Do you feel like you’re stuck in life? Like you’re spinning your wheels?
You might need to hire a life coach to help you take your life to the next level. A life coach is similar to a personal trainer. It’s their job to take an objective look at your life and provide motivation, encouragement, and a swift kick in the butt to move you toward success.
A life coach is similar to a personal trainer in that it’s their job to take an objective look at your life and provide motivation, encouragement, and a swift kick in the butt to move you toward success. Some life coaches specialize in specific aspects of life—entrepreneurship, finances, communication, work/life balance—while other coaches take a wider view and help you with anything they see you need to work on, or on specific issues you bring up as a personal concern.
What a Life Coach Is and Is Not
To me, the chief role of a life coach is to help you. A life coach isn’t a boss or a babysitter, they’re someone you’ve hired to help you achieve things you either could not on your own or help you achieve them more rapidly.
A life coach is not a psychologist, counselor, or therapist—though they may help you deal with aspects of your life that are closely related to mental health and relationships. In addition, unless certified or licensed in some way, a life coach is rarely a professional financial counselor.
A good life coach will instruct you to seek help from a licensed doctor, financial advisor, lawyer, or relevant professional when necessary. Be wary of a life coach who crosses the line from a coaching, motivational type role into the space where a professional should operate. When in doubt, seek a professional second opinion.
Finding a Life Coach
One of the best places to start your search is online. If you live in an urban or metropolitan area the number of options can be overwhelming at first. Start narrowing down your list by finding the ones who operate in closest proximity to you, and by area of specialization. Think about why you want a life coach. What areas of your life do you feel need the most attention—finances, career, entrepreneurship, relationships, networking? While most life coaches help you work on all facets of your life, many tend to specialize in one or two areas more than the others.
Let me inject a pretty strong personal belief here. There’s a growing movement within the self-improvement/personal development realm making much of the Law of Attraction. Some life coaches buy into these philosophies and try to help you work on your “manifestation” techniques. Beliefs like this say, “Once you make a decision, the universe aligns itself to make it happen.” I personally believe the universe doesn’t work that way, and that such teachings are fraudulent at worst and ignorant at best. I believe in the Law of Sowing and Reaping as an explanation of why hard work and persistence leads to success. To read a bit more about my thoughts on attraction versus sowing and reaping, check out my post Forget the Law of Attraction—How the Universe Really Works.
Once you’ve got your short list of coaches put together, start looking for reviews and ask around about the reputation of these coaches. Check them out as thoroughly as possible, including asking around on social media, and checking for complaints with the Better Business Bureau. A reputable life coach will provide you with references and place you in contact with clients who are willing to share their opinion.
If you can’t afford a personal life coach, there are some great alternatives you can use. Start reading blogs like mine at TheIncrementalLife.com, listen to podcasts such as Chris LoCurto and Michael Hyatt, listen to great radio programs such as Dave Ramsey, and put together a stack of beneficial books to study.
“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.”
~Bob Nardelli, CEO of Home Depot
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