Have you ever felt trapped in a nine-to-five cycle, unaware of how you were going to make it toward your greatest passions and interests in this lifetime? Maybe you’ve felt that could do with some coaching or even a personal development plan to get you off the ground and towards the things that you really want out of life.
In terms of our personal and professional development, we could all do with a little direction and assistance at times. Whether that comes in the form of a professional as a business coach, a friend or a mentor a life coach, the person who fulfils this role enables us to introspect, find our best attributes and develop strengths from our own personal shortcomings. Read on for five critical reasons why you need a life coach.
Contrary to what people believe of each other in the professional field, the other person is not a machine. No, we are all driven by human impulses, feelings and emotions and at the centre of it all is the important that we possess a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. A life coach will make use of a range of techniques to firstly determine the areas in which you need personal development. For example, the following questions may be used to determine if you have self-esteem or self-confidence issues that need addressing:
- Do you feel uneasy in public or in social settings?
- Are you easily overwhelmed?
- Do you panic easily when faced with challenges?
- Are you a serial over-thinkerand second-guesser of yourself?
If you had answered yes to some of these questions and resonated with the feelings that they evoked, chance are that you may have some work to do in this department. Let’s be certain about one thing, developing and maintaining self-esteem is an on-going activity, so even if you feel that you are on an even keel, it wouldn’t hurt to work on building your confidence.
Your life coach may suggest one or more of the following methods for you on the matter of how to become more confident:
- Listening to, reading and consuming more positive media material to change to a more positive mind set
- Keeping an affirmation or gratitude journal – Do this so that you are able to see tangible evidence of the positive aspects of your personality and who you are
- Giving you insight that will help you to identify and stay away from those people who are confidence stealers and energy vampires
Although the principles of confidence learned with a life coach may seem elementary, they are often vital building blocks and tools that we can carry with us into a work environment or any other life situation that may command it of us.
In the workplace here are some reasons as to why you would need a measure of confidence:
Visibility in the workplace: many complain of being passed over for promotions and overlooked in presentations. This often stems from a lack of inherent self-confidence or self-belief.
Adaptability to difficult situations:There are a number of challenges that we may face in a workplace. We may deal with difficult co-workers, an organisation that is oppressive or maybe find ourselves amidst workplace bullies. In situations like these, having a level of self-confidence is critical. You have to be resilient in order to get ahead.
Stress management- Let’s face it, when the manager shouts at you or the workload placed on your shoulders feels like you’re carrying Mount Kilimanjaro on your back, it can feel easy to crumble and fall apart. This is the exact moment that you will need inner self-worth and self-confidence to keep you going and prevent you from becoming affected by external forces.
Practical solutions for better self-esteem:
Challenge yourself, by accepting social invitations- If you are always cocooned safely in your comfort zone, you will never progress. Think of your self-esteem as a muscle that is reinforced by positive social engagement. Go out with friends, challenge yourself to meet new people and allow new friendships and relationships to grow.
Do more of what you love – You need to reinforce the positives in your life and strengthen your self-esteem. When you move along the path of doing things that matter to you that is when you succeed in affirming who you are and what you stand for.
Speak to others- Don’t get caught up in the notion of isolating yourself because you feel ill-equipped to deal with people. That kind of thinking will simply keep you enslaved in low self-esteem, without validation and without the fresh air of new life and change with you.
2.Finding life purpose
Have you been scrounging around in your own life, looking for meaning and purpose? Perhaps you’ve even asked yourself, ‘What is the purpose of life?’ Sure you may get up every morning and live what looks like a reasonable life, but do you have joy flowing through your veins? Does your body come alive in the morning even before your alarm clock goes off or are you merely putting one foot in front of the other and trudging off to the salt mines in search of a living?
Somewhere along the line, amidst bills, the never-ending food chain and chasing deadlines, perhaps you have lost sight of who you are and your life’s purpose.
