Life is not a linear journey, where everything is rosy & predictable. It has its own way of surprising us with the unexpected in both good & bad ways.
Vasudha (name changed for confidentiality reasons) was elated to see the two lines on the pregnancy test kit. She has been waiting to experience this for the last 6 years. But the happiness was short-lived. She was recently promoted & was due to take a transfer to a new city. She felt torn between embracing motherhood full-heartedly v/s loyalty to her professional aspirations.
Rani (Name changed) was stuck in a loveless marriage. Overnight her life as she knew it changed when her husband died due to a sudden heart attack. She had never stood for herself before. She felt lost when friends & family bombarded her with advice. She couldn’t bring herself to give her life in the hands of others to decide once again.
Rajeev (name changed) received a bad mid-year review at work. His personal life wasn’t going great either. He often found himself helplessly stuck in heated arguments with his spouse or with work peers. His manager pointed out he is aggressive & his spouse complained he is insensitive. He feels grossly misunderstood & wants to find a way to better understand what’s going wrong & make his life better.
Tarun (name changed) was looking forward to his next phase of life with his wife & 2 children, in their new home. Just when everything seemed to be settling, he started noticing his wife behaving a little odd. She was overtly pollyannaish & would just not stop talking. She suddenly became overprotective of her children & would not like his involvement in their everyday activities. He needed help and started researching who to reach out to & talk about his gut feeling.
You see, every new situation in life demands a different version of us. When an individual becomes aware of the idea that “something in them needs to change/grow/outgrow” – Life Coaching comes as a tool to unlock their true potential.
What is Life Coaching & How does it work?
Life coaching meaning – The activity of helping clients decide what they want in their lives and how to achieve it. (Link to – https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/life-coaching)
It is based on the core premise that the individual has all the answers to their problems.
But they are often not aware of this and are too busy looking outside trying to live up to external benchmarks, seeking external validation, and waiting for someone else to solve their problems.
A life coach however believes people learn with a lot more ease & grace when they’re not told what to do. So, they partner with the individuals to enhance their awareness about themselves, the situation, the environment, the possibilities & what’s coming in the way to live their dream life.
A life coach creates a safe space which is free of any kind of judgment & the first thing an individual will experience in that environment is the freedom to be themselves. This helps greatly to focus on the crux of the matter that needs addressing than the facades built over to create a distraction.
How Life Coaching Can Help You?
When an individual becomes aware of what he is Actually experiencing & not simply what he permits himself to experience after a thorough screening through a conceptual filter, he becomes beautifully, constructively, and realistically clear.
This gift of free & undistorted awareness helps an individual to make decisions from a place of clarity, that’s free from external influences & congruent with their core inner self.
Vasudha – went on to have her long-awaited baby, quitting her career aspirations. After a decade, she found herself frustrated with her life & guilty of not being able to be the loving mother she always wanted to be. She chose to work with a life coach and in one of the sessions, she became aware of the fact that deep down she’s been holding her baby responsible for quitting the job. Though the decision was hers, it didn’t sit well internally & kept haunting her, keeping her from loving her child & life for what it is. The life coach helped her curiously explore what she truly wanted to be given the reality of Now & what permissions she needed to give herself to live a life of her choice.
She reinvented herself in a career of her choice. She took ownership of the decisions she made for herself. She chose to give herself permission to work & also seek help from her family to support her in this decision.
Rani got tired of listening to the unsolicited advice coming from all corners. She wanted to restart her life on her terms but her family & friends started projecting their own fears to her situation & warned her of imminent failure if she didn’t abide by what they suggested. She reached out to a life coach and got clarity on what she truly wanted, the resources needed to make it happen. She successfully relocated to her dream city, took her kids along with her, upskilled herself while working part-time & is every bit living life on her successful terms, much to the surprise of her family & friends.
Rajeev soon realized he is going in circles venting the frustration of work at home and of home at work, as he started working with a life coach. He realized he was sitting with a lot of ”not being good enough”, which came up as self-criticism himself. His coping strategies were perceived as aggression & insensitiveness by others. He went on to practice self-love & self-compassion & is now a senior leader in the same firm that rated him poorly, leading a blissful family life.
What Do Life Coaches Do?
A life coach is not solving problems, not advising, not mentoring or counselling – but holding space for clarity to emerge by facilitating awareness without any distortions. With clarity, the individual then goes on to decide what they want to do, which is aligned with their inner as well as the outer reality. A life coach then partners with the individual to find resources to make change happen in a sustainable way all the while holding the individuals accountable for their committed actions, with consistent empathetic check-ins of the progress made, until the individuals become self-sufficient w.r.t to their goals.
Benefits of Life Coaching
While the exact benefit you will experience will depend on the specific goals you are working on with the life coach, here are some broad life coaching benefits you stand to experience as a client:
- Gaining clarity
- Becoming more resourceful
- Learning to stand by your innate values
- Unlearning the limiting beliefs
- Experiencing fewer inner conflicts
- Living a congruent & fulfilling life
What to Look For in a Life Coach?
Life Coaching is a highly unregulated space where anybody who wants to call themselves a life coach can go ahead & do so.
But the good news is there is a lot more awareness about the coaching profession compared to the last decade.
Prospective clients are looking for coaches who have recognised, respected & widely adopted credentials to their professional bio.
Similarly more & more coaches are taking the professional credential path, for they know – it’s a highly emerging career path & a well-recognised credential will add credibility to their professional offerings.
One such credentialing body which is both well-recognised & globally accepted as the gold standard for the Coaching industry is the ICF (International Coach Federation). Getting a life coaching certification from ICF undoubtedly makes the ICF Coach more confident & capable in their coaching skills due to its rigorous training curriculum & credentialing process. It also instantly earns the life coach global recognition & credibility.
When Tarun – reached out to an ICF Credentialed life coach, who then agreed to speak to his wife, sensed this was coming from some past trauma, which was not ethically in the scope of a Coaching intervention, The life Coach directed Tarun to reach out to a psychiatric expert. With timely intervention & guidance, they are now leading a happy normal life.
An ICF Credentialed coach embodies the code of ethics based on the core values – Integrity, Excellence, Collaboration & Respect & shows up ethically in every professional coaching relationship.
In Tarun’s case, there was no failsafe or recourse if someone in the life coach’s position had acted unethically or breached the client’s trust.
Who Should Consider Working With a Life Coach?
Many people seek life coaches to navigate significant life changes, as seen in the above case studies. However, life coaches could also be proactively engaged to build a happier, more meaningful & empowered life.
Remember making yourself a priority is not selfish & you don’t have to do it all alone.
Also while some life coaches take a general, all-encompassing approach, there are also many that specialize & focus on helping people with specific areas of life like – career, finances, health & wellness, life skills, crossroads, leadership, sports, spirituality etc…
So if any of this resonates with you & you are curious to interact & engage with an ICF credentialed Life coach for a specific goal of yours – Click here to tap into the Regal Coaches Community
If you are thinking of taking up the ICF Coach certification journey to become an ICF credentialed life coach – click here to know about the upcoming batches.