Recently a friend asked me what it actually meant be a certified success coach. I figured that if one person was wondering, there were probably several others who also wanted to know. To that end, this month I am dedicating my post to explaining what a certified life and success coach does, and why working with one can be beneficial.
First of all, though I am a therapist, coaching is not the same thing as therapy. Coaching helps you improve your life, by helping you identify what you want and come up with a plan for getting it.
You are the expert on your life, but sometimes, having someone who is invested in seeing that you meet your fullest potential can be invaluable. Friends and family are absolutely invested in your life, but have their own agendas, and cannot always support you when and where you need a boost. Partners cannot always see your needs apart from their own. In short, everyone in your life is trying to figure out the same things that you are trying to figure out, and while talking with your partner, family, and friends is important, they cannot always give you the clarity and focus that an unbiased, dedicated coach can give. When you engage a life coach, you are embarking on a one-on-one relationship with someone who can help you navigate your life for maximum success. A success coach is an advisor, a cheerleader, and at times, a guide, not unlike an athletic coach. Having this type of dedicated resource can help you untangle the most confusing matters and put the most daunting plans into action by providing you with the motivation and accountability necessary to move forward in the toughest of situations.
You know where you want to go and the job of a success coach is to help develop a roadmap for meeting your targets, keeping you on track along the way so that you can reach your destination and set a course for the next phase of the journey. Throughout your journey, challenges my come up: losses, interpersonal conflicts, relationship concerns, and issues of identity and self-esteem. A coach can help you navigate these scenarios and learn the lessons that they have to offer you. In typical coaching sessions, we discuss goals and aspirations and then develop practical, strategic plans for the achievement of those goals. We also work through the issues that arise so that feelings of self-confidence and self-efficacy are maximized.
Each challenge is an opportunity to gain greater mastery!
Goal setting is one of the fastest ways to unlock confidence and realize self-efficacy. What is self-efficacy? In a nutshell, it is the feeling that you can accomplish the goals you set out to achieve, it is the confidence that comes from the experience of achievement. It is natural to fear some challenges, but healthy self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy work together to enable you to overcome fears and make important strides toward a fulfilling future. Setting goals and then attaining them gradually builds up your belief that you can do the things you set your mind to.
Not everyone has the same definition of success. Let’s face it, we are all very different and have unique desires, values, and capabilities. Part of being successful is knowing what matters to you, as well as what does not. One of the biggest psychological problems that has developed with the rise of social media has been the accompanying social comparisons that degrade people’s self-esteem. Looking at someone else’s life can be a fun pastime, but comparing yourself to another can be stressful and can seriously damage self-esteem. One way to combat this tendency and to set yourself on a path to your own success is to develop a true vision for what success means to you. A success coach can help you get to the heart of what your own success looks and feels like, making it much easier to identify the opportunities that will help you realize a truly happy life. Your ideal life is just that, yours. Working with a dedicated coach can help you identify what matters most to you and avoid people and positions that are not aligned with your desires and values.
Finding your life’s purpose
As you move through your education and career, there will be lots of opportunities to develop new skills and take professional and personal risks. A coach can help you choose the options that are most appropriate for you. As academic and professional careers advance, there will be failures and successes. A coach can help you look more objectively at life's events and see where you can do better and where important lessons have been given. Making mistakes can be painful, but failures also hold the seeds of wisdom. When you fail, you often get closer to success. The key is to step back and see what you can learn from mistakes. Your coach can help you grow in your career and in your life.
To me, therapy is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle, gradually, pieces come together and there are a-ha moments along the way as my clients learn about themselves. I love being able to help facilitate that awareness.
Are you a university student or young professional struggling to find the right direction? Are you looking for career support?
I work primarily with college students and young professionals and would love to put my expertise as a certified success coach to work for you. Helping emerging adults uncover the best path to success is my passion. I am also available for insight-oriented, supportive therapy.
Dr. Eileen Wynne