What is a Life Coach – and do I need one?

There are 2 questions within the title of this article and obviously the former needs to be explained to ascertain the latter. These are only two of many questions that are asked though about life coaching and so I’m going to answer some important ones to see if I can be of assistance to you – assuming you need me at all? Well, let’s find out… 

What is a Life Coach?

In technical terminology, according to Wikipedia “Life coaching is the process of helping people identify and achieve personal goals through developing skills and attitudes that lead to self-empowerment. Life coaching generally deals with issues such as work-life balance and career changes, and often occurs outside the workplace setting.”’

To elaborate on the definition, what does renowned Life Coach Anthony Robbins have to say about it? “The life coach definition is someone professionally trained to help you maximize your full potential and reach your desired results. They are like a supportive friend and a trusted adviser rolled into one. They’re someone who will push you to identify your goals, hold you accountable and provide encouragement throughout your journey to become a better version of yourself.”

My definition is that life coaching is a solution focussed approach to personal development that can make meaningful change in all areas of your life and ultimately lead you to be a happier person through balance and a life of purpose. A life coach makes you aware of your own abilities, strengths and weaknesses and teaches you to leverage these to arouse the incredibly strong being that lives inside each of us.

Whatever definition you chose, they all do align, and all lead to another frequently asked question which is “Well, isn’t this what therapists do?” Actually, they are not the same.

What is the difference between a Life Coach and a Therapist?

The essential difference is that Life Coaches are not medical professionals and have not been trained to treat many areas of mental health like mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other of the typically less serious mental health conditions.

Counselling, sometimes referred to as psychotherapy, is generally a long-term process involving a healthcare professional who attempts to diagnose and resolve problematic issues like unusual behaviour, relationship concerns, traumatic feelings and sometimes even physical responses. Phycologists focus on traumas that can lead to self-destructive habits and try to treat these by working through painful feelings.

So as one can see from the definition of the Life Coach, the issues and methods are quite different, in that one is about healing trauma and the other about simply creating a more meaningful life. Wellness as opposed to completeness.

As a matter of interest though, there are a few body, mind and soul practitioners who combine life coaching with trauma counselling through TRE, and through combining physical and general wellbeing disciplines they can assist with releasing trauma and developing a better life as a consequence of it. I happen to be one of these, but more about me later. 

Who needs a life coach?

So we come to the third crucial question – “Do I need a life Coach?” Well, I doubt that many people don’t want to become the best that they can be, but this is not the only reason people consult with Life Coaches. 

Although most Life Coaches don’t deal with the mental health issues that therapists do there are many other emotional problems from which we can be suffering and which can indicate that the lives we are living are not what they should be. 

The list is a long one, but let’s look at just a few of the most important issues you may be facing that would indicate that you may benefit greatly from consulting a life Coach… 

You are just not sure what you want – Do you know how few people can answer the simple question “what do you want?” This is the first question that needs to be answered to set you on a course to a more meaningful, purposeful life – and your Life Coach can help you to answer it.  

Stress and anxiety – This is the single biggest issue facing most people who live in the fast-paced society that we do today. Work or family stress can be largely attributed to simply not understanding that the solution lies in the creation of balance in one’s life. Life Coaches are specialists at advising people on how to minimise stress.

Time management issues – How many times have you said, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day?” Actually, there are if you understand effective time management – one of the most important and helpful things you will learn from a Life Coach.

Lack of fulfilment and creativity – You don’t need to be mentally ill to have these feelings. These are generally prevalent when you are in the wrong job or living a lie in your personal life. A Life Coach can pull you out of this funk.

Feeling bad about yourself – Being unable to break bad habits, making bad decisions, constantly messing up in the same areas of your life and general dissatisfaction with yourself are all signs that you haven’t found the better you that lives inside you. A good, empathetic life Coach can help!

Physical exhaustion – Are you constantly stressed, tired, listless and feeling out of shape, but not a ‘gym’ kind of person? The good news is that Life Coaches do deal with the dietary and physical aspects of a lifestyle that is less than ideal as well.

How can I help?

I am Marléne Nunes, the Founder/Owner of ‘Self and more,’ serving businesses and individuals in the Western Cape and beyond in the virtual realm. Having suffered and overcome significant setbacks and challenges of my own I believe that knowing who we are, our capabilities and our true life’s purpose are the keys to a life of success, optimum health, happiness and real meaning.

I can assist you through combining Life coaching with passive, mentally aligned body, mind and soul disciplines to not only overcome all the many challenges we face in life but assist with trauma and increased physical wellbeing too.

Talk to me – that’s my life’s purpose – so let me help you to fulfil yours!

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