Introducing Life Coaching
In This Chapter
Knowing why coaching works Meeting your inner coach Coming to terms with change Working out your current life priorities
eople talk lots of hokum about life coaching. Life coaching television programmes, magazines, and newspaper columns range in quality from the powerful and inspirational through to the downright misleading and dangerous. True life coaching isn’t about some guru telling you how you should live. Yes, you may be tempted to bask in the comfort of an ‘expert’ who can fix your life, your fashion sense, your body flaws, and your emotional angst. But these fixes are too often like an elegant sticking plaster. Changes don’t last, unless a real change has come from deep within you. True life coaching enables you to call on your very own inner guru, any time, any place, with or without the support of another human being. This chapter explains how coaching can work its magic for you and how it can help you manage the changes in your life, not just right now, but through all of the shifting priorities of your journey.
A Brief Definition of Life Coaching
Here’s my definition of life coaching: A purposeful conversation that inspires you to create the life you want. You have conversations all the time (unless you’re a hermit in a cave). Your conversations are either chit-chat to pass the time and get along with people, or purposeful talks where you clarify
Part I: The Basics of Life Coaching
thought processes, resolve problems, reach agreements, and commit to actions. Life coaching uses dialogue as well to move you along in the right direction. When you engage in a purposeful conversation with your coach – who is either a skilled professional, or simply that part of you that already is your coach – you cut through all the chit-chat and get to the root of everything. You may discuss the following topics, for example: Why you act in the way that you do. Which beliefs about yourself stop you from taking certain actions. What your options really are. How you can best go about getting the right results for you. How you can maintain your motivation. Coaching conversations leave you refreshed, inspired, and ready for action. Life coaching can help you form the questions that lead to answers that are right for you, which is a lot better than taking someone else’s answers. Many books claim that they can guide you to The Magic Formula for Happiness, Success, and Fulfilment in life, but this book is a little different. Here, I guide you to the source of your own magic formula. The answers aren’t ‘out there’ – you already have them all and life coaching shows you how and where to find them.
What Life Coaching Is Not
In its purest form, life coaching is a technique that uses powerful questions to facilitate you in finding your own answers. It does, however, draw on, and can work alongside, many other similar approaches. This section explores the distinctions between coaching and its close relations. Here are some of the things that life coaching is not: Coaching is not counselling or therapy. Counselling and therapy typically start from the perspective that something needs fixing. While many therapies are firmly rooted in present action and forward motion, their focus is more towards understanding what went wrong and achieving acceptance with that in order to move forward. With coaching, the bias is towards
Chapter 1: Introducing Life Coaching
working from the perspective that you are fundamentally whole, healthy, and strong enough to deal with the challenges of coaching. Coaching is not mentoring. Working with a mentor is a great way of developing yourself. You find someone who is further ahead on the road than you are in some important respect – skills, knowledge, awareness – and model yourself on the best that you see in them. A mentor freely passes on wisdom and you then choose whether or not to accept it. A mentor may also coach you...
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