Why in the World Would You Want (and Deserve) Life Coaching?

Why Life Coaching - with Teresa Young

First, some truth from me to you: there was a time when I regularly asked myself why life coaching? Because, honestly, I cringed at the term. Despite my passion for the profession, I tap-danced all around that particular phrase when describing what I feel privileged to do. It was funny, really. Life coaching just felt cliché somehow.

But then one intense day, a very special lady in my life, my elderly mother, unexpectedly ended all that. She got down to the essence of things the way moms do, saying, “Why beat around the bush? You’re a life coach.”

Great big wave of her little hand. Great big emphasis on life while—more truth here—at the end of her own. So, instead of feeling annoyed by her opinion, it was instant goose-bump city for me. Then I surprised myself with a wave of energy that I used to re-frame the work that I love.

So what is life coaching, really?

A few weeks ago I happened onto an insightful article about coaching. The author provided short definitions for different types. But her take on life coaching felt narrow to me. She described it as being about personal change, with niches within it like youth, addiction, and divorce.

Of course that’s all good. Just not quite integrative enough in my book. Instead, I see life coaching as a powerful context in which to support the growth and goals of committed clients. It’s a much broader context than just the “personal”, whatever that actually means.

For me, life coaching is an opportunity to develop the whole person who we each are, toward maximum effectiveness and fulfillment. Here’s more of what I mean:

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What is Life Coaching Anyway, You Say? Let’s Start With What You Do Know.

What Is Life Coaching? - Life Coaching with Teresa Young

To get to what life coaching really is, let’s begin at the beginning. As in, 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.

Continue reading “What is Life Coaching Anyway, You Say? Let’s Start With What You Do Know.”