Benefits & Situations Where Life Coaching May Be Useful

…guidance and encouragement to explore your current circumstances and realistic ways to go towards the things that make your life worthwhile.

Some Benefits of Life Coaching

  • more motivation
  • more self-confidence
  • more clarity in making decisions, choices and judging situations
  • a fulfilling life/work balance
  • expanding horizons
  • less stress
  • better communication skills
  • better relationships
  • better health and well-being routines e.g. diet, exercise
  • greater flexibility and adaptability to the twists and turns of life
  • increased ability to deal effectively with challenging situations
  • more self-awareness and understanding – the courage to be yourself
  • feeling supported and not alone as you work to achieve your goals
  • time to reflect on what is important to you and who you really aspire to be

Example Situations Where Life Coaching May Help

Remember that life coaching is different from counselling.  It is a dynamic discipline designed to help motivate and inspire people to achieve more than they believe is possible.  Although life coaches and therapists occasionally help clients with similar problems, their work is not the same.  If you feel you want to: recover from past traumas, explore why past relationships (business or personal) have been destructive, work through depression or anxiety that affect your ability to function at home or work or survive a divorce or loss of a loved one then a counsellor or therapist is the best person to help.

Getting a new job, getting the job you want or indeed any job in a tough marketplace – increase your chances:

You want to get across to potential employers why you’re the best candidate (cv’s, cover letters, application forms), stand out from the crowd (focus on your unique “selling points”), get your”head on straight” for the interview (have the right energy and mindset) and go in with dynamism as the person they should pick!  Sue’s coaching comes at this with belief in your potential, encouragement and support but also a targeted approach (knowledge of what employers are looking for).  She has a lot of experience in this area.  While the law of averages says that not everything will pan out, instead of advisors, agencies or recruiters caring about their commission for placing people or targets they have to meet, you’ll have someone focused on achieving what you want!

I feel stressed and overwhelmed.  There isn’t time to get everything done.  And, there are consequences if I don’t get everything done!  (work or personal):

There are many well-worn tools that get mentioned in this sort of situation, e.g. time management,  assertiveness/managing boundaries with others, ways to deal with emotions and relaxation/meditation.  What doesn’t tend to be talked about is how to put them into practice in the real world – it can be difficult when you’re in crisis mode and every extra thing is one too many.  Coaching can help you to get into a different mode where you can make constructive changes to how you think, feel and act to diffuse the feeling and reality of being overwhelmed and the anxiety and/or worry that may accompany it.

You want someone to listen with empathy, without judgement and in confidence; for that person to try to understand where you’re coming from and to accept you just as you are:

You might not have had someone to listen, you may not have been comfortable trusting another person with certain things or it may be that what’s important to you doesn’t seem so important to others; they don’t want to listen.  The coach is there is listen fully and to focus on you.

There are relationships in your life where you’ve tried just about everything but the same old patterns repeat and you can’t seem to get anywhere:

Some relationships may involve a range of emotions and possibly painful experiences, or degrees of frustration, resentment or anger.  Or even a certain detachment that things will ever be any different.  Coaching can help to discern the needs behind your feelings so you can decide whether you want to keep working on these types of relationships and effective ways to change them for the better.

I just don’t know what I want to do with my life!

With a little curiosity you can discover what you enjoy, what you find worthwhile and what gives you meaning and/or purpose. From focusing on these things (and perhaps thinking in new/different ways) you can get a sense of how much they mean to you and start to make decisions to go forward.  We will look at what works for you…some people are results focused and others find the journey to be an adventure!

I want to change things in my life but somehow I can’t get anything to stick.  I’m worried about my health/diet/appearance/social life…

What do we want for ourselves and how do expectations from other people and/or society affect us?  Sticking with change comes from acknowledging unmet needs and employing strategies to meet those needs.  With your coach as guide, look into what you really care about and explore old habits, see where you put your attention, visualise change, remove barriers, practice new behaviours and be able to ask for feedback.

I would like to try new things but I just don’t think I’d be any good at them…
I’m not going to even bother going to that job interview, no-one will be interested in me…
Don’t pick me to do that – I’ll only mess it up!
I’m really worried about something specific and don’t know what to do.

For many people these sorts of situations involve a complex set of emotions.  Even if you understand why you think you may be unsure or not succeed at something, taking action to learn or practice what’s involved may not make much of a difference to how you feel.  Never having done something before, having been criticised in the past and/or perfectionism can all contribute to anxiety about how things will turn out.  And, have you ever been “rewarded” for this way of thinking/being, e.g. if others believe you’re not up to a task,  it “gets you off the hook”?  Coaching delves into the layers of complexity associated with self confidence and self esteem, exploring labeling things as right or wrong and how curiosity and a process of discovery about what’s right for you can be a way forward.  All emotions are OK and there’s no need to get rid of anything or try to be something you’re not.

You enjoy sports/team games/participate in group activities/generally like to compete with others but don’t seem to be able to “win” on a regular basis (results are important to you):

The traditional coaching role!  A great relationship with a coach can make all the difference because the coach focuses on the end goal, tailoring their approach to your way of thinking and how you personally respond to different strategies.  Some people need a calm, clear head to perform at their best.  Others need to be “amped up” and adrenalised.  People also react differently in different situations!  Visualisation and then to almost be on autopilot for your event is sometimes useful.  Alternatively, the power and drive of “negative” emotions may work well at other times.  However, it’s almost always true that the strength of will to win can make the difference between winning and losing.  Also common to most people is the requirement to practice and strong motivation and focus, commitment and preparation – all areas a coach will work on with you.

Just had a promotion – argh!  How to deal with new responsibilities:

The extra money’s a godsend but you may have to supervise colleagues with whom you were previously on the same level, learn new things and get to grips with understanding much more about the organisation and what’s critical to its business and customers.  Firstly, consider why you were promoted and take comfort in the confidence your boss obviously has in you!  Coaching could  include looking at strategies you’ve used in similar situations (and if you need new ones now), assessing where you may want to adapt and what behaviours/ways of thinking to leave behind, developing a support network and new peer relationships, gathering feedback and how to inspire confidence in others as a leader.

Life’s doesn’t seem to be going so well and feels boring/miserable/like some unending cycle of chores…

I’ve developed a new philosophy.  I only dread one day at a time.  Charlie Brown

It can be tough to know whether a coach or a counsellor might be the best person to speak with in this sort of situation.  Generally, if you want to understand and resolve things in the past (and/or you feel you can’t function normally day to day), choose a counsellor or therapist; if you want to understand where you are now and go forward, choose a coach.  It’s possibly best to try an initial session with each and see what feels right to you.  Good practitioners will always tell you if they don’t think they are the best person to help.  A coach will look to understand what’s important to you and work with you on ways to bring those things into your life.  This involves understanding what unmet needs are behind your current thinking.  Different takes on your situation and going through many of the areas listed above as benefits of coaching can uncover where you’re “stuck” in terms of energy, motivation and enjoyment.