There was a time when all you had to choose in life was whether you wanted to be a doctor, a teacher, an engineer, or a fireman. Then the concept of personality development came into the picture, where the main question is what do you need to do to develop yourself to full potential in order to get more out of life and achieve your dreams? In this era of fast paced lives and high tech gadgets, life choices have expanded so much that a lot of people tend to get lost or confused about what they really want out of life. This is where the life coach appeared and made a huge career out of leading the way for people.

What is a life coach?

A life coach is a person who facilitates the setting of goals by using various tools and exercises and then assisting in the achievement of these goals.

Life coaches are called enablers in that they make it possible for their clients to develop to their full potential by provoking their thoughts and creativity and empowering them to reach for their dreams.

Life coach vs. Therapy

Some people may say that life coaching is pretty much like therapy. In some ways it is similar in that the life coach aids in making clients more functional in their daily lives. However, there are also some very stark differences.

Whereas therapy focuses on the emotional and psychological aspects of a person, life coaching focuses instead on behavior and goal setting.

Therapy also is more backward looking, trying to dig up the past of a person in order to understand the behavior and personality. Life coaching, on the other, hand is more present and forward-looking, setting goals and finding the best ways to achieve these goals.

Life coaches are also more focused on empowering the person rather than providing the answers, like what therapists do. In life coaching, the premise is that the client has all the answers, the life coach only helps in digging it out.

How to look for the right life coach?

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of life coaches all over the world. The International Coach Federation (ICF) alone, which is one of the biggest associations of coaches, has over 14,000 members around the globe. So how do you find the right one that will answer to your needs?

Each life coach has a specialization, whether it is on career development, personal relationships, spirituality or parenting. In choosing a life coach, you need to determine what aspect of your life you want to address and select the coach that specializes in this.

You also need to choose a life coach that has certification from one of various organizations like the ICF, the International Coaching Council (ICC) and the International Association of Coaching (IAC). Choosing a certified life coach will assure you that he or she knows what he or she is doing and has achieved success with other clients.

It is also important to meet with the life coach first before signing on. Meeting them in person will help you to establish the life coach’s viability and find out whether the two of you have the right rapport to partner with each other in achieving your goals.

Some important questions to consider when meeting and selecting a life coach would be:

1. Does the life coach have the right specialization?
2. Does the life coach have the proper background to understand my situation?
3. Can I trust this coach?
4. Do we have good rapport?

What to expect from a life coach?

As previously mentioned, the life coach works on the premise that you have all the answers in you and his or her role is to guide you in the discovery of these answers. But life coaches can also offer you more.

Life coaches can make you look at your situation more objectively and open you to new ways of viewing your situation.

Life coaches provide you with the “tough love” needed to achieve your goals. Life coaches will not let you get away with excuses. They hold you accountable for your every behavior.

They act as your conscience or help you summon your higher self. They become the voices that tell you to do the things that you need to do in order to become the best person you can be.

Life coaches point you to the right way. If you are confused or frustrated, life coaches can help you clear your mind and push you to act instead of dwelling on your emotions.

They give you the recognition you need when you have achieved even just a small part of your goals.

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