It’s not always easy to decide whether or not coaching is for you. What does it involve? How do you go about choosing the right person for you to work with? What are your options if you know you need guidance but money is an issue?
This page will hopefully help you to learn more about what coaching can do for you and to decide what the best approach is for your life right now.
If you’re considering finding a coach to help you, please feel free to contact me with a brief description of your situation. We can arrange a short initial consultation and discuss how you can get started without any further commitment. After that if you feel that I’m the right person for you to work with, I’ll be honoured to assist you.
What is Life Coaching?
Life coaching is still relatively new and many people don’t know what it’s all about so, I’ve created this article for you as a beginner’s guide. Please read on!
Coaching is based on CBT – a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – talking therapy, aimed at increasing human happiness.
Through conversation, clients are helped to understand why they find themselves in their current situation and then to find strategies, motivations and focus to design and move towards new, better situations.
Different life coaches work in different ways, but pure life coaching is not mystical, it’s down-to-earth. It’s primarily cognitive – in that it’s main tool is the client’s own thinking mind.
Life coaching differs from counseling in that it is primarily focused on the present and the future. It may be necessary to look back to find the route causes of some unhelpful thinking patterns, and then untie some knots, but then we come back to the “where are we now?” and the “where do we want to go?”.
Life coaching is a series of conversations between client and coach, which help you to:
- Understand your situation
- Clarify how you’d like it to change
- Develop strategies to do that
- Keep you focused on doing that
- Deal with the human factors which tend to get in the way – like fear, faulty reasoning, pessimism and analysis paralysis
What is Holistic Life Coaching?
Holistic is defined as: “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts”.
There are many interpretations of Holistic and Holistic Life Coaching, many people define them differently. In my work, I define Holistic Life Coaching as follows:
Holistic Life Coaching is based on a Holistic Model of working with the
Body, Mind and Spirit.
In a coaching situation, a coach works with a client to help them:
- Discover who they are,
- Identify and clarify what they desire most,
- Expand the awareness of their thoughts, feelings and actions and begin to align them to what they desire,
- Create and develop strategies, action plans and environments to help them achieve their goals.
As a Holistic Life Coach, I work with clients on All Three Levels
On the BODY, or physical level it means working with what is going on in the client’s physical world-what is actually happening in their experience and in the 9 environments of their life. I coach my clients to create environments and action plans that support their goals and desires.
On the MIND or mental level, I work with clients to reveal the underlying and limiting beliefs, the cause that is creating the physical manifestation or effects in their life. I coach my clients to create and incorporate new thoughts, beliefs and actions that are aligned with their goals and desires.
On the SPIRIT or spiritual level, I work with the client to realize that we live in a co-creative universe with Spirit, God, a Higher Power and assist them in making a connection with that Higher Power and to develop a spiritual practice that works for them-within their own religion or faith, to transform their existing conditions and life experiences.
Who is life coaching for?
You! It’s for anyone who wants to improve some aspect of their life. You might want a new job or career, or promotion in the one you have. You might want to write your novel, or find your perfect partner, or find new self confidence, or get rid of a destructive habit. You might want to get more balance between your working or private lives. Maybe you want to start your own business, or find the focus necessary to pass important exams. You might just be unhappy without knowing why. Either way, there’s always space for improvement!
Whatever you want to change, coaching can probably help, with just a couple of notable exceptions. If you have a mental illness or a hard drug problem, then coaching is probably not the best option for you – you’re more likely to get the help you need from a specifically qualified therapist (i.e. psychologist or psychiatrist).
How does it work?
Most is done by phone or Skype, in sessions running for between 30 minutes to an hour. Sessions usually happen on weekly or fortnightly basis, but they can run less or more frequently, depending on your individual needs. Clients may have just one session, or they may work with their life coach for many months. Every case is unique, but as a rule of thumb, major change usually happens between session 4 and session 8.
What you pay varies widely and typically will depend on your coach’s experience, unique approach, skills and of course – the number of sessions you book in advance. It is advisable to commit to at least 4 consultations, you’ll achieve your goals faster and it won’t cost you as much. Starting rate is £50 per hour; if you decide to commit to more sessions I’ll apply a fair discount for you.
What happens during the session?
Well, again, every case is unique. Exactly what we do depend on the client, the issue being worked on, and where we are in the process, but here are some things which are almost always true:
- The sessions are relaxed, friendly, fun and positive experiences
- The sessions are completely confidential
- Clients remain in charge at all times – you can set any boundaries you need
- Life coaches do not tell clients what to do (unless client specifically asks for advice)
- Professional life coaches have a raft of techniques available to them. Through listening in special ways and by asking careful questions, coaches encourage clients to find understanding in their lives, and the answers they need
- Many coaches, including me, also use a branch of psychology called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). This provides a range of tools to help clients change their behaviour and the underlying thinking which drives it. For example, anchoring helps you to call up useful mental states (like confident happiness) easily. Re-framing allows you to take a situation you cannot change and see it in a radically different way.
Why hire a life coach?
Look at your life as it is today, and as it will be in the months and years to come. If there are things you’d like to change to make your life run better, to realise ambitions, fulfil potential, be happier, less stressful, more profitable, more peaceful, sociable, or fun – then that’s something life coaching can help you with.
Why does coaching work so well?
Part of it is really straight forward, some of it is not. Here are the main factors which lead to its impressive success:
- We’re taking you out of your life to look back in on it. Many of us don’t find the time to do that often, but coaching invites you to do it weekly
- We’re changing paradigms – away from describing how bad the problem is, into what the best solution can be.
