How often do you find that while navigating a certain road in life, at a certain juncture, you are looking at a dead end, a tunnel of total darkness, without even a speckle of hope to light up your path? Now if your answer is NEVER, you are possibly a superhuman or maybe an incarnation of God, but lesser mortals face such situations quite often. In fact, quite routinely. How direly we all wish for a godsend to drive away the darkness to make our journey easier! The reality is that we all hold so much power, lying dormant within us, which needs to be actualized. The only thing we need is a little nudge, a hint of direction, some support and a little coaching to make the greatest things happen right before our eyes.
Life, with its multiple pressures and obligations, often makes us overwhelmed and anxious. The continuing pressures often mount, burdening our shoulders so much that we are unable to carry another extra ounce. Yet, we reconcile to move on non-stop, hoping for a better tomorrow. In the process, we have to face all the googlies thrown at us by life. We often fail, the quality of our life suffers and we again return to embrace the comfort of the status quo.
Exploring the uncharted possibilities, while we’re so accustomed to being in a “safe” zone and unwilling to venture out of it, is difficult. That’s when a life coach enters the scenario to hold our hand, show us the path and help us walk the first step on it.
A life coach works in partnership with an individual to help them achieve their potential in all facets of life. We all have heard of sports coaches who, by dint of their mentorship and hard work, make champions out of ordinary sportspersons over time. Just like a professional sports player needs a coach to work on the technical and psychological aspects of their performance, we also need someone to help us evolve a structured and disciplined approach to personal development.
Regardless of the sport, no athlete would be where they are today without their all-important coaches. In fact, we in India have the venerable ancient tradition of the guru–shishya (master-pupil) relationship in almost all domains. Remember Eklavya, who coveted archery training under Guru Dronacharya but was denied the chance since he came from a “lowly” background? And then Eklavya erected a statue of the revered guru and began practicing at its feet.
Whatever be the field of activity, profession, business or even life, we always need and seek guidance from an experienced mentor. Guru bin gyan nahin (There’s no learning without a master) is a popular saying in this context. A mentor helps us focus on our goals, learn the craft, clarify doubts, and holds our hand in tumultuous times to let us focus on our dreams.
Similarly, a life coach guides us through the most challenging times in life by helping us see things differently, refine our approach and achieve our dreams. Owing to our inherent personal biases and tendencies, we often have a blinkered viewpoint and unless a neutral third-party shows us, we fail to notice the things that hold us back from achieving our fullest potential – personally and professionally.
People need support to thrive in life. A life coach can encourage you, without passing judgment and help you perform to your fullest potential professionally, personally, and financially by helping you with your relationships, career, health goals, communication skills, debt, and spirituality. A life coach can help us improve our business, health or inter-personal relationships, depending on our specific needs. Very frequently, a life coach may have to address multiple facets of our life as they are all connected to our overall well-being.
Though being happy is a different proposition for everyone, one thing is for sure. If you are clear about your purpose, can eliminate negativity and can build meaningful relationships, happiness and fulfillment are very much within your reach. All that you need to reach there is a framework for determining your direction in life and an ally to help you get there. That ally is your life coach, who is essentially non-judgmental and asks questions to help you find solutions to the challenges you confront.
Life coaching isn’t meant for only under-achievers, problem-ridden and in-crisis people. It can be equally useful for those running successful businesses, enjoying good health and good relationships. Life coaches understand well that there is always a room for more and better in their clients’ lives and thus, work with all types of clients to bring about improvement in their personal, social and professional lives.
In nutshell, anyone who wants a better tomorrow needs a life coach and can benefit from life coaching. That’s why life coaching clients are ambitious people looking to enhance output and growth quickly. Thus, we find business leaders, creative types, artists, entrepreneurs, managers, homemakers, professionals, and others benefiting from the services of a life coach.
Benefits of Life Coaching
A life coach can help you develop an actionable plan to achieve life goals by inspiring you. They do so by helping you identify your unique personal strengths and weaknesses and also by encouraging you to harness your strengths so that you can address your concerns to enjoy a healthier, fuller, more meaningful and empowering life.
A New Year isn’t the only time to think of resolutions, goals, and intentions for a better life. If you are not aware of where to start while setting and achieving goals -professional, personal, or financial – or don’t have a good record achieving them, you may consider hiring a life coach to support you in – plotting your future, overcoming personal challenges, and keeping you on track.
The following are some of the benefits of Life Coaching:
- Getting a new, helpful perspective on things.
- Becoming self-aware and aware of your impact on others and recognizing personal flaws, strengths, and unique attributes
- Strong, meaningful relationships -marriage to friendships and beyond
- Ability to define life goals and create a concrete, doable plan to achieve them.
- A sense of purpose and direction in life. Clarity of purpose is vital to achieve your dreams.
- Ensuring accountability so that you pursue your goals and complete your projects.
- Discovering your best version. A life coach can help you understand your areas of greatest opportunity.
- Unlocking latent potential hidden by prejudice or closed-mindedness. Life coaches can expose you to alternative ways of thinking and create clarity of direction in life.
- Improved communication skills. Good life coaches are accredited NLP practitioners i.e. are armed with the most advanced communication skills.
- Better time management by setting priorities and getting more done.
- Eliminate/ reduce negative thoughts that hold you back. Overcome fears that limit your ability to achieve your dreams.
- Unlocking the creativity lying dormant in you
- Becoming open-minded, self-aware, positive with a well-rounded outlook.
