Why Hire a Life Coach
Are you interested in making a change in your life, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve set goals, but they don’t last long, or you don’t go beyond planning. As a result, you’re stuck in neutral, and you can’t seem to move forward.
In the quest for self-improvement, you may find that you can’t do it all yourself. Friends and family are supportive, but they may not know how to help you advance. You need more than what you’re getting now.
Enter the Life Coach.
What is life coaching?
Life coaching is a one-on-one process with a coach who can help you become the successful person you’ve always wanted to be. With guidance, encouragement, and strategies that will challenge you to reach your goals, a life coach can help you achieve your dreams, and go farther in life than ever before.
Through assessments, discussions, accountability, and other available tools, he or she will work with you to overcome obstacles in your life that you can’t clear alone. You’ll be empowered to make changes faster. You’ll have someone who can direct you through “blind spots” that keep you from living a better life.
What does a life coach do?
A life coach is a guide who helps you improve the life you’re living now. You may be working towards a goal that you can’t seem to reach. Or a change in your life that seems impossible, such as a promotion.
A life coach will help you make the changes needed to get there. He or she can help you break out of your current life patterns and create new ones to optimize your life.
Part advocate, part cheerleader, part taskmaster, a life coach is the objective third party who gives you detailed advice that helps you find the answers you need. From limiting beliefs to becoming a leader, a life coach can help with any segment of your life that needs improvement, including:
- Goal setting
- Career (including business and executive coaching)
- Overcoming grief
- Financial issues, including money management
- ADD and ADHD coaching
And so much more.
How does life coaching actually help people?
Life coaching focuses on you, your goals, and your life. It’s a collaboration with someone who uses specific tools to keep you focused and taking action regularly towards improving your life and achieving what you want.
A client survey from the International Coach Foundation (ICF) showed that 99% of clients who worked with a life coach were satisfied with the results, and 96% would hire a life coach again.
The top four improvements participants listed:
- 80% of clients improved their self-confidence
- 73% of clients improved their relationships
- 72% of clients improved their communication skills
- 67% of clients improved their work-life balance
Additional improvements included time management, work performance and health and wellness.
What are some of the things I should look for in choosing a life coach?
Once you’ve decided it’s time for a life coach, the next thing to do is figure out exactly what you need the coach to help you accomplish. When you’ve decided on your coaching goal, here’s what to do next:
- Look for life coaches who have the training to help you. Since life coaching is a relatively new industry, you may find coaches who have little or no training. It’s important to find someone who has accredited training, and preferably a credential or certificate. The International Coach Federation (IFC) is the largest governing body for life coaches, and offers a list of over 100 accredited training schools.
- Find a life coach that specializes in what you need. There are life coaches that can help you with health and wellness, relationships, your business or career (including executive coaching), communications and nearly any other kind of life obstacle.
- Start talking. Most life coaches offer free consultations to discuss where you are, what you need and how to go about moving in the right direction.
- References. Ask each one for references—specifically, prior coaching clients who were happy with their results.
- Choose the coach with the right fit. It’s important to find not only a good life coach, but the right one. Do you feel comfortable talking with this person? Do they “get” you? You’ll be sharing significant pieces of your life with this individual. Ideally, you’ll want to find someone who you can relate to, who understands the goals you have, who shares your values, and helps you find the confidence you need to move forward in your life.
What does it mean if a life coach is certified or not? What are the best certifications to look for?
In your search for a coach, you may find some that aren’t certified. It’s easy to have some business cards printed that say “life coach.” While there currently isn’t a license for life coaches, coaches with certification are a good thing to look for.
Certification is proof that a life coach has training, knowledge and skills to work with people who want to improve an area of their lives that they are having trouble with by themselves.
Note that there are coaches who are working their way towards certification, but haven’t yet completed the program. They are taking clients during their certification process and may already have the training necessary to help you. The International Coach Federation offers certificate and credentialing programs for individuals who want to become a life coach.
The International Coaching Community also offers certification, including an International Coaching Certification and an International Certification in Life Coaching.
