In India, we are not yet familiar with the idea of Life Coaching. The word ‘coaching’ often evokes an image related to sports or IIT JEE coaching. Life coach Arjun Som talks about how he saves clients from themselves – and why we need guidance from people like him to succeed in our fast-paced world.
Very few people don’t raise their eyebrows when I tell them I am a Life & Relationship Coach. And even fewer folks can digest the fact that a millennial can coach clients older than him on dealing with complex and critical life situations.
I am often confronted with questions like, “How do you coach clients on issues like a mid-life crisis, extramarital affairs, divorce, etc. when you have not gone through any of it personally?”
With a smile, I respond, “If coaches had to personally go through all the challenges that their clients have been through, they wouldn’t be here to coach today.” If you have a similar question in mind, let me clarify – although we learn a lot of things through experience, it is not the only avenue for learning.
We learn a great deal by observing things closely with a sense of curiosity. Moreover, the role of a coach is not to give expert opinion or problem solve as many people assume it to be, rather it is to enable his/her client to access the wisdom within themselves.
What is Life Coaching and how is it different from therapy?
Life Coaching is essentially a series of powerful conversations between a coach and a client. These conversations—along with a set of assignments and practices—focus on helping the client find the clarity and courage needed to create their desired future.
A coach operates from the understanding that you have the wisdom and capabilities to make requisite changes in your life.
Their job is to enable you to access your inner wisdom and strength. A coach is not licensed as a therapist and does not provide diagnosis or treatment of any kind. His or her focus is on clarifying goals, identifying obstacles and creating action plans to achieve concrete results.
To sum it up, the purpose of a coach is to enable and empower clients to create the future of their dreams. A therapist does the same and also looks into clients’ emotional resolutions to past problems so they can move forward. The latter, of course, may involve diagnosis and treatment. Despite occasional areas of overlap, the work and processes of therapists and life coaches are different from each other.
What really happens in a life coaching session?
Though each coach follows a different approach and methodology, this is what roughly happens when you meet one of us.
First of all, she or he focuses on establishing a friendly yet professional, focused, and committed relationship with you.
Next, through deep listening—which is free from judgment and personal bias—they create a safe space. A space where you are comfortable enough to be honest and vulnerable.
They then ask reflective questions and provide silence so that you discover the clarity and courage required to make the necessary shifts in your life.
The questions are framed in such a way that you see your situation in a new light and your consciousness goes to a higher level. As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the level of consciousness that created it.”
They also give the push you need to implement the actions that lead you to your goal and hold you accountable for fulfilling it.
Who is life coaching for?
Many people have this belief that going to a life coach, counselor or therapist means there is something wrong with the person or the person is weak to handle the situation by themselves. However, seeking help and support only means that you care for your well-being. It means that you are serious about your dreams and you want to become more aware as a person.
If you find this hard to believe, ask yourself: Why do people like Sachin, Federer, and Bill Gates need a coach? I am sure you would agree it’s not because there is something wrong with them or they are weak.
People who approach me for coaching are mostly in their 30s or early 40s. These are people who are ahead of others in their generation in terms of taking risks and challenging stereotypes.
Life coaching is for anyone who dares to dream beyond their comfort zone and is willing to take the necessary action to achieve that dream.
Be it building a business or transforming a personal relationship, it always helps to have an unbiased person who is dedicated to supporting you to achieve your goal. A life coach is a person who listens to you without judgment and helps you see your strength when you fail to see it yourself.
If you want to design your dream life or build a better relationship with yourself and your significant other, reach out to Arjun on LinkedIn.