Life Coaching is a term which describes a future focused practice which aims to help individuals achieve personal goals. Though there are many different branches of coaching the premise for each remains the same and it revolves around helping you to close the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be in the future.
If you feel as though your life has become somewhat stagnant and you are no longer progressing and achieving as you would like then life coaching could help to improve your self-confidence and motivation subsequently helping you towards reach your personal goals.
There are several methods used by life coaches which help individuals to grow, change and ultimately reach their goals, many of them drawing on disciplines such as sociology, career counselling, mentoring and other techniques such as behaviour modification and goal setting.
In addition to this there are many different areas of coaching which cover everything from career coaching which could help you to achieve fulfilment in your job right through to relationship coaching which is used to help couples or individuals to overcome their issues.
Life coaching can be applied using a variety of different formats, ranging from sports coaching and business coaching to slightly more niche styles such as motivational speaking. Most teachers commonly offer face to face or telephone coaching, although advances in technology mean coaches are now able to offer more flexibility for clients using internet chat and skype conversations.
History of Life Coaching
Life coaching is a relatively recent development in the therapy field, only really establishing itself around twenty years ago. However, if we look back slightly further we are able to see how life coaching developed over time. In the 1880's American college sports teams had coaches as well as managers and though the role is very much concerned with the direction, instruction and training aspects, a coach is also required to mentor and motivate a team with the use of goal setting and other techniques.
The Life Coaching we are familiar with today really began to grow in the 1980's when executive and business coaching began to be offered to large companies as a way of improving performance and productivity in employees. As time progressed this coaching method began to trickle down into smaller organisations and then eventually to individuals who realised the full potential of coaching on their entire lives as opposed to just their careers. As news of its merits began to spread, so did its popularity and methods of delivery, rapidly diversifying into an accessible therapy that can be performed face to face, over the telephone or using the internet.
What does treatment consist of?
Before your coaching commences you will usually be required to have an initial consultation. This provides yourself and your coach with the opportunity to discuss a number of issues. Firstly they may ask you about your overall health, wellbeing, lifestyle, emotional state and medical history, this will help them to build a picture of you which will subsequently enable them to provide you with bespoke and personal treatment.
To begin it will be you who is doing most of the talking as it is important for your life coach to understand what you wish to gain from coaching and what you would like the outcome to be. It is at this point you will discuss what is really important to you, your priorities and goals, the outcomes you seek and the opportunities and challenges you are facing. It is only then that your life coach will be able to form a treatment plan which details a breakdown of how best to achieve the goals discussed.
What happens during the session?
Your sessions will mainly revolve around discussions between yourself and your life coach about your aims and goals. How will you work towards achieving these and as the sessions progress are you moving closer to your desired outcomes?
Though your life coach is there to give you guidance and support they will leave it up to you to challenge and address certain ideas which you feel will help you to move forward in your life. Though suggestions may be made, the ultimate decision lies with you and you will not be forced to do anything you feel uncomfortable with. All sessions are entirely confidential enabling you to fully explore your feelings in a private environment.
How can Life Coaching benefit me?
Whatever aspect of your life you wish to improve it's likely that life coaching will be able to help you in some way. Whether you wish to enhance your work performance and career opportunities or you feel stuck in a rut and require confidence and motivation to move forward you are likely to find the help you need from life coaching.
Listed below are a few specific areas for which Life Coaching is renowned for addressing:
Many people find that after spending a period of years performing the same job role they begin to loose the motivation and passion they had when they first began.
Unfortunately our dream job isn't always the first and only one we apply for and this often means we fall into a line of work which we enjoy but is ultimately not the path we wish to pursue. We enter these situations with good intentions of pursuing what we really want at a later and more convenient time but many of us never get around to doing this.
There are many reasons why people suddenly feel stagnant and unfulfilled and life coaching is a valuable tool which enables individuals to review their options and make positive changes in their careers which could provide a new found energy for their role or alter the direction in which they are heading.
Confidence is a very important asset in life and it is also something we all wish we could have a little more of. Suffering from low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence can have a huge impact on a persons professional and personal life, often resulting in individual's not feeling as though they possess the qualities needed to achieve their goals.
The word confidence means something different to everyone, for some it may be the ability to give a speech in front of friends and family at a wedding, to others it may be about applying for a promotion or presenting an idea to a group of colleagues. Confidence is all about having belief in yourself and this is something coaching could help with.
Think about all the things you could achieve with a new found confidence. Perhaps you had been thinking about applying for a promotion but didn't think you stood a chance up against a more confident co-worker?
Confidence coaching can help you to turn these visions into reality by working with you to form a development programme by using certain techniques such as setting empowering goals.
Knowing how to handle our finances is not a skill that we are born with, but is something we must learn. It may be that you need a helping hand in identifying your monthly outgoings, or you want to know how to best plan for the future, ether way a financial coach could help you to manage your money more effectively.
Health Coaching is a branch of Life Coaching which is targeted at improving a persons overall health and fitness. This could be a useful and relevant treatment for anyone wanting to improve their overall well being but it is also a tool which could be particularly useful to employers who wish to reduce the amount of working hours lost through ill health.
Relationships play an essential role in our lives, bringing us much happiness and fulfilment but also occasionally some upset. Unfortunately it is all too easy to slip into the pattern of taking the other person for granted or never having enough time to discuss issues with one another. Relationships need to be nurtured and cared for and as we change so do our relationships and this is why we need to work at helping them to run smoothly.
If you are experiencing some turbulence in a relationship, whether it be with a partner a friend of a family member then relationship coaching could help you to find better ways of relating to one another . A relationship coach will help you to address issues within your relationship such as communication, time spent together, personal space, intimacy and differences as well as considering certain external factors which may be having an effect such as family, career, friends and colleagues.
Spirituality is a term which describes an individual's sense of meaning and purpose and generally faces much misconception about it being solely focused on religion. Religion is actually only a minor part of spirituality as it is in fact based around individuals exploring their spirituality and asking important questions about life and their inner selves.
Many people turn to spiritual coaching when they have achieved much of what they thought would make them feel happy such as a good job, a nice house, a steady relationship etc but they are still left feeling unfulfilled.
Life/Spiritual coaching can help individuals to explore their spirituality by helping them establish what is really important to them in life, their inner dreams and goals, beliefs and inner values, a deeper understanding of where they are now and where they would like to be.
Business coaching can help to unlock motivation in staff members which could result in a more pleasant and productive atmosphere with a higher performance delivery throughout the company. Business coaching takes aspects from life coaching such as relationships and stress and applies them to a business environment making it a useful professional tool.
A life coach will be able to help individuals understand why they are feeling stressed and will help to modify any negative thoughts enabling us to manage and control our stress levels. Stress can be caused by many things going on in our lives both internally, meaning our feelings towards situations and people and externally such as our jobs and relationships.
Whatever the reason life coaching will help individuals to identify their stress threshold and when they are experiencing negative stress.
If you are feeling like there are never enough hours in the day and the pressure of work is beginning to put a strain on your everyday life then it may be time to consider reassessing your work/life balance.
Many of us are familiar with the saying 'work to live not live to work', yet few of us take it seriously and spend much of our leisure time thinking about work, doing overtime and missing out on the things that are really important. It is essential that a balance is struck between the responsibilities or earning a living and doing the things you enjoy.
A life coach will be able to help you achieve this balance and they will also help you to establish how you would like to spend you life.
Visit Life Coach Directory to find a qualified life coach near you.
Therapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
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Vishal Kohli BAMS, PGPP, PGDKPJuly 18th, 2012
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