking for a coach in your local area.

Online sessions are a very effective way of delivering coaching.

Navigating the big and small decisions

A life coach won’t tell you what to do. They hold space, listen, ask questions, help you set goals, sometimes make suggestions, help you celebrate every small success.

A coach can help you navigate the big and small decisions of life.

Even just figuring out how to look in the right direction for solutions.

The really big questions

If you want to figure out what you’re here to do, find your ideal work, a life coach can be hugely valuable.

If you want to figure out what you’re here to do, find your ideal work, a life coach can be hugely valuable.

This is internal work, but most of us need external help and accountability. From someone who’s been there.  

I hope I’ve inspired you to find yourself a life coach!

About Alice

I’m a creative life coach for mid-life women who are passionate about music, but struggle to find a musical niche that feels truly aligned and rewarding, and doesn’t lead to endless cycles of burnout.

Find out more about me here: About Alice.

Or book a free, no obligation half-hour consult with me here

Music is a powerful medium of transformation that can change the world. 

Every single soul-driven musician has a unique role to play in creating positive change. Including you. And me.

A few of my favourite blogs:

Songs to Remember
The family bat
Living with Alice in Wonderland
Jamie Fraser, my maths teacher
My life with green salad
Coming to the end of a rug