When I present my profession as life coach, I am often asked what that means.
By definition, coaching is an ongoing relationship between the professional and the client, which focuses on the client’s taking action toward the realization of their visions, goals or desires. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility, while providing the client with structure, support and feedback. Coaching is considered to be distinct from psychotherapy in that most coaches engage in coaching with generally well-functioning individuals. Coaches are helping people meet their most important goals, not treating mental disorders.
From the very beginning, coaching focuses on what clients want. People come to coaching because they want things to be different. They are looking for change or they have an important goal to reach. Sometimes, they are motivated to achieve specific goals (to have a better marriage, to live a healthier lifestyle, to connect in a better way to their teenage children). They hire a coach because they want to create more order and balance in their lives.
Some people want more of life (more peace of mind, more simplicity, more joy). Others want less (less confusion, less stress, less financial pressure).
Regardless of the age of the client, the primary building block for all coaching is this: Clients have the
answers or they can find the answers. From the coach’s point of view, nothing is wrong or broken; there is no need to fix the client. The coach does not have the answers, the coach has the questions. For many people, it is easier — and more natural — to buy the answers in a packaged program, rather than doing the work needed to find solutions. But the former often end up with an empty package.
Since starting this job, I feel very blessed that I was given the opportunity to interact with so many wonderful women in the community. In one case, I met with a young lady in her mid-20s who wanted more clarity in this confusing world. Guiding her through key questions, she was able to regain a sense of control. In another scenario, I spoke with a woman who was married for close to 30 years, but her marriage was crumbling. Through our coaching sessions, we came up with a SMART plan; SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timing. Once she began implementing the plan, she became empowered to bring more peace and pleasure into her marriage.
If you feel like you’re living in a cocoon and you truly wish to fly, know that you can achieve more, that you can attain better. A winner is not someone who never fails; a winner is someone who never quits.
Be a winner, break through the barriers, and live the life you love.
Chasida Teichman is a local life coach. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-240-9180.