Life coaching is about helping people take the necessary steps to get to where they want to be. (Life coaches are usually very successful themselves.) A life coach is someone who can remain objective while providing advice. Since it is a fairly new career path, life coaching entrenches on professions that have long been established. Thus, there is a lot of confusion about a coach’s role.
Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions:
- Life coaching is the same as counseling.
No, really. It’s not the same. Life coaches aren’t counselors, therapists, mentors, or consultants. (Thus, life coaching can’t replace the need for therapy, mentoring, or any other professional service.)
Although they may play some of the same roles, life coaches don’t tend to give answers so much as ask open-ended questions to help clients find their own answers.
A life coach helps clients grasp more objective perspectives in various aspects of life. They assist their clients in planning for the future so they can improve the individual’s life professionally or otherwise. They will sometimes discuss the client’s past (but will generally only encourage it if clients have a blockage that keeps them from achieving a goal).
Perhaps the biggest difference between life coaching and the aforementioned professions is that a life coach doesn’t give advice on how clients can solve their problems. Rather, the goal of a life coach is to help people realize their full potential.
- Friends and family can do the job
Having too much experience in a field can hinder a life coach’s objectivity and so can being close to a client on a personal level. In this way, a life coach can be biased and more likely to overlook ways the client can improve.
Sometimes, the bigger goal for a life coach is to help people better their personal relationships. Asking friends or family members could hinder the relationship as well as the client’s progress.
- People can be too successful for a life coach’s help
No one has everything figured out. Life is about a lot more than a successful career.
Sometimes there are ways to help people’s careers that they have overlooked. Sometimes they lack experience in personal relationships, or they have mental or emotional blocks that prevent them from succeeding in other areas of life.
Many people could benefit from the guidance of a life coach, not just those struggling in their careers.
Life coaches can help clients improve many areas of their lives. By answering challenging questions, people learn to look for ways to help themselves consistently improve their quality of life. Life coaches help clients follow through on their commitments over a span of time they designate. Life coaching helps people take responsibility and accountability for the actions which lead up to the current state of their lives. However, by the time the process is complete, clients are expected to overcome obstacles associated with past disappointments and meet the goals they set at the beginning of life coaching sessions.