But why is finding life purpose, such an important thing?
By living with purpose you will find…
- You live a richer and more fulfilled life
- Your life will be more authentic and remain true to who you are
- Once your life purpose is being fulfilled your relationships will improve
- Your goals will be furthered and fuelled by finding life purpose- you will also have more energy to participate in the things that you love
- Your job and life satisfaction rate will improve
A life coach’s goal is to bring you into close proximity with who you are and what drives you. He or she will help remind you of some of the following:
- What are you passionate about?
- A life coach helps you find clarity – Often when we are too close to the subject, ie, our own lives, it can be difficult to find our way out of the woods. A life coach in this case will help you see things that you would naturally miss when it comes to your own life
- Remind you of your own natural skills and abilities in relation to your life goals
- Suggest activities and resources that will help you find your purpose
Practical solutions for finding life purpose:
Find out what you are most grateful for- We often have no idea what our passion and life purpose is, until we find out what it is that we are grateful for. The things that pull our heart strings hold vital clues as to what drives us. Think about it. When last did you look at something, an experience, a job or otherwise and say; ‘I want this!’ A practical way in which you can get in touch with what you’re grateful for is to keep a gratitude journal or gratitude jar. As time progresses, you will find that a pattern emerges from this exercise and you will get closer to finding purpose.
Speak to your heart-Very often we go through life driven by practicalities and logic. We have bills to pay, things to do and places to be. It can become very mundane and boring and we end up getting stuck. Once we have the safety net beneath us in terms of our income and having a roof over our heads it helps to get out of the head space and into the heart-space. Do the things that you love. Have you always wanted to go hiking, write a book or take up a painting class? Do that, and as you fill your heart and soul with joy, your purpose will become clearer.
Get out of the comfort zone-How often do you do the same things, speak to the same people and follow the same influencers? It is easy to cling to what is safe. But that does not encourage personal growth. Get out of your comfort zone, speak to new people, show up at new venues, do new things, that is the only way to make yourself grow.
3.You learn how to face your fears
As human beings we are inordinately known to be creatures of comfort and habit. Often times to our own detriment. We tend to languish in these types of places of complacency and not trying anything new. It is in environments and moments like this, that our fears and social anxieties grow. If we think long and hard on the matter, clinging to old behaviours and beliefs do not serve us. We need to learn how to overcome anxiety and face fears so that we are able to take our place in the journey of life.
Some of the areas in our lives that we find ourselves most fearful are in relation to money matters, career advancement, love and relationships and fitness and health goals. These are all areas that we have need for the most advancement in, but ironically we choose to remain complacent and stuck.
Why do we feel so fearful?
- We lack self-belief and faith in our own dreams, so we resort to fear-based behaviours
- We may find ourselves overwhelmed and unable to act in favour of our dreams so we succumb to fear instead
- Due to tough life circumstances we may resort to a mind-set of lack. In other words we end up giving up on goodness or the belief that we can manifest good things for ourselves
A life coach will help you:
- To find and identify your fears
- To see which of these fears are rooted in reality and which are irrational
- Assist you with strategies to help you face your fears and become familiar with its root cause, so that you avoid similar pitfalls in future
- A life coach often also puts you in touch with other people who are going through similar challenges so that you are able to see that you are not alone in your struggle
Practical solutions to facing your fears:
Question your ego: It happens quite a lot that we confuse our ego for our fears. Our egos hold us captive. Instead of seeing ourselves as part of a society or belonging we imagine all kinds of things that keep us separate. Instead of reaching out, we end up isolating ourselves. Whenever you find yourself caught up in feelings of paranoia, social phobia and anxiety, decide to question your ego and face your fears. Once the rational side of your mind kicks in, you will find that you are able to differentiate between the two.
Talk to others: What sounds too big and insurmountable inside our own minds is more easily overcome when we have the courage to reach out to each other. When you are able to speak to people about what you’re going through not only do find ways to vent, but solutions also have a chance to emerge, as information is shared.
