The coaching industry has grown tremendously over the past several years.
I worked with my first coach in 2007.
I am a life coach and I love the profession.
Though life coaching has been a way of life for me for 14 years, it's still a new concept for lots of people. Maybe even for you.
In this article, we'll explore:
What a Life Coach Does
Simply put, you hire a life coach to help you reach your goals and dreams. A life coach helps connect you to your deepest desires...you know, the desires you're too afraid to speak out loud. If you desire an exceptional life, you hire a life coach to guide you in getting there, loving there, and growing beyond there.
Professional athletes work with coaches to help them get to and stay at the top of their game. And to grow beyond that. Can you imagine your favorite football team excelling without a coach? Can you imagine Allyson Felix winning 11 Olympic medals without her track & field coach Bob Kersee? I can’t.
You get to be the Olympian of your own life. You get to operate at your highest level on the daily, designing and fulfilling your optimal career and personal experiences. Do what Olympians do. Get a coach and work with them for the duration. Allow yourself to work with someone who's only job is to bring the best of you forward.
A life coach is committed to your goals and dreams. They hold the vision for you on your darkest days. That, right there, is reason enough to have a coach on your team, even if you have supportive and loving family and friends. Your loved ones don't bring the level of neutrality, insight, expertise, background, tools, and training that a professional life coach does.
When I work with clients, I put my best thinking and insight into their problems, challenges, goals, dreams, and successes. I am dedicated to their success just as much as they are. Even when their hope wanes, mine doesn't. When they feel like giving up, I keep going, as long as they want coaching. I want for you what you want for yourself. I do everything in my power to help you reach the summit of your success mountain.
A life coach also helps you identify your beliefs and behaviors that block you from making progress. Every human has mental and emotional blind spots. A trained coach sees them, show them to you, and works with you to get out of your own way to achieve the results you seek.
Your coach also sees the greatness in you that you might not even recognize. They show you how awesome you are and work with you to live from your confidence rather than your insecurities.
Some coaches are strategy-based and don’t deal with processing emotions. Those coaches help you outline every single step it will take to get from where you are to where you want to be. And they help keep you accountable.
Other coaches just focus on mindset and emotions. They don’t deal much with action plans and strategies. Instead they help you uncover beliefs that hold you back while developing beliefs that move you forward.
My coaching method is a hybrid of mindset, strategy. and processing emotions. I also stand for your personal wellness as the foundation of everything you want to achieve. That means we create your dream career without sacrificing health, relationships, and the other aspects of life that matter to you. We create harmony in your life as you focus on achieving career satisfaction. You come to love the entirety of your life as well as your career.
There are myriad types of coaches within the coaching field. You have general life coaches that work with you on any topic you bring to them. You also have career coaches, midlife coaches, new mom coaches, self-care coaches, first-generation coaches, coaches for doctors, sexuality coaches. The list of specialties is massive.
As a Certified Life Coach and Certified Dream CoachⓇ, I've worked with college students through seniors on topics ranging from creating a life vision and finding meaning and purpose to setting boundaries at home/work and developing stand-up comedy material.
I now work with women of color who want to feel amazing about themselves while pursuing all the things they want for their lives. All while dismantling white-supremacist patriarchy in their minds and bodies as well as in their relationships and work.
What a Life Coach Does Not Do
Life coaches do not diagnose nor treat mental health disorders.
Leave that to licensed psychiatrists and therapists.
Life coaches also generally do not work with clients to process severe trauma, unless that life coach has received specialized training in that realm.
All this being said, you can work with a life coach, psychiatrist, and therapist concurrently.
There's no rule that says you can only work with one at a time.
I have a life coach, business coach, therapist, and psychiatrist.
All contribute to my well-being.
It takes a village to grow a thriving human.
When You Should Hire a Life Coach
Let's say you’ve read a fair share of personal improvement books with more in your Kindle wish list.
