Personal Experiences: What is Life Coaching?
By Judy Churchill
It’s coming up to that time of year again when people start thinking about making new starts, resolutions, and setting aims for the year ahead. Call it what you will December is the month of closing the last chapter of a book and getting ready to start writing the first page of a new one.
It’s therefore no surprise that I get enquires in the time leading up to Christmas from people thinking about embarking on a course of life coaching in the new year to help them implement those changes or wondering about purchasing some sessions for a loved one or even an employee to get the year off to a good start. What many people ask quite legitimately is: ‘What exactly is Life Coaching?’ So this month I’ve decided to answer that question and write about it to clarify matters for those who are unsure and clear up the misconceptions which lead many to confuse coaching with counseling or therapy. Life Coaching may turn out to be a very therapeutic experience but it is very definitely not therapy in the traditional sense of the word.
As my new year gift to all TRW readers and their families and a thank you for reading and supporting my articles, I’m offering a free 60 minute life coaching session via phone, Skype or in person to the first person to email the editor Anna Fill and 10% off all new Life Coaching programmes booked before 15th January.
Let’s take a bullet point look at what Life Coaching (LC) is and what it isn’t, and what you can expect if you come to me for coaching – that way you can make an informed choice as to whether it’s something that fits your agenda or whether you or your loved ones need to explore other avenues.
What Life coaching is:
✓ It’s all about taking you from POTENTIAL to PERFORMANCE.
✓ In simple terms, LC is designed to help you get from where you are NOW in your life to where you DREAM of being tomorrow.
✓ If you know where you want to be but just can’t seem to get there or if your life lacks any kind of purpose or direction then LC can fast track you to where you want to go. There’s no time wasting. We will only discuss issues relevant to what you want to achieve.
✓ If your life lacks balance and harmony, LC can overcome this. LC will work on your WHOLE life identifying and restoring balance to each area.
What can you expect if you come to me for Life Coaching and what will I expect from you?
✓ As your coach I am here to push you to make the necessary changes to improve your life and change things for the better. It is all about achieving RESULTS! You may have been thinking about doing something for a long time; I will help you finally DO it.
✓ If your mental ‘software’ is out of date I will help you upgrade it so that you become the latest model and best version of ‘yourself’, performing faster, more effectively and successfully. I will act as your antivirus, ridding your system of bugs and parasites and reprogramming you for success.
✓ LC is not therapy (more about this later), it is about outcomes and results that you will define and that I will help you achieve. My role is to enable and empower you. Your role is to fully commit to the programme.
✓ Your success is of paramount importance to me because if you are successful, I’m successful.
Areas of focus:
✓ Although LC will focus on the particular area(s) of your life that you wish to improve, you will find that it will help you in EVERY aspect of you life: business, career, health and fitness, relationships, wealth and self-esteem. This means that you achieve balance in your life. LC prevents you from overachieving in one area at the cost of underachieving in another.
✓ As your coach, I will cast a holistic eye over your life and help you identify the areas that need the most attention, remove the obstructions and obstacles that are stopping you achieve, develop an action plan with you and then push you to follow through on those actions enabling you to reach your targets and achieve your full potential.
✓ Our working relationship will be based on honesty and respect. Your full commitment will be required to guarantee success.
What is the ultimate equation for success? As Tim Gallwey says in his book , ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’ “Potential minus Interference equals Performance”. It is always the interference or obstructions that stop you from achieving what your heart is set on. LC will help you identify those obstacles and show you how to remove them so that the road is clear and you reach your destination in the fastest possible time. Below are some suggestions to help you identify WHAT obstacles you may be experiencing right now. In LC sessions we work on HOW to deal with them. If you identity more than two obstructions from this list in your own life then you have a very good case for considering LC.
Possible obstructions that LC can help you both identify and overcome:
✓ No clear vision or purpose:
Perhaps you have no clear vision of what you want. No mission statement. Who are you? What do you stand for? What is your purpose?
