What does a life coach really do?

No, I’m not going to tell you what you should do with your life.

As a life coach, I’m being asked this question on daily basis: “You are a life coach? So what do you do?” In some circles, hiring a life coach is the “thing” these days and people who have no experience with coaching are also starting to get curious. What is the magic? Is a life coach someone who always knows what is the best thing to do? Is it someone who sees through people? Someone who will shout at them to stop eating so much cake?

My general answer is: A life coach is a person just like you, who has been trained to listen and observe really well and to ask the right questions. Questions that have the power to shift the way you are used to perceiving yourself and your life. The new perspectives enable you to become more creative and find new ways to approach your challenges.

To be more concrete, I’m offering you a simple breakdown of the specific things that a life coach usually does and does not do:

  1. Life coach asks you a lot of questions.

In coaching, you will be asked a specific kind of questions, called powerful questions. These questions are not meant for the coach to get more information about you. The purpose of these questions is for YOU to get new insights into who you are and your situation. If you are curious what powerful questions look like, check out my previous article.

2. Life coach offers you their observations.

A life coach will listen to you attentively, paying attention not only to your words, but also to what is not being said, your body language, your energy, your tone of voice. You could be very surprised with what you learn about yourself by having someone who will mirror back to you what they see and hear!

3. Life coach facilitates for you the process of clarification.

New revelations are opening up and some old truths might not be valid for you anymore. This can feel overwhelming. Your life coach is here for you to facilitate the process for you to find ways to digest and apply new learnings so that they serve your life and your purpose.

4. Life coach sees your limiting beliefs and challenges them.

Everyone has certain beliefs and old stories that we keep telling ourselves without even knowing where they originate. A life coach can see you with fresh eyes and is ready to challenge the limiting beliefs that are not serving you anymore and will support you with replacing these old stories with fresh, resonant and more truthful ones that will match with who you are right now.

5. Life coach does not “diagnose” you or “label” you.

A life coach believes that you are naturally creative, resourceful and a whole person. You are not broken and therefore you are not meant to be diagnosed or labeled with a certain type of “brokenness”. Your life coach should always be non-judgemental, open-minded and curious about you and your uniqueness. Each coaching session is tailored for your specific needs as opposed to having a specific agenda prescribed by the coach.

6. Life coach does not tell you what you should do.

One of the biggest misconceptions about life coaches is that they are supposed to be someone who knows what people should do with their life. Someone, who will tell them exactly what to do and go after them if they don’t follow their advice. The reality can’t be further from the truth! I have written more about this topic in one of my previous articles.

A life coach is not a muscular guy with a whistle, wearing a tracksuit, shouting at you to stop watching Netflix and start eating more organic vegetables.

The point of life coaching is that YOU find your own solutions to your challenges. Your coach does not know what is best for you. YOU do and the coach facilitates the process for you to find ways to “hear” your own answers to your questions.

As a witness of your discoveries, your coach can be a great accountability partner for you, should you need one to make sure you are going to put your learning into practice. But you are the one who defines what works for you and if you need to be kept accountable for your own commitment.

Working with a life coach is a big, life changing adventure! It is about starting to live your purpose today, not once you get that promotion, once your kids grow up or once you save  enough money. Now. Are you ready to explore what is possible for you in this life?

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