Is Life Coaching Right for Me?
Back when I started life coaching, a mentor told me, "If you really want to gain freedom while making a true difference, you have to make the leap. I felt both exciting and terrifying at the same time. On the one hand, I knew I was meant to do more with my life, I was meant to make a real difference rather than being stuck in a 9-5 job. On the other, quitting my stable day job was risky — and the thought of failing paralyzed me with fear.
That was years ago. And I cannot be more thankful for the 'leap' that my mentor helped me take.
Perhaps you're the same. Perhaps, you too yearn to create a life on your terms. And for that, you need to start somewhere. You need a road map. Coaching can be a fulfilling pathway to creating your own business, giving you the flexibility and freedom to work where and when you like. For people who want to work from home, and who want to work part time, it provides true independence.
There are no limits to where you can take your career, whether you want to work from home or an office, part-time or full-time, face-to-face or over the phone, with individuals or teams or businesses, helping people to change their lives, to improve their relationships, to correct bad habits, to break through their limits and to realise their full potential – Or you can take it in a completely new direction and apply your skills in ways that have never been thought of.
It provides the tools and resources to enable you to work on yourself, as you assist others with their goals. Each methodology you learn to help a client, you can also apply to your own life. As you learn about communication skills, for example, you can apply your learning in your own communication.
If you learn about goal setting, you can apply those skills to your own life and career. Being a success coach and strategist provides the opportunity to assist people who want to move forward in their lives. You don’t spend your time talking about their problems, but rather, ways to proactively create the results they want.
Coaches, strategists and Meta Dynamics™ consultants work in organisations, bringing their brain storming and facilitation skills to the team. They can work independently, from home, or form a group and benefit from being in a team.
The possibilities are endless!
That said, not everyone is suited to becoming a coach, trainer or a consultant. Some people are a little too impatient with people! Or don’t really enjoy helping people. Some people don’t enjoy seeing others succeed. If any of this seems like you, then perhaps there’s another career that you may be better suited for.
But, if you're curious about coaching and wondering if coaching is the right career pathway for you, then here are a few characteristics of a successful coach:
1. A capacity for self-observation and reflection: If we can see ourselves as we are, rather than how we wish we were, we can be more effective as a coach. We will bring honesty to the coaching that would be missing if we were ‘hiding’ who we really are.
2. A recognition of what we can influence and change: We cannot control and influence everything: A great coach has the capacity to focus on that which they can control and influence, and thus improve results through being proactive in those areas, rather than focusing on what can only worry them but which they can do nothing.
3. Self-awareness of our emotions and the impact they have on the client: By being aware of our own emotions and choosing to manage them effectively, we can become far more effective when we’re with our clients. The client may bring something that’s emotional for them. We don’t then get to be emotional with them, unless it’s appropriate, so we must be in tune with and be able to manage what comes up for us emotionally.
4. An understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses: Knowing where we excel means we can bring those strengths to the coaching conversation. Knowing where we need to improve provides us with a pathway for building our capacity in other areas that are less familiar to us. Being stretched to learn and grow is part of what coaching is.
5. The ability to receive feedback without defensiveness: Feedback does not immediately mean ‘criticism’ and a successful coach has the capacity to take on-board the feedback they’re hearing without getting defensive, shutting down or rejecting the whole conversation. We must be the example for our clients by being open and receptive to the whole conversation, not just the parts of it we agree with or that suit us.
With over 17 years' experience training Life Coaches, we have found that whilst people from many broad walks of life can become successful Life Coaches, there are certain attributes that lead to some people becoming more successful than others.
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