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How to find an (experienced) Life Coach

By Winsome Coutts

One of the newest buzz-terms in the world of self-help is “Life Coach”. People are hiring life coaches to help them with their career, their love life, their family relationships, even their weight loss and fitness goals. Is this new trend a fad, or is having a life coach really a good way to get ahead in life and to create the life you want? What exactly is a life coach? And how do you find the right life coach for you?

What is a life coach?

Let’s begin with what a life coach isn’t. A life coach is not a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker, although many life coaches are formally trained in those areas. A life coach is a person who works with you to find out what your values, dreams and goals are for your life, and helps you honor and reach those things. Life coaches don’t spend much, if any, time looking at your past to find out why you are the way you are, but rather looking at your present to see where you’re at and then at your future to see what you would like to become. Your life coach helps you create who you will become. A life coach is like an athletic coach that sees what exercises you need to do to build strength, stamina and speed, and who encourages you to work to your goals. A life coach helps you to push through your perceived obstacles to reach your dreams.

Is life coaching just a fad?

Will personal life coaching just die a natural death like other new ideas? Probably not. While the named profession of Life Coach is relatively new, some people have been coaching from instinct and intuition all their lives. They are the people that we go to when we need to talk, and need someone to help us see straight. They don’t tell us how to live or what to do, they just gently help us open our own clogged thought patterns and gain our own insight on what we need to do. So, really life coaching has been around forever. Now, with formal training programs becoming available, those naturally intuitive people can get additional training and certification as a Life Coach. This is great because the formal training enhances their skills, and makes them more able to help you.

Before hiring a Life Coach, make sure you get yourself a copy of our e-book "Do I really need a Life Coach?"

How can Personal Life Coaching help me?

Life coaching works best for people who are generally “OK” with life, but want to increase the quality of their life in some ways. For example, you may feel that you need to make a career change, but are not sure what direction you want to take, or you’re worried about actually making the change, or you are overwhelmed with the whole process. Or maybe you’re unsatisfied with certain aspects of your life and you just need to work on clarification and setting up goals for positive change. Maybe you need some added accountability and motivation to see an important goal through. A life coach can help you will all these things and more. And the difference between a life coach and a good friend is that the coach by nature is separated from your life, so your coach is able to see things from all perspectives more clearly. Also, a life coach lets you choose your agenda and priorities, and is there to support you in working on those things. The coach probably won’t tell you what your priorities should be. This helps you to learn to look at things from differing perspectives and find the right answers for you. It helps you to learn to think creatively and choose wisely for yourself, and that’s very empowering. That’s really what life coaching is about – helping you to live a more empowered life.

How can I find the right life coach for me?

Finding a life coach isn’t the hard part. Life coaches are easily found in the telephone directory, online and advertising in magazines. It’s finding one you are comfortable working with, and one that helps you produce the results that you need that is important. Here are some tips:

  • If you have friends or family members that have used the services of a life coach, ask them for recommendations.
  • If you see an advertisement for, or hear of a life coach, contact them and see if they give a free initial consultation. This often helps give you a good idea of how you feel about the person
  • Tell the coach what you want them to help you with – if the coach is good, he or she will outline how they can help you and what experience they have in that area, or if they don’t feel that they can help you, a good coach will be honest and tell you that, too.
  • Choose a coach that works with you in a way that you are comfortable with, some people prefer face-to-face consultations, some like email and some prefer phone conversations. Some want weekly meetings and some prefer bi-weekly or monthly. Because life coaching is there to help you, the vehicle for communication and frequency should suit you.
  • Find a coach who is within your price range. A coach may charge anywhere from $50 per session to $300 per session, and price has little to do with quality of service.
  • Life coaching is there to help empower you to live your life creatively, joyfully and wisely. But you make the choices. If you encounter a life coach who tells you how to live and tries to fit their agenda to you, find another coach.

Life Skill Coaching could change your life

A life coach can be one of the greatest tools you will ever use as you move through life, helping you clarify and define your vision for yourself and empowering you to live your life to the fullest. For this reason, a life coach can be a very valuable addition to your life.

Before hiring a Life Coach, make sure you get yourself a copy of our e-book "Do I really need a Life Coach?"

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Winsome Coutts is the passion behind the new self help authority site, www.4lifeselfhelp.com. She is a lifelong student of personal development, meditation and goal setting. In the pursuit of her own dreams, she has created www.4lifeselfhelp.com as a tool to help others find success and happiness along with resources to live an abundant life.

Visit www.4lifeselfhelp.com today to take advantage of their resource library, free articles, resource tools and guidance.

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