What is Life Coaching?

March 21, 2024 Gina Huff l Arête Purpose Consulting

What Is a Life Coach?

Life coaches are everywhere these days with social media posts promising to coach you through everything from weight loss to writing your first novel. How can you discern the professional qualified coaches from the unqualified people who only make sensationalized claims? And what is life coaching, anyway?

To answer these questions, it’s important to discern what life coaching is and what it isn’t.

Life coaching is a relationship-based process focused on helping you identify and move toward your goals. These goals may be professional, personal or even spiritual in nature. However, a life coach isn’t an expert on you. Only you are qualified to be the expert of your life. The life coach is your guide in this goal-focused process, by providing you with:

  • Training
  • Guidance
  • Accountability

A life coach provides support that can increase your chances of successfully reaching your goals to a 95% success rate. According to the American Society of Training and Development, those odds go down by a whopping 70% when you’re on your own.

For example, a client comes to life coaching as a recent Empty Nester. The coach assists the client by helping her define her potential dreams for a new season of life. The coach helps the client “think outside of the box” by providing resources and reflective assignments. The client uses her insights to formulate a plan that is personalized and achievable with the coach’s encouraging accountability.

Life coaching is not counseling. Coaches focus on actions that could be taken in the present to impact the future. Trained professional therapists address past traumas and hurtful experiences – life experiences considered present-past in nature.

  • Therapist: Past - Present
  • Life Coach: Present – Future

It is recommended that clients work through past traumas and pain with a therapist first, but it can be beneficial for clients to do both if the process is overseen by a licensed practitioner. Learn more about the legal distinctions here.

The Right Life Coach for You

It’s best to find a life coach with clearly defined specializations. A life coach can’t honestly and effectively help someone in all areas of their life. The right coach for you is one who has advanced training and life experience in the areas where you need help. This is important because there are no required regulatory guidelines for life coaches. Ask important questions upfront about their experiences and credentials.

Life coaching is a relationship based on trust and mutual authentic accountability so ask about protective measures such as privacy contracts and liability protection.

Next Steps

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of life coaching, think about the areas of your life that could use an upgrade or an additional perspective. Contact Gina Huff for a free 30-minute consult to discern if life coaching is right.

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