So, really, what is a life coach?

Following on from my post, What is life coaching? How to unlock your potential, what can you expect from your qualified life coach?

If you are committed in 2019 to work on bringing out the very best in you, get a coach.

It’s a tough message but the results you can experience from quality coaching are extraordinary. Many people are familiar with life coaches now, but there is still a prominence for the term 'coach' to be associated with a sports coach.

What is a life coach?

The Cambridge English dictionary defines a coach as:

  • Someone whose job is to train and organise a sports team or;
  • Someone whose job is to teach people to improve at a sport, skill or school subject.

It gives the example of a tennis or math coach.

A life coach does not teach.

Are you surprised?

A sports coach provides advice, mentoring, training, encouragement, discipline in order to help the athlete improve performance and the coach is usually skilled in the sport, often even an expert.

A life coach (whose ambit may include any or all coaching in relation to life, relationships, communication, career, leadership, health, wealth, finance and more) doesn’t provide advice or discipline directly. A life coach facilitates a process to enable the client to reach goals or make changes using their own inner wisdom. For those new to coaching, this may sound particularly strange or hard work. Clients will tell you, however, that the time and energy put in is well worth it.

Expert facilitation

Unlike a sports coach, the life coach is not an expert in a clients’ profession or sport. They are an expert at facilitating a coaching process that enables you to think differently, explore opportunities, overcome blocks, get unstuck, build confidence, take control and so much more. 

If you instruct a coach, you’ll need to know that your coach is not a trainer, telling you what to do or learn, nor a counsellor and coaching is not therapy, although clients do report therapeutic outcomes.

It is, however, about you, all of you; your coach trusts that you have the answers. If this sounds strange, don’t worry, when you experience coaching, it all comes to light. Your coach is a catalyst to getting you to those answers in alignment with your truest values, standards, boundaries and dreams. Your coach supports and provides guidance through coaching techniques and tools, motivation and support, all in a confidential setting.

In summary, a professional life coach:

  • provides a private, safe and confidential space for you to be yourself
  • promotes a process that is a catalyst for the change you seek
  • facilitates a process for you to reach your goals
  • supports you in in a collaborative manner
  • motivates you along the way
  • challenges you to move forward as you’ve  expressed you want to
  • guides you along the way through coaching techniques
  • helps you to clearly unravels your blocks
  • promotes steps to get you unstuck
  • champions new helpful  behaviours
  • supports you to increase your confidence, motivation, efficiency and action
  • helps you to maximise your potential in all areas of life and work

A coach brings out the best in you and so much more. He or she works in partnership with you to define your goal(s) clearly and identify the manageable steps to get you there. So, why not find your life coach today? Go on, you’ll be glad you did.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Stanmore HA7 & London W1A
Written by Anita Gohil-Thorp, Promoting self-leadership to career goals & life confidence
Stanmore HA7 & London W1A

I'm Anita and have helped people thrive at work for 15+ years. Life is for living; work can be what you want it to be. People come to me to make a difference to transform their mind-set, path & energy for growth through effective coaching tools. Contact me today at for a free 20 minute chemistry call (happy to call back).

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