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What Life Coaching is NOT

Updated: May 18, 2023




Coaching is not therapy or counseling.

Therapy or counseling are extremely helpful to delve into your past to see where some issues have started. There is a need for this at times to help healing past hurt and pain. It can help you make sense of where you are today and how you got there.

However, coaching takes a very different approach. It takes you right where you’re at, and helps you move forward. You and your coach take a close look at present circumstances and what you want the outcome to be as you move forward in life.

There is value in each approach. Many who go for therapy could be helped with the simple uncomplicated approach of coaching. Coaches are skilled to know if your issues are more than they should take on and will then refer you to a therapist or counselor they know and trust.


Coaching is not where someone tells you what to do.

A basic coaching premise is that you have the answers within you. A coach helps you figure out what you really want at this point in your life, and what steps you are ready to take to change. This is done without telling you what you want or telling you next steps. The coaching technique is asking the right questions for you to dig deep and find your own answers. Suggestions may be made, but through self-exploration, you discover what you really want and what you are willing to do to move ahead in life toward your dreams.


Talking with a coach is not like talking to your friend.

One of the extreme benefits of working with a professional coach, is that you are not involving friends or relatives in your inner most thoughts, feelings, and worries. Family and friends are wonderful to have, but they are too close to you. They can’t help but have opinions about you, based on your history, your interaction with them, and their feelings about you. It’s great if you can talk to them about what’s bothering you, but most are not skilled or unbiased to help you move forward. Some very well-meaning friends or family may lead you in the wrong direction, based on how they feel not how you feel.


Coaching is not motivation by guilt, but by seeing a new path for yourself.

A life change, anything from marriage to needing a new job, to divorce or retirement, can cause feelings of being lost or stuck. Even though we think we are ready for it, entering a new stage in life throws you off base. “What’s the next step? Where is my purpose? How can I get through this unrest to peace and fulfillment?” Some days can go past in a fog. A Life Coach can help you get in touch with what you specifically want at this point in life. Working together helps you uncover your new purpose at any new crossroad. A huge plus is the accountability coaches offer as you take the action needed for change. Rather than fog, the view clears, and your next steps to the outcome you want become clear.


You may have accomplished amazing things in your life. But if you find yourself in a state of confusion, need help finding next steps on your path, or just need to talk through your situation with someone, that’s what a coach is for. Coaches don’t work for free, but the amount you invest in yourself through seeking this type of help could be just what's needed.

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