“Are you prepared to put in the time and energy to create change in your life? Are you prepared to make and keep that commitment? If not you, then who? Invest in yourself.”
– Akiroq Brost
The last couple of years haven’t been easy. I’ve experienced loss and it hit me hard. I’ve had to reconsider my choices, my habits, my entire perspective on life. I knew change was underway. But, of course, it didn’t happen overnight.
At times, it’s been a real struggle to see the glass half full and to find my flow through life. At other times, it seemed as though the answers were right in front of me, clear as day. Then I’d slip back into darkness again, going back and forth. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride.
For me, coaching came when I least expected it. I wasn’t looking for help, even though I needed it. I was at a crossroads, with no clear plans ahead of me. I knew I had to invest in myself, I just wasn’t sure how.
I wasn’t in a good place when I was introduced to life coaching by Lystia. I said yes, even though I wasn’t quite convinced and a part of me didn’t really want to share what I was going through.
When the day came, I felt like I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Yet, I showed up.
One hour later, I couldn’t believe how different I was feeling from before. My very first coaching session left me energized and with a fresh perspective.
Most importantly, I now had clear goals, something I’d overlooked for a while. In many ways, it was serendipitous.
What is life coaching?
We all need help navigating life’s challenges, encouragement to bring out the best in us, and even some hints on how to go about it. Progress doesn’t come easy and, sometimes, we might not even know that we’re plateauing.
People seek coaching for a variety of reasons. Some may look to heal a challenging past or difficult experiences. Others may want help reaching their personal or career-related goals. Whether they know it or not, what they all have in common is the desire to reach their full potential.
Just like a sports coach helps athletes perform their best, a life coach helps people from all walks of life find a structured approach to seeing their goals through.
It should be noted that coaching is not only for when things are tough, but for when you’re in a good place too. We should continue to work on ourselves for as long as we’re alive, and practicing through the good times will make the not so great moments easier to navigate.
Whether you only need one session, a couple of calls to work on a specific goal, or steady sessions over the course of years, a life coach can be your go-to person whenever you feel stuck, are not sure which road to take, or need help unlocking your true powers.
Read More: 5 Practical Ways to Get Unstuck
After going through my own sessions, I found it to be one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself.
What are the benefits of coaching?
Before the first session, I did not research what coaching is. Nor did I come prepared, although I usually like to be. I had zero expectations. And I was surprised by the outcome.
A few sessions in and I can honestly say that I am reaping some great benefits. That’s precisely why I’m writing this article right now, in the hope of helping all of you who’ve been considering trying it out and wish to learn more about how coaching works.
So, here are some of the empowering benefits of life coaching that I’ve experienced when I most needed them:
- You’ll share and be listened to without judgment
Sometimes, the best thing we can do to let our feelings out, as well as to understand them better, is to talk. Surely, who you choose to talk to is key. The listener is of great value if you’re looking for more than just to get things out of your system, if you truly want a breakthrough.
The coach is an impartial person who simply leads the conversation to a good place, without forcing it. They listen, do not interrupt until you’ve finished your ideas, do not get involved, take notes, ask questions, and work out an action plan together with you.
The coaching session should go like a smooth, natural conversation that could potentially lead to some great epiphanies.
2. You’ll find a fresh perspective
Old habits die hard and it’s easy to feel stuck in a rut, no matter how hard you try to break out. But when we shift our perspective, magic happens.
Our minds tend to be all over the place, especially when we’re not in a very good place. So it can be hard to find your direction and keep repeating the same patterns.
You might know that it’s time for a change, but you’re unsure where to start. Coaching can help you find your way.
The first question I got asked was what goal do I want to work on. At the time, the question threw me off guard. I had to think about it for a bit, which made me realized that I’d lost sight of my goals, that I was plateauing when it came to my personal development.
So yes, it was a simple question but it led to many more. It brought out fears, feelings, ways I sabotage myself, and, most importantly, a deeper purpose.
I shared my thoughts and feelings, talked it through, came up with some ideas, but was still unsure which road to take. That’s where the coach comes in again. After listening, they may offer a fresh perspective by simplifying things and looking at the bigger picture.
