Life coaching is often surrounded by hype and vague promises of success and a better life. It can be hard for a client to figure out what he’s actually going to get out of coaching.
Not to worry. I’ve compiled this handy-dandy list of coaching benefits so you can think about what coaching can do for you in a clear, grounded, realistic way. Then you, empowered client that you are, can make an informed decision about what coaching can do for you.
The list isn’t exhaustive, and you’re unlikely to get all of these benefits from one coach. To have the full picture, you may also want to read about the costs and potential negative effects of working with a coach.
Understanding your dreams, priorities, and values
Coaching can be a place of deep exploration about yourself and what you want. With a coach, you can find buried dreams, figure out what really makes you happy, clarify your values, and sort out your priorities.
Regularly taking a step back and looking at the big picture
Coaching provides a space where you can regularly take a step back and look at the big picture, instead of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can check to make sure that the things that are taking up most of your time are your highest priorities. You can make sure that things that are, in Stephen R. Covey’s language, “important but not urgent” don’t get lost in the shuffle. You can look at what strategies are working and improve ones that aren’t.
If you have any special traits, like sensitivity or giftedness, a coach who understands these traits can help you understand yourself, what works for you, what doesn’t work for you, so you can set up your life so that it fits you instead of trying to live life like other people around you.
Working with a coach who understands you and accepts you as you are can give you the validation and the confidence to live your life authentically and feel good about who you are, even if other people in your life don’t understand you.
Inspiration and enthusiasm
A coach can give you the encouragement and support — and can help you believe in and connect to your dreams — so that you feel inspired and enthusiastic about what you’re doing and the direction you’re taking.
When good things happen, little or big, you can celebrate them with your coach. Though it may not be socially acceptable to run around and tell your friends and family how great you are, how wonderful what you just did is, it’s normal and even encouraged to do so with your coach.
When you hit hard times and challenges in the process of achieving your goals, you have someone who cares about you, supports you, and comforts you.
Trying new things
A coach can be a source of support and encouragement so you don’t feel isolated or strange when you’re trying something new that your normal social circles — friends, family, colleagues — don’t typically do, like starting a business.
Understanding, accepting your emotions
Coaches use different techniques to help you feel, understand, accept, and gain the wisdom from your emotions.
Overcoming emotional blocks
Coaches can work with you to overcome emotional blocks and help you shift unpleasant, negative emotions to positive, productive ones, to go from fear to excitement or anger to sense of empowerment.
Shifting limiting beliefs
Working with a life coach can help you shift limiting beliefs you may have about essential aspects of your life, like what you can do and what’s required to accomplish your goals.
A coach can share her deep understanding of, insights about, and information about a field, like parenting or business building.
If you’re stalled, stuck, overwhelmed, or clueless, a coach can help you move forward and get into action.
Massive or quick action
Working with a coach can help you worker harder and faster than you would on your own.
Strategy: efficient , effective approaches
A coach can help you work strategically, so your efforts are more effective and efficient than they would be on your own. The coach can also help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that people who are new to a field make.
By brainstorming with you and using her creative problem-solving skills, a coach can help you come up with approaches to achieving your goals that are creative, original, and superior to what you’d have thought of on your own.
A coach can provide you with new ways of looking at your life by sharing her worldview and/or her impressions of your situation.
Practice and preparation
With a coach you can prepare for upcoming challenges, including practicing tough conversations, so you can deal with them more masterfully.