Coaching is so misunderstood. Perhaps because it seems to be named after sports coaching, people assume it’s going to be a pushy just-do-it approach.
Usually it’s not like that. Certainly not in my case. I’m more about compassion and finding the best way that fits you.
There are so many different styles of coaching but I think what they have in common is that a “life coach” is someone who helps you get somewhere new, or move through a challenging transition, and stay in your best flow and fulfillment.
A coach might be somewhat like a mentor, or like having a fresh second brain when you’re having trouble seeing the path clearly.
Many coaches specialize in helping particular people, such as my specialty as a coach for introverts and/or highly sensitive people (HSPs) working on career or business goals. I believe working with a specialist is a good way to be understood more easily and make good progress.
A coach might be a career coach, business coach, wellness coach, etc. The focus might change but the methods are usually based on positive psychology, assuming they have had coach training. Some people call themselves coaches in a generic sense but have not trained in coaching principles.
Many companies pay for their leaders to have a credentialed coach, because they see that it helps.
There seem to be 3 classic ways for why and how someone accesses a coach. All three are valid. I want to alert you to all three, to help you understand some possibilities.
1st Perspective: Short-term Goal-focused
At first, many people come to coaching with a specific goal in mind. In my case, people might come to me with goals such as finding a new career path, building confidence, or growing a business.
They see coaching as something to help them get through a transition. They might imagine it will be a short-term thing.
2nd Perspective: Continuing with Evolving Goals
Then many people start to also see coaching as a supportive tool for helping them with all kinds of things. So that, instead of thinking they have to stop when they complete the first goal, they decide to update the goals and continue to go for the next “mountain.”
3rd Perspective: Ongoing Support To Be in My Best Flow, Balance, and Fulfillment
And then, sometimes people start to realize that they don’t have to have a specific goal to benefit from having a coach along for the journey.
Sometimes you just want (or need) a second brain all along the way, to stay at your best, staying true to you no matter what comes your way. It’s like having a gym membership that keeps you active all year long.
Everyone needs a support team of some kind, and often a coach is just the thing because they bring a non-biased perspective so they can focus completely on you staying true to your values and vision.
This is how I use coaching for myself.
My Story of Accessing Coaching
I’m a bit biased about how coaching works because in my own personal experience, I went from the 1st perspective, to the 2nd, to the 3rd. As I have for many years, I continually meet with a coach, and I’m thrilled about it.
I’m confident it is a key reason I get anything done and stay true to myself. In practical terms, I see it as a “given” in my business expenses, and a “given” for my ease in life as a whole.
This method isn’t for everyone, but that’s what works for me and my brain. I need a second brain in order to be my best self.