You want to be your best self?
So did I and the way there, sure was not easy.
I was at a turning point in my life when I decided that I wanted to change my life for the better. I was ready for the next step, but I felt a tension between where I was and where I could be. It made me enthusiastic and frustrated at the same time.
I was energized by the idea that there could be more to life. That I could make my dreams come true.
On my way to becoming my best self, I tried out a lot of things. I spend nearly $25.000 and three years with various methods of self-development. Until I realized that none of them got me where I wanted to be. I couldn't continue like that.
That was when a friend of mine recommended coaching to me.
I want to share with you my experience after ten one hour sessions. I’ll break down what life coaching is, what happens in the coaching process and what are its pros and cons.
What is life coaching?
Coaching is a tailor-made process that helps you focus on your true path to improved productivity, achieving goals and feeling satisfied with life and work.
When I first heard about it, I got excited. Finally, someone would tell me exactly what to do to get unstuck. But coaching has even greater power.
Plenty of people tell us how to live our life. I was so used to relying on other's advice and strategies, in the process I had lost me. Which was the last thing I needed. I thought I could find “the way” by modeling the ways of others. What I ended up with was their way, not mine.
Coaches see you as the expert of your life
In coaching the coach rarely, if ever, tells you what you should do. Here’s why: everything about you is unique. You, your personality, your strengths, your life, your situation and your future are unique. Only you can unlock your potential. The only question is: how? Coaches see you as the expert of your life. You are the expert of you with all the answers within you, waiting to be found. During the process, you will learn to hear your true voice.
Your true voice can be hidden under tens of years of advice on what you should be, do and strive to achieve. It might have been your family that imprinted these beliefs on you or someone who didn’t see your unique worth and who you are. Now, that you are forced to take a closer look at yourself, you will see, that there's a core in you that is worthy, full of potential, personality, and dreams.
Pros and Cons of Life Coaching
Coaching helps you to become your best self, your true self. As with any method, coaching has its pros and cons. If you are considering to work with a coach, these are things you want to take into consideration.
Overwhelming choices in life coaches
If you are lucky, you might find a good coach through your network by asking around. But that doesn’t guarantee that it’s the right one for you. The coach my friend used was not a great match for me. So I tried to look for one by myself. I used hours searching for a coach that would match my needs and situation. It was so overwhelming that I gave up. After a while, I heard that my friend was developing a service called Coachilla that helps people find the right coach. I tried it, and it made it super easy for me.
Cost for Coaching can vary
When I first tried coaching, I was in a bad situation, making only $700 a month. Luckily I found a coach that suited me perfectly and had a low price per session. Using Coachilla, we were matched together, met in a free coaching session and connected via video calls. I took ten sessions within 3 months for $400, $40/h.
Coaching can cost anything from $40 to thousands of dollars per hour. More experienced coaches usually cost more. The average price for life coaching being $178/h. My second coach charged $400/h. It is recommended that you take 7 - 10 sessions and I agree with that. Changing habits requires time. With both coaches, every session gave me a lot of mind-blowing insights starting from the first session. The insights piled on top of each other. I began to see rapid improvements in my thinking already after the first five sessions.
Coaching requires time out of your day
My life is busy, and I'm pretty sure that so is yours. It can feel daunting and counter-intuitive to take time for coaching when there is already so much we would like to do and get done but can't seem to find the time for it. I learned that that is one of the indicators that you could benefit from coaching.
Some days I felt that I just did not know what I want to do in the coaching session. So there were times when I went into the session not feeling like it at all. I doubted that I would get maximum benefit from it in that mindset. But it turned out to be just the thing I needed at that moment to get out of the funk. The perfect thing was that with video calls, I did not have to go through the traffic and travel to meet the coach. I could join the sessions where ever I wanted (and wear my jogging pants!). We talked about my schedule and "tailored" the process, so it was flexible and took into consideration my needs and desires.
The magic is in the life coaching process
Your coach asks you questions, uses tools, and exercises to understand you better. They will help you identify your values, needs, and goals. You will reveal what you want, why you want it and what lights the fire in your belly. The emphasis in coaching is on the action, accountability, and follow-through. Your coach might help you divide bigger goals into easy to achieve pieces with reminders and incentives to keep you on track and increase your confidence and motivation. They help you to find ways how to unleash your passion in the most effective way to achieve your goals.
Coaching can help you to:
- discover, clarify and align with what you want to do and achieve
- encourage and guide your self-discovery
- identify solutions and strategies that fit you best
- become responsible and accountable
- face challenging situations and push past emotional barriers
Your coach asks you great questions to gain fresh perspectives. You discover more about yourself; why you feel stuck and frustrated, what you want, what strategies suit you best and how you can stay focused and motivated to achieve your ambitions. You gain confidence and enhanced decision-making skills from that knowledge and clarity.
Most start to see an enthusiastic energy that gives them drive to pursue their dreams, resulting in increased effectiveness, productivity and goal achievement. When you are closer to what you are capable of being and do what you love to do, you feel satisfaction and joy. The ancient Greek word for joy translates into “good mood of the soul”, and if you ask me that describes the wholesome benefits of coaching quite well.
You get to the core of the matter much faster than you could by yourself or by watching e-course materials or videos that were made to fit many situations. The action steps that you plan are the ones that move you in the right direction immediately. Being accountable makes the difference. You have a cheerleader and someone that helps you when you fall.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Abraham Lincoln
One of the best benefits of the coaching process is that through the experience you start to learn how to coach yourself. Instead of chaining you to be dependable on the coach, coaching aims to set you free. Its purpose is to make you self-sufficient and capable of trusting your inner voice. That sure comes in handy in a world that is filled with opportunities, decisions, and requests.
Based on study results, by The International Coaching Federation, 99% of coaching clients are “somewhat to very” satisfied with their coaching experience and 96% would repeat the process.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is to take some “me-time” and focus on ourselves for a moment. And I can’t think of a better way to make fast progress than to use a coach to build a personal plan on how to develop yourself. Coaching puts the “personal” in personal development and gives meaning to what self-development is for you.
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