Do I really need a Life Coach?
By: Ashley Arthur
Professional Coach | Producer | Model
Hi there NerdyGirl,
My name is Ashley Arthur and I’m a Professional Life Coach.
If that career title puzzles you, rest assured, you are not alone. As the industry of coaching continues to expand how could one not be confused?
Nutritional Coach! Relationship Coach! Executive Coach! Coaches for 27 year old dog-walkers on the Upper West Side! You may find yourself asking “what does a coach even DO?”, and most importantly…”how do I know if I need one?”.
Just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I personally believe the road to a happy life begins with a single complaint.
In other words, what we find frustrating is often the catalyst for great change. For instance, how many of the following have your name on them?
- I feel drained
- I feel stuck
- I feel lost
- I have an important decision to make and don’t know how to choose
- Am I where I’m supposed to be?
- I know what I want, but no idea how to get there
- I’m not good enough
- I’m sinking into the belly of the comfy couch that is my life and I want my zest for life back!!
If you’ve ever uttered (or shouted) any of the above, you deserve a champion. Teaming up with a coach can help you achieve clarity, create goals, demolish obstacles, restore and cement self confidence, and realign you with what makes you spectacular.
If you feel yourself lighting up at the thought of reconnecting with your inner Beyoncé, your next question is likely “so how do I know which coach is for me?!”
If you want in on an industry secret… here it is: It doesn’t really matter. Of course it can help to begin your search within the same ballpark as what you’d like to work on, but don’t beat yourself up if you hire a business coach to enhance your work life and end up spending 90% of your sessions untangling issues in your home life.
Everything (everything) is interconnected and a good coach will be there to help guide you to the core of your true concerns.
So how do I know if you’ve found a good coach? To be entirely honest, I was supremely skeptical of coaching when I first heard about it. I recoiled at the term Life Coach, and with good reason. Many life coaches out there operate without any professional training, and although this is rarely dangerous, it can certainly leave you feeling unsatisfied, if not a bit annoyed.
So, here are the golden rules for selecting your future BFF:
1. You like them
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll feel comfortable being vulnerable with someone you don’t vibe with. Most coaches offer a free discovery call not only to explain more about what they can offer you, but also so you can feel out their style and energy. If it isn’t a match, just say so! This is about your success and no one else’s. Get selfish.
2. They never give advice. Never.
This is actually the number one rule, and the most misunderstood. Each time I tell someone what I do the first thing they say is “great! I need someone to tell me what to do!” Sorry friend. You’re looking for a mentor, consultant…or mom ☺. A professional coach is essentially a question expert, trained to listen between the lines and ask you the right questions to reveal what you truly want and need. If you’re still not sure about this one, think back on a time when you asked someone for advice. Did you really want it, or was it perhaps a more conventional way of saying “I really need to talk something out. Do you have a minute?” It’s unexpectedly liberating to speak to a person who is contractually barred from telling you what to do. It leaves space for you to do crazy things like hear your own thoughts. Give it a whirl.
3. There is no feeling of pressure or judgment.
Remember, this is your one true space to speak freely and geek out on you-time to discuss your dreams, fears, wade through your messy thoughts, and design your life! You are not here to impress your coach or finish your homework to avoid punishment. A healthy coach/client relationship is based on trust and curiosity, and host an element of fun. If you find your sessions are for anyone other than yourself, then just take a step back and reassess.
4. They come with an endless supply of High Fives
One of the best things about having a coach is that they notice the little things. Maybe you’re still on your way to developing your new business, but you got around to following 5 new people on Instagram that truly inspire you, and maybe even reached out to one. A coach picks up on these things, and acknowledges progress at every level. How motivating is that!?
In short, a coach is your teammate who guides you to uncover your realest desires in a judgment-free space. They champion your every incremental accomplishment and create roadmaps around the obstacles that once kept you up at night. Side effects have been known to include: clarity, boosts in self confidence and self-knowledge, energy, motivation, happiness, and connection to others.
And finally, as much as I love answering questions, my specialty is in the asking of them, so I’ll leave you with this…
What would you love a little help with NerdyGirl? Comment below…
Meet Ashley on IG @ashleyarthurnyc
Professional inquiries || email@example.com