Few people wake up one day and spend money on something they don’t need. You hire a life or personal coach because the challenges you face cause discomfort and emotional pain. Sometimes the drive to seek a life coach starts dramatically in a big observable event. At other times it comes to you quietly as a yearning for more and better. As diligently as you may have tried you have not been able to come up with what you need to do, be or experience.
Here are examples of people seeking life coaching. I made them up from a compilation of situations I’ve experienced and people I’ve known in my lifetime. These examples of people who hire life coaches are NOT real people.
- Improve Your Work Performance
Sophia was angry and thinking about quitting her job of 5 years after once more being denied a promotion she expected. She thought about this for quite a while and decided to ask for help. She’d heard about therapy but rejected the idea she had a mental problem. She had a problem. That’s all. A problem with probable solutions. She hired a coach to help her reach her goals.
Use a coaching approach, they examined her work behavior and identified those areas she thought needed improvement. Sophia and her coach made a plan that Sophia believed would work for her. She tried out her plan, tested it with her coach, and improved her plan as she grew in her work life. Eventually, she improved her work performance, sought and got her promotion.
- Solve A Problem
Noah, age 9, refused to talk to his parents about his reluctance go to school. Mornings were becoming impossible. Each aspect of getting ready became a challenge. Noah’s parents thought about seeking help for Noah. They decided that Noah’s difficulty was NOT a mental illness and was instead a solvable problem. They wanted to empower him to own the problem and build ways to solve it. They chose a professional coach trained to work with children to help him solve the problem.
Noah and his coach communicated in his coaching in the way children do. They played with toys chosen by Noah, drew pictures, read books and told stories. The themes of his play, art, and communication all pointed to the difficulties he faced in school. Mornings at home became calmer as Noah solved his problems.
- Overcome A Difficulty
Jackson wanted to get married and start a family. After his last 10 dates, he felt discouraged and believed he was failing at dating. After much pondering, he realized he didn’t understand his difficulty. It felt overwhelming. Instead of giving up his dream, he decided he needed to examine his dating experiences. He’d read about life coaching and thought maybe a coach could help him figure out the problem and decide how to approach this.
His coach asked great coaching questions, focused on Jackson’s answers, and encouraged him to examine his most recent dates. As he did, he made his action plan of how to move forward toward a different dating experience. He looked at what he needed to change and experimented with different thought patterns and behaviors. Eventually, he fell in love and married, starting that family he desired.
- Increase Your Well-Being
Ava, age 14, was being bullied in the neighborhood and crying all day. Her parents didn’t know how to help. Ava, too, didn’t have a mental diagnosis. She had a problem in living that is unfortunately faced by way too many young people. Her parents decided on a life coach to help her build her self-esteem and develop her own practical anti-bullying skills.
The life coach asked coaching questions, listened, asked more questions, and encouraged Ava to define her own approach to the bullying she experienced. Ava considered many options including asking her parents to help her attend a new school. After much discussion, Ava talked to her parents. Together they asked for help at the school. This is a solution that doesn’t always work but did in this case.
Ava’s school brought the girls together for multiple discussions and problem-solving sessions. Ava continued with her coach throughout this process until she felt comfortable standing up for herself. The bullying didn’t completely stop, but de-escalated dramatically. Ava learned to handle what was thrown at her. Her bullies lost interest in her, moving on to more satisfying targets.
- Reach A Goal
Liam wanted to start a successful business and became upset when he realized he didn’t have the knowledge and skills he needed. He was shocked and frustrated to run into this barrier. He did not understand how to begin. To him, it seemed like he was like a cat trying to get out of a paper bag. He decided he needed help to sort this out, setting goals, and making plans. He chose personal coaching to help him make progress toward his goal.
His coach asked Liam coaching questions that helped Liam think more clearly about his need. He decided to attend school to built the business skills he decided he needed. He decided on the exact business he wanted, what he needed, and how to find it. As he worked toward his goals, he decided he needed a mentor in his specific field. He learned slowly and needed to develop study skills. This, too, was integrated into his action plan. Liam started his business and because quite successful.
- Change Behavior
Olivia noticed she sounded just like her abusive mother with her kids. She became frightened as she had vowed never to treat her children that way. First, she wondered if she had PTSD, then she decided she had a relationship problem with her daughter. She choose a life coach.
With coaching, she realized she didn’t know when or how to set boundaries for her daughter. She set goals for herself and made action plans. One was to begin journalling every time she heard herself sounding like her mother. In that way, she unraveled this ordinary parenting problem. With coaching support, she examined her parenting values in each problematic situation, gaining clarity around the choices she could make. She created parenting plans, executed them, and changed her reactions to her daughter.
- Improve Relationships
Emma was sick of dating men who cheated on her and wanted to change this. This happened with everyone she dated, so she decided the problem was hers. She chose a life coach to examine her choices and make new ones.
In response to coaching questions, Emma isolated the key factors that led her decisions. She made plans, changed her actions one at a time, tested the results, and made new plans. It took a while, but she changed her pattern. Eventually, she chose men who don’t cheat. She met her goal in coaching.
- Build Resilience
Isabella was robbed and wanted to reclaim her life. Everyone told her she had PTSD and needed a therapist to talk to. She felt intuitively she didn’t have that diagnosis and therapy wasn’t the right answer. Instead, she wanted to make concrete steps to overcome this challenge. Isabella chose life coaching, responding well to a practical solution-oriented approach.
She was very determined and active on her own behalf. She learned new concepts to apply to herself. All related to resilience. Then she learned resilience skills and applied them in her life. Over time, she reclaimed her life, put the robbery in a self-chosen perspective, and decided the experience led her to grow. That, in her mind, made it a positive.
If any of my examples resonate with you, you are one of many ordinary everyday people who does not have a diagnosable mental disorder, yet faces a life challenge. Sometimes a serious one.
You know you are strong, creative and feel an inner drive for better. Something woke you up to possibilities. Maybe a need, perhaps a seemingly unsolvable problem, or a deep desire that won’t go away. This initial problem and emotional discomfort reveal your drive for more and better in one or more areas of your life.
Coaching offers a safe and accepting environment to support your growth, think about new ideas and experiment with new behaviors. A coaching approach values your individuality and accepts you as you are right now.
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©2016-18 by Laura Coleman, Ph.D. All rights reserved.