What do Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates and Serena Williams have in common?  They are among the thousands of professionals who have enlisted the help of a life coach to help them take their game to the next level.

.The International Coaching Federation’s statistics on the effectiveness of life coaching showed 99% of the people they interviewed saw their experience working with a life coach as rewarding.   Sixty five percent said working with a coach helped them improve their performance at work while 80% said it helped improve their self-confidence and self-esteem.  Most people who enlist the assistance of a life coach report  new-found motivation and a surge in productivity.  I like to think of coaching as a steroid shot for client’s lives!

Why Hire a Life Coach?

Coaching engagements can run anywhere from $200 – $1500 a month depending on the coach’s education, experience and training and, unlike psychotherapy, coaching services are not covered by insurance.  So what’s the draw and what does coaching offer that more traditional avenues of help, such as therapy, don’t?

Think about all the mentors you’ve had in life.  The people who helped you to overcome fears, work through relationship issues, and to strategize career options.  Even those who’ve helped you process your career setbacks or relationship demises.  These mentors have inspired and pushed you to become better.

Perhaps your mentors were readily available when you were younger but now you’re trying to navigate things on your own and feeling overwhelmed that maybe you’re not equipped to get the job done.

That’s where coaching can step in and lend a hand.

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is this unique synergistic relationship between an accredited coach and a client that is designed to help the client reach their maximum potential right now.  In other words, coaching assesses where clients are compared to where they would like to be, and then strategically bridges that gap.  Coaching engagements often address relationship health, professional success and life challenges such as avoiding conflict and poor communication skills.

Just as professional athletes wouldn’t think of training without the insight, objectivity and enthusiastic support of an athletic coach, today’s most successful leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs and CEOs use life coaching to take their lives and careers to the next level.  These high performers realize  that it’s unrealistic and inefficient to be both athlete and coach.

A good coach is a partner in your success and a motivator to help you get there.  They see through your excuses and hold you accountable.  Most importantly, they can objectively see how you limit yourself and can inspire you to do more – helping you to close the gap between who you are today and who you want to be.

Still not sure?  Consider these four reasons to work with a Life Coach:

Reason 1 – Your Coach is a Partner in your Success

A key difference between coaching and therapy is how much time and attention is spent on client’s past.  Although we may need to focus a little attention on the past to understand who you are today (your fears, values, beliefs and habits), coaching is more current and future oriented.  Your coach is there to help you become the best version of yourself right now and to help leverage your success going forward.

Reason 2 – Coaching Isn’t Therapy

Coaching has created an option for future development that doesn’t require unpacking and analyzing the past.  Perhaps you are at a point in your life where you are not interested in delving into every minute detail of your past to understand why you are the way you are.  Instead, you would like to start with where you are as you focus on maximizing your performance and potential.  Coaching will enable you to make forward progress.   

 Reason 3 – Coaches are Objective Partners

Imagine failing and having someone help you to understand where you took a wrong turn or where the misstep happened and then, helping you to develop strategies to do it better or to help you attain your goals.  All without judgement.  Coaches aren’t judgmental.  Period.  If you do what you’ve committed to doing, great, we’ll cheer right along with you.  If you don’t do what you’ve committed to doing, Coaches recognize that these are opportunity moments for you to discover something about yourself.  Like, maybe you realize that the goal that you committed to wasn’t really a goal after all, or maybe you were striving for something because of an outside influence instead of what was right for you.  Whatever the reason, coaches maintain an objectivity that helps you break through all the exterior noise and focus on what you want and where you want to go.

Reason 4 – Coaches Hold you Accountable

We’ve all been there, we tell ourselves we’ll do something but it doesn’t get done.  Or, we try to increase our chances by telling friends and family that we’ll do it but, it still doesn’t get done.  All too often our friends and family let us off the hook. It’s hard to hold people accountable, especially when we love them.  That’s why friends and family absolutely cannot be your accountability partners, they love you so much that you’re allowed to fail and they still love you.  Having a paid external accountability partner takes the emotional component out of the equation and expedites the process of getting you to where you want to be.

 What Big Names Say About Coaching

 Bill Gates:  “Everyone needs a coach.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.”

Pete Carroll:  “Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.”

Tom Landry:  “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”