What is a Life Coach?
If you’ve ever been in the middle of a serious life transition — a nasty breakup, a big career change, a mental health crisis, or a sudden move to a new city — then you probably know how disorienting the process can be. Even if you know you’ll be fine after the dust settles, experiences like these can leave you feeling drained, exhausted and lost.
If you’re tired of constantly navigating big changes alone, a life coach can help. A life coach is a trained professional meant to improve your approach to transitions like these by making them far less painful when they happen. The best part? A life coach can help with so much more than just a giant life transformation. Depending on your specific needs, they can help you tackle whatever challenge you’re facing, big or small. Follow along for more information on how coaching can improve your life outlook in a variety of ways.
What is a life coach?
A life coach is essentially a certified professional dedicated to helping you crush your goals. Life coaches aren’t just there to help you in one aspect of your life — whether you’re looking to advance your career, strengthen your relationship, improve your mental health or just make day-to-day life easier, a life coach is there to help. Through tried-and-true coaching tactics, life coaches help you clarify and pursue your own definition of success.
What does a life coach do?
Sure, everyone wants to be a more well-rounded person. But how does a life coach actually help you get better at life? Like most things, a solid coaching relationship begins with great communication. A life coach will start by asking questions about the current state of your day-to-day life, the parts of it that you’d like to improve, and the goals you’d like to set going forward. Throughout this process, life coaches will uncover hidden goals and deeper patterns in the way you work and live.
Life coaches are much different than the advice you’ll get from taking a self-improvement course or reading a self-help book. They’re more personalized than either of these mediums — they’ll look at your specific skills and find ways to help you capitalize on them. Whether you’re struggling with your mental health or need coaching support for a sagging career, a life coach will pinpoint your challenges and help you overcome them.
The benefits of life coaching
The greatest benefit of having a life coach is gaining a third-party perspective on your own unique life experiences. By working together with someone to address your challenges, you’re able to look at problems from different angles and tackle them with creativity and tact.
If you’ve ever stopped and dreamt up an “ideal” life that you’d like to lead, but just can’t seem to achieve, a life coach can help get you there. Whether that life involves a more satisfying career, a better work-life balance, a more tight-knit circle of friends, a major move to another city or country, or a shakeup in your romantic life, coaching can help you.
The difference between life coaching & therapy
While a life coach and a therapist share some broad similarities, such as mental health assistance, the two are actually pretty different. Therapists are licensed health professionals who are specifically trained to help you discern and heal from unhealthy mental health patterns. They’re great at getting you past old trauma and helping you get connected with additional mental health professionals, such as a psychologist.
By contrast, a life coach is less mental-health-oriented and more goal-specific. Life coaches are more concerned with helping you set goals and achieve them. Rather than simply heal from difficult past experiences, coaching is designed to help you find greater enjoyment in your career, love life and daily routine. You’ll also be tracked more deliberately through life coaching than in therapy — progress against goals will be noted and analyzed from week to week. This way, you and your coach can look at how you’re growing, and if necessary, how that process can be sped up.
Who should consider a life coach?
Investing in a life coach is almost always a good idea, but most people consider signing up with one after a significant life change occurs. For instance, if you’re just embarking on a new career path or you’re going through a difficult breakup, a life coach can help you navigate the confusion and tension that comes with a big transition. At the same time, life coaches are also great for everyday needs, such as improving your general outlook on life, learning to become more organized or finding a better work-life balance.
Still not sure if you should sign up with a life coach? Here’s what we’d recommend: if you’re often feeling stressed, anxious, irritable, angry, depressed or unfulfilled, a life coach is probably right for you. A life coach is also a great idea if you’re feeling creatively unmotivated, or if you just can’t seem to break bad habits in your day-to-day life. Lastly, if you’re the type of person who constantly feels like “everything’s going right,” but you’re still unhappy, then a life coach is definitely right for you. Your mental health will thank you!
The next step of life coaching from The Journal That Talks Back™
While traditional life coaching usually involves back-and-forth exchanges between the coach and the coach-ee, those exchanges can unfold in many different ways. Some life coaches engage in weekly calls with their clients. Others use web portals to track progress. And still others — notably, The Journal That Talks Back™ — use a unique journaling format as the basis of a coaching relationship.
With The Journal That Talks Back™, users log in to an online journaling platform, draft entries according to specific prompts, and then receive guidance through responses written by certified coaching responders. Curious about the benefits of a system like this? Unlike a weekly call, online journaling is a 24/7 process — you’re able to write entries at any time. That way, if you’re faced with a challenging situation and don’t want to let it wait until next week, you can check in with your coach in near real-time.
Coaches are quick to respond, too. Entries are answered within 24 hours, and coaches conduct weekly check-ins and calls to make sure you’re getting the most out of your coaching relationship. Auxiliary services are available on the site too, such as mental health resources, life management tools and more.
Want to know more about life coaching? Head on over to our parent site for more details on what we do and how we do it!