It’s not hard in today’s world to stumble across yet another self-proclaimed life coach or self-help guru promoting their “abilities” to assist us meet the challenges that life presents. A life coach put simply, for those of you who appear to have been banned from the internet since you turned 9, is someone who can assist an individual with providing clarity on goals relating to their career, personal life or attaining that often elusive work/life balance.
The non-believers would argue that life coaches are for those of us who have become so lazy in certain aspects of our lives that we now pay someone to do the hard thinking for us. That way we can better spend our efforts on more worthwhile pursuits such as trying to understand the plot line in the latest American Horror Story serial or getting past level 100 on Candy Crush. Whether this is true or not, it is interesting to note the amount of professions that now exist in abundance that were rarely even considered previously. I mean how many of us have or have had a Personal Trainer? These professions were once reserved for the elite, so is it now simply a case of this becoming more affordable to the everyday person and that life coaches are a more recent addition to this smorgasbord of motivational services?
Reading this, you may think I am anti life coaching, well you would be wrong. I personally provide mentoring or coaching not because the people I coach are lazy but because they are striving to better themselves and consider this just another tool to use. And believe me, I have been called worse things than somebody’s tool! Clearly if Oprah Winfrey can engage a YouTube bestselling author life coach for her network, why shouldn’t the common person do the same?
The main point I am trying to make is: be clear on the reason why you want to engage a life coach. Yes, they will provide a lens to your thinking; yes, they can teach you techniques to better manage life challenges, but ultimately the outcome(s) will still be the same if you don’t apply and use the learning. It would be just like exercising with your Personal Trainer (PT) everyday, yet still eating all the meat pies and chocolate and wonder why you are largely the same body shape! A PT can only do so much… the rest is up to you!
So, if you have considered or are considering a life coach, my suggestion is to shop around. Many people provide this service at very affordable rates. Be objective as to why you want to engage a life coach. Be clear that by signing up to this you will also need to put in more than you currently do to really effect the change(s) wanted.
Sadly, my father’s words of wisdom ring very true at this point as he would often say to me when I was preparing for an exam or assignment: “Son, what you put in to life is what you get out of it…”. Does that make my dad a life coach? No, more a proverbial pain-in-the-you-know-what to your typical teenager, but it does make me realise how potentially simple a formula to success can be… Sorry Dad!