You may have heard of a life or career coach in the past – but have you ever wondered how coaching could add value to your own life?
If you’ve never considered coaching before, or you have, but you’d like to know more about what you could stand to gain, then have a read of the following 7 ways that coaching could help you…
What is coaching?
Coaches help people to take a step back from their daily lives and look at the bigger picture, so they can identify which aspects of their lives they’d like to improve. They can also help you to gain a better understanding of issues you might be facing, and to increase your own awareness of your perceptions, behaviours, values and beliefs – which can bring you clarity over what you want in life and how you can go about getting it.
Some people might find that they are generally dissatisfied with their life and could use some help exploring and evaluating possible ways to make a positive change, whilst others might have specific areas that they already know they’d like to work on. For example, wanting to feel more confident generally in their work and social life, or going after their dream job.
Exploring and reevaluating your future can be exciting, but also daunting and feel like hard work – which is where having a coach can be particularly useful. They can offer you support, encouragement and motivation to help you get where you need to go. They can also help you work on believing that you can get there by helping you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. The relationship between a coach and coachee is a collaborative one. They can’t fix your life for you – only you can do that – but they can help you to identify and develop strategies and techniques that will help you to reach your goals faster.
It can be helpful to think of a coach in the same way that we might think of a personal trainer. Personal trainers are essentially a coach for the body, whereas coaches are more like personal trainers for your mind. They can help you to unlock your full potential by giving you the confidence and tools you need to move towards your goals, and get the most from life.
There are different types of coaches that specialise in different areas of life – including health and wellbeing, redundancy, relationships, general life, careers, and so on. So it’s up to you to decide which type of coaching you think you could benefit from most.
7 ways that coaching could help you
1. Explore what you want to get from life, why you want to do it and how you can get there
Some people already have a clear idea about where they want to go in life and what they want to do. For example, perhaps you’ve worked in a financial role in the city for many years, but would now like to make a switch and work with animals instead. Or maybe you’ve already decided that you’d like to leave your partner but feel scared, and need some help seeing it through. Even if you’re already clear on the significant change that you’d like to make, you might need some help in working through the steps needed to get there.
Or perhaps you have no idea what changes you want to make in your life just yet – but you’re aware that you’re feeling bored, unsettled or unhappy. Or you’ve just been made redundant and you’re unsure where to turn next. Whatever your circumstances, a coach can help you to explore and evaluate all your options so that you can pinpoint exactly what you want to achieve next, and how you can create realistic short and long-term goals to get there. This includes exploring not just what you feel you want to do, but also considering what you feel that you should or ought to do – or even what you know you definitely don’t want to do. Distinguishing between these things can help to give you extra focus and clarity over what changes you want to make to your life.
2. Gain a better understanding of your values, beliefs, behaviours and attitudes
If you’ve been doing the same things for a long time – whether that be a job, a relationship or a bad habit – then it can sometimes be difficult to break away from it, or to see yourself in any other role. When you’ve become stuck in a certain routine, it’s also easy for your core values, beliefs, and attitudes to become buried beneath the surface. Perhaps you’ve stopped considering how you feel about certain events or issues, or you’ve stopped paying attention to what your likes and dislikes are. Or maybe you’re no longer sure what really makes you tick, or what you’re really passionate about. Coaching can help you to reconnect with your inner self, by helping you to question and explore these things.
Just because you’ve become used to doing something, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it if it no longer aligns with your core values and beliefs. Acknowledging this thought can be scary, but it’s easier to change our actions if we have a greater understanding of how our current actions or circumstances could be holding us back from reaching our full potential. A coach can help you to work out how to take positive action based on your current beliefs and values, so that you can strive to get the most out of life. This is important because, often, our relationships with ourselves will improve and we will like ourselves a lot more if we are living a life that we enjoy and that fulfills us.
3. Bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be
Once you’ve identified what you want to gain from life, it can sometimes feel hard to know where to start, especially if there is a significant gap between where you are now and where you want to be. This can be demotivating and can lead you to believe that you will simply never get there, or that your goals are silly. A coach can show you how to create manageable, realistic goals that feel as though they are within your reach. This will help to give you reassurance that even if your progress is slow and steady, you are moving the right direction and will get there eventually.