3. You’ll find the best action steps to help you reach your goals
There are moments when all I want is to talk and the last thing I want to hear is “don’t worry, it’s going to be fine”. No, I need action steps.
The coach is only there to lead the way through a series of simple, yet revealing questions. Look deep and answer honestly.
Some action steps may be quite ordinary, while others may be things you’ve never considered before. They are unique to each person, but there may be a few things in common that work for a bunch of people.
The coach can offer some ideas as well, based on what they’ve learned about you. All you have to do is be open and committed. If they work, great. If they don’t, then at least you’ll know what doesn’t work for you and you can continue experimenting to find what does.
There should only be a couple of action steps to focus on during a certain time frame. Everything must be simplified. Our minds tend to complicate things, so we need to step back and work on some very clear steps, without expectations.
4. You’ll see that you already have the solutions
You should not try coaching expecting to get “solutions” from your coach. That’s not how it works.
The coach is a neutral person. Sure, they need some background in order to understand what it is that you’re looking for and the struggles you’ve been through. But they don’t really voice an opinion.
Instead, they just let you talk and ask questions. The key is in what questions to ask, at what time, how you react to them, and what you’re going to do about it.
During the coaching session, you’re expected to talk. Don’t worry if you’re not a talkative person. The coach will ask questions in an attempt to get the most important ideas and feelings out of you. It should go like a long conversation, one idea leading to the next, peeling off layer after layer.
That’s how it went for me. While talking it out, it struck me. I was the problem. I was the one overthinking everything, often sabotaging myself, choosing to be miserable instead of happy. However, I realized that I was also the solution.
Read More: Owning Up to Our Truth: Taking Responsibility for Our Lives
5. You’ll be accountable, but with no pressure
At the end of the first session, I already had a list of action steps and a set time frame to try to implement them. Of course, I said yes to a second session straight away.
I should come in and say that I’ve always hated homework. But this didn’t feel like homework at all. I was trying out new activities, such as meditation in my case, and reflecting a lot on the hidden causes that were preventing me from reaching my goals.
Essentially, I was working on myself, without any pressure since there’s no endgame. I am a work in progress and I don’t have a deadline.
At the end of the session, you’ll work on a list of action steps and express how committed you are to seeing them through. I’m a pretty determined person, but I do sometimes find it hard to stay the course.
In this particular case, feeling that I’m being held accountable really helped me not give up. There was no pressure, only the commitment I took to myself.
6. You’ll go deep and increase your self-awareness
Coaching scratches beyond the surface. As deep as possible. Over the course of just a few sessions, I feel that I have dug deeper and deeper.
I sometimes talk about very common things. What bothers me, fears, reactions. Then I try to go beyond them and see what’s causing them. And then even deeper.
You talk, look back, think of relevant examples. And you begin to realize that the answers are there, they’ve always been there. Because the mind tends to play tricks on us, making it an unreliable witness at times, you might not know you have them.
The coach is a guide through this entire process, giving important clues and cues.
By speaking honestly and without holding back, you’ll bring forth strengths as well as weaknesses, flaws, and perhaps repressed feelings as well. You’ll learn more about yourself, what makes you unique, what makes you happy or sad, what makes you tick.
Ideally, you’ll draw all the conclusions yourself, which is why coaching is a great opportunity for introspection and can lead to greater self-awareness.
7. You’ll feel empowered
How great is it to take a goal you’ve been dreaming of and actually taking steps towards making it happen?
Goals are different from one person to another. You may think you need to work on something and then it turns out that the issue is somewhere else.
You may have a different goal for each session, or several sessions working towards the same one. It’s all about finding out what works for you. No one else can know that except you. Once you realize that you hold the key, it is truly freeing and uplifting.
Coaching is empowering. As long as you are willing to go deep, break your walls, get a bit uncomfortable, show up, and do the work, you’ll find out more about yourself.
You’ll realize that you’re capable of so much more. Little by little, it’ll bring out the best in you, your true self.
So, are you ready to invest in yourself? Learn more about what coaching can do for you. Click here to schedule your FREE exploratory session.
This post was contributed by Octavia Drughi. She’s a writer, blogger, rock climber, and nature lover who knows that the only way to unleash her true potential is to get out of her head and come to terms with both her bright and dark sides. Check out more of her musings at twodirtbags.com.