There are a number of popular myths and misconceptions around what a life coach is, what a life coach does and who a life coach works with. I was curious to know what my own friends, family and colleagues really think. I decided to ask my trusted connections on LinkedIn and Facebook their opinion. I asked:
“What do you think of when you hear the term Life Coach or Coach?"
Myths and misconceptions about what a Life Coach is and does.
I received a variety of feedback and opinions. Below are a selection of the replies I received to my question. (Hold onto your hats, fellow life coaches!)
1. I hear the word life coaching and think rich or celebrities, because I’ve seen celebs on TV having life coaching. I associate counselling with regular people with real problems.
2. A life coach is an expert in all fields of life / Is a life coach’s life so perfect that they can now coach others on getting a better life?
3. Life coaching is preaching.
4. I honestly don’t know what they do?
5. A life coach sounds a bit preachy and something celebrities would have.
6. Sounds pricey!
7. Wind chimes and someone with an American accent getting me to do “out there” stuff.
Other replies to the question.
1. Why doesn’t everyone have one?
2. A coach should be classed as a modern-day guardian angel!
3. I think if people realised the true potential of life coaching and how it can change the level of their living, they would run to embrace its philosophy and learn to apply it.
4. Support, trust, honesty and motivation.
What is a life coach?
Strangely, I was encouraged by the above feedback. It allows me to share my thoughts and hopefully dispel some of the myths. Here’s my take on what a life coach is and how I approach coaching.
A life coach is someone who has received formal training to help you manage and create the life you want. When you work with an experienced coach, you should expect follow a process and apply various models which help you:
· Understand your current situation
· Create a vision of the life / outcome you want
· Manage/overcome obstacles and challenges in your life
· Examine the options you have to move forward and
· Create goals and tasks to achieve your desired outcome.
A life coach can work with anyone. You don’t have to be a celebrity! Famous or not we all have problems, ambitions, goals, and challenges in our life. The most important thing is commitment to change.
Counselling and coaching are not mutually exclusive.
Coaching is present and future focussed and concentrates on building the new rather than fixing the old.
A life coach is not someone who is an expert in all fields of life, nor do they necessarily have perfect lives, although that would of course be very nice!
Life coaching is not about preaching or telling you what you should do or how you should live your life. It’s a collaborative, questioning approach where the coach and coachee work together to work through your current situation, desired outcomes and goals to achieve it. It’s creating a roadmap taking you from where you are now to where you want to be.
What can a life coach help me with?
A life coach can help with any aspect of your life – personal performance, work, sport, relationships, depression, anxiety and/or stress.