Maybe your life is mostly great, except that one thing you just can’t master no matter what you do. You want to move to the next level of your career, but you keep getting passed up for a promotion. Or you’re ready to retire, but you’re scared of what you’ll do next. Maybe you want to write that best-selling novel that’s been brewing in your head for years, but every time you sit down to write, the dog begs to be walked and you take her, knowing that you can’t decide on the name of the character you’re going to kill off later, anyway.
Maybe you’ve read self-help books without finding good advice that you can put into action. Maybe you eschew that whole pop-psycology thing and prefer to talk to real people, but your spouse or best friend would rather talk about their day than be your sounding board.
No matter what the particulars of your situation are, most people can benefit from hiring a life coach. In this guide we’ll walk you through the whole process of finding a life coach.We’ll cover everything from what you can expect from life coaching sessions to what you will need to do during the process, and we’ll let you know how to hire a life coach and what you need to consider when choosing the best life coach for you.
A life coach can help you see clearly where your life is right now, create a vision for where you want your life to go, and make a plan to get you to your destination. When your coach has a good understanding of what you want, they will help you, guide you, and facilitate the process of achieving your goals and dreams. They will collaborate with you and provide the support you need.
A life coach is not a therapist. Life coaches focus primarly on the future and how to help you attain your goals, while therapists focus primarly on the past and how to work through issues such as grief and trauma. Life coaches do not help with deep rooted psychological problems or mental illnesses, and they cannot prescribe medicine.While the two professions overlap and practitioners may use some similar techniques, a life coach is better suited to help you look to the future and achieve your goals. If you do have a mental illness or disorder, you may want to work with both a counselor and a life coach simultaneously.
A life coach will ask you deep and meaningful questions to help you identify what you really want in life. They will also ask you to probe deeper and discover what habits or beliefs are holding you back from achieving this vision for yourself. Together, you will develop an action plan of real, attainable steps to move you closer to your vision. You’ll also check in with your life coach on a regular basis, so they can act as an accountability partner.
Sometimes, we know exactly what we should be doing to move our lives in the direction we want to go, but we just can’t seem to turn off Netflix and get it done. Knowing that you have a meeting with you life coach coming up can be the motivation you need to get moving. Also, having a life coach help you develop the skills you need is vital to making pie-in-the-sky dreams become real and possible.
A life coach will not tell you what to do with your life. Their job is to facilitate your goals, not push their ideas on you. They’ll challenge your pre-conceived notions about what is possible and what you are capable of. They’ll encourage you to do the things you want to do, but never thought you could. When difficult situations arise, your life coach will be someone to whom you can turn for guidance, advice, support, and accountability to live by your principles.
Coaches will often provide an initial questionnaire for you to fill out before your first meeting, with questions like:
It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. Your coach can help you figure them out. But you’ll answer as much as you can, so your coach can read it before your first session and have a basic understanding of who you are, what you want, and where you want to go.
Most coaching sessions last for about 45 minutes to an hour, though the session length varies by coach. During the session, you and your coach will speak together about what has happened since the last time you met, and your goals for the upcoming period of time until you meet again.
As you speak, your coach will be able to offer ideas of various tools and resources you can use to move to the next step of your plan. Your coach will use approaches and techniques that they think will be the most effective in helping you get what you want, such as visualization or hypnotherapy. They will also hold you accountable for sticking to your plans and ask you questions to help you identify your limiting beliefs. Your coach may also use neuro-linguistic programming, the emotional freedom technique, and other methods to guide you.
This is your life and only you can change it. Your coach can be a map, a sounding board, a cheerleader, and at times a swift kick in the butt, but you must be willing to put in the time to do the hard work. Change doesn’t happen over night, but with small, steady steps, you can do it!
Your life coach may give you homework or suggestions of things to try in between sessions. They will have knowledge of methods you can use to change your habits, get organized, and stay motivated. Your job is to use what your coach gives you to do the work.
Imagine that you are learning to paint. A skilled artist can hand you the next brush you need, suggest colors that coordinate, instruct you on technique, tell you which supplies you should buy for the project you want to do, or even help you set up your studio. But ultimately, if you want to paint a picture, you have to show up, put on your smock, and put paintbrush to paper.
