Many people have heard of coaching (life coaching, business coaching, etc.), but aren’t clear about what it is and how it can support them in their lives. As both the coach and the recipient of coaching, I have found it to be extremely effective in making monumental shifts in one’s life.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is a method of working with healthy individuals to assist them in uncovering their inherent power and effectiveness to produce the results they most desire in their lives. Coaching primarily focuses on the “way of being” as opposed to what one is doing or what one has or doesn’t have. The way we are in our lives, what we see as possible or not possible, and the choices we make are all a direct reflection of how we are observing, judging and perceiving the world. Coaching works to uncover these “blind spots” or unconscious parts of ourselves that are blocking us from living the life we want. When this way of being shifts, the way one sees the world and the actions one chooses to take completely change, patterns break, and an opportunity for new life results arises. As Carl Jung once said, “It all depends on how we look at things and not how they are in themselves.” Out of transformation, new pathways open up and guide us towards what we are truly committed to. The difficult or even impossible becomes possible.
In general, there are two distinct forms of coaching, personal and business coaching. Personal coaches generally focus on intra and interpersonal issues such as life transitions, finding a new career path, working through difficult problems, enhancing relationships and quality of life, meeting personal and professional goals, health challenges, etc. You’ll find a wide scope of coaches specializing in particular areas such as relationships, nutrition, spirituality, and career pursuits to name a few. Business coaching is generally focused on work-related issues such as leadership, employee motivation, time management, team building, etc. More and more small and large corporations are turning to business coaches to work with their employees to improve job performance, company morale, teamwork, confidence and a host of other work related challenges.
Coaching versus Psychotherapy
It’s important to understand that coaching is not and does not replace psychotherapy. Therapy and coaching serve two different purposes. Therapy tends to focus on the past and deals a lot with feelings, psychological breakdowns, the subconscious mind and fixing problems through positive change. Coaching on the other hand comes from the perspective that healthy individuals are “creative, resourceful, and whole” (Fairley and Stout). In other words, there is no fixing that takes place. Instead one is guided to access the courage, power and answers within them. Coaching is outcome oriented and relates to what the client is experiencing in the present moment. Specific and measurable results are very important for evaluating the effectiveness of coaching.
How Coaching Can Benefit You and Your Health Goals
Coaching looks at how the context from which one is operating directly effects their “way of being” and inhibits them from achieving their desired results. Coaches help clients distinguish patterns, primarily made up of thoughts and feelings based on interpretations and perceptions of events in the past, as an opportunity to develop new language, intentions, ways of being, and committed actions that produce the desired results.
What does this mean for you and your health goals? Depending on your personal needs and desires, Coaching can help you learn how to create balance, meet your health goals, increase your overall self-confidence, energy and vitality, and uncover thought patterns and actions that may be preventing you from healing, reaching your ideal weight, or feeling your best. Additionally, a Holistic Health, Nutrition and/or Wellness Coach can usually assist you with choosing the right foods to eat, learning how to prepare healthy meals, addressing specific health conditions and ailments and uncovering physical causes of cravings, digestive disorders, allergies and chronic conditions.
Selecting a Coach
A good coach listens to their clients from their soul as opposed to their identity and guides them to reach their highest potential beyond fears, resistance, the ego, or logic. A good coach remains committed to providing the support their client needs, but doing so without a personal attachment to a particular outcome. Coaches naturally remain open to altering their way of seeing things in order to best support and empower their clients. A coach is not out to be liked, to appear brilliant, or to tell the client what to do. They are a symbol of being, inspiration, clarity, and compassion.
Here are a few tips:
- Choose the type of coach you’re looking for. If you’re unsure, there are general life coaches. As we are holistic beings, you’ll find that if you choose a health coach, you’ll also see results in other areas so don’t feel that you are limiting yourself by selecting a specialized coach.
-Schedule a preliminary free session to talk with the coach, ask questions and assess whether there is a good fit for working together
-Check references and testimonials to find out how others have benefited from working with the coach.
-Ask about coaching price packages, options for working together (online, in-person or by telephone), and the way in which the coach works
-Don’t be afraid to start with just a few sessions to assess whether you feel motivated and inspired out of your work together. Remember that results don’t come overnight and that although they can happen quickly, be patient with yourself and your coach. Coaching is an active two-way exchange and both must be fully present and committed for it to be effective.
Resources and Further Reading:
-“Getting Started in Personal and Executive Coaching” by Stephen Fairley and Chris Stout
-“Coaching to the Human Soul: Ontological Coaching and Deep Change” by Alan Sieler
-"The Last Word on Power: Executive re-invention for leaders who must make the impossible possible" by Tracy Goss
For more information on Kara’s coaching services, visit www.karabauer.net.
Published On: December 07, 2010