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Life Coach- The Complete Guide to Life Coaching

Life Coaches use wisdom, intuition, or spiritual insights to help you accomplish your life goals.

This is the complete guide to hiring, selecting, and determining if you need life coaching to improve your life.

What is a Life Coach?

A Life coach is a professional who helps people achieve their goals, increase personal effectiveness, and enrich the quality of life. They use tools, platforms, and their personal skills to manage clients.

They also use wisdom, intuition, or spiritual insights that can help clients in achieving their goals. They help clients by using cognitive behavioural therapy techniques such as goal setting, vision boarding, and positive affirmations.

A life coach supports in overcoming various situations in life by guiding them through life transitions. They help in making decisions based on rationality rather than emotions. On the other side, they are also a life learner. They bank on their personal experiences in problem-solving and decision making. They do so, so they can help the client explore their abilities and leverage them for achieving their goals.

How can a Life Coach Help Me?

Life coaches help you take stock and set goals of what is important to you. They work with you on prioritizing tasks and helping you form plans to achieve them. Life coaching can be very helpful if you are feeling stuck in certain situations or want to make big changes but don’t know where to start. They are there to walk with you and help you tackle your obstacles leading to a more meaningful life.

They offer support, insights, and guidance to help you navigate today’s challenges more effectively, to learn from obstacles, all leading to produce a better outcome. A life coach will work with you in creating your life “roadmap” that is tailored to your own unique needs, goals, and aspirations. They are best characterized as a guide on our life’s journey – working with you in understanding the impact of your past decisions as well as helping you identify better solutions to whatever issue you are facing.

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Who Needs a Life Coach?

It is easy to assume that life coaching is for other people and not for you. But life coaching has the power to hit a spot where you are experiencing discomfort and pain in life, though it might seem everything is perfect.

For People who Want to Make things Better

Life coaching will help you make the current situation better, while changing your perspective of what can be possible,  considering the resources available, as you explore potentials.

You need a life coach if you need support on how to deal with any emotions or thoughts that may be creating barriers in achieving life success. They will  help you realize various options or directions without having to deal with negative perceptions or taking actions guided by beliefs which no longer serve one’s best interests.

A life coach will change how you think, feel, and act in life. They can empower you to make choices that support your success and personal development.

For those who are Stuck in the Rut

Life coaching is for anyone who’s feeling stuck in a rut,  feels like they’re not “getting it” anymore. Or for those who just want someone to talk to with an unbiased ear and can help them get unstuck from their current struggles.  

For those who want Fresh Perspective

Life Coaching is also great for people who already feel okay but want something new.  Sometimes it’s easy to fall into negative thought patterns that don’t help you at all, and a life coach can provide you with a fresh perspective on your situation so that you can make the best choices.

Remember though that life coaching is not meant to be a therapy. A life coach is an accountability partner who checks in with you and guides you to think about your current journey and where you’re headed.  That’s why sometimes, it’s good to have a coach who doesn’t know you as well as a friend or family member, because they can say things to you that others may be afraid to say. 

Types of Life Coaches

Life coaching is not something generic. It is highly individualized based on one person’s needs. Here are some types of career coaches that can help you:

Success Coaching

When the focus is on success in general. It helps you by identifying your mission statement, the reason why you do what you do, identify your core values that drive your behaviour, or help you find out what drives you to work on your success.

Happiness Coaching

When the focus is on happiness as a whole.  There will be times when life is difficult. When you feel everything is on your shoulders. Or when you can’t find happiness in everything you do. A happiness coach can help you.

Empowerment Coaching

When the focus is on improving your quality of life and achieving personal empowerment. Life coaching helps with empowerment by helping you set boundaries, improving communication skills, or improving your confidence.

Social Coaching

When the focus is on enhancing social skills, finding a community, or making friends. This type of coaching helps you build friendships, helps you show others that they matter to you, assist you in developing a strong social network that is supportive and encouraging, or help you learn to network effectively to find the right people and opportunities while avoiding burnout.

Mental Health Coaching

When the focus is on issues such as depression, anxiety, addictions, or mental illness.  Life coaching helps with mental health issues by helping you to recognize your symptoms of depression and understand what is causing them.  This type of coaching can also help you recognize the triggers or causes of anxiety, deal with irrational fears, and provide tools for recovery.

Transformation Coaching

When the focus is on personal transformation. Life coaching can help you transform your life, offering a unique opportunity to take control of your own mental and physical well-being. Life coaches who practice these help individuals overcome limiting patterns, such as procrastination, addiction, old emotional wounds, and other problems that hinder their personal growth.

Somatic Coaching

When the focus is on body awareness issues such as pain, injuries or chronic illness. This type of life coaching helps with body awareness issues by helping you find creative ways to cope with chronic pain, teach you how to manage pain with minimal medication, teach you methods to help improve your physical strength and mobility or teach you practices that can improve your body awareness.

