When you bring up Life-Coaching in a conversation, people get pretty quiet. I'm pretty sure it's because no one knows what life coaching is and they don't want to sound dumb.
But it's probably exactly what you think it is: life coaching is having a coach for your life. That's pretty much it.
The definition changes depending on who you are as a person and what you want out of life. For example, a young woman in her twenties may want a career in a new field, or she may want to start a family. Or maybe both! Everyone is different and everyone's goals and dreams reflect those differences.
What do life coaches do?
Life coaches are like very honest friends. Because they aren't your friend, but they do care about you and want you to succeed. Life coaches listen to what your goals are, help you refine those goals, and then help you recognize what beliefs or thought processes are in your way of achieving that goal. Sitting in a life coaching session, you may feel like you're doing all the work. That's because you are! The life coach listens to you and then uses specific questions and approaches to make you realize the things they've realized all along. They will never give you all of the answers because in the long run, that doesn't help you and it makes you dependent on your coach.
For example, let's say you want to get married and have kids. You've been bar-hopping on the weekends hoping to meet someone, but that hasn't been working. You see a life coach about it and she mentions that one of the bars you regularly visit has a singles night on Mondays where you can meet other singles.
You might say something like, "yeah, I don't want to go to those. It's not romantic. I want to meet someone organically." (This is a fairly common reason for not pursuing romantic relationships.)
What the life coach does is not tell you that you are wrong, but instead they ask you questions like, how did your friends meet their spouses? What are you looking for in a spouse? How could you find someone using those things you're looking for?
Most people eventually change their perspective and decide to try something they really didn't want to do before. In this case, the client was convinced that meeting someone at a singles night wasn't romantic. However, after talking through the desire to meet a spouse organically, the client's definition of romantic may change. Or not. The job of a life coach is not to change your mind. Their job is to help you become more you.
What do people see a life coach for?
People see life coaches for relationship growth, professional growth, emotional growth, spiritual growth and more. The only restriction is this: Life Coaches are not Counselors. If anything breaches into the mental health field, the diagnosis of mental illnesses or dealing with trauma or abuse, your life coach will redirect those issues to a counselor.
The difference between the two professions is this:
The focus of counseling is accepting and dealing with an unchangeable past; the focus of life coaching is realizing a newly defined future.
In addition, having a separate counselor and life coach instead of expecting one of them to do both jobs will help you become a more rounded person. Obviously mental illness, past trauma, and abuse will affect your situation in life coaching, and good life coaches are conscious of that. They won't shut you down if you start discussing them, especially when you're relating them to the future you want to have. They will discuss how those problems have created certain roadblocks for you. But a life coach's focus is on the roadblocks themselves, not the issue that caused them. They will not carry on a conversation about an unchangeable past, only a newly defined future.
That is just the tip of the iceberg of what life-coaching can do for you. You can learn more about life coaching here, and if you're interested in me being your life coach, you can apply here (I screen my potential clients to make sure I can help them with their desired change). There's no pressure to start life coaching right away, but if you want to commit to making changes in your life, sometimes the first, and best step is speaking that possibility into being with action. Do something to speak that reality into being today!