You’ll need to show up to sessions with your coach, be willing to speak openly and honestly, and admit the areas where you need help. The key to change is actually doing the agreed upon work in between sessions. If you can’t do so, you’ll gather a lot of great ideas, but your life will stay the same.
The frequency of coaching sessions can vary according to what your coach recommends and what makes sense for your lifestyle and schedule. It’s most common to have one session every week, though you may also choose to have 2 or 3 sessions per month. Some coaches offer support between sessions, such as quick texts or emails.
You might assume that the most effective life coaching happens in person. Most life coaches, however, believe that coaching online or over the phone is just as effective than coaching in person.
Working with a life coach online or over the phone has many benefits. For example:
You may be looking for someone who can help you with several different areas of your life. Maybe you want help with both dating and losing weight. Or maybe you need help building your self-esteem and getting ready for retirement. The odds of finding a coach locally who specializes in two separate areas like this are pretty slim, unless you live in an enormous city, and then you may have to travel an hour to meet with them. Getting matched to a wellness coach online will give you thousands of coaches from which to choose, making you much more likely to find one that specializes in the areas in which you need help.
If having a face to face conversation is important to you consider that remote coaching can be done over video chat, so you feel like you are in the same room while still reaping all of the above benefits of finding a coach online.
Learn more about Finding a Life Coach Online.
If you have a strong preference for being physically present with your coach and are thinking, “I want a coach near me”, choosing one locally may be the right course of action for you.If you’re looking for a local life coach, you might try searching Yelp, Google, or similar resources.
The vast majority of coaches offer a free consultation, which gives you a chance to speak to your life coach before paying for sessions. Your consultation is a great opportunity for you to learn about your coach, ask them questions, and see if they’re a good fit for you. Consultations might run anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Each coach does their initial consultation a little bit differently, but usually the coach wants to get to know you, gain an understanding of what you need, and find out what you’re trying to achieve. Use the consultation to ask any questions that you need to know in order to make a good decision.
If you feel uncertain about the first coach you try, speak to more coaches to find the best match for you.
A coach should be non-judgmental, yet willing to gently confront you about ways that they see you holding yourself back. They should be a listener, but willing to ask you questions that will help you think. Often, you intuitively know the answer to your own problem, but sometimes it takes someone encouraging you to dig deeper to bring the answer into the light.
A life coach should be someone you can open up to like a dear friend, with whom you can share personal details like a partner, yet is professional and maintains clear boundaries. Look for a coach who communicates in the style that is best for you- whether you’re an auditory or visual learner, your coach should be able to present information in the best way for you to understand.
Look for a coach whose personality doesn’t clash with yours. The initial conversation with your coach should make this apparent. Do you frequently interrupt each other or talk over each other because you just can’t seem to get on the same wave length? Does the coach’s way of speaking make you feel twitchy? Maybe keep searching.
On the other hand, if your conversation feels like sitting with a good friend over cup of hot cocoa, you may have found the one. At times during coaching sessions, you may feel raw and vulnerable as you confront the painful areas of your life and do the hard work of personal growth. Your relationship with your coach, however, should be a safe place to cast aside your former life and greet the world with a new perspective. So as you’re interviewing coaches, imagine which one of them makes you feel the most safe, but who also seems like they will challenge you to grow. Try not to over-analyze this part, but focus on what your gut intuition says.
Think about the areas of your life you want to change.
Are your relationships always filled with drama for reasons you don’t understand? Or maybe you have 3,000 Facebook friends, but not a single one you can call and say, “My teenager got in a fight at school, my boss yelled at me, and the dog puked on my bed. I need to come over and curl up on your couch in my fuzzy slippers while you get us both some wine. Skip the glasses.” How do you develop friendships like that?
Do you want to advance to the next step in your career? Do you have an idea that you’ve never felt brave enough to fully pursue?
Do you need help learning how to organize your life so you can stop being late to work after searching for a half an hour for your kid’s shoes only to find them buried beneath a pile of laundry?
The type of changes you want to make will determine the specialty of the coach you choose. Coaching specialties include career, business, retirement, health and wellness, relationships, mental health, and general life coaching, as well as many other specialties.
The coach should be able to tell you specifically what they do, how they do it and the methods they use. If they are hyping up their services as a guarantee that you’ll triple your income, marry a supermodel, and make all your dreams come true right away, run away fast. You want clear answers to your questions and realistic projections of the progress you can make. The coach should be clear that you have to do the hard work to change yourself, and that their job is to assist, facilitate, and guide.
