Many people are curious about what’s involved in the process of life coaching. Perhaps you are, too.
Maybe you have a colleague, friend or family member who has shared their experiences – and wonder if life coaching would benefit you.
Let me unlock the mystery of life coaching for you by explaining some of the tools. Actually, the process is not mysterious at all, but incredibly practical. As I tell my clients, success in coaching takes teamwork. As long as you are willing to talk openly, we can go places.
Life coaching also takes a light touch, sensitivity and openness − on both sides.
Helping you get out of the vicious cycle of shoulds and shouldn’ts
First thing you should know about life coaching: We don’t just sit around talking.
I use customized tools designed especially for you, to help you see your present situation with new clarity.
We all get stuck when we’re limited by one way of seeing. That tunnel vision determines our way of dealing with a situation. And leads to a sinkhole of shoulds and shouldn’ts. It’s a vicious cycle.
We try to solve our problems through rational thinking, but this sort of analysis doesn’t help much.
For example: Many of us overeat. We know we should stop, that we shouldn’t take a second helping, but that logic doesn’t always work. In fact it often leads to guilt, adding another layer to the cycle.
Shoulds and shouldn’ts are mere rationalizations. We think our intellect is our greatest asset, when in reality, it’s often our greatest obstacle. There’s so much more to ‘who we are’ and what influences our perceptions, emotions and actions.
Seeing yourself and the world more objectively, having more choices
The whole point of life coaching is to find other ways of seeing and doing, to broaden your perspective in ways that wouldn’t occur to you by yourself.
It’s like having your lenses adjusted. You’re still looking at the world through your own eyes, but your field of vision has been widened and your choices have increased. And you are able to see yourself more objectively.
Continuing with this example, a life coach may ask the client to record the foods they consume over a specific period of time to become more aware of their eating habits. Then ask targeted questions that help make connections with what’s going on behind those eating habits, for example a link between eating and loneliness. Their work follows new directions and new insight. Nothing is more empowering than to come to new realizations as a result of greater self awareness.
Metaphors are other tools a life coach will use to help you to acknowledge and honor your present situation, and to recognize its limitations.
Less judgmental thinking combined with new perspectives, enables you bring out other positive qualities, like confidence, assertiveness, strength and courage, and apply them to that particular situation.
You may be a lion at work, but a pussycat at home with your teenager. The metaphors become a part of you, maintaining your familiar old way while enriching it with the new. It’s nuanced, it’s subtle. It’s you.
How life coaching differs from traditional therapy
You can reach your goal in as few as six meetings with your life coach. This is quite unlike traditional therapy, which is an ongoing process and is much less targeted.
How is this possible? You’re working on your topic every day, in between meetings. By the time you complete your work with your life coach, you will have achieved a stronger, more balanced foundation on which to face new challenges.
Life coaching doesn’t change who you are. Life coaching gives you deeper access to your own inner resources. This process takes on a life of its own that continues beyond the coaching relationship.
My clients actually grow before my eyes. It’s a very beautiful process to experience. It’s why I am a life coach.
A first step
When you catch yourself in a cycle of frustrating thoughts, maybe in the car or in the middle of the night, take a deep breath and pay attention to how you’re feeling in that moment.
This will strengthen your ‘muscle’ of self-awareness. Applying this tool is your first step towards a wiser and more insightful you.
Caroline Courey is founder of New Way Life Coaching and co-founder of Quiet Mind Seminars. To learn more about Life Coaching and Caroline’s services, visit www.courey.com.