Life Coach, We all Need One! Why Go it Alone?

It seems like everyone has a “coach” these days. Yoga coach, Fitness coach, Cooking coach, Public Speaking coach, Weight or Nutritional coach.  Some times they are called “trainers”, “teachers”,” rabbi, yogi or “therapists”. I guess a life coach is the modern cross between a therapist, best friend and personal trainer.

A life coach is an outsider, non-family member who you can: talk to, bounce ideas off, discuss personal growth with, as well as seek advice, encouragement, along with constructive criticism. Their goal is provide positive direction in life, and promote personal growth... A life coach is usually a person who is sometimes as close or closer than your best friend, sibling or spouse. An important point being that a life coach is non-judgmental, and does not carry a grudge into the future sessions. They act on life issues, review the issue with you and assist you in dealing with the issue in a positive manner. They should not suggest revenge, hatred, retaliation, or promote any negative energy or emotions within you.

Let’s use a simple analogy of a personal trainer.  They demonstrate the correct way to perform an exercise or activity. Then observe you performing that activity.  Gives constructive criticism, comments on form, and encourages good activities.

There are several important points concerning a life coach. If things don’t work out, you can part your ways and move on. No personal baggage to worry about, however there is often a feeling of loneliness or emptiness until your void is filled.  A life coach needs to be an engaged listener. The first “life coaches” in history were probably bartenders! They would listen to hundreds of stories a day, sometimes the same or similar stories from different customers. However they rarely provided corrective criticism in fear of loosing a tip!

So what should one look for in securing a “Life Coach” these days? The best life coaches are recommended from others.  One must remember that each life coach, similar to personal trainers, work with many other and different people.  You will rarely find a life coach who is all yours! Second a life coach has to be one who you trust with your deepest, personal, most intimate and sometimes darkest secrets.   You must be able to open up to your coach without fear that they will discuss or reveal personal information to others.  The coach does not have to be emotionally disconnected from you. It is acceptable for you both to share emotions together; such as crying and laughter. Many feel and recommend that your coach be of the same sex, to decrease the temptation of a personal relationship. Most life coaches do not record any notes or keep any form of written or electronic records. It is a moment to moment interaction. You share a concern; interact through feedback or praise, encouragement or constructive criticism.

You should never feel that your coach is being “judgmental”.  They are not a part of your life to judge anything you do as “right or wrong”.  There position is simply to assist you in moving forward into a better positive place in your life.

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