Updated: Apr 17
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” ~C.G. Jung
There are many tools for self-development, and in these times of self-help, motivational books and talks, one must not forget to mention Life Coaches. One of your greatest allies on the journey to bettering one’s self.
When I’m asked about my profession, the immediate follow-up questions are, ‘what exactly does a life coach do and who needs one?’
Let’s start with getting familiar with the work of a life coach. A life coach's job is to help you move from where you are to where you want to be in various areas of your life. It is a professional relationship between coach and client where the coach helps the client better understand their values and belief system and how these tie to everyday behavioural patterns. A coach enables you to create and maintain practices that support your goals.
It is essential to understand that coaching is about the individual and is held under strict confidentiality, with the client empowered and viewed as reasonable and responsible for their journey. The coach does not tell you what to do but allows you to discover what you want for yourself, acting as a soundboard and accountability partner. In other words, the onus is on the coachee to make choices that align with things that bring them happiness and fulfilment.
What do you want to achieve? Is it a more fulfilling career or relationship you want, or are you looking to reignite your interests? Do you seek clarity with essential decisions you need to make?
As easy as these questions seem, they are not as easy as most of us think or would even like. Many of us are constantly setting the same goals year in and year out and ultimately getting frustrated with the lack of achievement and fulfilment over the years.
A coach is there to challenge and support you in setting and reaching your desired results.
Another question is, ‘are you a therapist?’
Coaches are not therapists unless one has trained to be both. Coaches use their knowledge of introductory psychology as they go about their profession. Often, therapy gets pitted against coaching. Are the two the same? Is one more important than the other? Coaching and therapy are necessary and have their time and place. Therapy looks into the past to help you understand where you are, while coaching meets you exactly where you are and looks to move you forward.
What about speaking engagements?
Yes, coaches make for some of the best inspirational speakers, but this is not a prerequisite for a coach. While inspirational talks have a feel-good factor, a coach-coachee relationship is not quite that. A coach can help you discover what inspires, motivates and makes you happy.
Although the coaching world is relatively new on the African continent, with different countries at different levels, the numbers are growing. There are some great opportunities and world-class coaching. Coaching is steadily rising, with individuals and organisations benefiting from engaging professionals like myself.
Its starts with the self!, so start your journey today to become the best version of your true authentic self!