Wellbeing | Champneys

Life coaching: What is it and how can it benefit you?

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Here at Champneys, we have a wide variety of retreats on offer that we believe can help you learn some valuable skills for becoming a better you. With retreats like Yoga, Weight Loss & Detox and Mindfulness & Meditation, there is a lot to be learned on these one-of-a-kind trips.

One of the retreats we offer is Life Coaching. A fantastic option for those who want to take control of their lives and discover strategies to achieve their goals. In this article, we explore the basics of life coaching and how it can help you.

What is life coaching?

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Life coaching is the practice of hiring someone to help you achieve a goal, take control of your life and motivate yourself. People hire life coaches for myriad reasons, with most people looking to progress in their careers, to work on a health or fitness goal or to improve aspects of their personal life.

Shannon Saletine - Life Coach told us what being a life coach entails: “I work with individuals who want to find more freedom in their lives, helping them achieve their biggest goals by getting clear on what they want and taking deliberate action. I chose this as my second profession after realising how much our world benefits when we each show up as our whole selves. My coaching approach and toolkit supports individuals in leading a fully integrated life that allows them to uncover and activate their strengths and authenticity for the sake of better serving themselves, their family, the community and our world.”

Shannon explained how life coaching is different from other one-on-one coaching services: “Life coaching is different from mentoring, advising, or counselling. Each coach orients their practice in their own unique way and at the core true coaching, the coach works with the client as a thought and accountability partner for the sake of helping the client identify and advance their own agenda and live their greatest life to set and achieve their goals.”

We also spoke to Dr Dave Wood, founder of Realign Coaching and life coaching training company Metanoeo CIC. Dave explained how he first found life coaching: “Having been a former probation officer, I could see how some of the most complex and significant challenges in people’s lives could not be solved by simply managing our experiences and emotions. Engaging the principles of positive psychology, which I now teach as a lecturer, life coaching enabled me to co-create positive pathways forward with people.”

Dave explained how he believes life coaching can help people in everyday life: “Integrating a variety of life coaching methodologies, I have found life coaching gives people the forward focus, motivation and accountability they need to take responsibility for their lives. It also provides the space to test out their ideas and thinking in a safe environment.”

What can life coaching help with?

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Life Coach Elisabetta Franzoso told us about the benefits of hiring a life coach: “When the coach works with their clients on major areas of life, the benefits are transformation, authentic empowerment and confidence inside and out, in four dimensions: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Relational.”

We also spoke to Zoe Thompson from Phoenix Life Coach who told us about her journey to becoming a life coach and why more people should consider working with a life coach: “My journey to coaching officially started as a self-development trainer back in 2014, however, unofficially the start of the journey was many years before when my own physical and mental health had hit rock bottom.

“Life coaching has grown to be a very successful form of talking therapy with the focus on the present and the future - where you are now, where do you want to be? It empowers people to take control and focus on working towards the future they want to make happen, and the life they want to live.”

Zoe told us how rewarding it is for her as a coach, too: “It is great to see people get from a place of frustration to that moment of clarity of what they really want. It’s a real privilege to be a part of that journey as their coach.”

Elizabeth Juffs is also a Life Coach. She told us about how her career started: “I first became interested in life coaching whilst still in my previous job. I’d attended a seminar led by a life coach and had been fascinated, but felt healthily sceptical about it.

“We then adopted our two children and I needed to take some time out of work to support them.  Whilst off work I signed up for a course to train to be a life coach – not with any real intention of going into that line of work, just for personal interest and self-development. Six months later, and halfway through the course, I was hooked. The power of coaching and the difference it made to the lives of those I coached was really clear. Time and again, the people I worked with transformed their lives through taking time to think, reflect, explore possibilities and find new, positive ways forward.

“That was over 15 years ago, and I’m still completely convinced that, with the support of good, professional coaching, we can overcome barriers to change and ‘stuckness’ and create better personal and professional lives that mean we are fulfilled and happy. Yes, I’m biased, but I’ve seen it work so many times, with so many people.”

Elizabeth told us why she believes coaching is so successful: “Coaching works because it enables us to ‘get out of our own way’ so we no longer hold ourselves back or keep ourselves small. This builds confidence and the courage to do things differently and better, to overcome old, unhelpful patterns of thinking or behaviour, and to take charge of our lives in new, positive ways.

“To quote one of my clients, who moved from burn-out and low confidence to healthy, relaxed and positive: ‘The quality of my life is 120% better than when I started coaching. I know I can do it now!’”

What does a life coaching session look like?

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Osman, part of the team at the Animas Centre for Coaching, who provide life coach training, explained: “A life coaching session might start with setting a goal and/or a sense of the ideal outcome for that session, or indeed for the whole coaching journey if it is the first session in the relationship. At its most basic, life coaching (also known as personal coaching) is a collaborative, non-directive conversation between coach and client that brings about a sense of clarity on the chosen topic(s), improved self-awareness and greater purpose.

“A good life coach allows the session to be client-led, provides the space for the client to open up, obviously keeps the conversation confidential, and is always honest and open so that both client and coach can fully address what’s coming up in the session.”

What to look for in a life coach

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So, where do you start when looking for a long-term, personal life coach? There are many factors to consider and making sure you find someone who brings out the best in you is important, after all, that’s the point of life coaching. It shouldn’t feel like a chore, it should feel like you are spending time really working on bettering yourself with someone who also has your best interests at heart.

We spoke Elisabetta again, who explained the key role of a life coach: “Let’s start with what a coach is not. A coach is not someone who provides answers or solutions, that’s inside each of us already. A coach’s responsibility is to stimulate. A coach doesn’t give advice, a coach is a role model, they walk the talk. Through examples, a coach guides you to see what you need to see in different or specific areas of life, be it your body, relationships, career, higher purpose or money and inspires you to recognise, persist or let go in that very moment of your own life.”

Elisabetta continued: “A life coach is a guide and knows that they need to be a guide to themselves first in order to coach others. You don’t become a coach in 6 months with a course online or during a retreat. A coach becomes a coach day by day, living life fully and learning from their own life challenges first.”

Shannon highlighted two main things people should look for when trying to find a life coach: “Comfort. It is very important that a client is comfortable with their coach - but not too comfortable! It is the role of the coach to challenge the client so that they can move beyond their self-limiting beliefs and behaviours that prevent them from achieving their goals. When selecting a coach, it is important to choose someone who you know will challenge you and who you can interrupt during the session if you feel like the coaching is going off course. Coaches want to make sure they are staying on track and helping you move towards your goals so choose a person you know you can be honest with and a person you know will be honest with you. The difference between a coach and a friend isn't just that coaches get paid, it's that a good coach will notice and tell you when what you are saying and doing is in conflict with what you want and then partner with you to pivot, establish sustainable habits and ultimately achieve your goal.

“Experience. Life coaching is a craft and requires experience, training, and education. Since it isn't a regulated profession (like counselling for example) there are many types of programs and therefore standards for coaching. As much as it is important to connect with your coach, it is also important to do your homework before making a choice. Some aspects to consider: 

- Learn about the model of coaching the person has been trained in 

- Ask about the number of coaching hours they have under their belt

-  If you have a clear area of your life where you want to be coached, you may want to consider working with a coach who specialises in that area such as finances, career or nutrition.”

Here at Champneys luxury spa UK, we offer so much more than massages and treatments. With our range of retreats, you are able to not only relax but better your life. If you are interested in exploring our life coaching retreats, you can see the dates we have up and coming on our site.

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