Many people struggle with this question when they are facing difficult life situations or decisions that necessitate extra guidance or mentorship. And they often turn to friends, family members, spiritual leaders, teachers, or other revered members of their community for assistance with these matters. However, some people enlist the help of a professional who provides coaching services for a living. Still, other people may read a book or watch a video to ideas to help them with their concerns. In which case, each group of people is working with a life coach at some level.
Therefore, my answer to the question is a resounding “yes.” I don’t say this because I own and operate a life coaching business. Instead, it is because I know that everyone can and does receive life coaching in some form throughout the duration of their journey on this earth. Any time we consult another individual or source for guidance, mentorship, encouragement, inspiration, etc., we are effectively engaging in the process of life coaching.
And either of these resources can be effective in helping us overcome problems or achieve specific goals. However, professional life coaching services tend to be the most effective in many instances. It is great to have a friend or family member to lean on in uncertain instances. It is also helpful to cozy up with a book or engage with a video when we need advice. However, these tools don’t always help us get to the root of our problems.
Family and friends generally give us advice that often placates us and keeps us feeling good about ourselves. While this type of guidance can be encouraging, it may cause us to remain stagnant in our situation. Books and videos can likewise be helpful in certain instances. They give you informed, unbiased information that can better guide your decision-making process. However, a professional life coach can provide you with unbiased, personalized guidance and feedback that can inspire, encourage, and motivate you to make real, lasting changes in your life.
What is a Life Coach?
A life coach is defined as someone who instructs or trains you in various aspects of your life. This individual normally counsels, encourages, and supports you as you encounter various life challenges. The primary targets for a professional life coach include:
- Identifying challenges and obstacles
- Finding solutions for obstacles
- Setting goals for overcoming obstacles
- Strategic planning to achieve goals
Professional life coaches can help people in many areas, including business, career development, spirituality, addiction, bereavement, relationships, health, wellness, etc. Truthfully, the areas in which a life coach can service you are virtually limitless.
While a life coach offers similar services to that of a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, there are a number of differences between these roles. Life coaches help you define or outline solutions to your problems. They do not provide you with solutions, remedies, or prescriptions in the same way as therapists and other mental health professionals do.
Additionally, life coaches are not required to hold a degree, certification, or license in any particular discipline, while other types of therapists are required to do so. As such, life coaches are not held to the same legal or ethical standards of accountability as licensed or certified professionals who offer similar services.
How Do I Find the Right Life Coach?
Life coaches are replete in today’s world. You can find a life coach to assist you in almost any aspect of your life, which can make finding a life both efficient and challenging at the same time. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available such as life coaching directories, to assist with the process.
So, my first advice for finding a life coach is to search for life coaching directories online. You can likewise simply search for life coaches in your particular area. However, this option may not yield the most efficient results. Directories are more helpful because they provide a list of life coaches that you can easily compare. Also, some directories even help pair you with suitable life coaches based on personal recommendations.
Once you have found a list of life coaches that provide services in a given area, you should then get a feel for who you vibe with. Take some time to review their website and get a sense of what the individual is about. This information can usually be found in the “About Me” section of their website. Take a look at their mission, vision, values/goals, etc., to determine if these objectives are in alignment with your own goals.
Connecting with a life Coach
Determine if the coach maintains a blog, vlog, or podcast. Read a few articles, watch a few videos, listen to a few episodes, etc. that pertain to the area of coaching in which you are interested. This will give you a better feel for the coach’s personality and his or her way of thinking. If you find that you vibe with a specific coach, reach out to them to see if he or she is available to assist with your particular needs.
Education and Credentials
If you noticed, I did not say anything about checking out the coach’s education or credentials. Honestly, I don’t think that these factors are as important as finding someone with who you feel comfortable. A degree or certification can be beneficial in some aspects. But honestly, experience is more important when it comes to providing quality life coaching services.
And I speak as a life coach who holds a doctorate degree and three coaching certifications. My education and training have been useful in understanding the best techniques for life coaching and in giving me ideas on how to help people. However, my experience working with people as an educator and entrepreneur better prepared me for this role than anything else. I started life coaching before I took this on as a professional career.
As an educator, I constantly guided and mentored students in relation to their career paths. As an entrepreneur, I have learned a lot of beneficial and hard lessons about business ownership. These experiences and more have greatly guided my ability to provide outstanding coaching services in the areas of career and business coaching.
How Much Should I Pay For Life Coaching?
As with all things in life, life coaching fees are variable. They will typically be based on a number of factors related to the life coach, including the following:
- Geographical location
- Education and training
- Level of expertise
- Services offered
The more experience and education a life coach has, the more they tend to charge. Likewise, you will tend to find higher coaching prices for individuals who live in high-cost-of-living areas. Additionally, the more specialized service a coach offers, the more he or she is likely to charge for these services.
The amount that you pay for coaching services should ultimately be based on the value that you place on achieving your goals. Likewise, you need to consider how much you can comfortably afford. I don’t recommend going broke or getting into debt to pay for such services. However, I do recommend that you prioritize your holistic health and well-being over non-essential expenses.
Alternative Coaching Tools
If you don’t have the money to afford the life coach that you wish to work with right away, try to find ways to effectively manage your money so that you can save. In the meantime, you can purchase more affordable coaching tools, such as handbooks or books, that may be able to provide you with some or all the guidance that you need in a particular area.