What is Life Coaching
Life Coaching helps the client close the gap between their ideal life and their current situation. A Certified Whole Person Coach assists client’s in examining their strengths. Client and coach discuss what is getting in the way of achieving your goals and how to find motivation.
Fears or anxieties are addressed, goals and obstacles are defined. The life strategist provides accountability and a sounding board as you work towards your ideal life.
To help people understand more about coaching and what goes on in a life coaching session, I decided to give you an example.
What follows is one issue I’ve been working on with clients lately.
As a life coach, I have a passion for helping those looking to reframe and re-claim their spiritual path. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to do this with a few clients.
They are undertaking this new path due to a history of spiritual abuse in a religious community when growing up or simply finding that organized religion isn’t something that fits anymore. They want to build a spiritual practice that is their own.
Life coaching can include spiritual, career, relationship, wellness, life skills and mental health goals.
I’m not the pastor, priest, or teacher; I’m the personal coach and the guide that lets you find your way. What does this mean? As a lifecoach who helps those who have left the church or another spiritual community, I know it can be hard to re-imagine what a spiritual life may look like outside the four walls of a church.
With the offering plates, stiff pews, legalism, and shame, people sometimes experience inside those walls. I want to help these clients dismantle the old and start to create a new path for themselves.
What happens in a Life Coaching Session?
Starting a Session
We start with some grounding tools. This helps set aside the stress of your day, your to-do list, and the things that fill your mind. Clients find their center and use the coaching session to tap into their inner selves. Usually, this will be a breathing exercise, and sometimes we will incorporate a guided meditation.
Establish a focus or a Goal. This focus may be a specific goal, such as establishing a morning meditation practice, or it may be a question to unpack and explore, such as “why do I still feel shame and guilt when I no longer believe the way I used to?”
Other times, it’s not specific, but merely having the space to set aside time for yourself allows you to explore what that next step is for your journey, so we work together to let that come to the surface and clarify a focus.
Clear focus goals are a fundamental part of life coaching.
During the Session
Through the coaching process, I help you clarify your yearnings, distill your focus, and create a path forward that aligns with your spirit, mind, and body.
I draw on many different tools to facilitate this process. In my 10+ years as a dietitian, I’ve learned that behavior change comes from the inside out, not from someone else telling you what they think is the right path for you.
In my seven years as an eating disorder dietitian, I’ve dedicated my continuing education to behavioral health tools.
I’ve built expertise in techniques that help folks build awareness, heal, build skills, and move forward in a more authentic, heart-centered way. Here are the tools in my toolbox that may help you in our coaching together:
- Motivational interviewing (allowing you to tap into your internal motivation)
- Acceptance and behavioral therapy (identify and cultivating your values)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (skills to help with difficult emotions which may get in the way)
- Internal family systems (getting to know why some part of you wants one thing, while another part of you may desire something different)
- Somatic work (tuning in to body sensations for greater understanding of how life feels for you)
- Radically-open dialectical behavioral therapy (using skills to soften perfectionism and strengthen self-esteem and relationships)
Closing the Session
As we wrap up, we may set an intention or goals to carry the work forward into your week. It may be a future appointment to see your dreams come to fruition; it may be journal exercises to help you stay connected to your wise mind or something else.
Most of the time, coming out of a session means having an “ah-ha” moment. Sometimes this is the traditional “eureka!” where you can fit together pieces of the puzzle that weren’t clear before.
Other times, it’s the space where you connect with your soul-self that allows you to move forward more authentically, knowing that the next step is the right step for you.
Most people experience a lightness, a clarity, and a sense of being energized and hopeful. Rather than a heavy feeling like “wow, that was a lot of work”, usually a coaching session feels fun. Not because it’s all rainbows and unicorns; we typically touch on some difficult topics that go deep.
However, sessions focus on aligning you with your higher self, the person you truly want to be, and empowering you to take the next step.
Life Coaching Benefits
There are many advantages to working with a life coach. A life coach can get you focused on what you want from your life. Often we kind of bumble along, not knowing what we are doing or where we are going.
As a result, the problems that plague us today, stay with us five years from now. This is where a life coach can help.
Their job is to help you identify what you want in your life, define goals to attain and provide motivation and accountability.
A life coach can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.