You may want to make a list of the things that are important to you in a coach before beginning your search.
Some things to consider:
You may not know or be able to predict what your ideal coach will be like before you start looking, so you may want to ask yourself these questions as you find a few possibilities and narrow them down.
Unlike in other fields, the government has not created any legal restrictions on who can use the title Life Coach. To be licensed as a psychotherapist, for instance, you need to meet specific qualifications, but there are no such legal requirements for life coaches.
Numerous training programs, educational programs, and licensing organizations aim to regulate and certify coaches. This is done to ensure that coaching is done both ethically and professionally. Organizations offer certifications for life coaches who meet their requirements, but the industry lacks uniformity in standards and requirements. According to a recent informal survey, less than 20% of listed life coaches actually have a credential.
So how important is a coach’s education?
On the one hand, you don’t coach with a PhD who will hold their degree over you as proof that they know best. On the other hand, anyone can call themselves a coach — anyone! Think of the most narcissistic, annoying person you know. They could set up a website today and claim to be a coach!
Yet the majority of life coaches are people who truly love what they do, and they do it well. Most who have a higher education use what they learned in school to increase their ability to help others. And most who are less experienced coaches have educated themselves by reading books, attending conferences, and most importantly, listening to their clients and incorporating their feedback.
So, should you look for someone with lots of education? Someone with lots of experience? Both?
The most important thing to look for in a coach is someone with whom you connect and who specializes in the area in which you want to improve. Take into consideration all of the factors we’ve discussed here: the synergy between you and the coach, their specialty, their experience, their character, and their qualifications.
If credentials are very important to you, the International Coach Federation is the most widely recognized and most reputable regulatory organization for life coaches. They provide training and professional standards of conduct.
By using a matching service, you’re likely to get a life coach whose methods align with your needs and whose personality is a good fit with yours. A good matching service will want to find out more about you and what you want in your life. The focus will be on you, rather than on the coach.
A matching service has a database of thousands of life coaches from whom they can select. They use criteria such as the style of coaching you prefer, your personality, the specialization of the coach you require, and other factors to find a good match quickly and easily. If you find the matching service that you trust, this will save you the hassle of searching through the thousands of coaches who you can find in online directories.
Life Coach Spotter is a free matching service that makes finding a life coach easy. We personally hand-pick each of our coaches to make sure they have the proper training, education, and experience. Over 100 coaches are available through Life Coach Spotter, and we’ll match you to a coach who meets your needs, fits your personality, and has the experience and education you’re looking for.
You know when you get referred to a life coach from a friend, family member, colleague or acquaintance that the recommendation comes from a trusted source. If you were looking for a good plumber or a good restaurant, it would make complete sense to just ask your social network.
However, since life coaching tends to be so personal, you might not be comfortable broadcasting to your network that you’re seeking a life coach. Since life coaching is a relatively new field, most of the people you know will have never used a life coach. Additionally, if anyone you know has used a life coach, their coach might not specialize in the area in which you need help.
You can look locally for a life coach using sources such as Yelp and similar resources. The benefit of using a service like Yelp is that you can read the reviews from past clients. But as we discussed earlier, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a local life coach who has the right specialty and fits with your personality in your local area.
You can also try using an online coaching directory, of which there are dozens to choose from. While these directories do offer a wide range of options (from family coaches to career coaches), the disadvantage is that you might have to sift through hundreds of coaches before you can narrow it down to just a few. This can be overwhelming and time consuming, as there are over 16,000 life coaches in the U.S. alone.
If you’re unhappy with the quality of your life or restless because you know you could take your life to the next level, imagine staying where you are for the next 20, 30, or 40 years. You’ve already tried to change on your own and it didn’t work. So life coaching is worth the greater quality of life you will have when you lose weight, find love, move up in your career, start your own business, write your best-selling novel, or reign in the chaos that dominates your every waking hour.
If your goal is to change your job situation, it probably involves the hope that you’ll make better money. What are you making now? What will you make after the change with help from your life coach? The difference between the two, times the number of years you’ll continue working, plus your increased retirement amount is what life coaching could be worth to you.