You regularly consume professional development articles.
You listen to a few really good podcasts.
You read great blogs.
You implement exercises from your favorite authors, podcasters, and coaches.
Yet you’re not experiencing the forward momentum in your career and personal life that you’d like. You may notice some difference, but overall, you feel the same on the inside.
And you haven't seen the significant changes on the outside.
When you ask questions like these, it’s time to hire a life coach.
When you’ve ‘tried a bunch of things’ on your own and life still looks and feels the same, it’s time to hire a life coach.
When you've got a personal problem, like you keep overextending yourself and say yes to everything people ask you even though you feel drained, a life coach can help you stop doing that. A life coach can help you become a different version of yourself so that you confidently and clearly say YES when you mean it and NO when you don't want to do something.
Even if you don't have any pressing struggles and life is going well, but you just want MORE for your life, it's time to hire a life coach. The person in this scenario often wants to discover their purpose, create more meaning, and develop their next adventure. Get a life coach!
How Long Do You Work with a Coach?
The most straightforward answer is: until you achieve your results. Commitment is what it comes down to. Are you committed to living your dream no matter what? When the answer is YES, you don't care how long it takes. You might want 'sooner' but 'longer' doesn't deter you either. You're just in it until the result is achieved. You're in it until you become the person you want to be.
You could accomplish your goal or dream in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 2 years, or more. It depends on the complexity of your goal or dream. It depends on you showing up consistently to your coaching sessions. It depends on you implementing what your coach tells you.
Every coach also has their own business model and process. Some coaches only work with clients for a year at a time. Others offer month-to-month packages. There are several options here.
What's most important is that you resonate with your coach.
What's most important is that you believe your coach can help you.
What's most important is that you trust your coach.
If you find a coach that you're a 'hell yeah' to, find out how to work with them. Ask them for a consultation. Instead of shopping for coaches based on the duration of their programs, shop for your coach based on the relationship you can develop with them.
Earlier this year, my kitty Niko came into my life. I decided to keep him with the vet clinic he had already been going to, even though the clinic charges an annual membership fee. (The fee actually came due today as I write this post.) I've been a cat mama for 13 years and I've never paid a membership fee at other vets.
However, I choose to keep Niko at this particular clinic. Here are a few reasons why:
How Often Do You Meet with Your Coach?
Many coaches work with clients for an hour every single week throughout the term of the coaching program. I work with clients for 45-60 minutes every week for 12 months.
I believe in potent coaching. It's not about how much time we spend in the session; It's about getting you the results so you can live big outside the sessions. I've found that 60 minutes every week isn't always necessary.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that prospective clients think they are paying for the coach's time. You're actually not. What you're paying for is your dream. Your payment to the coach is an investment in YOU. You're telling yourself that your life matters. Your well-being matters. Your success matters. THAT is what's on the line. Not your coach's time.
At the end of the day, your coaching schedule is determined with your coach. It does have to work for the both of you, after all.
Like I said earlier, though, I wouldn't focus on 'how long' and 'how often'.
Put your prime attention on feeling a connection with the person you'll hire to help you.
You'll be sharing intimate details about your life with them. Make sure you feel safe with them.
On the topic of safety, ask them if they are trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, and if you're a person of color, ask what their experience is working with communities of color.
Getting this clarity upfront will set you up for success.
Take your next step towards the life and work you crave and book a call with me below. And yes, I am trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, healing-centered, and use somatic techniques in my coaching. I am also a black woman, Afro-Caribbean to be exact.
Yesterday I posted about work life/harmony vs. work/life balance. I’ve got another term for you today.
I regularly get together with professionals on Clubhouse where we discuss leadership, personal growth, mindset, and the evolving nature of work in Western society.
During a recent conversation, an executive coach dropped the phrase WORK/LIFE BLEND. My mind did a backflip before landing in Savasana.
I had never heard the expression ‘work/life blend’ before and I love it.
