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What does a Life Coach do and how can they help you?

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Zara, Staff Writer

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Life Coaching

We often find times in our life when we wish we had someone to point us in the right direction, consolidate all our problems, hopes and dreams into one action plan and help us achieve the life we want. This is exactly what a life coach strives to do.

Once reserved for celebrities, life coaching has become a mainstream approach and to great success. Let’s take a look at the finer details of what a life coach does exactly, how you can benefit from lifestyle coaching and if it is the right approach for you. We'll dispel myths, get to the facts and find out if a life coach is worth the time and money.

What does a Life Coach do?

With so many different types of coaching services out there, from business and career coaching to leadership coaching, you might be wondering what life coaching is all about.

Put simply, the definition of a life coach is a professional who helps someone to make improvements in their day to day life. Whether this is in their relationships, career, home life or elsewhere, a life coach seeks to improve elements of a client's life, bettering their overall quality of life. Life coaches do this by helping clients to clarify goals, notice the obstacles that are holding them back, and create strategies that help them overcome these with great success.

A life coach can break down these obstacles in a way that a friend or family member can’t, as the life coach has no personal connection to the client.

Although a life coach can’t solve all the issues in your life, they can put their professional experience to the test and help guide you towards success.

What can a Life Coach do for you?

Life Coaching

Knowing when you should be hiring a life coach is a personal decision. Although there are certain times in a person’s life where they can benefit from hiring a life coach. If you are going through a particular period of anxiety or stress, hiring or talking with a life coach can help identify the elements of your life that are causing these stresses. If you find it hard to break bad habits, life coaches can assess why this is and help you kick the habit.

One of the biggest elements that lead to many hiring life coaches is their failure to create strong relationships in their life, whether these are based on family, romance or business relationships.

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what a life coach can do for their clients, but here's a snapshot of some of the things they could help you with:

Professional coaching

Whether you want to strive for that promotion or embark on an exciting career change, a life coach can help you define your goals and break them down into manageable chunks to achieve them.

Dating and relationship coaching

Your life coach can help you to define what a successful relationship looks like to you, and how to successfully obtain that for your own life. Or, they may help you to improve existing relationships, whether it's with friends, a partner, or your family.

Diet and fitness coaching

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, so it's no surprise that giving diet, fitness and nutritional advice falls under what a life coach can do. Some life coaches will specialise in health and fitness, although if this is specifically what you're looking to focus on, you may want to hire a personal trainer or dietitian/nutritionist instead.

Spirituality coaching

Spirituality coaching is increasingly becoming a big player in the life coaching game. While many people think spirituality refers to religion only, it's far broader than that. For most people, spirituality means connecting with something bigger than yourself, whether that's the universe or a belief in a higher power.

In the context of life coaching, your spiritual life coach will help you to feel more fulfilled in life by meaningfully exploring those deeper connections between yourself and something beyond your physical self.

What does a Life Coach do that a Therapist cannot?

Life Coaching

Although both therapists and life coaches help their clients to achieve a better quality of life, there's a huge distinction between the two. A therapist will be professionally qualified in far more detailed sciences such as psychology, looking deep into their client’s past to understand present behaviours. 

Life coaches are more concerned with the present. They’re experts at identifying current issues and coming up with various problem-solving strategies to tackle them, helping you to overcome obstacles in your everyday life. 

In other words, a life coach is action-oriented, whereas a therapist is coping oriented. A life coach is there to help you to set goals and proactively achieve them, whereas a counsellor is there to support you with empathy and understanding.

Important: You shouldn't consult a life coach if you are experiencing mental health issues, as they aren't qualified to help you. If you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, it is important to consult a doctor or a trained therapist to get the mental health treatment you need.

Life Coach vs Therapist - what's the difference?

What is a Life Coach?What is a Therapist?
Isn't trained in treating mental health conditionsTrained in treating mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression
Doesn't need formal training or academic qualificationsHas formal qualifications and training
Not required to follow a code of ethicsRequired to follow an ethical framework
What does a Life Coach do? What does a Therapist do?
Clarifies goals and identifies obstacles, creating action plans to achieve desired resultsFocuses on past issues to resolve destructive behaviours and thought patterns
Takes the client's current position as a starting groundLooks into the clients past to understand present behaviours
Helps their client to take control of their live and steers them towards their goalsWorks with the client to resolve past issues to create a happier future
Life Coaching

To sum up

The truth of the matter is all of us could do with a little guidance from time to time, no matter our age or where we’re at in life.

Yet, despite the most successful people swearing by having a life coach for years, many people are hesitant to give it a try. Lot's of people don't realise how much a life coach can do for them and the many benefits having one can bring!

The best thing about a life coach is that they can help you decide what you want to do with your life, as well as how to make it happen.

If you're wondering whether a life coach is the right option for you, then the best thing to do is to get in touch with a coach. They'll be able to clarify any questions and concerns, helping you to make your decision.

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