What is a Life Coach?

What is a Life Coach?

Maybe you have noticed a lot of people talking about therapy and coaching. You have a friend who is seeing a therapist for anxiety and you have a neighbor seeing a coach for leadership skills. Maybe you are trying to decide if you should hire a therapist or a coach to lead you through a stressful situation of a job change or a major life transition, but you don’t know where to start.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF), one of the leading organizations for certifying coaches, defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

A coach guides clients through developing skill sets to reach a clarified goal within a specific timeframe. Some coaches support clients through any and all life goals and are broadly referred to as a life coach.

Coaches are present-focused with a future consciousness. Coaches keep their clients focused on the present as much as possible and provide sessions to move clients forward toward their goals.

Sessions with a coach are also usually one hour each week and sometimes start open-ended, but the sessions will usually narrow toward a specific topic, as there is usually a specific goal to work toward.

All in all, the purpose of life coaching is to identify clear and concrete goals and actively partner with clients to achieve them.”

Coaching sessions focus on the present and future. “Coaches are present-focused with a future consciousness,”. Coaches keep their clients focused on the present as much as possible and provide sessions to move clients forward toward their goals.

Working with a coach is usually a short-term engagement that can range from one month to one year. The main function of a coach is to provide tools for a client to move from one state of being to the next, making progress toward their goal. Because coaching is set up for clients to make progress, it is important to work against specific timelines and milestones so the client doesn’t remain stuck in old habits or behind recurring obstacles. By the end of your coaching sessions, you will likely have made progress toward your clarified goal.

Most coaching is not covered by insurance, and each coach will set their own pricing, which can vary from $100 to $15,000-plus depending on different factors like the goal, niche, and length of program.

The Benefits of Life Coaching

  • It’s very targeted — you get to decide the area in your life you’d like to focus on.

  • You could have someone cheering you on who can hold you accountable for reaching your goals.

  • You can become more self-aware, learning more about your strengths and weaknesses.

  • You could discover what is your purpose and your passion and gain clarity on what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

  • You can become more confident.

  • You learn tools that you can use and apply in other life situations.
Faith is a willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey.
Sharon Salzberg
world-renowned teacher and NY Times bestselling author