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The Benefits of Working With a Life Coach: What You Need to Know

Are you feeling stuck and unfulfilled in your life, or do you feel like something is missing? Or, maybe thinking about focusing on personal growth or taking the next step toward achieving your goals, but don’t know how to begin. If any of that rings true, working with a professional life coach could be the answer.

Coaching is a unique and transformative process that can help you achieve your goals and live the life you've always dreamed of. A life coach is someone who helps guide people on their journey to personal growth, providing support and specific strategies designed to reach desired outcomes. If that sounds like something that could help you reach your full potential then read on to learn more about what life coaching entails—and why it might just be the right choice for you.

What is a Life Coach and How Do They Help People?

A life coach is a professional who helps clients navigate through everyday life challenges. Life coaches can provide guidance and support to help people live a more fulfilling life and achieve their goals– ranging from work-life balance, career paths, and personal relationships. Unlike therapists, life coaches do not focus on diagnosing or healing psychological issues; instead, they collaborate with clients to identify goals, create action steps and develop achievable plans for reaching them. Coaching can work in many different forms, such as one-on-one meetings, group sessions, or virtual meetings.

On a fundamental level, coaches build relationships based on a foundation of trust and ensure accountability as they help their clients navigate challenging situations, decisions, and unchartered territory. Specific benefits of working with a coach include:

  • Identifying areas of untapped potential and hidden strengths, while also reframing weaknesses and areas for growth.

  • Setting clear goals and keeping you accountable and on track along your path to success

  • Self-exploration and gaining clarity and perspective about one’s priorities and values.

  • Discovering new ways of thinking about your goals and potential barriers.

  • Uncovering and working through hidden behavior patterns that may be preventing growth and success.

No approach is one-size-fits-all, and coaching sessions and interactions are tailored to each individual's unique needs and preferences— helping them reach the best version of themselves that is attainable in the present moment.

What is the Difference Between a Life Coach and a Therapist?

Coaching is a process of self-discovery that enables people to make positive changes by setting meaningful goals. A life coach is a professional that provides support and accountability tailored to reaching specific goals. He or she can help with issues such as motivation, career goals, better communication, productivity strategies, and getting organized. While many life coaches have extensive training and certifications, there is no formal accreditation system that coaches have to go through to start their practice.

Therapist vs life coach

On the other hand, therapists are licensed mental health professionals who treat and help people cope with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to licensure requirements, coaching is different from traditional therapy in that it is future-focused, looking at how you can change your habits today to help you reach your goals tomorrow, while therapy often looks at how your past impacts your current state.

Both coaches and therapists work with individuals to instill long-term behavioral changes, and both professionals can be effective guides for improving your life — it just depends on what kind of assistance you need. In fact, it’s common to work with both a coach and a therapist.

How Life Coaching Works – The Process Explained

Working with a life coach can help you take the first steps in setting and achieving your goals. From getting clear about your objectives to setting milestones, and tracking progress, your coach provides you with the accountability and support needed to find success. The key is getting a true, holistic view of where you are currently in life, and setting goals, action plans, and implementing processes for continuous improvement along the way to keep you on track.

Every coach uses their own framework and approach to help their clients, but a bare-bones example of a coaching process would be:

  1. Goal-setting. This is where you sit down with your coach and determine what you want. What is the outcome you’re working towards?

  2. Identifying your current state. This is the gap between your goal and where you are today. Be realistic about where you stand, knowing that your coach is there to guide you through the path to success.

  3. Creative solutioning. This is where you work with your coach to map out different ways to reach your goal, giving yourself options to improve gradually, over time.

  4. Developing a clear action plan. Now it’s time to double down on an approach, set expectations for yourself, and map out milestones that can help you reach your goal. Using the SMART goal framework could be helpful here.

  5. Accountability and support. Motivation is fleeting, but consistency and persistence are the keys to success. Your life coach will help keep you accountable, reminding you of the goals and tactics you set for yourself, and helping you course-correct when needed so that you stay on track.