For me, blend is synonymous with harmony. When you blend, you mix and combine certain things together in different proportions, volumes, tastes, flavors…figuratively as well as literally. When you harmonize, you produce a satisfying combination of factors.
Practically, this looks like not checking work emails during my designated personal/me/sacred self-care time.
It looks like knowing when my peak mental-output hours are during the workday and declining social calls during that time.
It looks like making sure I do my physical workout every morning before I engage in deep conversation with anyone.
It looks like playing with my furbaby and going on walks during my breaks when I work from home.
Last week, it looked like going on a new adventure by taking a half day off to go to the horse racing track with friends.
Recently, it looked like consciously choosing to put in 2 hours of arts education lesson planning (for my parallel career) on a Sunday so that I could have a non-existent workload on Monday.
I don’t balance my social life, romantic life, work life, physical well-being, etc. to the same degree. I do consciously choose and design everything I do though.
(This post might make more sense if you go back and read yesterday's post.)
Here's a cool article for your reading pleasure --> Why We Need Work Life Blend Not Work Life Balance.
Regarding work and life, the word BALANCE never did it for me. Still doesn’t.
Balance conjures images of tightrope walkers steadying long and heavy poles, working hard to manage the opposing forces at play so they don’t fall over. Balance requires an even distribution of weight to achieve the desired outcome.
Do you really want to think about your life in this way?
How does it feel when you think you’ll fall over if everything isn’t balanced correctly?
Do you want to believe that work and the rest of your life are in opposition to each other?
If you’re like me, and need another word to express your desired relationship between work and the rest of your life, then consider HARMONY instead.
I used to play alto sax in concert bands and one thing I learned is that you do not need to have balance in order to achieve satisfaction.
Harmony is produced through the combination of multiple factors in varying proportions to experience a desired effect.
You have many instruments playing completely different notes at different volumes and, at times, different tempos.
All doing their own thing, yet coming together to create auditory beauty. These instruments do not require equal airtime in order to achieve harmony.
I choose to view the work/life interplay in this way. You can get the different pieces of your life to play well together, even when some of those pieces don’t appear to be balanced with others. (Check out this Forbes article for more on this topic: Life 'Balance' is Really More About Harmony.)
If the desired effect of satisfaction is achieved, then who cares about balance?
You just have to figure out the right combination of work and other aspects of life that produces your desired satisfaction.
I can help you with that.
Drop me a message in the contact page of this website. And let's create your work/life harmony together.
You want to leave your current job. So you applied to another job. But honestly though? You’re not crazy about that job either.
You wish you could pursue other interests and ideas instead. You think the answer might be to start your own business.
But how do you know which idea to go with?
Consider these three things.
Combine your interests into one idea.
That’s what I did.
I explored desired possibilities as I worked in full-time office jobs I wasn’t particularly crazy about. I considered my love for and experience with inspirational speaking, acting, on-camera hosting, emceeing, life coaching, writing, and performing/teaching dance and fitness.
I had pursued several of these independently, but I wanted to experience all of them in one setting.
My business Feel Good Kick Ass began as a hybrid movement and coaching service in 2015. My signature offering was the Rock Your Life Danceshops™, for which I was, and am still, proud of creating. I inspired and coached groups of people while entertaining them in the context of a dance/movement experience with content I wrote. Boom! All my interests in one idea.
Explore a hybrid possibility for your own endeavor.
Seek outside perspectives.
If you can’t see a way to combine your ideas, involve someone else in your process. Your proximity to your own circumstance might prevent you from seeing what a skilled problem-solver can see. With a little help you just might figure out the hybrid model for your new career or business. Let me make it real easy for you. Message me for a free consultation.
Just pick one.
If you prefer to choose one path but don't know which one to pick, be careful not to set up residence in the contemplation zone. This is where you vacillate for a ridiculous amount of time. Two years go by and you're still thinking which interest to pursue.
