Why Talking To A Life Coach Is Different From Chatting With A Friend
Friends are your tribe, a life coach can be the gateway to your authentic self.
Friends Are Your Tribe
Your friends are your people. They say that friends are “the family” you choose yourself. Your friends tend to know closely your strengths and your weaknesses; they are familiar with what you like, and dislike and they have been there for you throughout the ups and downs of your life. Most likely they will be there for you for many future seasons to come, while always doing their best to support you and celebrate with you.
You can share with your friends your thoughts and feelings and daily happenings of your life, and of course, you are also excited to know all about their life too. Most often, your friends have the magic touch that helps you to feel better. They are capable of lifting your spirits when you most need it. They simply are your cheerleaders. You are part of their sense of belonging and they are part of your sense of belonging. Together you form a tribe.
Friends Believe in Your Side of the Story
Whatever is happening in your life, you can count on your friends cheering for you. Your friends are quite like you, they tend to be similar in many different ways, thus convincing them to be on your side of the story is rather easy to do. Your friends tend to agree and accept your choices. True friends rarely judge you, especially when they have been there for most part of your life, supporting you through different moments on your journey. Why? Because you have been there also for them, supporting and not judging them. No doubt that contradicting friends or seeking conflicts is absolutely not good for anybody. And of course, sometimes your friends might disagree with you, but still choose to support your story for your comfort and happiness.
Since friendships are all about trust, mutual support and cheering for one another, then comfort zone tends to be this safe and cozy soil for friendships to bloom. It is not that often that one chooses to push a friend out of their comfort zone as creating disruption and confusion might not always fit well into friendship context. Giving objective advice to people close to you is challenging as the line between subjective and objective might get blur. Even with the best of intentions in mind, suggesting to your friend that they could do something differently or better, could not always go down well. Unless there is an opening or an invitation for opinions and suggestions, challenging your friend's ways of doing things might end up creating more harm than positive impact.
Life Coach Is A Gateway to Your Authentic Self
While you get many things sorted out with the help of your friends and your close relationships can be beneficial for increasing your self-awareness, sometimes you do need your truth to be challenged and more neutral soil to grow. Let's be honest here, you and your friends might have too many things happening (kids, schools, jobs, pets, relationships, parents etc.) that simply sharing the nuances of everyday life easily fills the time shared. These days it just feels as if there is never enough time and space for deep conversations.
Maybe you are even a bit like me, with a number of friends living abroad, which right there complicates the logistics of time and space for deep conversations. Of course internet is a wonderful thing, and this is how I have been nurturing many of my relationships for decades since moving abroad, but it simply is just not the same. Nothing beats the possibility to have time for real face to face sharing and authentic connection (over a glass of wine).
Sometimes you might want to, or even need to, go deeper about your self-discovery in order to improve your life experience. You might want to connect to yourself on a different level. You have come that far through life, you have learnt to play many different roles (e.g. a child, parent, aunt, friend, a student, a professional etc.), but how much time and effort have you invested into understanding who you truly are as a person. Who is your authentic self, that honest representation of you, outside of these roles?
There is no doubt that not everyone wants or needs to go deeper. Identifying oneself through these different roles as long as you are truly happy is perfectly fine. But at some time in life, especially in pivotal moments, many people tend to seek that deeper understanding and connection with themselves. Quite often this deeper knowledge and awareness of your core values, your limiting beliefs and the true desires of your heart can serve you as the lighthouse on your way forward.
A conversation with a Life Coach will most certainly help you to start your path towards connecting with your deeper self and building your future. A Coach is a trained professional, who will hold for you a safe space where questions and exercises will challenge, inspire and empower you. In coaching process there will be no direct advice given, but trust me, important insights from the conversation will rise. You will be able to connect to your core values and authentic self, break free from limiting beliefs, (re)discover your inner resources and gain some valuable insights, while focusing on your future. You will be able to connect the dots.
A Coach Creates a Safe Non-Judgemental Space
As a Coach I frequently hear Coachees saying "this is something I have not even told to my family and friends", "I don't want to worry them". So, imagine living your life like this, day by day, holding your thoughts and feelings to yourself, without wanting to worry others, always taking into consideration everybody else's needs. Beyond doubt it is important to take care of people around you, but you cannot forget to take care of yourself also. You have to nurture yourself first, so that you could be healthy and happy and have overspill of resources (including energy and time) to take care of others around you too.
Working with a Life Coach can provide you with this safe, non-judgmental and confidential space where you can share whatever you feel like. You can even share the thoughts you keep for yourself in order to protect or not to cause worry to others. You can also discover your hidden limiting thoughts and beliefs that might be subtly guiding your life.
A Coach Challenges You
A Life Coach does not worry about pleasing you or agreeing with you, instead, through asking powerful questions, (s)he provides you with an opportunity to take a deeper look inside yourself, which quite often is necessary as a starting point for changes and for building new things. A Coach challenges you to understand what really matters, to overcome any possible limiting beliefs, and to build resilience and solutions based on your internal resources and wisdom.
Most coaching sessions start by asking “What do you really want? Why is this important for you? How will you know that you have achieved it? How would success (related to the topic in hand) look for you?”. Right there, you are taken to the place of deeper thinking and curiosity. Knowing what you want might be easy but getting clear about why something is important for you, or why do you really want it, requires pausing for thinking and diving deeper.
A Coach Empowers You
There is no doubt that your friends will be supporting you on your way to achieve your goals and dreams, they will be cheering for you on every step of the way. A Life Coach, on the other hand, can be there for you on a completely different level. A Coach can help you to see the possibilities and different perspectives. Through coaching conversations, you will build a deeper understanding of your core values and recognize your inner wisdom and resources. A Life Coach can help you to build a future vision for your life or any situation in hand and a plan of steps towards achieving it. And of course, let's not forget to mention the part of “external accountability”. Some of us (and I do use “us” on purpose here) thrive much better in life with a little bit of external accountability.
And sometimes you might simply need to boost your confidence. You have everything going on for you, you know what you want, but yet something is stopping you. You might experience lack of confidence and self-belief or maybe even feel as an impostor. A Coaching conversation can be truly empowering, taking you on a journey to build your confidence muscle and helping you to step into your power.
There is no doubt that true friends are among the most valuable elements of your life - they will be there for you through sickness and health, cheering for you, encouraging you and comforting you. They will be there making memories with you. A coach, on the other hand, can be there for you to help you to dig deeper - to create awareness and understanding of who you are and what do you want from your life. A coach can help you to see solutions and opportunities instead of problems and limitations, dwell with you in possibilities and challenge you to create your unique path forward.
While friends use love, then a Coach, somebody who has gone through special training and possibly somebody who has chosen to dedicate their life to helping others, uses a mix of knowledge, experience and coaching tools to bring out the best in you. You might not need a Life Coach the same way that you do need your friends, but there is no doubt you could benefit from one to reach your full potential. And of course, your friends would benefit from the overspill of all the goodness from your thriving life!
* In case you still have doubts about "why or if" coaching could be beneficial for you, please do not hesitate contact me. We can meet for a little Zoom chat to clarify all your doubts.