Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life Coaching - New and Exciting OR New-Agey and Not for You?

Ever since I was a child I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I used to read the Peanuts Comic Strip. Lucy was my favorite. When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say "An Advise-Giver". An advise-giver. Simplistic words out of the mouth of a child. Those words still ring true for me today.

I want to help people live better lives.

There were times along life's journey that I got lost and strayed from my path, but I have always ended up back at the same spot. My purpose in life is to help others.

I suppose that is what has drawn me to the social work profession. When I entered college it was my goal to become a psychologist. My undergraduate degree is in psychology. I loved it! I still love it! For me there is nothing more interesting that figuring out (well really theorizing about) how someone's mind works.

My goal was to become a therapist. In college I learned that if you go the psychology route you couldn't work independently until you obtained your PhD. So I decided to go the social work route. I've now worked in the field of children and families for over five years. But, my current job does not involve direct practice. And I miss, really miss, working with people.

Everything and everyone in life has a purpose. I am a firm believer in "what's meant to be, will be". It's easy for me to look back on my life and 'connect the dots', so to speak, and see how each event in my life has lead me to the next. Also, the older I get the more "aha" moments I have - meaning something comes up in my current life and I can look back, view my past in a different light, and say "oh, that's why God lead me to have this or that experience".

Some of you may have read about the Transforming My Life Project I am working on in my own life. One of the things I am currently being drawn to is the concept of Life Coaching. Basically a life coach is a cross somewhere between a cheerleader, spiritual leader, and a therapist. Life Coaching is NOT therapy though. Life Coaching, to me, is about guiding people through a process of self-discovery and helping them to develop the immense potential that they have always possessed.

I would (will?) make an excellent life coach.

There is one thing about life coaching that turns me off concerns me. It is not a board certified, skilled profession. Don't get me wrong, to be a good life coach you must be skilled at it, I'm sure. And there are agencies that proclaim to train and "certify" life coaches. Most of them probably do an outstanding job. Still, it is not globally recognized as a profession. For example, you can't go to college and get a degree in life coaching.

It concerns me that anyone can set up shop and proclaim themselves a 'life coach.' But I am truly considering doing just that. The difference, I rationalize, is that I am trained. I am skilled in my profession. I am educated about human development, mental health, the stages of change, and so on.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that if you are a life coach and your training is not in psychology, or social work, or clinical counseling, that your skills are not of value. It's just a fine line. Life coaching is a relatively new field that is still in the evolution process.

Life Coaching, to me, is an exciting concept, I think I could do great things with it and truly help people to better their lives. I am a passionate person. I am passionate about life. I am a genuine person. I could never practice something that I didn't truly believe in. When I do something, when I commit to something, I jump in one hundred percent.

I think becoming a life coach could be a new an exciting way for me to fulfill my life's purpose. But, I'm still on the fence about it. Would you ever go to a life coach? If the person was trained? If they've developed a solid program that would lead you through a journey of self-discovery? If their fees weren't totally outrageous? New and exciting? Or, new-agey and not for you?


GutsyWriter said...

Just found your blog and think you have what it takes to be a life coach with your background. I also didn't realize until recently that anyone can call themself a coach. Good luck, I shall visit again.

Sluiter Nation said...

Yesterday when you asked about this on twitter, I admit to having the usual, stereotypical reaction. But I was really just uninformed (which is really how all stereotypes spread, right?) Now that I know all this, I think you would do a GREAT job! Too bad they can't call it something else. Right now I sort of use my therapist to double as this for me. But I think if I were looking for JUST help with my direction and inspiration, I would totally go to someone like you who had credentials and experience. I think if you play that up, you will surely be a success! You already have the skills, momma!

New Breed Mama said...

Thanks for the encouragement ladies! Katie - no worries about your reaction. I had that same reaction myself, once upon a time. :)

Heather H said...

I say go for it. You have the education, life experience, and passion to coach others. This is also something that I've been investigating. Feel like I'm holding myself back for the same reason you are - no regulations out there. I truly have a heart for others just as you do. And when you are genuine, as you are, it shines through. Remember, if you start a life coaching business, put your credentials out there and people seek you then they want to be coached by you. Take it and make their life better. Hope to keep in touch.


Midwestern Mama Holly said...

I think you will do quite well. My daughter wants to go to university for the same thing. It takes a special person to do this sort of work.

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