Personal development coaching aims to evaluate and assess your current strengths and weaknesses in order to improve a certain aspect, or aspects, of your life.
Just as an athlete would have a coach to push and support them, a personal development coach is there to make you feel at ease and confident in changes you want to make in your life. You deserve to be happy and proud of where you are; a coach will help you achieve that happiness and develop any skills you wish to improve.
On this page, we will explain what you may expect from a personal development coaching session. You will discover how this form of coaching can help you to improve your life and assess your own skills.
What is personal development coaching?
Personal development is about increasing your self-awareness. Coaches aim to help you recognise where you want to be in life and how you can get there, as well as identifying the potential that already exists within you. This is often accomplished through a series of questions designed to help you recognise, accept and build upon your strengths and weaknesses.
You should expect to be given the opportunity to assess your emotional well-being and how you are progressing in life. You will consider whether you are happy, whether you are reaching your goals, your state of mind and your relationships.
A coach may not necessarily offer direct advice and they will not tell you exactly what to do. But, what they will do is offer guidance and support through personal development plans and strategies, in order for you to set goals and continue working on achieving these on your own.
A personal development coach will also:
Ask questions in order to guide you to an answer.
Encourage deep thoughts about how you are living your life and the changes you want to make.
Challenge your thoughts by identifying inconsistencies.
Support you through difficult decisions.
Assist you with creating and following your personalised plan.
Help you to create strategies and reach your goals.
Is personal development coaching for me?
Personal development coaching can cover a range of issues and concerns. This could include money management, confidence building, public speaking or any other skill linked to promoting personal growth.
To discover whether personal development coaching is for you, consider the following questions:
- Do you wish you had better communication skills?
- Do you want to become more confident?
- Do you want to be more motivated?
- Do you need a specific skill to advance further in life?
- Do you want to be happier?
For a personal development plan to help you, you have to feel ready to start making changes and be willing to put the effort in to achieve them.
In a sense, you can think of personal development like a spring clean; it’s a way of improving your own life, by evaluating aspects of the self and putting them in order of importance. You may find that a coach can be particularly valuable in helping you do this, by providing an objective point of view.
Whether you have one skill you wish to target, or there are several issues contributing to your concern, they can help you to come up with a personal development plan to help. The various issues could include the following:
Mental and emotional state
Often, the way we feel about events or changes that are happening in our lives can affect the way we cope. Of course, having the confidence, motivation and drive to achieve what you desire is important in personal growth. But, understanding your mental and emotional state is perhaps the first step in reaching your goals.
In order to understand yourself better, a coach may ask you to place emphasis on the most meaningful things in your life. For example, if you wish for success, you will need to ask yourself what that success means to you. What makes you successful? How do you know when you have reached 'success'?
Personal development coaching can often help you address any social concerns you may have, such as lacking the confidence to meet new people or make friends. A life coach will be able to help you recognise and overcome certain anxieties by teaching you to examine your feelings. These anxieties could include arguments, coping in relationships or dealing with anger.
Your coach may ask what your social life is like. They will help you to understand whether you need lots of people around you to feel safe and happy, or whether you are happier in your own company. Recognising your social needs can help you to understand what has caused certain issues and how you can find a healthy balance.
For many of us, we spend more time at work than we do at home or with loved ones. So, if you are not feeling fulfilled in your work or not enjoying your job, it can lead to many problems. Stress at work, feeling undervalued or feeling like you are not reaching your full potential can have a negative impact on the other aspects of life if not dealt with. Equally, not maintaining a balanced routine can affect relationships, productivity, happiness and well-being.
Personal development coaching can help you to recognise such problems and identify changes you can make to reach your personal goals. A life coach will be able to guide you in your journey of personal growth and help you face any workplace issues you are experiencing.
Money is the source of many problems and one of the main causes of stress for people in the UK. If you find yourself in debt, you will often think of nothing else. The debt can cast a shadow over every aspect of your life, eating away at your positivity and overall health.
Read more about the cost of financial stress on our mental health on Happiful.com
If you are experiencing financial worries, a coach can help you identify your financial strengths and weaknesses, and guide you towards better money management. Personal development coaching can help you to devise a money managing-plan that will in time, help you to regain control of your finances.
Relationships and happiness
Personal development coaching can help you address your relationship concerns, build your confidence and find the satisfaction you deserve. Your happiness can be greatly affected by the status of your love life. It doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship or single - take a moment to consider if you are happy.
It is important to learn what you want and how happy you are in your current situation to understand what improvements can be made. Recognising the state of your happiness is the first step towards making those positive changes.
Personal development techniques
Enhancing your current skills, or learning new ones can empower you as a person and increase the opportunities available to you. There are many techniques you can try in order to develop across multiple areas of your life:
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
The first step in personal growth and development is identifying the strengths and weaknesses in each area of your life. If you wish to develop yourself personally, then the first thing you need to know is what you want to develop.
Develop self-confidence or self-esteem
This can be a barrier many people face when wanting to develop their skills. Your confidence levels will grow in time, but be sure to look for support from people around you along the way - whether that’s your friends, family, colleagues or a coach. Voicing what you are doing will often promote encouragement from others.
Acknowledging your own ability will help you progress further, but this can be difficult. To build self-esteem you can:
- Engage in positive self-talk.
- Remember what you like about yourself.
- Discuss your good qualities.
- Write down your achievements to look back on.
- Plan for your future.
Manage your time well
Time seems to get in the way when considering making lifestyle changes. Whatever the reason, you need to evaluate how you currently spend your time. Knowing how you manage your time will encourage you to make changes and find the process less stressful.
Tips to manage your time more effectively can include:
- Saying “no” to extra responsibilities at work that require you to stay late.
- Make a list of tasks you need to complete; organisation is key to time management.
- Recognise your most productive time of the day – complete the most demanding tasks during this time.
- Try to spend at least one hour after work doing something you enjoy.
Recognise your achievements
Developing yourself and building confidence is all about recognising your achievements, however big or small. Day-to-day challenges can sometimes make us feel unsuccessful, but recognising and praising yourself for the small things will help this.
Try to view life as a series of small challenges, where each journey you make has its own achievements. Recognise these and you will start to develop a more positive perspective.
Setting personal goals is a great way to start growing. Make a list once a month, or once a week and try to tick off most of the goals you have given yourself.
They don’t have to be big goals, either. Of course, if you have long-term goals, that’s a great way to look towards the future and keep you motivated, but you can break this down into interim goals. Often, the simpler these are, the better. Just remember to applaud yourself when you have achieved each goal.
Track your achievements
Recognising your successes will build your confidence and self-worth. You may find your coach suggests keeping a personal development diary. This will be for you to record your thoughts and feelings about each journey you make in life. Write down any key events, developments or achievements as they happen so you can reflect on these later. Having a record of your feelings toward different events will help you to evaluate your behaviour and know how to improve it.
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