American Businessman and former CEO and Chairman of Chrysler, Bob Nardelli, was a fan of coaching. According to him, “I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.”
Successful people across all fields work with coaches so it is not surprising that many celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Serena Williams, Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Andre Agassi and many more, have worked with coaches on an ongoing basis to not only work through roadblocks, but to take their lives to the next level. These people all had winning mindsets. When faced with challenges, as we all do in life, instead of thinking they had the tools to succeed alone, they all recognised their limitations and acknowledged how much further they could go with the help of a coach. With commitment and an openness to learn, coaching will help you become the best version of yourself.
But what exactly is a life coach? A life coach is someone that aims to empower clients by helping them make, meet and exceed goals in their personal or professional lives or both. At its most basic, life coaching is a collaborative conversation between coach and coachee that can enable profound transformations through choices, questions, reflections and improved behaviours. As part of this process, clients are empowered to make courageous decisions about their life, work, relationships, and more. Typically, coaches won’t provide clear answers. Instead, coaches help coachees build confidence, gain self-awareness and uncover the answers for themselves. So often people look to others for help on big life decisions or even small ones, but ultimately we all have the answers within us, and true fulfilment will never come from satisfying other people’s visions for you.
To live a fulfilling life with fewer regrets, it’s important to make decisions that are true for you. It’s empowering to acknowledge that we need help and go and get it; however, it can be disempowering to ask a coach or anyone to make important life decisions for you. With the right guidance, amount of stillness and self-care, you can uncover the next best step, build the confidence to take the leap of faith, set more meaningful goals and so much more.
To appreciate the benefits of coaching, you must appreciate the fact that people simply can’t do everything themselves. There are two famous proverbs, believed to be African, that highlight this point well. “It takes a village to raise a child” and “if you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” Put simply, we all have limiting beliefs, blind spots and unique challenges to overcome in certain areas and the skills and expertise of someone who’s immersed in the field of success and self-improvement, and has the availability and motivation to guide and steer you in the right direction, can make all the difference.
Moreover, coaches are great at identifying when or in what areas you are lying to yourself and pointing out negative patterns that may be keeping you back from achieving what you want. A good coach will stretch you and help you make positive changes, grow and get what you really want out of your life. While you may be extremely self-motivated, successful, happy, productive and have fulfilling relationships, at some point everyone hits plateaus, faces challenges and uncovers blind spots. A good coach will help you recognise and address all that.
“Coaching isn’t therapy. It’s product development, with you as the product.” Fast Company
Here are some ways life coaches can help you:
Gain clarity around your goals and purpose. By talking things through and being probed with the right questions, life coaching can benefit you by helping you to set the goals that you really want to achieve, by distinguishing between what you could do, should do, and really want to do.
Help you achieve meaningful goals. Once you have clarity on the right goals for you, coaches will help to provide strategies to get you there and keep you accountable to ensure you actually achieve them. Some people are easily motivated and can stay accountable to themselves, but most can in some areas and struggle in others. When you are working with an external party that you have to answer to, you are more likely to keep showing up.
Provide insightful and objective perspectives. We all view the world through our own biased lens. Just think of how differently you and a friend may interpret the same situation. A coach can help you see a different, more empowering and helpful perspective.
Increase your productivity. By uncovering your particular limiting beliefs, negative patterns and unhealthy habits, coaches can help you create positive habits that will help you specifically.
Can help you build self-awareness. They are experts in this area and can administer tests and share insights they have on you. Coaches tend to be particularly reflective in the area of self-awareness and when you couple that with years of experience of coaching others on the subject, the good ones can add so much value to you in this area.
Improve your relationships. By helping you to heal past wounds, uncover blind spots, feel lighter and envision the types of relationships you want, coaches can then give you strategies to improve the meaningful relationships in your life.
Improve your communication skills. Talking through challenges will enable you to better articulate your thoughts and communicate clearer. They can also teach you to ask yourself more empowering and helpful questions which you can then use to ask others, increasing your chances of creating more meaningful dialogues and connections.
Address limiting beliefs and build or boost self-confidence. Everyone has strengths, weaknesses and limiting beliefs in some areas. If you struggle to see your strengths, often we feel confident in some areas and struggle in others, a coach can help you identify them and build on them so you feel more confident.
Improve health and reduce stress and anxiety. Having someone to work with and talk through challenges with, helps to reduce stress. In addition, most coaches can give you tips for implementing healthy habits into your life across a variety of areas. They are experts in the field of performance and success and that will usually cross over to other areas than the exact area you wanted to work on.
Improve work-life balance based on your ideal scenario. Coaching can help you become more mindful about how you want to spend your time and then help you set up strategies to ensure you are following through and getting more fulfilment in life.
Help you overcome fears. Many coaches were inspired to become coaches because they had to overcome challenges and obstacles themselves. With their unique experience, they can provide insights and tips that can work for you specifically. Furthermore, as a coach, they encounter lots of people, and chances are they’ve coached someone that has faced similar challenges or obstacles and they can draw on that experience to provide better strategies for you.
Guide you to make more money and hone in your career aspirations. Coaches have experience working with successful people and they can impart the wisdom they’ve gained in helping others achieve success.
Get you inspired and motivated. Some of us are easily motivated and for others it takes work. Most, are easily motivated in particular areas and less so in others. Regardless of where you lie on the motivation spectrum, we all go through stages or find particular projects to be more challenging when it comes to motivation. Coaches keep their clients motivated and inspired to keep working towards their goals by pulling from best practices they’ve learnt along the way.
Life Coaching is an investment that will benefit your entire life. By investing in yourself you are telling both yourself and the world that you are valuable and worth the investment. You are also investing in your future and the better version of yourself that you hope to grow into. As well-known Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says, the very best investment you can make is one that “you can’t beat, can’t be taxed and one that not even inflation can take away from you.” Buffett advocates that “ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.”
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