The aim of Life Coaching is to help the client move forward in life and achieve their personal goals. According to educational psychologists Vygotsky and Bruner, clients can improve from where they are at present to where they want to be by being scaffolded by a Life Coach. This is known as the zone of proximal development. Life Coaching by definition is a relationship between the coach and the client, which encourages growth and achievement. Coaching is not therapy or counselling, but it is a space that allows the client to explore available options, gain clarity and self-awareness to move towards achieving their personal goals. It uses positive psychological techniques to harness a client’s own personal qualities and resources. Coaching focuses on a client’s own personal qualities, skills and resources and cultivates the client’s own ability to solve problems and find solutions.
Life Coaching is also holistic, which means that it encompasses the whole self, that is, the mind, body and soul. Coaching looks at the whole person, realizing that each part is inter-connected. It involves the client setting their own goals and planning how they are going to achieve them. This helps the client focus on what is achievable to them, as well as helping them focus on their own beliefs and values. Many people are influenced by the expectations of others: whether that is social norms, peer pressure of family influence. Therefore, coaching helps to challenge these beliefs, values and expectations to reveal what the client genuinely believes about the world.
Life Coaching works for 2 main reasons. Firstly, coaching offers clients accountability. While it is important to take ownership of change, accountability improves the likelihood of committing to and achieving a goal. We are more likely to act if someone is holding us accountable. Secondly, coaching offers a space for the client to explore their feelings, objections and challenges when discussing their personal goals. Not only does the coach become a sounding board for the client, they are able to gain clarity through open discussion with their coach. Essentially, this space is an exploration without judgement.
The coach can also support the client in challenging their belief system where it may possibly be hindering the client in their pursuit of an important goal. In this sense, the coach can challenge any limiting beliefs that the client holds through open discussion, meaning that the coach can overcome any challenges that are keeping them stuck. The client can move out of their comfort zone. Finally, having additional support can help motivate the client to go further, gain clarity and direction and ultimately achieve their goals.