  6. Continuous self-improvement. Little by little, you see yourself changing and growing from the inside out. You’re not just getting closer to your goals, but you are becoming a new person.

  7. Success! It’s time to celebrate your hard work and accomplishments.

how to help your life coaching clients set goals

Common Types of Coaches and How They Help

People commonly seek support from life coaches to help them work through difficult changes, gain clarity and confidence, enhance their skills or self-image, make decisions about career paths, relationship issues, and more. Coaches come with a host of different titles and areas of expertise, and while all coaches may not call themselves life coaches, their work is ultimately to help you reach your goals in different areas of your life. Here are a few common types of coaches and how they help:

How do general life coaches help?

  • Unpacking limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities

  • Cultivating self-awareness

  • Developing personal and professional goals

  • Accountability and support using proven strategies to help you reach your goals

  • Facilitating balance in your life

  • Identifying habits that don’t serve you and a more aligned life through habit optimization and skill-building

  • Elevating your mindset and your sense of happiness and joy

How do business coaches help?

  • Identifying clear business goals

  • Helping implement proven strategies to support the attainment of your goals

  • Maintaining accountability and focus while juggling multiple priorities

  • Increasing sales and customer retention and satisfaction using industry-specific methodologies

  • Mentoring and guidance along the way

How do career coaches help?

  • Identifying career goals

  • Conducting resume reviews, editing, and enhancements

  • Crafting your personal narrative and elevator pitch

  • Assisting with salary negotiation conversations

  • Navigating a career shift

  • Identifying personal and professional strengths and opportunities for growth

  • Creating a clear link between passion and career

How do executive coaches help?

  • Transforming bosses into leaders

  • Navigating organizational change and assisting leaders with change management skills

  • Improving team performance through collaboration, self-awareness, and accountability

  • Building stronger rapport, collaboration, and communication across individuals and teams

  • Training leaders to be better equipped to lead their organizations and meet employees where they are

find a life coach, find a business coach, find an executive career coach

How do financial coaches help?

  • Identifying your financial goals

  • Improving your financial literacy and increasing your understanding of your own financial landscape

  • Learning and adopting new money management skills and approaches

  • Breaking down any limiting beliefs you have about finances or your ability to be financially stable

  • Helping keep you accountable to your financial goals and budget

How do relationship coaches help?

  • Understanding your needs, wants, and desires in your relationships

  • Learning how to attract and foster meaningful relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners

  • Navigating difficult conversations and help you find your voice

  • Helping you understand recurring themes in your relationships

  • Giving you assignments to help build intimacy and trust in your relationships.

How to Find the Right Life Coach – Key Questions to Ask Yourself

When it comes to finding the right life coach, it’s important to understand how you can benefit from this type of service or how it might even be necessary for certain goals. If you’ve given this some thought and are sure that coaching is right for you, the next step is to land on a coach. Every coach has their own coaching approach, communication style, and program delivery, and you’ll want to make sure that it works for you. Think about how willing you are to invest the time and energy into reaching your goal with a coach’s help. Research what kind of coaches are out there that can cater to your needs. Ask yourself the questions:

  • Am I comfortable with this coach?

  • Does my potential coach have the expertise necessary to help me reach my goal?

  • Does this coaching style sound like something that would work for me?

  • Does this price point work for me?

  • Does the coach’s communication style work for me?

  • Am I ready to commit to doing the work?

Key Takeaways

Overall, life coaching can be a powerful and inspiring experience for those motivated to make positive changes in their lives. It is important to do your research when it comes to finding the right life coach to help you achieve your goals, as all coaches won’t provide the same type of guidance. When exploring life coaching as an option, make sure that you are comfortable with what your life coach will offer and ensure that you are confident about the path that lies before you. Ultimately, having a strong relationship with your life coach is essential for achieving maximum personal transformation. When done right, coaching can unlock hidden potential, enhance your strengths, and deepen your sense of self-awareness—allowing you to live up to your true potential in every single aspect of your life!

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