What in the world is life coaching anyways?
The International Coach Federation defines life coaching “as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
I can offer you all kinds of other textbook definitions but instead, let me give you an analogy…
Let’s say you really want to become a Nephrologist. Say what? You heard me. A Nephrologist. Don’t worry…until 5 minutes ago, I had no idea what that was either. For those of you like me who know absolutely nothing about the medical world, a Nephrologist is a kidney disease specialist.
What does this have to do with life coaching? Well, to achieve your goal, you might seek the help of various professionals for different needs:
Counsellor: When you think about why you’ve chosen to become a Nephrologist, you get very emotional. So choked up, in fact, that you need to address some deeper issues. Your father died only a year ago from polycystic kidney disease. You’re still reeling from his death and if that’s not enough, you’ve also discovered that you inherited the dominant gene for the disease. Before you can move forward, you need to address underlying issues of grief and fear. Emotional wounds from the past need healing before you can move to the future.
Mentor: Before you officially decide to pursue this career, you may want to investigate further. This means seeking out the wisdom of someone who has the experience you’re after. By finding a student already in training, for instance, you might learn a thing or two about the further education required, what time commitment you might be facing and the pros and cons of studying for this particular career. To find a mentor is to find someone experienced who can support you in your journey.
Consultant: Someone who has expertise in this field would be invaluable in your search. By finding a practicing Nephrologist, or several for that matter, you can further investigate the field of nephrology and determine if this is the right choice for you.
Life Coach: Let me make it very clear to you that I do not possess any kind of knowledge about nephrology. In fact, the word itself could put me to sleep. That’s exactly the point. My role is to support you as my client – the subject matter is irrelevant. Unlike other professions out there, the life coach is not considered the expert. You are. In your pursuit of any goal, I will walk alongside you, motivate you, ask you questions, hold you accountable and support you in whatever way you need. The life coach is there to pull you forward by getting you in touch with yourself in ways you never thought possible.
Hiring a life coach is signing on for a better life. I’ve been there. I’ve done it. And I invite you to do the same.