For example, if you currently make $50,000 and after life coaching you get a promotion or a new job that takes your income to $60,000, and you work for another 20 years before retirement, life coaching will have been worth $200,000 additional income, plus the increase in your retirement. So is life coaching worth over $200,000 to you?
Even if your goal is not career related, personal development in any area can often lead to an increased income. As you get healthier, you’ll have more energy to do more and better work. As you develop your self-esteem, confidence, and relational skills in the dating arena, you’ll be able to transfer these skills to your relationships with your coworkers and boss. Any type of personal growth or achievement could translate to career success.
Some life coaches that you’ll find through other sources charge $300 or more an hour, which is well worth the benefits of having a happier, more fulfilling life and potentially making hundreds of thousands of dollars more in your lifetime.
However, the coaches at Life Coach Spotter start as low as $50 an hour. They understand that sometimes finances are a struggle, so they work with their clients by offering reasonable rates and monthly packages to make having a life coach less of a financial challenge.
Because Life Coach Spotter is a matching service, the prices are set by each coach individually. Talk to several coaches and ask them what they charge and if they have any special plans.
When you are choosing your coach, don’t let cost be the sole factor that sways you from one coach to another. Remember the importance of the synergy between you and your coach. Choose the one who you feel intuitively is the best choice. Ultimately, choosing the coach who is a good fit for you will save you money, as you’ll enjoy faster progress and you won’t need to drop the coach to go looking for another one.
Life Coach Spotter is the ideal way to find your life coach. We are a free matching service, and we focus on finding the best match for you. Our coaches are thoroughly interviewed and screened, and we choose only the best. They are required to have a minimum of three years of experience. They use techniques and methods such as neuro-linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, intuitive coaching, appreciative inquiry, visualization, affirmations, and dozens of other approaches. We have coaches who specialize in life coaching, confidence, relationships, careers, self-care, transitions, spirituality, time management, weight loss, and dating, among other areas.
We can help you find your life coach today! Simply fill out our quick and confidential form and we’ll match you to a few potential coaches. You choose your favorite three, and we’ll set you up with a free consultation with each of them. Then you choose your life coach and take the first step towards your new life!
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Our coaches are certified professionals who have been screened and tested. We personally hand-pick each of our coaches to make sure they have the proper training, education, and experience.
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“I’m Happier, Motivated, and More Positive Now”
After finding my life coach, I’m now happier, more positive, more motivated, and I have tangible results. I’m now achieving my goals and living the life I was meant to live. I feel way more confident and powerful now.
-CJ Lemky, CEO at ProfitPilot, Calgary, CA
“I’m Now Confident and Empowered”
Coaching is fun! I’m no longer lost. I feel so powerful, inspired, motivated, worthy, and loved. Hear me roar!
-Debbie Green, Operations Manager at Fedex, Los Angeles, CA
“I Finally Uncovered My Mental Block”
After I found my coach, in just one session, I discovered what was holding me back. My coach found my blind spot that I’ve had for years.
-A’ric Jackson, Award-Winning Speaker and 5-Time Published Author, Atlanta, GA
“I Found Happiness and Hope”
Before coaching I felt hopeless. But with coaching I can meet my goals and find true happiness. I’d absolutely recommend Life Coach Spotter.
-Charlotte Keys, Accountant at Herr’s Foods, Clemmons, NC
“Coaching Transformed My Life Completely”
When I try to do it on my own it’s really difficult. After coaching I am motivated to move forward and I know how to reach my goals.
-David McEwen, student at Alvernia University, PA
“I’m Motivated with Action Steps”
After finding my life coach, my life has completely changed. I now have action steps and a solid plan to reach my goals. I’m motivated and so grateful to Life Coach Spotter.
-Sara Hampson, Senior Business Analyst, Toronto, CA
“I Got a Clear Direction and Purpose in My Life”
Life Coach Spotter has given me a clear direction and motivated me. I defined my goals and now I’m actively pursuing them.
-Joe Kinder, Alarm System Salesman, University Heights, CA
“I Discovered What I Really Want in My Life”
I grew so much in one conversation. If you want to discover what you really want in life, get coaching with Life Coach Spotter. You’ll move through blocks, make big decisions, and move forward quickly.
-Maddie Wise, Student at the University of Kansas, Mulvane, KS