Here is everything you need to know about life coaching:
What is a life coach?
A good life coach is someone who has dedicated their entire existence to personal development, spiritual growth, human behavior, mindfulness, wellness, and psychology so that they can become a master of the game of life.
This person has invested a great deal of time and money into their life and is now offering you an opportunity to learn from their successes and mistakes.
Their mission is to be a catalyst and help you become your best self so that you can achieve your goals and live your dreams.
They are someone who is your advocate, truly cares about your well-being, and has your best interest in mind and heart.
A coach acts like a tuning fork that invites you to raise your frequency to match theirs so that you can attract more joy, love, happiness, and abundance into your life.
A coach also acts as a mirror reflecting back to you certain things you need to learn about yourself.
The best life coaches are empathic, compassionate, kind, caring, gentle, warm, playful, intuitive, insightful, calming, perceptive, motivating, inspiring, friendly, wise, practical, grounded, supportive, strong, bold, honest, resourceful, understanding, trustworthy, professional, and always have a positive outlook on life so that they can help you turn lemons into lemonade.
A life coach is not…
- A therapist or counselor who can diagnose or treat mental health conditions or prescribe medications
- A consultant who is only going to tell you what to do
- Your parent whose going to constantly nag you
- Your friend who will just tell you what they think is best for you
- An employee who is going to do the work for you
See also: Coaching definition & meaning
What does a life coach do exactly?
A life coach will…
- Provide you a safe space free of judgement to explore who you are and what you want
- Help you gain clarity so you can get unstuck and move forward
- Ask you powerful questions that will foster your ability to solve your own problems
- Challenge you to find the courage to face your fears
- Remove all distractions so you can focus on what is most important for you
- Hold your hand and provide support along your journey of self-discovery
- Teach you how to transform your emotional triggers so they no longer get the best of you
- Help you increase your self awareness and gain a better understanding of yourself
- Support you in finding your passion and purpose in life
- Empower you to make better decisions that serve your best interest
- Help you breakthrough old negative thought patterns and self-limiting beliefs
- Guide you to see problems as challenges and opportunities to learn and grow
- Provide you feedback on how to improve in certain areas of your life
- Ignite a fire under you so that you become self motivated to lead your own life
- Support you through hard times and adversity
- Give you structure and discipline
- Help you build more confidence
- Put you in touch with your authentic self
- Help you become more productive
- Get to the root cause of what is holding you back
- Help you identify goals and accomplish them
- Provide you the space to be heard and feel understood
- Motivate and inspire you when you feel like giving up
- Give you a new perspective on things happening in your life
- Help you believe in yourself so you can overcome obstacles
- Hold you accountable increasing your chances of succeeding
- Provide inspiration and motivation when you feel like giving up
- Give you guidance on what steps you need to take to move forward
- Help you put an end to negative self-talk and self sabotage
- Help you to stop procrastinating and create better habits
- Help you release old baggage that is weighing you down
- Push you out of your comfort zone in a safe way that feels comfortable for you
- Assist you in making a drastic change in your life
- Provide reflection so you are no longer alone in your head
- Support you in processing difficult emotions
- Teach you how to turn problems into learning opportunities
- Spark your creative fire so you can invoke new ideas
- Help you become more self empowered
Benefits of life coaching
Here is how a life coach can help you:
- Gain clarity
- Faster results
- More focused
- Improved quality of life
- More productive
- Become more sociable & outgoing
- Move forward with your life
- Make better decisions
- More energized
- Overcome obstacles
- Reach your potential
- Become self motivated
- Experience more success
- Develop better habits
- Relieve stress, worries, and anxiety
- Feel more empowered
- Gain momentum
- Overcome fears
- Improve your thinking
- Achieve your goals
- Get out of a dead end job
- Get your finances in order
- Attract better friends
- More happiness & joy
- Change bad behaviors
- Find true love
- Feel more calm
- Higher self esteem
- More confidence
- Sleep better
- Tangible progress
- Feel lighter
- Fall in love with yourself
Do I need a life coach?
