What does a life coach do, anyway?

 

My business card reads 'Kathy Black, Life Coach' but I'm not crazy about that title.  Besides sounding a bit too vague and woo-hoo, it doesn't come close to encompassing what life coaching is really all about. For me, coaching isn't just a profession, it's actually a philosophy and a lifestyle.  Coaching is not just what I do, it's who I am, and what I believe about life, and -- more importantly -- what I believe about my clients and the possibilities for their lives.  

Here's the thing: I believe that each one of us has everything we need within us.  We're bright, intelligent, creative people, capable of doing all kinds of really cool things.  And if we're not doing what we really want to do in our lives, or if we're feeling stuck, it just means we need a little help.  (I often say to my clients 'if you could have done this on your own, you would have by now.') I believe we have whatever we need to take the next step to where we want to go.  We just need some help bringing out those inner resources -- our wisdom, intuition, and creativity -- that are temporarily hidden within.

I also believe that everything (EVERYTHING) we experience in life can be viewed as an opportunity.  It's in the reframing of our experiences that we transform our lives.  It's not what happens in life, it's how we respond to it.  And it's in our response that we discover this amazing inner power.

So you can imagine how cool it is to be a coach!  I get to participate in the unfolding of some amazing life journeys, partnering with courageous people doing wonderful things.  AND I get the benefit of the coaching philosophy in my own life.  Because to be a good coach, I need to walk my talk.  I can’t just suggest that clients live a balanced life, making time for work, sleep and play -- I need to live that way too.  I can’t just challenge my clients to go beyond their comfort zones to reach their goals -- I’ve got to regularly go out into the discomfort of the unknown myself.  And I can't just encourage spiritual awareness as a way to handle stress and enhance life -- I've got to practice what I preach by connecting to that Something that's greater than myself on a daily basis.  (If you're wondering if I have a coach to help me do this, you bet I do!)  This is the best way for me to be supportive and authentic to myself and my clients.

You can see my dilemma: life coaching is not simply my professional title; it's a lifestyle and a philosophy that makes life worth living.  It's about trying new things, helping others to stretch and grow, and practicing what I preach.  How am I supposed to fit all that on my business card?

Learn more about Kathy and her upcoming Spring Retreat at www.kathysblack.com, and share your questions and comments with her at kathysblack@gmail.com.