✓ Outcomes obscured:
Perhaps you are not fully committed to achieving the goals you define as they are not your own and belong to your partner, another family member or your hierarchy at work. LC will show you how to author and own your own destiny.
✓ Putting yourself Last:
Perhaps you are being a martyr and neglecting your own needs.
✓ Perceived Age Barriers:
Perhaps you have goals but believe you are too old or too young to achieve them.
✓ Financial Problems:
Perhaps you’ve neglected your finances for too long and it’s time for a reality check.
✓ Family Commitments:
This is a common one and regularly used as an excuse to opt out of dreams. LC will show you how dreams can be achieved without your family suffering.
✓ Hero/Rescuer Syndrome:
Perhaps you’re taking on too much work and haven’t really stopped to ask yourself why. LC will help you uncover the real reason behind this. Are you busy rescuing everyone else and neglecting yourself? LC will help you understand why you do this and redirect this energy into achieving your own outcomes and goals.
✓ It will happen ‘one day’ syndrome:
Perhaps you’re living for tomorrow when what you really need is to make an appointment with the here and now. LC will help you work towards your dreams right now. It will help you take back control of your life by taking positive action that achieves the results you want.
✓ Stuck in a rut:
Perhaps you can’t see a way out of your current situation. You are long overdue for a recalibration and LC will clarify your options moving you forward fast.
✓ Time priorities:
Do you really not have time or is there a commitment obstruction? Genuine time issues can be addressed and any other issues can be overcome, as LC will help you confront your own behaviour and challenge why you consistently fail to deliver.
✓ Adrenalin junkies:
Working too hard and playing too little? Do you get a thrill from the rush of a crisis only to slip back into an exhausted mindset? LC will show you how to achieve your goals and have a healthy work/play balance.
✓ Married to the Material:
Perhaps you’re too attached to material things or the trappings and perks your current lifestyle provides and can’t break free, although you crave a simpler life. LC will show you how to reset the balance and restore harmony where materialism is weighing you down.
✓ Drained by energy vampires:
Perhaps you’re keeping the company of the wrong people who hinder rather than help you, sapping your energy and crushing your dreams. Perhaps your entourage feels threatened by your planned changes. LC will show you how to deal with this and create new positive, energizing relationships.
✓ Rebellious, Self-sabotage champs:
Perhaps you initially commit to doing a task only to rebel by deliberately not achieving. LC will show you how to kick this destructive trait.
Life coaching is about challenging your belief system and removing the obstacles, encouraging you to go beyond your perceived barriers and accomplish your dreams and aspirations. It is about creating a life of balance and fulfillment and it truly is within your grasp. Even if no one else is supporting you, I as your coach will be there for you. Everyone has an immense potential just waiting to be released. As your life coach I can help you release it.
What Life Coaching is NOT:
Life coaching is not the same as Counselling and Therapy. Counsellors and therapists will look to the past for answers. Life coaches deal with the here and now.
Life coaching is NOT therapy and neither does it have any connections to psychiatry. Life coaching does NOT deal with diseases of the body or mind. It does however help with clients’ ‘dis-ease’, unease or dissatisfaction. It helps with issues of self-esteem and inability to achieve desired goals.
Life coaching is deeply anchored in the present and future and founded on the premise that the past need not equate to the future. It acts as a catalyst to helping you define your own way forward. Life coaching uses a very different method of working from those used by a therapist or counsellor. It is vital to understand this distinction. Therapy works from the past and life coaching starts from the present – the here and NOW.
In my coaching sessions I use many techniques drawn from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Transactional Analysis and Emotional Intelligence in which I have extensive experience built up over a period of 20 years of working in the training and coaching arena of the Healthcare industry. I use certain techniques only inasmuch as they will help you with your goal setting and achievement and to fast track your transformation.
Life coaching is only about results! If you don’t want results don’t do life coaching; if you do, and you would like some help I look forward to meeting you very soon!