- Getting rid of bad habits
- Handling setbacks and roadblocks to find inspiration that you never knew existed.
- Better decision-making
- Learning to accept criticism
- Showing appreciation and gratitude to make people feel good.
- Learning ways of stress control
- Dealing with depression and anxiety
- Improved self-confidence
- Identifying goals and developing a vision of success
- Evolving plans for professional and personal growth
- Identifying beliefs that prevent you from achieving your full potential
- Working towards achieving financial independence
- Achieving work-life balance
- Developing more powerful professional and personal connections
- Professional growth/ promotion
- Weight management / fitness
- Setting up a new business / taking forward an existing one
- Tackling important life/business transitions
Life Coaching and You
Life coaching is significant because you and your dreams are important. Chasing dreams or laying the foundations of a new venture or growing it or overcoming personal insecurities — all of them being seminal tasks with their unique challenges. Life coaching can help us cushion every hit and fall, elevate us and motivate us to keep going forward.
Life coaching can change “I want” to “I have” and “I should” to “I am”.
You can explore the idea of seeking the services of a life coach if
You don’t have a clarity of vision
Quite frequently, we may feel that we are living our life according to others’ wishes. Our goals aren’t our choice, which leads to a hazy vision. This hazy vision prevents us from gaining a clear life vision.
In such a situation, a life coach can be greatly helpful as they can help you get clarity about what you desire. The practice of vowing things from a hackneyed perspective for long can make your thinking quite predictable. But a life coach can help you look at the things from a fresh perspective and gain an entirely new understanding.
You are clueless about where and how to start
Each of us faces times when we find ourselves clueless as to where to begin. Undoubtedly, we would love to achieve a goal but we may be too helpless to begin somewhere. Big goals have the potential to overwhelm and deter us from taking any concrete action. Gaining a clarity of vision in the middle of such helplessness can be daunting. It is precisely in such cases that the person concerned requires a life coach to assess the situation and help us take action towards the realization of our dreams.
Your limiting self-beliefs hold you back
Our limiting self-beliefs can often become roadblocks as they prevent us from pursuing things in life by holding us back. A life coach can identify such restraining beliefs and help us go forward.
To consider a common example, if you’ve heard throughout life that slimming down isn’t your thing, which you have begun believing in as true, how can you ever hope to do so? So much so that this belief has the potential to override your ability to actually do it. In such situations, a life coach can work with you to single out and overcome such limiting beliefs.
You feel gone and out
If you are feeling completely lost or hopeless, you need a life coach to help you. You certainly need someone to rescue you out of it, who can help you get back the lost confidence and push you towards your dreams.
You believe the spark is gone
It’s quite possible that life may have delivered you a big blow in personal or professional life, which could take away all your passion for life. In such cases, with all the passion gone, you certainly need someone to elevate you and help move on. You need help with identifying the current issues and the past events that have caused it. Unless it is done, regaining the old passion can be a difficult proposition.
You have trouble with goals
Let’s admit – achieving goals is often difficult for most of us. Not just that setting goals is difficult, pursuing them is even more difficult. In such cases, a life coach can help you define your goals and look for powerful reasons for you to achieve them.
In addition, a life coach can offer a brand new perspective on the reasons behind your inability to achieve big goals in the past. They can reorganize your life so as to empower you and make you accountable by being with you so that you see things through.
You’re too anxious and stressed
Admittedly, we all learn a lot from our failures. But having them as a frequent theme in life is no joke. Given our responsibilities in terms of work, family and social life, we often become too stressed. Certainly not a good feeling! In such situations, a life coach can offer the right perspective and help us get over such negative emotions.
Your life is in a total mess
A troubled marriage, bad health, a shattered career or finances – all have the potential to make it hard for us to navigate tough times. Whether it’s finances, health, relationships, career or business, we often have a hard time seeing through the dense fog of complexities. So, if you have a feeling that your life is a complete mess, you may need a life coach to help you through such difficult times. A life coach can help you cross such rivers of sorrow to help you reach the shores of hope.
You are defeated by time-wasters
Getting sidetracked in life is easy as we all have bad habits. These bad habits are hard to quit, making it difficult to manage time to make progress. These time-wasters can debilitate us totally from within and prevent us from achieving anything in life.
A life coach can help you improve your life at so many levels includes your habits. Considering the fact that that habits guide most of our behavior, good habits can create a path to discipline and achievement.
You lack support for your dreams
Without the support of those surrounding you, it can be difficult to focus on our goals. With your social support system i.e. friends and family not by your side, losing sight of the bigger picture can be easy. It’s very much expected as dealing with negativity from all around us stops our forward movement.
In such situations, a life coach can be your support system and their experience and knowledge can be invaluable in helping you achieve your goals.
Despite there being many benefits of life coaching in terms of substantial, positive results, it does have its own limitations. We must have an understanding of what a life coach can’t do. Here are some situations in which life coaching may not be helpful:
- Instant results
If you desire instant life transformation, sorry, you are barking up the wrong tree. Just like building a business, it needs time and commitment to produce results.
- Mental health
Life coaches are not therapists or psychologists. No doubt, they are duly trained to ask you questions and help you examine your mindset and tide over obstacles, but they can’t treat problems like depression or anxiety, which may be the cause of / a precipitating factor behind your problems. In all such cases, it’s much better to seek out a psychotherapist/psychologist.