Life coaching vs. therapy
You may be thinking that life coaching is the same as counseling or therapy, but it isn’t.
A therapist and/or counselor helps when there is something wrong that you need to correct. Therapy focuses on your past life, including previous trauma and resolving bad habits. Mental illness or similar issues should be handled with a licensed mental health professional, and before working with a life coach, if necessary.
A life coach concentrates on making changes and improvements to take your life in the direction you want to go from where you are now. He or she is more of an advocate who can help you break patterns, change thinking and habits, and help you find more success in specific areas of your life.
The life coach works with you to take control of your life and turn it to the direction of your goals. From creating a business plan, improving communication skills, achieving personal and/or professional goals, or any other improvement you want, a life coach can guide you towards the better life you’re seeking.
In-person vs. online coaching
The first thing you may think of is, “where can I find a life coach in my area?” In larger cities, you’ll likely have multiple choices. If you live farther out from a big city, your choices may be limited. If you do find one, you may be driving an hour or more to visit the only available life coach. But unlike a doctor or therapist visit, an in-person visit isn’t necessary.
Choosing an online coach means you’re not limited to your area. Life coaching can be done online, on your schedule, so it doesn’t matter where the coach is located.
Searching for someone online opens up your choices to a wide range of coaches, and makes finding the right one much easier. Without geographic limitations or time constraints, you’re free to find the coach with the methods and experience that will work best for you.
Additionally, an online life coach may be less expensive. Without an office, phone system and other overhead costs, they can pass the savings onto you with lower rates.
What could a life coach do for me that I couldn’t do on my own?
A life coach is a trained professional who will provide objective feedback and support that you won’t have on your own, and friends and family can’t give.
It’s a professional relationship with encouragement, not negativity. You’ll make your own decisions based on the life coach’s advice and guidance. A coach will also hold you accountable for your actions, decisions, successes and failures.
You’re responsible for your own actions and your own success, but you’ll have more direction and incentive when you work with a coach. Once you get started, you’ll find the momentum that you might not have alone. Breaking the habits and patterns that derail your success becomes easier. Your actions are more focused, more effective, and you’ll find that you’re focused on what you truly want to achieve.
Should I hire a life coach?
Although it’s a decision you have to make on your own, we say, “yes!” Working with a life coach empowers you to take more control over your life and achieve your goals.
If your dreams and goals seem more like “pipe dreams,” or you are consistently “stuck” and can’t seem to advance, a life coach can guide you toward making your goals the new reality. It may take longer to do these things on your own. Working with a life coach can help accelerate the changes you need to make.
How much does life coaching cost?
The cost will depend on the coach, their location, and their specialties, as well as how long you work with them. While it seems expensive, you are also paying for their preparation, expertise and experience.
The average price structure for individual life coaching runs from $200 to $1000 for three or four calls per month. Some coaches may charge $50 an hour, depending on their offerings and experience.
Although some coaches may require a contract for three to six months, others may work on a month-to-month basis. You can start with a month and decide if you want to continue, especially if you’re seeing improvements in your financial situation.
Is a life coach worth it?
Many coaches offer free consultations to help you find the best choice for your needs. Some coaches may offer payment plans, discounted rates or other ways for you to pay that won’t require a large lump-sum payment. Ask and understand what you’ll be paying before you start.
Life coaching can be expensive. What is it worth to you to solve a lifelong problem or finally make the changes you want to better your life for yourself and for your family?
Ultimately, life coaching will help save you time and money because of your increased personal efficiency and more productive nature. But like any investment, you must do your own due diligence. Read their website, ask questions, check out their online reviews on Facebook, Google and other places before making a decision and spending money.
Why hire a life coach? Because if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same results. If you’re tired of the same thing, it’s time to do something different. As a result, you can live the life you’ve always wanted.
Find the right life coach for you at The Coaching Connector, an online resource where you can read more about how life coaching can help you advance. Find articles, FAQs and a directory to help you find the life coach that’s right for you. Our free podcast, Guiding You Through The Maze, covers a wide range of relevant topics that can help you on your journey to a better life.
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