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Understanding What Life Coaching is About

Updated on January 21, 2017
That Grrl profile image

Laura has been interested in ideas for small business from her own childhood. Small businesses run in her family.

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Life coaches help you achieve goals and get past whatever is keeping you from taking action to reach your goals A life coach can help you focus on what really is important to you. It's not therapy or counselling exactly. A life coach doesn't focus on solving issues from your past but on taking action in the here and now.

Is there a life coach for you?

Once you get looking at life coaching you will find there are life coaches in various niches. I have a friend who is a life coach for writers. Most life coaches do have a focus on career, business, entrepreneur, leadership, small business and career orientated goals. It makes sense when most people feel successful when they are meeting their goals and finding success financially - of course, most people work at something to make that money to become successful financially. It's all a big circle.

However, you can find a life coach to help you with your life beyond the career, business or executive parts of it. Life coaches include: health and wellness, youth and parenting, diet and nutrition, spiritual, cultural, grief and loss, dating and of course, sports coaching. You can find a life coach in any niche you need someone to help you.

Does it matter if a life coach is certified?

A life coach is not someone with a university degree or certification, necessarily. If you need something on paper then you might stick with the more traditional and official counsellors and therapists.

Life coaches can be certified by coaching associations (The International Coach Federation) but you should not think of them as a trained professional, like a psychiatrist, or psychologist. Don't go into a life coach if you just think you can save money or get help sooner than being on someone's waiting list. For instance, a life coach can not prescribe medication or determine that you have a mental illness. A life coach is for generally healthy people who want some extra inspiration or encouragement - a coach.

How important is it for a life coach to be certified? That is a personal decision for you to make really. It will depend on your own values.

Meet the life coach, see how they speak and what they say. What do they have to offer? Most of all, you need a life coach who makes you feel good. Even hours later when you think about what was said and the ideas they gave you. The purpose of a life coach is to help you. A lot of people can help you, but you need someone you have faith in, someone you will listen to and someone you trust to listen to you too.

Certification may not mean that much to you, if you find a personal life coach you can count on. One thing you can do is ask for references or testimonials from past clients. Ask if you can contact any of the people who gave a testimonial.

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    • Sarah Christina profile image

      Sarah C Nason 

      6 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Cool, thanks for the info!

    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      The cost varies a lot. You can find life coaches who will give you a free first time to try it out with them too. If you are interested in trying a life coach I'd look around and see what several offer before you make an appointment with any one of them.

    • Sarah Christina profile image

      Sarah C Nason 

      6 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you for this Hub, it's helped me understand more about what life coaches are actually suppose to do. I have a friend that is one, focused on coaching career oriented women who don't feel a balance in the life (like, they are financially successful but aren't happy with their love life, etc) or just want to improve their business life. Anyway, I wonder how much they cost? My friend has an intro on her website and seems to suggest that she doesn't charge upfront and doesn't have a set price, so to speak...so I don't know if it differs from person to person or what. Do you know how much they typically charge, or does it vary across the board?

    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 

      6 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Yes, it is a much more personal relationship between two people. Distance is good for some things, but not for cases where people are looking to change their future dramatically that way.

    • That Grrl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for taking time to make such a good comment. I do think life coaches are meant to be more active and approaching things like a friend rather than a professional with that impersonal distance.

    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 

      6 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Coaching takes a much more active role in the life of the client, whereas the responsibility of a counselor or therapist is primarily to act as a sounding board for the client. A coach helps the client to set and meet goals in a constructive way, while leaving the process in the hands of the client. Very often a coach will assign homework to a client to help him or her to establish what it is that the client wishes to change in life and then to achieve those changes through goal setting and action plans.

      I studied life coaching at Liberty University for a while, but have changed my major since, as there isn't a lot of money in life coaching and not much room for psychologists in the current market anyway. However, this is a fascinating subject that a lot of people really don't thoroughly understand.

      It's best, I think, to look at a life coach as similar to the person who coaches a team; they provide guidance, but don't participate in the action.

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