Life Coaching one of those beautiful non-specific terms that people from the whole spectrum of the health and well being space have adopted.
In short, a life coach is someone who listens to your story and offers no judgement or firm advice – but instead anecdotes and reflections on what may have worked for others in similar situations. I noticed in particular how the diverse backgrounds and life situations that lead each person to hang their shingle as a Life Coach lend each individual life coach a unique experience.
How I became a Life Coach
My journey to becoming a certified Life Coach was very similar to most other Life Coaches I have met. Going along in life on a base level of “non-awareness” and then being confronted with a health challenge, relationship challenge, or financial/career challenge. For me the choice was either adapt and thrive, or stay stuck and keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome.
Life Coaching offers a self-help personal development fast track outside of what might be called more passive approaches like therapy or counselling. Life Coaching is a set your own pace way of recognising and working through your stuff – using less conventional techniques like Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming [NLP] and attending self help seminars and motivational/inspirational presentations.
Ask yourself some Life Coach questions.
Many people have trouble “getting out of a rut” and “breaking free” from things like “insecurity” a “lack of confidence” or “fear of the unknown” and this keeps them from living a fulfilling life. These keywords keep popping up across all modalities of Life Coaching and you will notice them used in lots of the marketing materials.
In essence, what this means is that many of us are on life paths doing things that we think we ought to do, or that we were taught to do – to please others. Like being a good girl and becoming a teacher – when all along you were drawn towards being a artist and want to make your own artisan foods. Or being a stable accountant providing for the family when you secretly yearn for a life treading the boards as an actor, or designing garden landscapes.
Life Coaching is seen as a way to offer people who are already committed to one path in a life an opportunity to find balance by creating space in their lives – by adjusting their schedules, re-arranging priorities, breaking free from their tribe and most importantly connecting with their core values. These seemingly simple steps can give you greater clarity so you can live your life in alignment.
How can I reveal my Core Values?
Exercise 1: On Top of the World
Think of a time when you felt like life couldn’t get any better; perhaps it was one of the best days of your life. Write down a detailed description of this moment, then see what values you can recognise in your description. For example, if your peak moment was the day you and your friends decided to go skydiving, the personal values associated with that might be things like adventure and spontaneity.
Next, write what these values mean to you. For instance, perhaps you equate adventure with trying something new. This will help you get to the heart of what drives you and inspires you.
Exercise 2: Follow the Money Trail
Think about what you spend your money on after you have met your monthly expenses. Do you spend what’s left on improving your home, travelling, cars, clothing, art, charity, education or something else? Money is a limited resource for most people, which means they tend to use it in ways that match their values.
Write down the top five things you spend your extra pennies on, and next to each item on the list write down a personal value that corresponds to it. If you spend money going to yoga perhaps fitness, inner peace or spirituality are personal values to you. If you tend to save your money rather than spending it on something you want or enjoy, you might value security or prosperity.
Exercise 3: What Would You Like to Tell the World?
Take out a piece of paper, and imagine that you have just been given a free billboard on the main highway where you live. You must use the billboard to display a message that you would like to give to others. It must answer the question: “What would you like to say to the world?”. This should give you a good sense of what sort of values are most important to you. If your message goes along the lines of world peace, for instance, then your values may include serenity or teamwork.
Exercise 4: The Old Burning House Dilemma
Imagine that the place where you live catches on fire, and you only have time to save three objects. Assume that the people who live there and your pets are already safe. What three things would you choose to save? Why are these objects so much more important to you than everything else? What significance do they have to you beyond their monetary value? This exercise can help shed light on what you truly consider important, and these tie in strongly with your personal values. For example, saving something like a mobile phone shows that you value communication.
Exercise 5: Find Your Values by Looking to Others
Take out a piece of paper and write down the names of the three adults you admire the most. These might be people you know personally such as family members, or it could be famous people from the past or present that you adore. Next to each name on the list, write down what you consider to be that person’s top three qualities. Is there any overlap? This will highlight more of the values you deem most desirable in life.
Life coaching is often touted as a good way of helping people find the clarity needed to break free. Is this an effective and viable option for everyone?
Here is a really insightful core values quiz that takes around 5 minutes to complete with some detailed feedback on your response included FREE.
Quick Quiz – a short 2 page quiz from the Carnegie Mellon University on Core Values.