Intuitive Coaching 

When the focus is on using intuition.  This type of coaching helps you learn to trust your gut feelings or pay attention to what your inner voice is telling you.   It teaches you how to read other people, get a sense of someone’s intentions, and help you be more aware of your surroundings.

Behavioral Coaching

Behavioral coaching is the most well-known of all coaching disciplines. It can be defined as a form of professional support whereby the coach helps the person to modify their behaviour in order to attain more desirable goals.

Personality Coaching

This is the type of coaching that helps you to get in touch with your personality and understand how it can help you in life. It looks at the life and personality of individuals and strives to use life experiences as a way to better understand life.

Life-Transition Coaching

Life transitions are a known stressor for many people. Life-transition coaching has been found to be very effective in providing strategies and tools for dealing with these stressful moments, assisting in the development of change management skills, increasing self-awareness and critical thinking skills.

Career-Transition Coaching

If you are about to quit your job, have recently been let go, or are thinking about changing careers or even just want to explore options outside of your current workplace, coaching can be very helpful.  Life coaches help you assess your strengths, define what success looks like to you, and develop a plan to reach that success.

Self-Love Coaching

Self-Love Coaching helps people transform their relationships with themselves. This type of coaching will help you appreciate yourself more. Sometimes, there’s a tendency for us to get busy with others and neglect ourselves. A life coach can help you uncover self-love.

Inspirational Coaching 

An inspirational life coach can be an important boost for someone going through a challenging time. An inspirational coach assists people in developing a more positive outlook, and make changes where appropriate. This type of life coaching works to improve or enhance aspects of everyday life such as relationships, communication and self-confidence.

Why Do You Need a Life Coach?

You set goals, but then you don’t follow through with them. This is a common problem for most people. A life coach can help by not only help you identify your reasons and the values behind why achieving these goals is important to you. They also offer support so that this time around things will be different. They may even give some insights on how to change what needs attention in order to achieve your aspirations in life.

There are the types of beliefs that can hold you back in life, and a coach is essential to identify these limiting beliefs.  You may think you have a great idea for success, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

It can be easy being overwhelmed by the enormity of big goals and not knowing how or where we should begin. No matter what your reason is–feeling like you don’t deserve something or any other personal issue in life makes you feel helpless–we need to remember one thing: our journey starts with taking action.

When you’re unable to define a clear vision. Sometimes we feel like we are being limited by others’ rules. We have goals, but they’re not what we really want because of the lack of a clear vision of the future. We end up feeling confused all the time as if being scattered and without a clear path of where you are supposed to be going.

Life coaches can help us cut through this confusion by getting clarity on how things look from different perspectives. It will ease up things so it doesn’t seem too hard when trying get out of old habits. They will help us start fresh again after years or decades of being stuck inside the same thoughts and patterns which will lead into new opportunities for success.

Where to find a Life Coach?

Coaches are no longer difficult to find. You can find them through the following:

Reputable Coach Directories

Life Coaching is a highly specialized area and it’s not always easy to know who to trust. A good place to start is the directory of professional coaches. A site that provides a list of accredited coaches, each with their own specialties.


One of the best ways to find a coach is through personal recommendation. Having someone you know who can recommend a coach makes it easier for you to feel comfortable with them. You can use your LinkedIn network or other social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to ask people if they would recommend anyone in particular.

As the internet is full of information, it can also be a useful place to find a coach. Just search and use keywords such as “career advice,” “coaching” and “job coaching,” even “life coaching.” You will obviously come upon many articles on this topic. Look at their website or blog and read some of their posts to get a feel of how they deal with people.

Speaking Events and Conference

Another way to find coaches is through speaking events and conferences. You can usually find a speaker’s contact information on their website. If you do not know where to look, call the conference organizer or use the online event’s platform. 

Company Programs

Some companies offer coaching services as part of their employee benefits package. You can also ask your co-workers if any of them have ever used a career coach before, and who would they recommend.  If there is no company program available, your company may be willing to pay for you to use a coach.

Tips in Finding a Life Coach

Check on the Coach’s Track Record

Before hiring a coach, you should check his track record. This way, you will know if the coach you wanted to hire is good for the position. You can ask some of the clients he has worked with before so that they can tell you about their experience working with him as well as how successful they became after working with him.

Look at the Coach’s Personality and Skills

When looking for a life coach, it is also necessary to know if he has the right personality and skills that are needed in order to effectively guide you on the process of boosting your self-esteem. He should be a good listener and not only give but also take advice from people. These skills will help him in developing a strong relationship with you as well as the people around you who are willing to help you achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.

Interview the Coach

Before you decide to hire a coach, make sure that he is the right person for the job. During your interview with him, talk to him about his background and experience in coaching. You can also ask if he has ways on how he can help you achieve your goals.

Set Clear and Realistic Goals for Your Coaching Process

You should set specific clear goals. This will help in working with the coach effectively because he will know what needs to be done in order to help you achieve your goals. This will also guide him to know when it is the right time to stop coaching you since you have already met your goals.

