What is coaching?

While coaching has been around for a few decades now, it’s only recently come into the mass consciousness of society and a lot of people have questions about what exactly coaching is. Sometimes it’s easiest to answer those by clarifying first what coaching is not.

What Coaching Is Not:

It isn’t Consulting

Coaching can be considered similar to consulting, but there are some key differences. Consultants are generally specialists who work in a specific area. They are hired for their expertise, come in and evaluate a situation, give recommendations and provide solutions. They address whatever they were hired for, and then they leave.

In coaching, the client is the expert. I may have been through something similar to what you’re going through, but your life is your life, and I am not you. Only you know what is right for you, and I, as your coach, will never tell you what you should do.  I will help you examine what’s going on, and help you create a plan to address it and work with you to resolve it. I don’t need to be an expert–I just collaborate with you, using your expertise on how to get it done.  I’m your sounding board, your person to help you clarify things and to give an outside perspective.

Consultants have the answers and are hired to have the answers, because the client doesn’t know what they are.

In coaching, the client has the answers, but can’t find them or see them through on her own. The coach, however, has the questions to help the questions to find the answers and the ability and empathy to bring those answers to light.

It isn’t Therapy or Counseling

The biggest difference between coaching and either therapy or counseling, is that therapy and counseling are generally focused on feelings and experiences about past events. Therapy and counseling are often about overcoming what’s happened before, or about understanding what has caused your problems.  They focus, then, on guiding you through the process of learning to make good life decisions.

While a recognition of some self-sabotaging patterns may come out in coaching–like why you always start a project but never see it through–coaching is future focused. In coaching, we look at where you are right now, where you want to be, and what it’s going to take to get you there.  Some of that may involve resolving past issues, which may mean getting some counseling as well as coaching, but in coaching we’re always going to be looking forward: What can I do today to make what I want tomorrow more likely?  What steps can I take toward my goal? What action item can I perform?

In coaching, we do not explore why there is a problem, but how we can move forward to achieve our dreams.

Oftentimes the two disciplines compliment each other, and many people have both a therapist and a coach, but it’s important to recognize the difference and understand that coaching is not intended to resolve issues from the past and, indeed, many coaches (me included!) are not qualified to help you do so. We can listen, but if it appears that you may need significant help about a past event, a good coach should recommend that rather than trying to fix something he or she isn’t qualified to deal with.

What Coaching Is:

Coaching is a co-creational relationship that is meant to help you bring about change in your life by inspiring you to dig deep and discover more about yourself, encouraging you to set goals to move you toward your dreams–big and small, and holding you accountable each step of the way for the life you are designing.

Coaches are advocates, sounding boards, cheerleaders, accountability partners, truth tellers and brainstormers. They work with clients through deep conversations, listening to what’s said and unsaid, to help clients figure out who they are and what they want. We’re there to shine the light on things you already know, deep in your heart, but may not be able to see because of all the “stuff” that’s accumulated through the years.  We help you develop goals and help develop the plan you need to achieve it, and then we’re there as long as you need us as you take each step along the route to your dreams.

What I do:

I work with women who have reached a point in their lives where they are looking around wondering, “Is this all there is?” or what exactly they are doing with their lives, what purpose they are serving in the world. Why? Because I’ve been there.  I know what it’s like to wake up and feel unexcited about what the day holds, and realize that there are more days you feel like that than you don’t.  I know what it’s like to feel like somewhere along the way you made a wrong turn, because you did everything “right” but somehow nothing quite is.

Maybe there isn’t anything that’s “wrong” either–maybe it isn’t that you want to uproot your life or make any drastic changes. That’s not what this is about. I’m not a career coach (though I’m more than happy to help in that area if that’s what comes up), nor am I going to tell you that you have to make over your whole life.  Sometimes all that you need is to prune out some dead leaves and let the sunshine back in to feel everything come back alive.

That’s what I do. I help you identify the things in your life that are weighing you down, the areas that you need to let go of, so that you can free yourself up.  I help you get back in touch with your dreams, and rediscover the niggling little moments of joy you may not have paid attention to in years. My goal is to help you set goals that make you smile more, make you feel like you’re alive again. To hold you accountable when you say that you want to do something that brings you bliss–and to assist you in breaking it down into the steps it will take you to get there.

I’m your cheerleader, and because I’ve been there, I can be your guide, but I’m never going to be your mother, or the person standing there telling you what you have to do. We’re tossing out “should” and “have to” and “must,” and while we’re at it we’re getting rid of “would have” and “could have” and most definitely “can’t” as well.

This is a place of possibility and I want to help you peel back the layers that life has draped over your eyes and help you see all the wonderful ones surrounding you again.

What I can help you with:

  • Discovering your life’s purpose.
  • Setting your passion for life on fire.
  • Developing your authentic voice.
  • Defining what success and happiness mean to you
  • Speaking up for your dreams and your life.
  • Igniting your creativity
  • Being more honest in your relationships.
  • Making time and space to honor yourself and those you love.
  • Learning when to say “no” and when to say “yes” to the things that seem to clutter our lives.
  • Living with integrity.
  • Doing work that lights you up inside.
  • Moving through life in a greater state of peace.
  • Fostering self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Building an abundance mindset.
  • Crafting a life lived from a place of gratitude.

What I offer:

I offer individual coaching at three different levels, depending on the amount of work you want to do with me on a monthly level. These levels all contain a mixture of one-on-one phone sessions and email support and are designed so that we can work together to find what will help you get to your best results at a level and pace that you are comfortable with.

To set up a free coaching consultation to learn more about coaching and how I can work with your individual needs and to see if we might be a good fit, contact me and we’ll set up a time to talk–no strings, no expectations. I promise that no matter what you decide long term about working with me, this consultation is my gift to you, and I want you to walk away from the call feeling like you have received something of worth, so when you email me, I’ll send you a form to fill out about what you’d like to talk about on the call so we can get right into an issue I can help you shed some light on right away.