Massive indecision ensures you'll never have to risk failure. Letting yourself stay stuck in confusion is a clever way your unconscious mind keeps you safe. New endeavors mean danger to the primitive brain. Your rational thinking mind knows you're OK. Go ahead and choose a path.
Imagine that all your interests were guaranteed to be successful. If that were the case, which one would you enjoy doing more? If you knew that, no matter what you did, your path was going to thrive and be prosperous, then it’s just a matter of selecting the more appealing path.
I learned this decision-making technique from my coach Brooke and it has helped me. Try it.
If you desire further assistance with making decisions, be sure to read my other articles Why It’s So Hard to Make Decisions and How to Make Confident Decisions.
Think of "starting a business" in a less anxiety-producing way. Starting a business can feel daunting and overwhelming, especially when you already feel upset about the current unhappy state of your work life. I invite you to make a small tweak in your thinking.
Instead of putting all that pressure on yourself to start a business in order to get out of your current job, do this instead:
As you shift your perspective about your job into one of empowerment, the urgency you feel about leaving will decrease. Less anxiety means you'll have more vitality to create your new endeavor.
The first interest I explored, prior to creating Feel Good Kick Ass, was developing my written and spoken voice as a mindset coach. I produced weekly episodes for a mindset blogcast every single week for 11 months straight.
The next interest was introducing life coaching components in the dance/fitness classes I was already teaching.
After that, I explored renting a yoga studio and starting a meetup group to facilitate what became the Rock Your Life Danceshops™.
Somewhere in there I also explored working with one-on-one clients privately. And so on.
For you, explore one thing then the next. Include a few free clients to boost your confidence. Then work your way up from there.
To sum it up:
The only way to get it wrong is by not doing anything. You’ve got this.
I work with clients for 9 months to 1 year as the most impactful thing you can do to catapult your career fulfillment while feeling good about yourself. If you're ready to propel forward, stop dipping your toe in the water. Just jump in. Complete this questionnaire or send me a message and we’ll book your complimentary powerful coaching conversation.
The work I do as a life coach prioritizes personal wellness as THE guiding force to achieving and experiencing the dreams, desires, goals, and visions for your life.
I am particularly drawn to helping office professionals because I was once a dissatisfied full-time employee whose physical, mental, and emotional wellness took a toll from the unnecessary and outdated 9 to 5 lifestyle.
My transformation inspired me to write an entire book about my personal wellness journey and how it resulted in two meaningful parallel careers outside the traditional work schedule.
But what is personal wellness?
In this video, I share insights from others as well as my own definition.
By the end of the video, ask yourself: What does personal wellness mean to you? Which personal wellness category do you want to improve?
Here are the links I referenced in the video:
If you want to learn how to create career satisfaction as a result of taking fantastic care of yourself, then complete this questionnaire and let's talk.
We created meaningful 3D objects during the final session of the UCLArts & Healing Social Emotional Arts on A Shoestring training this weekend. We then wrote poems based on our visual art masterpieces.
My sculpture declines the posting of its likeness so I will share the poem instead, a dialogue between the one who aspires and the object of desire.
As a life coach, I midwife desire.
As you read, I invite you to insert a dream, goal, vision, or desire you’ve either struggled to actualize or have yet to express.
I am your desire.
I wonder how you’ll come to be.
I hear your hunger deeply.
I see you yearn for me too.
I want you to know you can have me.
I pretend I don’t fancy you.
I feel your longing anyway.
I touch chasmic tenderness when I think of you.
I understand how vulnerable I make you feel.
I say I want you, yet I am frightened.
I dream of you as you contemplate me.
I try to move towards you.
I hope that you do.
I am open…and willing.
I am your desire. I am you.
If you're ready to birth a long-wanted desire, I can help. Contact me.
My name's Valerie and I'm a Certified Life Coach with a background in teaching dance as well as facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development conversations and workshops.