What Is a Life Coach?

Should I see a life coach or a therapist?

Life Coach Definition: “a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.”

The biggest questions I hear when I talk about my professional coaching life fall in two categories: “What is life coaching?” and “Should I see a life coach or a therapist?” Although coaching is steadily gaining recognition and understanding as the business grows, it’s still pretty new in the professional world and there is a lot of confusion and stigma around it. So let’s clear some things up:

What is life coaching?
Coaches are different from any other field available in the job market. They fulfill a specific role that is profoundly separate from that of a therapist, counselor, consultant, etc. A coach is here to help you recognize what you already know deep down inside about yourself: You can have the life you’ve always dreamed of. And furthermore, they’re here to help you achieve it.

Ideally, the clients that I work with take only months to get to where they’re going before they “graduate” from our partnership. The simplest way I like to explain it: I’m here to give the confidence and clarity for my clients to get from Point A to Point B. Whether it’s about getting a new business up off the ground or kicking their self-esteem into high gear, my role is to be their go-to best friend/mentor/kick-in-the-pants/support system throughout our time together. I use a combination of techniques to help them become self-aware and inspired, as well as actionable steps to set them on the right direction. To me, life coaching is a partnership founded in a team working together to achieve a common goal.

Should I see a life coach?
The most common misperception of coaching is that it’s the equivalent to a therapist. That is not true at all! While I’m incredibly good at what I do, counseling or therapy of any kind requires specific certification and training that I do not have. As a life coach, I am not here to help with any ongoing trauma, depression, or other mental health issues. However, if you want to work on personal projects, business successes, other other transitions in your life, I’m all in. Here are a few specific ways to tell if you should see a life coach:

1. You have a feeling of restlessness, confusion, or “this can’t be it!” about life.
We’ve all been there. Even those who pretend they haven’t. But you know what the difference between Steve Jobs and your neighbor Bob is? Steve took that feeling and made the decision he didn’t want it to define his life anymore. Bob still works the 9-5 job he hates because it gives him the security society makes him think he needs. Steve faced his fears and manifested one of the largest corporations in the modern world. Bob was excited when he bought a like-new 2015 Ford Focus. A coach can help you find a reality that is fulfilling, utilizes your unique strengths, and will have you grateful for every day.

2. Your confidence is not in an ideal place.
We all have our insecurities and self-doubts. But there are those who move past them, even when it is uncomfortable, and there are those who allow them to rule their every decision. It’s exhausting to try to control every event in your life because you’re too afraid of the opinion of others. A talented, professional coach can help you reframe your beliefs about yourself to build confidence and joy -- even when your path seems overwhelming and scary.

3. You have a clear vision -- but don’t know how to achieve it, or see yourself failing at it over and over again.
When I first hired my coach, I knew what I wanted to do. But I didn’t know the steps to take to get there, or what I needed to do in what order, or really any of the specifics. My coach took me by the hand and showed me how I could figure it out for myself. Her support and methods paved the way for me to build my business in an empowering way that was much quicker than anything I could have done on my own. A good coach will take a look at what you’re doing, and spot the weak points in your plan, then help you fortify and rebuild to move forward.

4. You're already doing it, but want to take it to the next level.
Maybe you've started your own business or you're in your dream position at your company, but you want to up your game. I can help you make sure there's balance, empowerment, and growth in your life no matter where you're currently sitting! A coach will help you get clear on where you're stuck and what the next steps are -- whether it's in personal growth, business development, and more!

Feeling a little clearer on the subject? As a professional life coach, my main goal is to help you build a life of passion, confidence, and clarity. I want you to wake up every morning excited for what lies ahead of you, and go to bed grateful for the events of your day. Ready? Let's get started!

Share any thoughts with me in the comments below, or join the party on my Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/


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