Do I Need A Coach?
Does it ever feel like you’re juggling so much that you’re never fully present?
Perhaps you are so busy spinning so many plates, that you don’t know how to stop and try something different?
Maybe you feel that you don’t have time, space or mental energy to go and get your goals?
Several years ago, I felt the same.
I was ignoring the signs to make changes in my life. I was too busy rushing from one thing to the next, never really giving anything or anyone my full and focused attention. There was a niggle that something wasn’t right. I was ready for a change but didn’t know how to step off the hamster wheel and start making progress towards the goal in me which was crying out for attention.
As I sat down with a friend, my mind still on a project at work, she gave me some sage advice.
‘Hey, Natalie, why don’t you talk this through with a professional coach?’
It sounds so simple, but, twelve months later, with the support of a coach, my life has transformed.
With my coach, we looked at the commitments I had and worked out the ways to carve out time for myself.
With this time, I could focus on my own learning and development. This was something I realised that I was really missing. Subsequently, I found a renewed sense of energy and purpose as I continued my development by getting a formal coaching qualification while also increasing my knowledge by studying NLP, psychotherapy, and counselling.
It was then so clear what I wanted to do. So, I set up my own business, working on my terms and doing the work I enjoy; helping clients take action and make progress.
Now, I truly love what I do. However, I needed coaching to help me take a step back, find ways to slow down and focus on myself so that I could find that right path for me. My coach was the person who saw through my excuses and gave me the kick I needed to get going!
Looking back, I wish I’d invested in a coach much earlier.
If any of this sounds familiar, perhaps you’re wondering if coaching is right for you?
How To Check If A Coach Is Right For You
The first thing I would ask yourself is, are any of these statements feeling familiar of late?
- I am feeling overwhelmed
- My anxiety levels are increasing
- I feel out of my depth
- There’s a niggling feeling that something is not quite right
- I want to make a change, but…
- I am struggling with troublesome emotions
- My work-life balance isn’t, well, balanced
- Things just aren’t going the way I had hoped they would (and this feels like déjà vu).
If any of these resonate with you, it might be worth looking at investing in your own personal development, and this may take the form of a professional coach.
Perhaps you’re answering yes, but think you already have resources in place to help, such as joining courses, speaking to a mentor or confiding in friends. It may be time to ask yourself if they’re really working for you?
If your usual resources aren’t serving you at the moment, again, you may find professional coaching and investing in personal development can help you to get out of the rut.
Ok, so I might need a coach, but what can coaching actually help me with?
When looking for a coach and training to be a coach, I noticed so many misconceptions about what coaching acutally is.
So let’s look at this first.
The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.
A version I use is;
‘Coaching helps a client to understand how to bridge the gaps between where they are now and where they really want to be.’
Unlike training or consulting, a life or business coach isn’t expected to be an expert in the client’s field. In-fact, they understand that the client is the expert on their own lives. Coaches believe our clients are capable and resourceful and work with a coach to achieve their goals.
The coach’s role is to listen deeply, act as an insight-provoking partner, make observations, and support the client to design their own actionable and sustainable strategies for success.
A coach will not focus on your past, but instead, wants to help you move forward.
What Coaching Is (and Isn’t)
Coaching is often confused with other personal and professional development support such as mentoring, therapy, counselling, consulting and even training.
What coaching is for
- Individuals who are emotionally & mentally strong and ready to drive their own agenda
- It is action-driven with an outcome-focused
- Coaching is fluid, flexible & tailored to the client
- Coaching is a space to find your voice & focus on personal development
- A coach offers non-judgement support to help clients gain a different perspective & improve their life in the way a client wants
What coaching is not for
- Coaching is not for individuals who are looking to be directed and monitored
- It is not focused on processing trauma
- It is not rigidly structured or delivered as a training program
- A coach will not tell you what to do or take any actions on your behalf
- Coaching does not focus on the past
- A coach will not tell you if you’re right or wrong. They are not a mentor who will direct you
When you are on a quest of self-development, it can be easy to be confused by all the options. It can help to take some time research the differences between coaches, mentors, therapists, counsellors and consultants to find the right support for your needs.
What Can I Expect From Coaching?
Coaching is a vast industry, and many coaches will have a niche in which they focus on. A coach may prefer to be general or super-specific, but common coach specialisms include;
- Habit Breaking and Resetting
- Wellness and Wellbeing
Regardless of what a coach specialises in, a trained coach will offer their support in these five key ways;
A coach will…
- Listen fully without judgement
They are someone whom you can turn to as a sounding board, speak with openly and freely without fear of judgement.
- Provide direction
A coach can help you look at where you want to be, enabling you to plot the best path to move towards the end goal.
- Keep you accountable
Our lives are often busy, full of distractions which often results in us putting our needs further down the priority list or procrastinating about getting things done. A coach can help you set clear goals and objectives and encourage accountability; they can also help you look at a longer-term plan for keeping yourself on track.
- Provide objectivity
We can often get stuck in a certain way of thinking or allow others around us to shape our thinking. A coach can help you unlock new ways of thinking and help you see things through a different lens.
- Challenge you
A coach may ask you the tough questions. This is not to make you feel uncomfortable but to encourage you to look at what’s important and what is stopping you from achieving your goals.
What Can Coaching Help Me With?
There is an almost endless list of areas in your life that a coach might help you. With coaching, the agenda would be set by you. In order to make the most from every coaching session, consider what’s particularly important to you before starting coaching.
Here are the top categories that my clients want me to help them with;
- Performance: helping individuals, leaders and business owners drive efficiency, effectiveness and identify areas for growth.
- Dealing with emotions: helping individuals overcome self-defeating thinking, identify blind-spots and focus on possibilities.
- Fulfilment: helping individuals to prioritise what is important to them, and increasing focus and accountability.
- Work-life balance: helping individuals take stock of how they are spending their time and making relevant changes to address any areas that aren’t aligned to their goals.
- Wellness: helping individuals to reduce anxiety through meditation or mindset, increasing activity levels, improving diets, or simply to make overall wellness a higher priority.
What Are My Next Steps?
If you are reading this and think a coach is right for you and want to discuss further, please take the next step and contact me to book a complimentary consultation call. During this call, we can talk more about what you’re looking for and whether I’m the right coach for your needs.
Want To Find Out More About Coaching?
Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I’ll be delving into how to pick the right coach for you and then how you can get the most out of every coaching session.