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  • Writer's pictureJill Jablonski

What is Coaching and How Do I Know I Need It?

I was listening to the radio the other day and as I was parking my car, I heard the DJ say “And tomorrow we’ll be talking about Life Coaches and other bullshit careers….like DJ’s too!”. I had to laugh. I might have been more peeved, being a Life Coach myself, except that I knew it was a joke and she graciously lumped herself into that category too.

The fact is, a lot of people have the wrong idea of what a Life Coach is. We’re often the butt of many jokes and movie and TV roles that are meant to mock. Say the words “Life Coach” to most people and images of motivational speakers wearing a headset, striding across a brightly lit stage and yelling at an audience of thousands “You can do it!” or “You’ve got potential!” pop into their heads…. and some Life Coaches do that – and change lives for the better by doing that! But that image does not represent all Life Coaches. Let’s look at what a Life Coach really is and how you might decide whether you need one or not, AND what kind of coach to look for.

What is a Life Coach?

A coach, by definition, is a person (or vehicle – think Greyhound bus or horse-drawn carriage – often referred to as ‘coaches’) that supports you in getting from where you are presently to where you would like to be. Athletic coaches take young, inexperienced players and guide them through exercise schedules, nutrition programs, and time management skills to help those players get better and better at their chosen sport. A Life Coach is not much different. A Life Coach is trained to help you objectively identify your goals in a given area, support you in coming up with a plan to help you reach those goals, and thereby helping you on the path to realizing your full potential in whatever area of life you choose. Many Life Coaches, just like athletic coaches, will have area that they specialize in. For example, I am a Spiritual Life and Relationship Coach. I specialize in helping clients improve their connections to spirit, their authentic selves, and the people in their lives, resulting in a more balanced life and increased joy, happiness and peace of mind. Other coaches specialize in nutrition, health and wellness, executive, business, or any other area you can think of!

Now, before we go any farther, some of you may be asking yourselves, what’s the difference between a Life Coach and a therapist? Excellent question, because as a Life Coach part of my job is to help you figure out what has gotten or is getting in the way of you reaching your goals. This may cause us to dip into the past briefly in order to shine some light on patterns or feelings that have shown up before, presenting challenges to your progress. However, a therapist will spend a lot of time with you talking through and healing past traumas, and a coach will not. A coach’s priority, if you’ll remember from above, is to support you in getting from “Here” to “There”, in other words, we start in the present with a specific set of goals and move forward, always thinking about how to support you in reaching your full potential and realizing your goals. If you get into coaching and get stuck, a good coach will be able to recognize this and refer you to a therapist.

How do I know I need a coach?

So now that you know what a coach is (and is not), how do you know if you need one? I remember having this recurring thought when I was younger, in my 20’s, when I felt so completely lost and directionless; and that thought was “Why don’t I know how to do life? Why does everyone else seem to know how to do life and I don’t???”. I really thought I was the only one who felt that way, but did you know, many of the most successful people in the world - people like Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the band Metallica have all worked with Life Coaches? At some point or another, everyone goes through feeling lost, doubting themselves, and/or lacking clarity or vision in their life. Perhaps you can’t stand your job and you’re really ready for a career change, but to what? Maybe you’ve tried all your life to get in shape on your own but just can’t seem to get the results you want. Are you yearning for a life that feels more connected to Spirit but just don’t know how or where to start? A coach will help you figure out how to bridge that gap. Find a coach that specializes in the changes you’re looking to make and set up an introductory call with them. Most coaches offer what they call a Discovery, Clarity, or in my case Wake Up call that is free and usually lasts about 30 minutes. This gives the client a chance to ask questions about the unique process that particular coach uses, and to see if it sounds like what the client is looking for. It also gives the two people an opportunity to evaluate whether there’s a good chemistry for a solid working relationship. This is also the time to ask any questions you might have around the coach’s pricing and policies. Each coach is different so come to your introductory call prepared with your list of need-to-knows.

So if you’re tired of the same old patterns in your life, if you’re serious about making changes, and you’re ready to move forward towards your destiny, contact me! It’ll be the best decision you ever made.

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