Get in touch with your curiosity: Challenge yourself to repackage your fears. Think of the things that you are most afraid of as an opportunity for growth instead of things to be afraid of. Ask people about the things that you are afraid of, don’t live in a silo. If you have curious spirit about the things that you are afraid of, this merely becomes another learning opportunity. Use it wisely.
4.Honing a craft
Most people look at the end result of something that somebody has achieved and imagined that they arrived at their success looking polished and accomplished. As much as achievers and go-getters are celebrated, nobody sees the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into something like starting a new business, writing a book, building a home or any similar type of achievement. Though some people may be self-taught, the truth is that people need positive influencers in their lives, who help them to whittle away at distractions in order to become a master of their trade or captains of their industry.
Presence of mind may be required in order to pursue some of these goals, but greater than this is often the ability of an influential mind, who can point out to you, exactly what your skills are and direct you on your path towards honing your craft. This is where a good life coach or mentor comes in handy.
A life coach will help you to:
- Identify your skills and passions and help you to see which of those may be turned into an opportunity for personal fulfilment orsmall businessventures
- Identifypractical tips and pointers that will assist you in the implementation of your hopes and dreams
- See how to commit your own goals in the name of starting a business. After all, the first person that needs to be held accountable for the implementation of your dreams is you
- Get action-orientated and knuckle down to the actual practice of doing and achieving
The importance of leadership training
Let us be sure of one thing in relation to the pursuit of our goals and dreams. Many of us go through our daily lives with the idea that we are going to implement our life goals, but the reality of whether it is implemented or not, is a different story altogether. It is for this reason that leadership training is of the utmost importance.
Outside of the working/ corporate world, leadership skills are sorely needed. Given that markets are always fluctuating and changing, one never really knows if having a job is a definite thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to adopt alarmist thinking, however it is important to be resilient, marketable and have the core skills necessary to stay afloat, financially, emotionally and behaviourally under all circumstances. We have to be willing to emerge as leaders in all spheres of our lives.
An alternative situation may also present itself, in that many people nowadays are electing to remain in their typical nine-to-five jobs while pursuing small businesses and alternative sources of income. While doing so, it can be overwhelming to keep streamlining thoughts and focus in the direction of one’s own dreams.
Leadership training in all of the above-mentioned scenarios helps people to find their focus and most importantly get active in the pursuit of their dreams.
How leadership training helps you hone your craft:
We all have inherent talent, skills and abilities that can benefit from the guidance of leadership training. Leadership training will help you to:
- Examine your priorities
- Show you how to get efficient with timelines and time-management
- Understand that recreation time is also important in personal and skills development
- Expose yourself to new people, new experiences and new situations that will nourish and build your own personal development
Practical solutions to help you hone your craft:
Identify masters and captains of industry: We all have areas of interest and things that we would like to get better at. In the absence of enrolling in a practical course or formal studies, we would do well to seek out experts in the field who can take us on as an apprentice. Often in life there are many missed opportunities in this regard, because we lack the courage to ask. There are many professionals and skilled artisans who would also like to impart their trade to another person, by way of giving back to society. Look for these people, connect with them and see if there are any meaningful opportunities that may come from it.
Be willing to learn from unexpected sources: When it comes to learning something new or acquiring a skill, it is quite possible that we only respect the person who has a paper to their names. While that may be so, we have to throw ourselves open to learning from unexpected sources. Be willing to learn from people who are young, old, and from different ethnic backgrounds than you are normally accustomed to. You will probably acquire a skill and perhaps even learn lifelong lessons in how to expand your consciousness.
Train your perceptive abilities: Self-doubt often has the power to kill our dreams even before we make it out of the door. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, there are times when we feel that everybody else is more skilled than us. Learn to trust in a thing called innate or intrinsic knowledge. Take the time to get quiet through meditation and reflection, make decisions backed with conviction and based on your own quiet understanding of a situation. Perception involves processes of observation, listening, interpreting and taking action. Use your perceptive abilities.
