What is a Life Coach and What is Not a Life Coach?
There is often confusion between the definitions of Coaching, Counseling, Consulting and Mentoring.
It is important to understand the distinctions between these four unique approaches.
Each approach is highly valuable and worthwhile. While they all may have some common threads, each service addresses a different need for you.
So How is Life Coaching Different than Counseling or Therapy?
Counseling, or therapy, often looks into your past in order to help you discover, heal, understand, and help yourself.
Life Coaching, on the other hand, looks to the future in order to assist you in making your good life even better.
In Coaching, the starting point for you is to help you guide your desire for personal and professional success.
A Life Coach or Legacy Coach focuses on forwarding all aspects of your life to Extraordinary.
Life Coaching is not about how you came to be who you are.
Instead it is about getting you from where you are now to a future that you want.
Coaching does not intend to work on issues such as addictions, severe depressions, severe anxieties, phobias, destructive or abusive patterns or other such conditions.
How is Life Coaching Different than Consulting?
A Consultant is hired to solve a specific problem and is usually expected to have advice, opinions and solutions that are proposed.
A Consultant is an Expert who dispenses advice and has answers.
Then you are left to implement these answers.
The Consultant holds the agenda, imparts knowledge and offers suggestions to improve your effectiveness and increase your success.
This is very different than Life Coaching as the Life Coach or Legacy Coach holds you to be naturally creative, whole, resourceful and committed to implementing your own solutions.
A Life Coach sees you as generative, capable, intelligent, and having answers within yourself or the resources to find them.
A Life Coach acts on the premise that the definitive expert regarding your life and work is you. Coaching empowers you!
How is Life Coaching different than mentoring?
A mentor often has many more years of experience than the person being supported.
In mentoring, the mentor is someone who has walked that road before and has experience and advice on how you should do what you are trying to achieve.
Mentoring is akin to role-modeling where you will see attributes, qualities or abilities in the mentor that you wish to learn or emulate.
Alternatively, a life coach may or may not have personal experience in a given situation however it doesn’t matter, as you may be naturally creative, whole and resourceful and will know what to do.
Coaching is a partnering of two equals that focuses on the unique and intrinsic qualities already within you that may not be recognized or appreciated.
A life coach helps you affirm and embrace your own true self. A life coach will facilitate the discovery process but won’t actually advise.
What Is Life Coaching and What is Not Life Coaching?
With the life coaching industry blossoming and growing throughout the world, and with every website launched, business card handed out and life coaching conversations had, more people are becoming familiar with the powerful work of life coaching.
Whether you need help finding balance, improving your health or transitioning into a new career, enlisting the support of a life coach can now be easily considered just as important as a physiotherapist appointment or a regular trim at the hairdressers!
However, misconceptions still do exist about what a life coach actually does. A ‘Life Coach’ can be mistaken for a wide range of things.
Below are some clear, concise distinctions to help you determine what is life coaching and what it’s not.
What Life Coaching Is
Many life coaches may choose to specialize in a certain area or niche such as coaching for career building or with health, however the way in which they work with you is generally the same.
– A life coach provides a safe and encouraging space for you to define how they would like to improve your life, creating goals that are positive, forward thinking and inspiring.
– A life coach assists you in breaking down those life affirming goals into manageable steps to transition from where you are now, to where you want to be.
– A life coach honors the present position you are in but also looks to the future, supporting you to explore your desires, feelings and what you want your life to feel and be like in a lasting way.
– A life coach deeply listens to you and asks challenging and thought provoking questions so you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your life.
– A life coach provides accountability and lovingly challenges you to step outside your comfort zone or shift your perspective.
What Life Coaching Is Not
– Life Coaching is not counseling whereby you need to dive deeply into your past to facilitate healing, or has any significant current mental, emotional or psychological issues that require therapeutic intervention.
– Life Coaching is not mentoring or consulting you.
The coaching relationship is not for a coach to give advice or tell you what to do about your life.
It’s about empowering you to create your own pathways and meanings and for the coach to act as a facilitator, guide, cheerleader, encourager and coach you throughout that process.
– A life coach does not evaluate, assess or critique you or your life in any way. It is a nonjudgmental exchange.
– Even though life coaches care deeply, they do not support you in the same way a friend does.
They have the ability to remain impartial to you and your circumstances while still wanting the very best for you and what you want.
This allows the life coach to hold you lovingly accountable at times you may need it most!
– A life coach wont tell you what’s right or wrong for you and your life. Their aim is to help you to uncover these answers for yourself.
I hope you find this post helpful and encouraging!
Here is a link to my free report entitled “Healthy Mind On the Go”.
In obtaining my free report you can also obtain access to my e-newsletter with helpful advice and special offers.
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Neil Saint Angeland
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Thank You for reading!