Life Coaching

A life coach is a person you hire to help assist you with your personal development. In this process you typically pay certain amount of money (a few hundred dollars) per month to talk to a trained coach by phone or face to face for a specific amount of time every week. Pricing and service offerings vary tremendously. Your life coach may share advice, offer guidance, help you make plans, and hold you accountable for taking action. You can hire a health coach to help you with health and fitness goals (like a virtual personal trainer). You can hire a business coach to help you build or grow a business. You can hire a productivity coach to help you get organized and increase your productivity. Every life coaching situation is unique, so there’s a great deal of flexibility here.

life coaching

Life coaching can work nicely. The skills and ideas you gain from your life coach may endure well beyond the paid coaching period, so you aren’t just paying for your time on the phone or for short-term benefits. Ideally you’re paying for a permanent shift to a higher level of performance. For example, if a life coach can help train you to become an early riser, that gain is yours for life. Even though good life coaching isn’t cheap, the results can easily make it worthwhile.

Why life coaching works

The main reason life coaching works is that you’re hiring someone with greater experience than you in a certain area. Your coach can quickly identify patterns that may not be clear to you. Then your coach can help you devise and implement solutions. When this works well, it’s a very high-leverage relationship. It’s one of the fastest ways to solve challenging problems. Businesses often hire outside consultants to help solve important problems, and life coaching is basically the individual equivalent of business consulting.

What is life coaching?

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While I’ve never done any formal paid coaching myself, I’ve done plenty of informal coaching sessions with friends and family members and also online with visitors to this site. In addition to my own growth experiences, I’ve read about 1,000 personal development books, I’ve communicated with thousands of people regarding their growth challenges, and I’ve talked with many others who work in this field. Consequently, I have a lot of experience recognizing patterns. There are many problems people are working on that I’ve (1) already solved, or (2) know how to solve in a variety of different ways.

Similarly, a good life coach will have superior knowledge and experience in the area(s) in which you want to improve. A coach can use all of this expertise to help you solve specific problems efficiently. This is essentially a variation on the principle of overwhelming force. A problem that may seem daunting to you might be a fairly simple matter for an experienced coach.

The real challenge of life coaching is for your coach to help you implement the solutions to your problems. Coming up with solutions is easy. Your coach will probably identify some good solutions during your free trial session. Implementing those solutions is the hard part. That’s where good life coaching really shines. Your coach can work as a guide to help you stay on track, leading you safely through the quagmire of mistakes, blind alleys, and delays.

When you work with a life coach, your coach’s mindset will gradually rub off on you. This is a great thing when you find a coach whose mindset already contains the solution to your problem. For example, this year I decided to become a raw foodist, and one thing that helped me achieve this goal was to communicate with other raw foodists, some of whom are professional raw food coaches. Through osmosis I gradually adopted enough of the raw food mindset to make the change.

When to hire a life coach

A good time to hire a life coach is when you have a fair idea of what you want to be doing, but you’re having an unusually hard time getting it done. Perhaps it seems like you’re getting bogged down in obstacles instead of making steady forward progress. Also, you can imagine that there exist other people who’ve already solved your problem or at least know how to solve it. Would it be worthwhile to pay someone a few hundred dollars to help you solve this problem once and for all? Consider the lifetime benefits before you decide.

Perhaps the most important factor in successful life coaching is the willingness to change. If you aren’t willing to change, a life coach can’t force you to grow. You need some motivation and drive to work with a coach, something you care about deeply enough. Think about how the coach of a professional sports team would respond to an unmotivated, underperforming player. The coach might try some pep talks and motivational techniques, but if those don’t work, the player will likely be cut from the team, replaced by someone else who’s more motivated and driven to succeed. You must provide the drive, and your coach can help you steer toward your goals.

I don’t think it’s necessary (or wise) to use the same life coach indefinitely, but something in the range of 3-6 months can certainly generate some positive results. With a good coach, I’d say you should be getting noticeable results within the first month. If you’ve gone a whole month and have nothing to show for it, cut your losses.

I think I can have a more positive impact through other media. While blogging isn’t as deep and personal, I know the articles on this site are effective at helping people, and I can reach a lot more people via blogging than I could ever reach via coaching.

How to find a life coach

Finding a decent life coach is fairly easy. Lots of independent coaches who’ve gone through formal training programs can be found online. One good site is That’s where most people find their coaches. I don’t have any financial interest in whether or not you decide to hire a coach from there.

If you think life coaching could be helpful to you, give it a try and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out, you can always quit and try someone else.

You can also read Coaching: Coaching when referring to getting coached be a professional coach is a teaching life coaching emotional intelligence coaching and…

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