You would benefit from a life coach if you…
- Are unhappy
- Lack clarity and feel stuck
- Feel as if life is a constant struggle
- Have not found your passion or purpose
- Are going through a difficult transition
- Want to achieve your goals faster and easier
- Are not where you want to be at this point in your life
- Are unfulfilled in your career and are not sure what to do
- Feel as though your life is falling apart and starting all over
- Have low self esteem and lack confidence in yourself
- Feel a void in your life and know that something is missing
- Are a recent college graduate trying to figure out your career path
- Are in an unsatisfying relationship or marriage and know that you deserve someone better
- Are unorganized and lack focus to follow through on what you know is in your best interest
- Are constantly stressed out and overwhelmed and feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders
- Have a hard time making decisions and moving forward with your life
- Feel like your life is getting worse and are in a downward spiral
- Lack motivation and inspiration to do anything
- Have bad habits and lack discipline to take action
- Need help processing difficult emotions
- Feel like your life is in a funk and you have “lost your groove”
- Want to make a drastic change in your life and need help along the way
- Want to get to the root cause of what is holding you back in life
- Want to attract better people into your life
- Want to overcome self sabotage and limiting beliefs
- Want to be challenged to push yourself out of your comfort zone
- Are ready to face your fears and overcome them
- Want to better understand yourself and gain a new perspective on life
- Want to connect with someone who truly cares about you
Does life coaching work?
But only if you are willing to:
- Be honest with yourself about your shortcomings
- Take action and do the work necessary to move forward with your life
- Face your fears and overcome any self limiting beliefs
- Create a new set of habits that serve your best interest
- Be open to change and all that comes with it
- Invest the time and money it takes to succeed
- Stop being lazy and practice self discipline
- Stop procrastinating and manage your time more effectively so you can be more productive
- Be open and honest with your coach about who you are and what you want
If you are not willing to do all of these things, then coaching will not work.
It’s important to understand that a coach can only support you, they cannot do the work for you.
See also: Are life coaches worth it?
How to choose a life coach
If you want to find a life coach and are wondering what to look for before you dive in, it is important that you get someone who:
A. Has the proper training and accreditation
When it comes to training and accreditation, you want someone who not only went to proper schooling, but someone who has put in enough hours so that they have honed their skill.
B. Specializes in your specific needs
Many coaches now specialize in certain areas such as relationships, health, finances, career, and so on. Therefore it is important that you find someone who has dedicated their practice to a specific area that best suits your goals.
C. Fits your personality
Is it important that they are male or female?
Do you want someone who is strong and bold and will kick your butt? Or do you want them to be gentle and sensitive?
Is it important that they are playful? Or would you rather that they be more direct and serious?
Make sure you find someone who fits your personality because you are going to be spending a lot of time with them and you want to make sure your relationship flows naturally.
D. Local vs online
Is it important that you are able to meet with your coach in person?
Or are you okay meeting with them on the phone or video conferencing?
Some coaches provide online support while others don’t.
E. Your budget
How much can you afford?
While some coaches may offer a sliding scale, others are more firm in their fees.
F. Does it feel right?
Most coaches should provide you a free consult session to feel them out.
This is where you will need to have a set of questions ready for them so that you can use your intuition to asses whether or not they would be a good fit.
G. Are they sincere?
While you might assume that if someone is a coach that they must be sincere…this is not always the case.
You want to make sure that the coach you choose is someone who is authentic and is doing it for the right reasons.
H. Are they confident?
This is another one of those traits that you would assume a coach would have.
Not all do.
Because you are looking for strength and courage to make leaps and bounds in your own life, its important that your coach has the confidence in their skills to make you feel more confident.
I. Do you trust them?
Of course it goes without saying that you need to feel that you actually trust the person you are going to be working with.
And the best way to determine this is by scheduling a free consultation with them.
The best thing to do is have your consultation and then when you wake up the next day, ask yourself…”Does it feel right?”.
How much does life coaching cost?
