Life Coaching: How It Works

Although life coaching can be a helpful tool when tackling goals and/or transitions of various kinds, not everyone is familiar with what such coaching entails. If you’re somewhat uncertain yourself, perhaps this page will provide some clarification.

Gaining a Thinking/Planning Partner

If you decide to work with a life coach, you’ll acquire what many of us could really use from time to time: a thinking/planning partner and ally in your corner. Depending upon your needs and wishes, your coach could help you with such activities as these:

•    Assessing your present circumstances and/or position

•    Clarifying how you want your life to look instead (if you do want to make some changes)
•    Creating and then working through your plans to make those things happen
•    Celebrating with you when they do(!)

S/he does this through careful listening and focused questions that help you arrive at your own answers and solutions. Your coach also holds you accountable for the commitments you make to yourself and, by extension, to your coach. Thus, you become not only the architect of the future you envision, but also the “contractor.”

During that process and to the extent you choose, the two of you focus upon specific actions that will take you to whatever outcome(s) you have in mind. Together, you make a powerful team that gets things done, step by step and even—now and then—leap by leap.

        Life Coaching Is Not Therapy

Please bear in mind that coaching and therapy differ significantly: a coach, for example, will not help you work through mental/emotional issues or heal wounds from the past. S/he will, however, assist you with defining goals, with planning and carrying out actions to achieve those goals, and with working through certain kinds of transitions.  


So, let’s say that procrastination keeps blocking your progress or messing with you in other ways. In such a case and one all too common, your coach can help you devise very specific actions to keep pushing forward instead of letting things slide. Perhaps, for example, you begin focusing on the next small step only, rather than continuing to obsess over the gulf between where you now find yourself and where you actually want to be. Or you work out some other fiendishly clever way to subvert the procrastination urge... 

What you and your coach would not do is begin a protracted exploration of the origins of your procrastinating behavior. If you think such an exploration could be helpful, perhaps you might consider working with a counseling professional. But if you simply need help defining and then tackling a particular goal or process—focusing upon actions rather than emotions—you may find a coach useful.

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