First, some truth from me to you: there was a time when I regularly asked myself why life coaching? Because, honestly, I cringed at the term. Despite my passion for the profession, I tap-danced all around that particular phrase when describing what I feel privileged to do. It was funny, really. Life coaching just felt cliché somehow.
But then one intense day, a very special lady in my life, my elderly mother, unexpectedly ended all that. She got down to the essence of things the way moms do, saying, “Why beat around the bush? You’re a life coach.”
Great big wave of her little hand. Great big emphasis on life while—more truth here—at the end of her own. So, instead of feeling annoyed by her opinion, it was instant goose-bump city for me. Then I surprised myself with a wave of energy that I used to re-frame the work that I love.
So what is life coaching, really?
A few weeks ago I happened onto an insightful article about coaching. The author provided short definitions for different types. But her take on life coaching felt narrow to me. She described it as being about personal change, with niches within it like youth, addiction, and divorce.
Of course that’s all good. Just not quite integrative enough in my book. Instead, I see life coaching as a powerful context in which to support the growth and goals of committed clients. It’s a much broader context than just the “personal”, whatever that actually means.
For me, life coaching is an opportunity to develop the whole person who we each are, toward maximum effectiveness and fulfillment. Here’s more of what I mean: