What is life coaching?
Life coaching, when done right, can shift the entire trajectory of a person’s life, no matter who they are or where they come from, in an incredibly short time.
Life coaching is a field of coaching that focuses on helping people become the best versions of themselves. A life coach is a trained professional who supports individuals to achieve their goals in any area of their lives, such as relationships, careers, personal growth, and health.
Also known as personal coaching, life coaching is about enabling every person to live their life to the fullest, unlock their potential, and create a life of purpose and fulfillment. Life coaches help clients identify their goals and make a plan to reach them.
Why Is Life Coaching Important?
A great life coach can quickly and skillfully create an environment that lets the client see their blind spots - the beliefs, fears, doubts holding them back – and helps them overcome internal and external barriers towards happiness and fulfillment.
People who are ready to give up on their goals and dreams can experience a 100% turnaround after working with a coach.
People who feel anxious or afraid can find focus, direction, and a renewed sense of joy and energy with a life coach by their side, motivating them and cheering them on.
As a person who is prospectively looking for a career in this, you need to find your purpose as a life coach.
Write a new version of who a life coach is and what they do in your own words:
What is life coaching for you? What does life coaching mean to you? Why are you interested in becoming a coach? What kind of results or transformation do you want to create for your clients?
This simple 5-minute activity will create clarity and help embody the role as you get started on your journey as a new coach. Watch this video to find your coaching purpose.
Debunking Common Life Coaching Myths
One of the first steps in your journey in life coaching is to debunk the most destructive myths about your career. The more you realize what being a life coach is about, the more you can help prospective clients find the confidence, courage, and clarity inside themselves.
So now that you know what is life coaching, it’s time to find out what it isn’t…
life coaching is the same as therapy
Some people even mix and match the two, using “life coaching” and “therapy” interchangeably.
Let’s get something straight…
Life coaching is not therapy. Not even close.
A therapist is a healthcare professional who provides long-term support and healing around beliefs, trauma, and other problematic issues that are often rooted in the past.
Patients can be in therapy for months, often years… sometimes even decades.
Life coaches offer a very different service for their clients.
They’re not healthcare professionals and they do not offer diagnosis on mental or physical symptoms.
Life coaches are future-oriented and their aim is to put their clients in the driver’s seat so they are in full control of what happens each day, week, month and for the rest of their lives.
Learn more about Coaching vs Therapy.
Life Coaching is about “Fixing” things for the client
The myth that a life coach is someone who will take over and right the wrongs, make the decisions and put the client’s life back together.
A life coach does none of the above.
They’re there to help clients find the confidence, courage, and clarity inside themselves.
This is so the client can create changes on their own.
Life coaches get clients to look at life or at a problem or obstacle with new eyes…
To get creative with solutions and find new ways to fix what needs to be fixed.
This is a priceless life skill and a gift that stays with a client long after the coaching sessions end.
Life Coaching is for weak people
This is possibly the most destructive myth of all.
The belief that those who work with life coaches are troubled and unable to help themselves.
That life coaching is for unsuccessful, unproductive people who complain and make excuses for everything that doesn’t go the way they want it to.
This is 100% false.
Do you know what Andre Agassi, Hugh Jackman, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Serena Williams, and Leonardo Di Caprio have in common?
Hint: They all work with coaches!
Read more about celebrities who work with life coaches.
Dealing with Life Coaching Myths
Life coaching is a relatively new and expanding field. Therefore, it is full of misconceptions. This is also true for other coaching occupations such as business coaching and sports coaching.
Even being an academic life coach comes with its set of coaching myths. With the advent of social media and its visibility, it has become easier for myths to spread and build a home in the minds of many people.
As life coaches, we need to be able to be aware of the myths surrounding us and effectively dispel them. You might have heard of many people also giving into hearsay, like this life coaching myth: life coaches are experts in life.
This assumes that life coaches do not have to face issues in their life. With social media fueling toxic positivity, i.e., focusing only on the positive side of other people’s lives, it is important for people to see life coaches as people too.
As a life coach, you are a professional who is familiar with fears, challenges and changes and can guide your clients along through experiences and application. It does not mean that your life, just because you are a life coach, is picture perfect and devoid of any challenges.
And that is just one more life coaching myth that we need to learn to deal with.
Other than the myths listed in this chapter, what are the myths in your mind that need to be debunked? What are some of the negative beliefs or ideas you have about life coaching?
Here’s the thing…
You cannot fully step into your role as phenomenal life coach if you have negative beliefs about what you do.
So, take 10 minutes to list out any misconceptions about life coaching that come up for you.
When you’re done, read through each belief on your list and ask yourself:
Can I find facts or evidence to support this?
Myths, misconceptions, and false beliefs are fueled by hearsay, groupthink, and emotions such as fear and doubt.
They disappear in the light of logic and rational thinking.
Looking at each of your negative beliefs through a logical lens will help you see that they’re untrue so you can start to release them for good.
How To Become A Life Coach
Do you feel life coaching is your calling and you're ready to take the first step? Watch this video to find out how to get started as a new life coach.
Now that you’ve got a pretty clear picture about what life coaching is, what’s next? Discover the key life coaching skills you need to master to become a great coach.