There are a lot of misconceptions about life coaching. Sometimes we see people blurting out inspirational quotes and telling you how following the “Way of the Enlightened” is the best way to live life. I think true life coaching has much more substance than a bunch of words that are nice to hear.
Life coaching is the process of bridging the gap between your life goals from where you currently stand. Let me give an example: Despite being a normal and usually happy guy, Manny (not his real name) has a habit of getting angry every time his partner brings up his past relationships. It’s come to the point where he raises his voice and is tempted to do worse than that. After cooling down, he realizes that this behavior isn’t healthy for either of them.
Manny gives me a call saying he wants to learn how to control his anger to preserve his relationship with his partner. Once Manny and I agree on the goals, we begin the process of managing the powerful emotion of anger. The initial phases can take anywhere from a few weeks, to months, or even years. The goal will be to have a healthy self and a healthy relationship that isn’t easily swayed by bursts of anger.
The role of the coach is to give an unbiased assessment of the situation, ask relevant questions, and collaborate on coming up with realistic solutions to his anger. Manny, whom I’ve been working with for a while now, is much better than he was before we started. He continues to see me as part of the accountability phase of the program. It’s easier to maintain control when you know someone is holding you accountable for good behavior.
I hope this shows that this isn’t miracle work, but it is practical work. As someone’s coach, I don’t want to fill you with ideas of grandeur. I want you to feel inspired by realistic goals that have a grand impact on your life, and on the lives of your loved ones.
Whether it’s on anger management, finding your life purpose, work-life balance, career decisions, or anything else you want to talk about, never be afraid to seek out help. At worst, you were able to share your feelings and feel good for a short while.
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