So first, what is coaching? Well, think football. Basketball. Golf. The Olympics.
Got it instantly, right? Now. Can you picture sports teams—or their star players—bringing their best to the game at hand without their coaches?
Next, widen that view to me and you. Because life has been changing lightning fast since the late 20th century. And never more so than now.
More and more we understand so much that we once had little awareness of, like the connection between stress and health. Between visualizing and achieving. We get the relationship between the ways we “do life” and what we get done.
What coaching isn’t
By the way, coaching isn’t therapy, another important resource. Coaching is present- and future-based. Coaching is about achieving goals rather than processing and healing.
The golf pro expects to get to the next level with his swing through coaching. Coaching is results-driven.
And to be crystal clear, I’m not saying that therapy doesn’t promote growth. It absolutely does! And the fact is, accomplishing what we want most is the specific, razor-sharp point of being coached.
Also, coaches know you can’t just put icing on whatever is there and call it cake. To say it another way, positive thinking isn’t a game changer. Coaching is inspirational. But it’s also so much more.
How about client-centered partnership?
I say coaching is a client-centered partnership that supports focused folks in bringing their own wisdom, intelligence, skills, energy and desire to achieving their goals. One step at a time.
And when we think of athletics again, we also know that coaching has been around for a long, long time. Expert, goal-driven support is nothing new. The first written records of the Olympic Games were in 776 BC!
So, what is life coaching?
Fast forward to these days, and life coaching. First, it isn’t just for the rare, chosen few. After all, we’re more free than ever in this amazing age to pursue our dreams.
Now think for a moment about the connections between these parts of ourselves and our lives:
1. Current habits, beliefs, and dreams
2. Past experiences, and what we tend to make them mean
3. Current clarity about inspiring professional and personal goals
4. Healthy support systems, or lack thereof
5. Current capability to follow through on goals to successful completion
6. Current capacity for creating balance in the midst of it all
7. Life’s ever-morphing challenges and opportunities
Clearly we’re each a mix of histories and experiences that affect the way our lives unfold. We have gifts, abilities, and tendencies. Stories we tell ourselves. Fears. What we think we can do, or deserve.
Life coaching takes a holistic, big-picture approach. It gets to the core of what our largest selves really want, and how—given who we each uniquely, actually are—to get there.
For more of what life coaching is, think consistent, energetic support. Active listening. Empowering questioning and dialogue. Action planning. Championing. And holding clients accountable to act on what matters most to them! Also, deliciously, life coaching is about acknowledging and celebrating all kinds of small and large successes along the way.
Repeat as needed. :)
What’s more, coaches help clients uncover and wrestle to the ground whatever bugaboos come up and get in the way. After all, that’s just human. It’s another reason expert support matters as you do the work toward real forward movement.
Just like star players run those drills. Like they get help correcting that swing or perfecting a free throw.
Now imagine your version of all that. Toward what you want your life to be about.
And reach out for more info if life coaching sounds like a fit for you. Then get ready for your MVP year!
Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.