What You Should Expect from a Life Coach
Diving into the world of self-improvement can be intimidating. There are different methods, different types of professionals to help, different treatment focuses, and what works for one person may not work for you! However, it is extremely rewarding to invest in yourself and you will not regret fostering your personal growth. It may take some trial and error, but it is important to find a strategy that works best for you and addresses your specific needs and desires. You may be wondering where to even start, should you see a therapist or a life coach? While this is a highly personal decision, we want to discuss what you should expect from a life coach and how it may differ from traditional therapy. Also, because the life coaching industry is less regulated than psychotherapy, we want to touch on what to look for in a life coach. Let’s get started!
What to Look for in a Life Coach
A significant part of your life coaching experience is about the chemistry between you and your coach. You know that natural “click” you feel with some people. That is what you are looking for in your relationship with your coach. It is hard to pinpoint exact factors that will make you feel organic chemistry, but here are some traits that will give you the best chance of finding a powerful dynamic.
Authenticity and Confidence
First, you want your coach to be authentically themselves. You want them to show themselves and be genuine in their representation of themselves. You don’t want a coach that has it all perfectly together, because that is unrealistic. Your coach’s ability to authentically share where they are in their own life journey makes them more relatable and in turn, builds trust.
In addition to authenticity, you want your coach to exude a certain level of confidence. Again, confidence is not about being perfect or knowing all the answers. Instead, confidence is about knowing worth, but also shortcomings. A good life coach shouldn’t be afraid to own their mistakes or the things they don’t know. In fact, a truly confident life coach will know when they can help a client and when it is time to refer them to someone else. Your life coach is not a finished product. They are also working through their own triggers, struggles, and desires. Seeing vulnerability from your life coach and that they are practicing what they preach is key. Furthermore, confidence is about effective communication and leading from the heart rather than from the ego. Your life coach should be confident enough to make your sessions and experience all about you, not themselves.
Passion and Voice
Find a coach that is truly passionate about helping others. Your coach doesn’t have to be exactly where they want to be in life or full of endless inspiration, but they should be passionate about their craft. Yes, passion can fluctuate from day to day as your coach is going through their own life journey. However, you should feel like overall your coach wants to help you grow and write a better story for yourself.
Along with passion generally comes a unique voice. What is your coach’s unique style, approach, story, or perspective and how does it resonate with you? There are no strict guidelines or regulations when it comes to life coaching, so you should look for a coach that is creatively attempting to guide and support people in their own way. You do not want a coach that is a walking textbook. You want them to have their own style that feels genuine to them. This ties in with authenticity and finding a coach that is really trying to forge their own path and identify techniques that work for them and their clients.
Therapy vs. Life Coaching
Next, we will be discussing the major differences between traditional therapy and life coaching. Unlike life coaches, psychotherapists are trained specifically to help people facing mental illnesses. Traditional therapy methods focus more on the past and identifying past traumas that have accumulated, negatively affected your life, or resulted in mental illness. The idea is by reworking old negative thought patterns and behaviors through specific therapy techniques, you can live a more fulfilling, successful, and happy life. Psychotherapy is highly regulated, so psychotherapists face more legal restrictions than life coaches. Generally speaking, life coaches focus more on the future you are trying to create and provide you with the support and skills to reach your full potential.
Helping You Grow
Now, what should you expect from your life coach? Your life coach should be non-judgemental and truly care for your well-being. You want to pick someone who is approachable, accessible, and reliable. They should not force their agenda or timelines on you, but rather work to foster a trusting relationship and brainstorm with you. You want your life coach to skillfully challenge and support you, they shouldn’t be afraid to point out your blind spots. Additionally, they should be able to see what you are not able to see about yourself. In other words, a life coach should give you some perspective on your strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, you want a coach who makes expectations clear and holds you accountable. You should feel that your life coach respects you and that your privacy is always honored. Lastly, your success should be your life coach’s primary goal!
Your time with a life coach should help you define your purpose, gain confidence, motivate you, provide you with support, and guide you to the life you have always wanted for yourself. If you feel lost, stuck in your life, or unmotivated, life coaching may be for you. A life coach will help you uncover your talents and passions and show you how these can define your ultimate purpose. Then, they will help you pinpoint what you really want from life. Next, your life coach will help you build your confidence and solve self-esteem issues so you can tackle your goals wholeheartedly. Through life coaching, you will gain a #1 fan who will continue to push and motivate you through tough times. They will provide you with the tools, guidance, and support to live your best life, grow spiritually, and find true happiness.
There is no better time to start your self-improvement journey with a life coach than today! The sooner you start, the sooner you can live the life you have always dreamed of. Chriselda Santos, licensed psychotherapist and certified life coach, specializes in defining her client’s strengths and capabilities to help them adopt healthy behaviors and build the life of their dreams. Her background in psychotherapy adds a unique perspective to her life coaching approach. She strives to balance looking at past problematic behaviors, rewiring your negative patterns, and focusing on the future you desire. Chriselda understands change is constant and has dedicated her career to helping people navigate change and grow personally in the process. She knows your future is bright and wants to give you the tools to reach your full potential. For more information, or to book a life coaching session, visit Chriselda’s website.