This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
Successful people have to grab progress by the horns.
5 min read
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Whether ascending the corporate ladder or paving a path all your own as an entrepreneur, one fact remains true across the board: We all need a little support. Living your best personal and professional life requires intentional self-reflection and continual personal development. Even at our best, however, we all have blind spots that prevent us from seeing the whole picture of our lives and the thoughts, habits and behaviors that hinder our growth. The same is true of our friends and family. While loved ones may have the best intentions, they often lack the discernment to appropriately analyze and deliver actionable advice. So, who do we turn to for unbiased evaluation and expertise? Enter the life coach.
Successful people don’t leave their progress up to chance — they grab it by the horns. Hiring a life coach is a great example of how those seeking personal and professional expansion can take charge of the vision they have for their lives. In fact, some of our favorite high achievers have publicly vouched for the value of coaching. For example, both Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates have been quoted praising their own experiences with life coaching. Winfrey has long worked with coach Martha Beck, saying, “Coaching helps you stop the crazy mind chatter in your head that tells you all the time that you’re not good enough.” Gates, meanwhile, has offered that, “Everyone needs a coach. We all need people that give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Related: The Essential Role of Life Coaches
According to certified life coach and licensed professional counselor Elizabeth Arboleda, “Everyone needs a life coach because there is power in someone else, a professional, reflecting back at you what you say and see to open up your mind, to identify your blind spots, to encourage discovery and support you in creating action.”
It’s more than just setting goals and reporting progress, explains Arboleda: “Through coaching, I support my clients through shifts, through the transformation, and I stand for their greatness, their brilliance and their power.”
From feeling stuck in life to embarking on creative projects and career transitions, a life coach is one half of a two-person team committed to your evolution. While some coaches, like Arboleda, may offer therapeutic services to aid you in identifying mental blockages and limiting beliefs, the main goal of a life coach is to help you help yourself in designing and executing a specific vision of your life. By collaborating on actionable steps, you and your life coach will surpass mindset to create actions and practices that will transform your life from stagnant to stellar.
Below, learn three specific ways that working with a life coach can enrich your life.
1. Goal identification and prioritization
For many people, the problem is not a lack of ambition but a lack of clarity. When we go through the motions every day, we often find ourselves caught up in the rat race, chasing a vision of success that was handed down to us, instead of one created with care and intentionality. It’s no surprise that so many people spend their entire lives doing what they consider to be “the right things,” i.e. going to college, landing a job and starting a family, only to wake up one day and realize that they are not happy.
When you work with a life coach, you begin to connect to yourself fully, allowing yourself to design and create the life you want based on your own standards. As Arboleda explains, “Through that connection, you get to choose what balance looks like for you and what you want to empower in your life that aligns with that idea of balance.”
For you, that might mean becoming a full-time entrepreneur, starting a side business or embarking on a creative passion project in your free time. A life coach helps you connect to yourself to identify and prioritize these new goals in a way that makes sense.
2. Cultivating and transitioning to a new identity
In addition to specific goals and projects, life coaches are a wonderful aid in moments of great transition. From career shifts like changes in industry to personal shifts like divorce, a life coach can help you remain grounded in the midst of huge changes. Part of the reason why change can be so difficult is because it challenges the stories that we have created for ourselves. Who am I outside of working for this company? Who am I outside of this marriage or relationship? These kinds of questions can be scary when faced alone, but a life coach can help to reframe your personal narrative in a way that sets you up for an empowering and exciting new chapter.
3. Support and partnership
Perhaps most importantly, life coaches are a source of support and comfort. The comfort comes not from being coddled, but from being challenged with care to set and meet goals with courage, conviction and accountability. Says Arboleda, “I see and embrace coaching as a full, open partnership between client and coach where authenticity, connection and intimacy are key for the success of the relationship.”
As with any other partnership, both partners must pull their weight. A coach is not there to serve as a yes man or healer or to fix your life. Rather, a strong coach mirrors back to the client their potential to express inner brilliance and manifest it into reality. By meeting up for one-on-one weekly appointments, clients and coaches create an ongoing relationship that the client may lean on for support through many different phases of life. Because we are, after all, more than just what our job title describes.