5.You get a clearer vision for your life
You wake up in the morning and you are convinced that you are destined for greatness. You know that you have a passion for life and goals and dreams that need to be achieved and realised. So much so that you work yourself up into a state of fervour and excitement about it. Chances are that as much as you are living in the feeling of anticipation and excitement, your goals may be crashing and burning because you have the fuel and the fire, but you are not motivated by a clear cut vision.
Many goals and dreams have the potential to become great things, however the most important thing is that we have a clear enough vision to realise them. As part of the human experience, unfortunately we fall victim to a number of excuses, some real and other imagined emergencies that get in the way of our vision.
It can become very easy to drown, wallow and feel overwhelmed, proverbially speaking and this is precisely where the value of a life coach or a mentor presents itself. So exactly how can a life coach help you to actualise your life goals and dreams? Let’s find out.
The purpose of a life coach in finding vision and direction
- A life coach assists you in understanding yourself and promoting self-awareness. You will get to know more about what drives you, why your goals are important to you, which aspect of your personality will be fulfilled by attaining your vision as well as how your vision may assist the greater good of society.
- A life coach allows you to become specific about who you are, what you want, direction and how much of work you would be willing to put in to get to your goals.
- The purpose of a life coach in helping you achieve vision should also be to generate excitement about your life. You should be able to see and feel the potential of your dreams as something tangible and be able to follow that up with a concise action plan
- Ultimately one of the most important roles that a life coach plays in developing your vision is to ensure that your life is not swept away under the influence of other people and life-circumstances. A life coach’s direct vision for you as his or her charge is to ensure that you are firmly at the steering wheel of your own life, in whichever capacity you see fit.
Practical solutions for finding vision:
Get real about where you are and where you would like to be: Stop right now! Exactly where you are… If you had to an immediate evaluation of your life right now, what do your satisfaction levels look like? There comes a time to be brutally honest with yourself about where you are headed. If you are putting in seven hours at the gym per week for example, and still eat a chocolate a day, it’s not likely that you will lose weight or attain fitness. The same may be said for a number of areas in your life, but the truth is that before you are able to hold a vision and create change, you need to be 100% real about your current situation and where you would like to be.
Find the balance between feelings and things: It is easy to imagine for a moment that having a vision refers only to monetary acquisitions. It is easy enough for us to visualise the car that we want, the partner by our side and the dream home fresh off the pages of an interior décor magazine. Better still, would be to focus on the feelings that you associate with those things. Reflect on life-affirming statements such as:
‘I would like to have joy in my life’
‘I invite financial security into my experience’
‘Loving and being loves is important to me’
When we are able to go general and focus on feelings of wellbeing we will discover that have less attachment to hard and fast goals that have the potential to either go right or wrong.
Finding equilibrium instead becomes of paramount importance.
Allow yourself to’ be interested’: Society has created a culture within which; we have to pretend to roll with every punch and seem blasé about everything that happens around us. While being ‘unflappable’ may have its benefits, you simply cannot allow yourself to have a poker face when it comes to creating vision in your life. Have the courage to allow yourself to be ‘wowed’ and amazed, look out for things that make your soul dance and your heart flutter. It is those very things that have power to pull you closer to your vision and life’s purpose. Allow it.
Chances are that as you are reading this, the wheels of thought are clicking into motion regarding a number of aspects of your life that could do with change and improvement. On this journey of life, we are all invested in bringing about a revolution of positive change to ourselves, but often for the best of our intentions, it is implementation that we have a challenge with. A life coach, mentor, guide call it what you like, whether a paid or volunteered service, certainly offers that extra pair of eyes and ears that we need to pull ourselves out of the ordinary and prepare for greatness. Get the boost that you need for personal and professional development with the assistance of a life coach. All the very best on your journey!