There’s no sugar coating it, coronavirus has been a lot. With a big A. It’s brought loss and grief, economic uncertainty, pangs of isolation and waves of anxiety, depression and other mental health struggles.
And yet, despite the hardships, it’s been encouraging to see more people open up about their mental well-being.
We’re starting to normalize *feeling feelings* instead of bottling them up. We are also getting curious and exploring our life paths and potential, acknowledging that you don’t need to be at rock bottom to work on your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual expression.
Millennials, in particular, have been called the “therapy generation” for their openness to work on their mental health and personal growth. Along with Gen Zs, they’re driving the concept of working with wellness experts, like coaches, to achieve personal growth and self-improvement, not unlike going to F45 or doing meditation.
This openness to seek out well-being practices promotes the idea of putting in the financial and personal investment to look after their holistic health and prevent mental or other conditions from worsening.
Given that, it’s no surprise that life coaches have been rising in notoriety as people look to improve or optimize areas of their lives and well-being. Whereas therapy tends to focus on healing issues from the past, coaching focuses on implementing changes to create a new future. It’s an action-driven means of achieving mental clarity to unearth your goals, values and higher purpose in life. (Not to take away from the very important work that therapists do, by the way. That’s so needed and important, and oftentimes complementary to coaches’ work.)
But where do you begin to find a coach if you’ve never worked with one before? How do you know what to avoid and what you should look for in a coach?
While there are varying degrees of legitimacy to the range of coaching services available today (which is something we’re working on changing!), there are a few areas to look out for to help you narrow down your search results.
Accountability and authenticity
Coaching is rooted in accountability. Consider how athletes work with coaches and trainers to stay consistent with their practice and improve their performance. Similarly, working with a life coach can keep you on track as you work towards your goals.
Authenticity is also central to life coaching and wellness more broadly. These days, the wellness industry can be a crowded and sometimes commercialized place, with various social influencers and ‘Instagram coaches’ sharing inspiration for the sake of likes and follows. Finding a coach who shows up as their authentic and honest self is imperative to building a trustworthy relationship. Look for a coach who you feel intuitively connected to in some way. It could be shared lived experience that draws you to them, or maybe it’s their no bullsh*t approach – whatever resonates most with you.
Not only does a good coach believe in you and help you to realize your full potential, but they also help you break down your own limiting beliefs. We can get so stuck in certain patterns of thinking that we start to lose faith in ourselves and our magic.
A good coach will remind you of your inherent worth and work with you to reframe obstacles as opportunities, rejection as redirection. They’ll show you that you are entirely capable of reaching those higher heights and growing far beyond what you thought was possible.
Feeling an authentic connection with your coach can create a safe space in your work together; when a coach shows up as their authentic self, you’ll feel inspired to do the same. You want to feel seen so that you can really let your guard down.
Connection in coaching also shows up mind, body and soul alignment alongside your values, desires, purpose, sense of self and relationship to others.
Like any wellness expert you might engage, it’s ultimately not the life coach’s job to do the work for you, but to facilitate the process of self-discovery and inner growth.
The bottom line? Looking for a life coach to work with should be fun and inquisitive. Ask questions – of the coaches and yourself – get curious about who you are and what it is you’re after and, most importantly, celebrate the path of self-exploration that you’re on.
Wherever you’re at and whatever brought you to these words today…keep going. Keep growing and uncovering your self.
You are worthy of investing in.