You are your deepest driving desire.
As is your desire, so is your will,
As is your will, so is your deed,
As is your deed, so is your destiny.
Desires can become your destiny.
To make any changes in your life you must first acknowledge that something needs to change. This realisation might come about after experiencing difficulties in one, or commonly, more areas of your life. These might include:-
- Self esteem and confidence
- Work/life balance
- Bad habits (smoking, excessive drinking)
- Exercise and nutrition
- Debt and finances
- Weight loss
- Anxiety, depression and panic attacks
It is however important to acknowledge that although many of these factors impact on our life situation, truly they are just symptoms. It is our core beliefs that shape our life experience; those things that we believe and think about ourselves, others and the world at large.
Exploring your core beliefs begins to raise self awareness and acts as the catalyst for change.
What is life coaching?
Life coaching is a very positive and effective practice which helps people make significant and meaningful (i.e. ones which will last) changes in their lives.
Although it is important to accept and acknowledge your past, indeed it has brought you to the point you are at now, life coaching deals with the present moment and shaping your future, rather than focusing on your past.
The role of a life coach is to help you to assess your life situation, as it is now, look at what you want to achieve in your life and then help you decide how you can best achieve that.
A life coach guides, motivates, assures, prompts and encourages but never tells you what to do. Through active listening, good communication, questioning, interpretation and evaluation a coach will help you and suggest tools and techniques to move you towards your stated outcomes. You however set the pace and ultimately make the changes and achieve your desired goals.
Why is life coaching different from therapy?
Life coaching is often confused with therapy.
As stated above, life coaching deals with the now and positively moving forwards in shaping your future. Therapy often focuses on past events and processing through these.
Coaching is based on an equal partnership where the client and coach work together to achieve agreed outcomes.
Therapy takes on the form of a patient/therapist relationship which usually follows a specific therapy model.
If you are unsure, coaches usually always offer an initial consultation (often free of charge) to enable you to discuss your current situation and whether coaching is right for you. This obviously also allows you the opportunity to talk to the coach and decide whether he or she is the right coach for you.
What are the benefits of life coaching?
Life coaching raises your self awareness and connects you with your true self, that which is your highest good. Although people often experience feelings of overwhelm during coaching, which is a natural part of the process of change, looking at yourself and your life in a more objective way enables you to see clearly what you would like to work towards and achieve.
Coaching is an exploration of self and so often reveals new interests, passions and different paths to follow.
A positive change in one area of your life will naturally impact on other areas of your life. By addressing your core beliefs it is possible to effect changes in many areas of your life simultaneously.
New ways of being extend beyond yourself and impact on your family, friends and those you come into contact with.
Coaching encourages you to remove boundaries and limitations you might have placed upon yourself. This can result in you becoming more creative, proactive, and motivated to succeed.
Ultimately coaching is about restoring your natural balance and helping you to live a healthier, happier and more fulfilled life.
How long does coaching last?
There are no hard and fast rules as to the length of coaching. Most coaches will offer single coaching sessions which can be just as effective for some people as a schedule of coaching. However, it is more common to book a minimum coaching schedule and add more, or indeed take less as necessary.
Coaching sessions are usually between 60 and 90 minutes in length and take place once a week.
Studies have shown that it takes 21 days to form a habit, or a new way of being. With this in mind, and in my experience, a coaching schedule of six, one hour, weekly sessions is enough to make a significant change to set you on the path towards achieving a new way of being.
Remember, it has probably taken you many years to reach the point you are at now and so to make changes that will last, it is going to take time too. This is not to say that you should view it as difficult or impossible. Anything you put your mind to can be achieved.
How much does coaching cost?
The cost of a coaching session or schedule of coaching sessions will depend on the coach you choose.
An average cost for a single coaching session is in the region of £50-£80, but some coaches charge up to and in excess of £100.
Coaches who specialise in professional/executive and business coaching may, and often do, charge much more.
Of course money is an important factor when choosing a coach but try to make your choice based on your ‘gut feeling’ and which coach you feel most comfortable in talking to.
Where does coaching take place?
This will depend on your location. Most coaches offer face to face and telephone coaching with additional telephone and email support included.
You can discuss what is best for you during the initial consultation. Some coaches charge different rates for face to face and telephone coaching so it’s advisable to confirm this with them.
What makes a good life coach?
In my opinion a good life coach will have diverse life experience as well as having completed an accredited qualification.
A good life coach will be supportive, friendly, professional, honest, empathetic, organised, intuitive and objective. They will respect your beliefs, goals and desires while creating opportunities for you to explore these leading to new actions resulting in your desired coaching outcomes.
A good coach will believe in you, when you do not believe in yourself, and ultimately help you to see that you have everything within you to help you achieve what you desire.
A good coach will walk the talk, i.e. they will generally be pretty happy, healthy and fulfilled too!
What could you do to begin looking at your life in a more positive way now?
One of the most difficult things to do is be objective with ourselves. However, if you are reading this then you are probably at a point of wanting to make some changes in your life and achieve different ways of being.
Everything starts with a thought and so begin, quite simply, with where you are at now.
Notice your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Do you always think negatively? Do you respond in ways you feel are not good for you or others? Do you often experience negative emotions?
When you feel you are thinking, feeling or acting in a way you feel is not ‘good’ simply observe. Bring your focus of awareness to the present moment and observe what you are thinking, feeling or doing.
By doing this you are becoming your own silent observer. Don’t judge yourself but simply notice what is happening, as it happens.
You will soon begin to see that you have a choice to think and so feel and act differently and in a way that serves you, i.e. in ways which are good for you.
Rather than focusing on what you don’t want, focus on what you do want. Begin to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. At first this might feel as though you are constantly watching and noticing your thoughts, but over a short period of time you will find that thinking more positively feels more natural.
When you change what is within, what is without changes naturally. This is to say that by changing your thoughts you are changing what you experience in your life. You are not going to get yourself out of debt overnight or into your dream job in a month but by accepting and acknowledging that the change must come first from within you will begin to work towards changing your life situation and shaping your future more in line with what you want.
Dr Wayne Dyer… You’ll See It When You Believe It
Shakti Gawain… Creative Visualisation
Robin Sharma… The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Discover Your
Eckhart Tolle… The Power of Now and A New Earth
An Introduction to Life Coaching
By Shelley Costello BSYA (I.H. Yoga Teach. Ashtanga Yoga. Med. Teach) MASC (Life Coach)
Shelley Costello is a freelance writer and author of Holiday Road and Champagne Friday. She has also published several articles with the international Yoga Magazine and is currently writing her third book. Shelley has a diverse career history in management and marketing and has a passion for creating websites which is part of her freelance services. She is a qualified life coach, yoga and meditation teacher, Indian Head masseuse and has studied Buddhism, nutrition and many other areas of self development.
Shelley’s life path is to help others overcome challenge and change.
Visit words by Shelley Costello at http://www.shelleycostello.net
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