Set a Specific Time Frame for Your Coaching Sessions

It is important that you agree with the specific days and hours your sessions should be so that you can make the most out of your coaching experience. You can even set a specific number of sessions you and the coach will work on in order to achieve your goals. Based on his assessment, he should be able to provide a program for you and identify how long it would take.

Feel Free to Ask Your Coach Questions and Listen Well to His Answers

Your coach is the person who will help you work on your goals. Make sure that he has all the answers and solutions that you are looking for. You can also ask him if there is a way for you to measure your progress so you can determine if you are moving on the right track.

How to Become a Life Coach

Life coaching has long been considered to be one of the most lucrative professions. However, becoming a life coach can seem very daunting at first since it requires not only thorough knowledge but also skills that can help people overcome their problems with ease. Here are some tips on how you can become a professional and a successful life coach.

Education and Qualifications

The first thing you need to do is, of course, attend a program that can teach you what it takes to become a life coach. There are several institutions that provide courses on this subject. Many universities and colleges also have similar programs as part of their curriculum. You just need to find one where you can enroll and get professional training. The goal is once you start working on your own, your clients will be confident about entrusting you with their lives.

Personal Experience

As a life coach, you will definitely require extensive experience in dealing with diverse people in order to understand the complexities of human nature and offer suitable solutions for improvement in the lives of your client. It is important that you be mindful of your own experiences. You can keep a record of them and be open in making them as samples when dealing with a client. Whether good or bad, your personal testimony is a good teacher.


Self-confidence, as well as charisma, is a must. You should know how to attract your client and make them believe every word you say. This can only be done if there is genuine concern to the client. They will definitely feel it if you are genuine; and that will be the open door for them to believe in you.

Excellent Communication Skills

You will have to deal with a variety of people from different backgrounds in your coaching sessions. So, having good communication skills is an absolute must for you. Also, the way you communicate with people reflects your personality, so be sure to give out only positive and inspiring vibes.


While working as a life coach you should be able to come up with unique solutions for problems faced by your client. This demands creativity. No two advices are alike. You must not fall into the pit of making generic decisions and advice. Be unique and creative. Create a specific recipe of advices for every client.


Since some clients can take quite long time to get accustomed to new ways of living, patience is one virtue that every successful coach must possess. Also, you should commit yourself to helping others even if you, yourself is undergoing some life transformation. If you say to your clients not to give up in life, and so you must also be.

Good Listening and Observation skills

Most arguments start when people don’t listen or observe properly. So, if you desire to become a fantastic coach then be sure to keep an open mind without forming any opinion before listening to other people’s views.

However, this does not mean that they should dominate the conversation; instead, make them feel at ease with your interactive skills while maintaining proper eye contact and body language. This will definitely help in establishing a harmonious relationship between you and your clients which is essential for optimum results in every coaching session.

Willingness to Learn

You must have a desire to learn in order to gain the required skills and expertise for becoming an effective life coach. However, there is no harm in taking help from experts if you are already competent enough at your job. A life coach needs a life coach too. This will also prevent you from getting burned out or getting saturated with the issues of your client. Never stop learning because life never stops teaching lessons.

Sense of Humor

A good sense of humor can make any difficult situation seem lighter and also help individuals be more responsive during coaching sessions. Also, when you have a laugh with someone you automatically develop positive vibes which helps you build an excellent relationship between yourself and your client.

Mind Power

To succeed in life, you have to be mentally strong. Your frame of mind can greatly influence the success or failure of the coaching sessions.  Also, your ability to imagine results that you want and then work towards making them a reality greatly influences the success of your coaching sessions.

Passion to Help People

You should possess a burning desire to help others improve their lives. This is the most essential quality for you to succeed in this profession. If you sincerely believe that you can make positive changes in someone’s life, then people will be confident about coming back for more sessions with you.

Healthy Outlook on Life

You should be able to see the lighter side of life and laugh at it! You can get pissed off, but never allow anger or frustration to overwhelm you.


We need to realize that life coaching is an important complement to traditional clinical approaches. Unless we see the need for life coaches, we will never realize that we can do better, we can dream bigger, and we can achieve big goals.

Life coaching is a process and journey that can be tailored to fit the needs of each individual. It’s not just about getting advice on how to live your best life; it’s also about developing an understanding of who you are as well as the skills necessary for living up to your potential- all while having someone there with you every step of the way.

If you’re feeling stuck in your personal or professional life, it might be time for a new perspective. A coach can help guide you towards reaching the goals that are most important to you by addressing any challenges and barriers along the way.

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About the author

Susanne Ricee

Susanne Ricee is the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Researcher at Diversity for Social Impact. Sue brings over 15 years of HR and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion consultation experience.
Sue's previous experience includes Microsoft, Target, and Kraft. Sue is also the manager of Diversity Leadership Directory