The fees and costs associated with life coaching can vary anywhere from $25 an hour up to a $15,000 package.
On average, one session can run you between $75 to $200 and a long term package can range from $500 to $2000.
There are many factors you will need to consider such as:
A. What level of expertise do you want?
Do you want the best?
Someone who has been practicing for over ten years and is highly sought out?
Or are you okay working with someone who has just started out?
B. How long will it take to accomplish your goals?
Do you only need a few sessions?
Or are you requiring a few months?
On average, most coaches like their clients to commit to three months.
C. What can you comfortably afford?
At the end of the day, you are the best investment you can ever make.
Spending money on your growth is essential.
As the saying goes, “You gotta spend money to make money”.
With that said, it is never recommended that you spend so much that it makes you feel uncomfortable or financially burdened.
Are life coaches covered by insurance?
Most mainstream health insurance providers do not cover the costs of life coaching because it is not considered a mental health profession in the same way therapists and counselors are do to the fact that coaches are not regulated by the state.
However, recently a non-profit Medicaid group called CareSource has started covering the cost of coaching fees for their clients because they see how it correlates with their overall well-being.
The best thing for you to do is check with your provider and at the very least, by you asking them will send a signal to the company that they should be covering it. The more people who ask the more willing they are to respond.
What are the challenges of life coaching?
The two major issues clients generally face with their coaching is:
A. The Work
While you may be excited to finally make the decision to work with a coach, now comes the actual work. This is where some people can experience a pitfall because now they have to face their fears, low self esteem, and all the issues they have been avoiding in themselves.
However, as long as you are willing to be honest and brave, a good coach will help you by holding your hand ensuring that you are moving at your own pace.
B. The Wrong Coach
Not all coaches are made equally.
It’s imperative that you do your due diligence to find the right coach. This means that you must be willing to spend some time interviewing a few coaches by taking them up on their free consultation.
If you end up with the wrong coach, it can do more damage than good.
Life coaching vs therapist
The difference between therapy and coaching is that a therapist focuses on your past issues and mostly listens by providing “talk therapy”. This can be very therapeutic as it allows you to release certain emotions and thought patterns that have been bottled up inside.
A therapist does not provide advice.
While a coach spends some time understanding your past so that they can get an understanding as to why you are currently in your situation, their objective is to focus on your future and where you want to be.
If you believe you are suffering from old emotional wounds or traumatic issues from your parents or family that has deeply pained you, it might be beneficial to see a therapist before working with a coach so that you can release these old wounds that may be weighing you down.
Another major difference between a life coach and therapist is that a coach cannot diagnose any mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc. And therefore cannot prescribe any medications either.
Life coach vs counseling
The difference between counseling and coaching is that a counselor mostly addresses your emotional well being by giving you the space to talk about what is wrong with your life.
While a counselor can provide some advice, this is not really their area of expertise. Their main objective is to provide analysis and support on emotional issues that are troubling you.
With that said, these days the lines are starting to blur a bit in that many counselors are now doing some coaching and many coaches are offering counseling.
But the main difference is that counseling focuses on your past and present state of being and coaching focuses on the present and future state with its main objective focusing on who you want to become and what you want to accomplish
Another major difference between a life coach and counselor is that a coach cannot diagnose any mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc. And therefore cannot prescribe any medications either.
Life coaching vs mentoring
The difference between mentoring and coaching is that (generally speaking), a mentor is someone who is an expert in a specific field of interest and can help guide or teach the mentee on what they have learned.
For example, if someone is an expert at playing the guitar, they can be a mentor for someone who wants to learn guitar.
With that said, since many coaches are experts at the game of life, then there can be a lot of similarity between the two.
However, the key difference is that a mentor is very “loose” about how they teach and guide their mentee while a professional life coach has a specific code of ethics and protocols that they will follow.
The lines between a mentor and mentee can blur at times while a professional coaching relationship should be more defined and strict as to how they interact and work with one another.