- I’m on your side, and I’ll respect you, but I’ll also challenge you when it’s appropriate, which most friends won’t do. So you’ll see a more honest picture of your place in the world.
- I am trained to listen to what you say and find the hidden beliefs which (unlike willpower) drive your behaviour. When I can show you that one of your beliefs is mistaken, I can free you up to see the world more clearly. You’ll see doors open which you didn’t know were there.
- I can help you with fear. Most of us are not consciously aware of the extent to which fear limits our lives. I won’t be pushing you off any cliffs (as I mentioned – you’re always in charge), but I can shine a gentle light on your demons and remove their power to hold you back.
- I have a host of practical skills which you can borrow. Inter-personal skills, time management, de-cluttering, maintaining focus, anecdotes from my case files, business skills, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques, Creative Problem Solving, Little Voice Mastery techniques and more. You have access to them all.
These are what will get you moving towards your exciting new life like nothing else can.
What do people coach on?
Lots of things. At work, people want to be happier, get promoted, more money, less stress, to manage staff better, to develop sound strategies, or not to bring work home and so on. At home, they want to be happier, de-cluttered, have a better social life, find the perfect partner, find more peace. They may have ambitions – to start a business, travel the world, move to foreign parts. They may be at a crossroads and not know which way to turn. They may be deeply unhappy without really knowing why. They may seek more confidence, or to lose weight. You might think about these areas of your like:
- Work and career (improving current position or finding new path)
- Finances (managing money, getting out of debt, raising money for something, reaching financial goals)
- Significant Other (relationships, finding partners, improving communication, sex life etc.)
- Social life (fun and leisure time, nurturing yourself, finding friends, socialising)
- Environment (home, work etc.)
- Health (maintaining good health, improving fitness, digestion, diet, exercise, motivation)
- Spiritual (not necessarily religion)
- Family (planning a family, managing your family time, improving relationships with kids, spouse etc.)
…and award marks out of 10 for each area. Then, ask yourself “which area, if fixed to score 10/10, would have the largest positive impact on my life?” That would probably be the starting point for your life coaching.
Reasons people Discount Coaching for them:
- I wouldn’t want to risk my money in case it didn’t work.
You don’t need to. I offer a free initial session to explore things with you by phone. I also offer a full un-conditional money-back guarantee on all of my coaching session. You cannot lose!
- I’ve seen coaches on TV – they’re horribly American – this isn’t for me.
Yeah, I know what you mean, some of them make me cringe too. But I’m not one of them. Hear my Audio interviews or see my videos.
- I already know what I should do, I just need to get on with it.
Fair enough, but if you’ve been that way for years, then ask yourself if it’s likely that things are going to be different looking forward.
- I’m beyond help / I’m uniquely flawed.
Yeah, we all feel that way, but we’re all the same kind of mixed up inside, and no-one is beyond help. People think life coaching is about getting your act together, or trying harder, and they have a lifetime of experience telling them that that won’t work. Life coaching isn’t like that. I take the real you – as you are today – warts and all, and we ask “How do we get this, real-world you, through that hoop over there?”. I have a lot of low tricks up my sleeve – you’ll love it!
- I’m full of uncertainties. I’d be a mumbling idiot on the phone.
- I’m there for you, and part of that is putting you at your ease and helping you. I’m good at this! I’ll get you over your nerves, and we’ll enjoy a joke about how odd it is that we humans can be so smart in some ways yet so oddly in the dark in others. We’ll get past this very quickly. Alternatively, you can meet me face-to-face if you live in London.
- FEAR – This reason is the one no-one ever says out loud, but it’s a Biggy.
People are afraid… Afraid of what we might discuss (you’re always in charge, remember), afraid to open the flood-gates on despair, afraid to admit that things could be better, afraid of what’s over the brow of that hill, afraid that they don’t deserve or couldn’t cope, with a bigger, better life. All I can say is I understand, I go here lots with clients. F.E.A.R. Is False Expectations Appearing Real, and they are never real. It’s never how you thought it would be when you get there, and it’s usually far nicer.
Practically, how do I get started?
- If you haven’t done so already, book your initial consultation. There is no commitment to continue, and I certainly won’t put you on the spot in the call, I’ll just explain to you briefly what we have available and invite you to have a think about it and contact me when you’re ready to continue.
- If you do want to carry on, get in touch with me, we’ll get our diaries out and book a session. I’ll give you a link to pay for your next session (or a block of 3, 9 or 18 at a discounted rate). If you’d like to meet me face-to-face, that’s also an option, but you’ll have to live or come to London to see me.
- I will send you some paperwork to complete and return before our session and then we’re ready to turn your life around!
~ My commitment to you ~
I will always be ready for your call at the agreed times.
During the calls I will devote 100% of my energy to helping you achieve the changes in your life that you want.
I will prepare myself thoroughly before your call, to give you the best possible service.
If I’m unable to do the coaching session, I will let you know at least 24 hours in advance. I will only change the session for a major reason such as family illness.
~ Confidentiality ~
Everything that passes between us will be confidential. Any files will be locked in a filing cabinet to which only I have the key. You will not be identifiable from the files, and they will not contain your name. Emails and the post are by their nature less secure.
If you need to, you can contact me outside of our agreed call times, but please don’t call outside office hours! You can also send me unlimited emails during 3 and 6 months programmes.