Coaching can also reinforce the idea that if you want to change your life, you have to take different actions. It can be easy to rest in your comfort zone because it feels like a safe place – but it’s only when we take steps outside it that growth and development can take place. The gap between where we are and where we want to be, will usually start to shrink if we can take these first uncomfortable steps.
4. Build confidence and overcome insecurities that could be holding you back
Many of us have goals and ambitions, but it can be easy to put them on the back burner because we don’t feel we will be good enough to achieve them, that we can always put them off until tomorrow, or because we have too many obstacles in the way – like finances or other commitments.
Coaching won’t magically make these issues disappear, but it can help you to analyse your own thought patterns and if appropriate, develop solutions to any issues that could be holding you back. For example, if you’ve been avoiding applying for any jobs that mention their method of screening will require a video interview – then a coach can help you to work on overcoming this fear, so that you can increase your job options. Or if you’re unsure whether you can afford to go self-employed, then a career or financial coach could help you to look more closely at this to decide whether, with the right planning and support in place, you could still make it happen.
A coach can often help you to see ways around obstacles, rather than seeing them as things that simply put an end to your dream or goal.
5. Learn strategies and techniques that will help you reach your goals faster
A coach won’t attempt to run your life for you, nor can they alone fix all your problems. But they can work with you to apply strategies and techniques to your daily life that will help you to reach your goals faster. For example, if you’re someone who struggles to make decisions and is finding it difficult to move forward, then they might suggest decision-making strategies that can help you to make confident, well-informed choices.
Coaches can also help you to uncover new ideas and possibilities, by asking you challenging and thought-provoking questions. Then, once you’ve decided on a particular path, they can help you to ensure that you commit to your decision fully, and keep moving forward.
6. You’ll receive support, encouragement and motivation
Even if you have plenty of ideas about your long and short-term goals, sometimes having someone cheering you on, helping you to believe that you can do it, can really help. Similarly, even when we know what actions we need to take to achieve our goals, sometimes we can struggle because we don’t feel motivated enough to carry them out. A coach will be fully focussed and committed to helping you get where you want to be, and will be able to give you that extra nudge or boost when you’re in need of some support, encouragement or motivation. This can be incredibly empowering, and open up a world of possibility.
7. You’ll receive long-term gain
Even if you only have a coach for a short-time, the techniques and strategies that you’ll learn will stay with you, and can be useful in multiple aspects of your life. Coaching can also help you to break down those initial barriers that are getting in the way of your goals, and convince you that they are within your reach. Once you achieve even one small goal that means a lot to you, you will hopefully see what else is possible and feel inspired to pursue your other aspirations.
Coaching can be seen as an investment into your future that can help you to push limits, always strive for more and believe in endless possibilities. It will also give you a better idea about how to effectively plan ahead, so that your goals can always be transformed into actions, and you avoid becoming stuck.
Most of us can benefit from coaching in some way – either personally or professionally. We all have ideas of things we want to achieve, and with a little help, the process of getting there can become as streamlined and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re looking to change careers, work on your relationships or take better care of your general health and wellbeing, coaching can help you look towards a more positive future.
Interested in finding a coach to help you?
We have a wide range of highly experienced coaches on site who are available to help in a number of different specialist areas – including careers, retirement, redundancy, relationships and performance. To find a coach and get in touch, you can visit our coaching directory here.
Tips on finding the right coach for you
Browse a range of different coaches before you make a final decision. This will help you get a feel for what sort of services they offer, and whether you’d be better off going with a general or more specialised coach. For example, if you’ve been made redundant, you might automatically turn to a career coach, but there are also coaches who deal specifically with redundancy too.
Consider cost. It’s important to consider how many coaching sessions you are likely to want, and how much this is likely to cost you over time. Coaches charge by the hour and prices can vary considerably, so it’s worth making sure that you find a coach that fits your budget.
Have an introductory call to check the chemistry. Before committing yourself to one particular coach, it’s a good idea to have a quick call to see whether you it’s a good fit. A coach is a confidante and someone you will turn to for support and encouragement, so it’s important to make sure that you feel at ease with them, and that you feel confident that they will be able to help you achieve your goals.