I’m not going to lie, three years ago I completely pooh-poohed the concept of having a “life coach.” Just the idea of it felt like I was admitting to the world that I needed help, that I was incapable of “handling” things on my own, or that I lacked direction and focus. But are any of us truly “handled?” Can’t we all use a little help at times? Do we all know exactly where we’re headed?
Coaches Help you Reach Seemingly Impossible Goals
When I thought about it more, I came to the conclusion that my biggest blocker to hiring a life coach was actually my fear of the social implications of doing so instead of the potential benefits. These benefits were readily apparent to me as my wife had been utilizing a life coach for years. Throughout that time I watch her transform into a higher version of herself. She was accomplishing goals that were never thought possible just a few years earlier.
With her encouragement, I decided to sign-up for a life coach who I’ve been working with since 2017. We meet for 30 minutes each month to review my goals, develop an action plan, and make sure I am following through with it. Since that time, I too have seen a dramatic change in my approach to life. I find that I am more efficient, accomplishing more than ever before, and continuing to work toward the best version of me.
5 Reasons to Consider Hiring a Life Coach
Reflecting back on why coaching has worked so well for me these past few years, I believe it’s due to these 5 reasons.
Life coaches hold you accountable. For instance, I made a goal to start a blog in order to reach out to people in a meaningful way. Had I not executed on this plan, I’d hear about it. If I made a goal to work out four times a week and decided to skip a few days, I’d be answering to my coach next session. No excuses. No justifications. Just action and follow through. That’s the expectation and I’m held accountable for it.
2) Developing and Reaching Goals
Sometimes we’re not the best at developing goals on our own. A life coach can help refine this process and help you develop SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive which was first coined by Peter Drucker in Management by Objectives. 
When goals are SMART they are clearly defined and more likely to be reached. You have a timeline set in place and can measure your progress as you work toward achieving them. Ultimately, it’s an effective strategy for goal setting and execution.
3) A Coach is Your Sounding Board
A life coach also serves as your sounding board. You can bounce ideas off them with the expectation that you’ll get honest, unbiased feedback in return. You’ll have the opportunity to practice role-playing scenarios about difficult conversations you plan on having with coworkers or family members. I’ve also used my coaching sessions to practice for job interviews.
An unexpected bonus is the social and emotional intelligence training that I’ve been doing with my coach. There are many instances where we talk about different emotions after challenging encounters at work, home, or with friends. We spend time analyzing family systems, aka the unwritten rules of engagement that are learned as a child, and determine if they are helping or hindering me.
This type of sharing is both deep and vulnerable. My life coach creates an environment of openness where it is safe to share this information in a judgment-free manner. Expressing these emotions, means I’m not bottling them up. Unfortunately, when you suppress feelings, they don’t go away. Instead, they are often manifested in unhealthy ways in your other relationships which can negatively impact the ones that you love most. (Link to emotions article.)
4) They Call Your Bullshit
One of the most important jobs for a life coach is to call out your bullshit. When you are making excuses or trying to justify your lack of follow-through, they’ll know it and you’ll hear about it. The good part is, this helps you to recognize your blockers in life–those things that are standing in the way of you reaching your goals. Once you recognize these obstacles, you can work with your coach to develop an action plan for overcoming them.
5) They Help you Grow as a Person
Ultimately, a life coach will help you learn and grow as an individual. They will encourage you to embrace your fear and push yourself to new limits that otherwise wouldn’t have seemed possible.
In Wealth Can’t Wait author Paul Morris makes the point that none of us balk at the idea of hiring a teacher for our child to learn to play a musical instrument.  We fully expect kids who are coached in sports to be substantially better than those that just play pickup games. If this is the case, then why do we think it would be any different in our own lives as adults?
In this game we call life, I believe we can all become better players with a bit of coaching.
How about you? Have you utilized a life coach? If so, what has your experience been?