So, What is Life Coaching?
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
Looking under the hood to provide intel into what life coaching is and how people are supported by this partnership.
Do you know how your car works? I’m asking literally, do you really understand what happens when you press your foot on the gas pedal prompting your car to accelerate or brake on command?
The truth is that most people do not know the intricacies behind auto mechanics. But does that prevent them from being capable drivers? No.
That is how I relate to most people’s understanding of life coaching. Most generally agree it’s a powerful resource and do not understand how it actually works or how it can accelerate projects within their lives.
I constantly find myself in conversation with people who have wildly different understandings of what coaching actually entails or, to be frank - how can this service help them.
So, what in the world is life coaching?
Life coaching is a conversation about the future. No, I’m not insinuating that as a coach, I have a mystical crystal ball and can predict the future for my clients - although that would make my work considerably easier. Coaching is a partnership that is intended to move people closer to their stated commitments. Without commitments or projects, coaching doesn’t really exist.
To be completely transparent, I didn’t really understand life coaching until I experienced it for myself. I was really struck by my initial encounter - it was unlike any “coaching” I had experienced prior. I was the driver of the conversation focusing on my agenda, the coach challenged me to find the answers I was looking for within myself, I had the choice to decide if I wanted to face the uncomfort or take the easy road. It was radically empowering.
My previous experience led me to believe that coaching was rooted in being told what to do and was exclusively directed by subject matter experts.
For example, when I played football for the University of Maryland if my coach told me to do something, I did it - no questions asked. I respected their knowledge, understanding of the game, and believed they had my best interest in mind. Compliance was mandatory.
In the corporate world, I have worked with managers who acted as performance coaches. They shared their insight regarding deal strategy, offered heavy handed suggestions on how I should organize my activities to reach success, and worked through career progression. And although compliance wasn’t mandatory like it was at Maryland, it was highly encouraged.
Noticing a trend? The absence of choice was apparent to me.
Life coaching is about inspiring action and empowering client choice toward stated commitments.
This is done in partnership. The client has to be fully empowered to decide which choices they want to make in service of what they want.
There are a variety of tools, methodologies, and tactics that are leveraged in life coaching. I won’t list all of them in this blog but here are a few examples of what may be present in a coaching session: establishing accountability practices, reflections, intently expressing what’s in your mind, providing awareness, noticing practices, introspective ideation, co-creating practices to support new habits, making declarations - to name a few.
Ultimately, life coaching is rooted in a partnership designed to help people create want they want in their lives.
It’s important to also mention what coaching is not. As coach…
I do not act as a subject matter expert for your life - only you can be that. Instead, I partner with you to explore the edges of your comfort zone and explore what’s on the other side, in support of your agenda and breakthroughs.
I am also not a therapist. I am not licensed to offer medical advice or treatment. I partner with clients to exercise vulnerability, practice full expression, and create a safe container to explore any area within their life.
I work with people to remove limiting beliefs, identify what they want to create, and work with them to actively move that area of their life forward.
I’ll be straight with you - it’s not always kumbaya. Coaching can be uplifting, but it can also be scary, confronting, and uncomfortable. The difference is that the client determines how far into the rabbit hole we go and drives the agenda.
Now you know what life coaching is, I hope you feel more knowledgeable and empowered to hit the open road in this wellness vehicle. I invite you to get curious about how a coaching partnership could support what you want to create in life.
Coaching inspires action. It has changed the trajectory of my life. Coaching continually challenges me to live in integrity and be intentional about who I need to be in order to manifest my desires. My commitment as a coach is to stand for my clients in the exact same way.
I believe that everyone has the ability to thrive within the power of their individual greatness and create the life of their dreams. I am also present to the impact that coaching can offer in supercharging an approach towards infinite possibility. It all begins with the choice to be in partnership. Godspeed.