Simply put, a life coaching relationship should be more professional and structured compared to a mentoring relationship
Life coach vs consultant
The difference between a life coach and a consultant is simple…
A consultant is someone you hire purely for their expertise and advice. Their job is not to help you grow as a person.
While a life coach can provide some advice and expertise like a consultant, their priority is to facilitate your growth and self empowerment.
A consultant talks at you by providing advice.
A coach asks you questions to guide you to come up with your own solutions.
What to expect from a life coach
The life coaching relationship generally works in two phases:
Phase 1 – Discovery & Clarity
During the discovery and clarity phase, a coach will ask you some questions to learn more about who you are, what you want, and what has been holding you back from getting what you want.
This process can last anywhere from one to four sessions because it is a pinnacle moment in your life where you take a moment to pause and then pivot in a new direction.
For some this can be challenging because it is going to force you to look at certain beliefs and ideas about yourself that you may have suppressed or hidden for many years.
Phase 2 – Chunking & Action
Once you have clearly identified what your goals are, a coach will help you chunk these down into bite size actionable steps and then hold you accountable through the process of achieving them.
Where the real magic happens with coaching is when they are able to help you breakthrough certain beliefs that may be holding you back or when they can inspire and motivate you to face your fears and step up into you becoming a better version of yourself.
Most sessions last between 45 to 60 minutes.
What does a life coach expect of me?
When you commit to the coaching relationship, you are expected to:
A. Show up on time
A coach is only paid by the hour which means their time is very important. If he or she designates a block of time for you, then you are expected to respect that by showing up on time and being ready to get the most out of the session.
B. Be honest and vulnerable
A coach can only support you if you are willing to be honest, transparent, and vulnerable. If you withhold any information and are not forthcoming, you will not get the full benefits of coaching
C. Do the work necessary
During your coaching relationship, a coach is going to give you homework and assignments to follow through on. These items will be assigned to you based upon what you worked on in your session.
If you do not follow through with the necessary assignments, you are expected to be honest as to why you did not do them so that you can breakthrough any challenges you may be facing with them.
D. Be accountable for your actions
The only way a coach can support you in the relationship is if you are willing to be fully accountable for your actions.
No more excuses.
E. Be Proactive
During your coaching sessions you are expected to be proactive so that the coach is not having to do all the leading and initiating. Coaching is also the process of you becoming self-motivated and driven to lead your own life and not always wait for someone else to do it.
F. Enjoy the journey
While coaching can be a serious interaction, it’s important to have a sense of enjoyment through the process.
A life coach is excited to be supporting you and they want to enjoy the sessions as much as you do!
How long does coaching take to see results?
This really depends on what your situation is.
For some clients, they can get everything they need from one “power session” that lasts about 90 minutes to two hours. This is ideal for someone who may be stuck in a certain situation and just needs to brainstorm with the coach on how to move forward.
Other people who need support along their journey of transformation will need three to six months before they see the results they seek.
Remember…Rome wasn’t built in a day and if you are seeking radical change in your life this will take time because there are many layers that you will need to address and work on.
When it comes to getting clear on who you are, what you want, forming new habits, building confidence, breaking through old self-limiting beliefs, and so on, this can take time.
However, when you find the best life coach that fits your needs, you should feel better and a sense of optimism right after your first session.
Types Of Life Coaches
Life Coaches By Region
- Huffington Post
- Coaching Articles
- Life Coaching Books
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- 1 What is a life coach?
- 2 What does a life coach do exactly?
- 3 Benefits of life coaching
- 4 Do I need a life coach?
- 5 Does life coaching work?
- 6 How to choose a life coach
- 7 How much does life coaching cost?
- 8 Are life coaches covered by insurance?
- 9 What are the challenges of life coaching?
- 10 Life coaching vs therapist
- 11 Life coach vs counseling
- 12 Life coaching vs mentoring
- 13 Life coach vs consultant
- 14 What to expect from a life coach
- 15 What does a life coach expect of me?
- 16 How long does coaching take to see results?
- 17 Types Of Life Coaches
- 18 Life Coaches By Region