What Is a Life Coach?

Life coaching is a service that seems to be growing in popularity by the week. Whether you've heard of it through friends, the newspaper, or your favorite TV show, life coaching is making its way into the world of modern life services.

But when it comes down to it, what is life coaching? How do you know if you need a life coach, and where do you get one if you do? Read on to find out more about what life coaches are, what they do, and why you should consider getting one for yourself.

What Is Life Coaching?

Because of their interdisciplinary approaches, life coaches are hard to define. Generally, they’re considered professionals who work with clients to better their lives in someway, shape, or form. This could be through improving their relationships, meeting their career goals, bettering their health, or any other form of life improvement you can think of.

Life Coach vs. Therapist

To the untrained eye, life coaches can look a lot like therapists. To be sure, the two careers have a lot in common. However there are some distinct differences to keep in mind.

Therapists are professionals who have some form of medical training. They are certified specifically to help their clients with their mental health needs.

Life coaches, on the other hand, are more all-encompassing. While they can definitely help you with your mental health, they can also help you with your physical health, career goals, or any other things you might be struggling with in your life. If there's something you want out of life, a life coach can help you get it.

While therapists are usually brought in to help individuals heal from some sort of mental health issues, life coaches may employed at any time in someone's life because their work focuses on how you move forward with your life, rather than how your life has been in the past. While therapists focus on healing, life coaches look forward to how you can meet your potential.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

A life coach can help you with various aspects of your life. Because the field is so broad, different life coaches will focus on different areas of expertise. Overall, life coaches can help increase your motivation to live life to its fullest.

Life coaches can also help you achieve specific goals in a given time period. No matter what your goals are, a life coach is first priority is your health and happiness, meaning that they can be flexible and work with what that means to you.

Coaching Niches

Within the field of life coaching, there are several smaller niches. Here are some of the most common sub specialties within the life coaching field.

Health Coaches

Health coaches help you meet specific health-based goals. These can be rooted in diet, exercise, or even mindfulness. Health coaches are great for helping you rebuild healthy eating habits, getting in the swing of a workout routine, or just staying motivated with what you've already accomplished.

Relationship Coaches

Relationship coaches can help you improve your relationships with others. Whether this involves coworkers, significant others, family members, neighbors, or friends, a relationship coach can help you learn to carry yourself with confidence and interact with other people in a healthy and productive way.

Career Coaches

Career coaches, as you can guess, help people meet their career goals. There could be many underlying issues behind a stalled career. Career coaches are trained to help you uncover the obstacles you're facing in the workplace and work through them.

Types of Life Coaching Methods

Life coaching is a very broad field. As a result, there are many different methods that different life coaches will use. Some life coaches even come by methods depending on the client’s needs.

Directive Coaching

Directive coaching is probably the type of coaching you think of when you imagine a life coach. When using a directive method, life coaches will present possible solutions for your problems or suggest paths of action that may suit your goals. In other words, the solutions to your problems come from an external source: your life coach.

Evocative Coaching

In contrast to directive coaching, evocative coaching involves inspiring clients from the inside out. Rather than immediately offering potential solutions to a problem, evocative coaches encourage their clients to look deep within themselves to find their own solutions and then support their clients in pursuing these goals. This approach to life coaching is particularly empowering as it helps clients realize that they had the answers to the problems inside all along.

Vision-Driven Coaching

In vision-driven coaching, life coaches help you to achieve your goals not based on individual difficulties, but on a general vision that you have for yourself. In other words they help you become the person that you see as your ideal self. By working backwards from the big picture, vision-driven coaching helps to clarify your priorities and make sure your life decisions line up with who you want to be.

Coaching Formats

There are many different formats for life coaching. Some people like to meet with their life coach one on one to receive personalized advice about their journey.

Others, however, feel more comfortable meeting with life coaches in group settings. Sometimes, this comes as a sort of small group coaching session. Other times people will attend live sessions as part of a large audience.

Life Coaching for Happiness

If you're looking to enrich your life, a life coach is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.