January 30, 2021

The Secret to Rewarding Personal and Professional Growth...

Sometimes you need a little help to achieve your dreams. Is a life coach right for you?

Samantha Dow

Feel like you’re at a stopping point in your personal life or career? Do you ever wonder, Is this as good as I’m gonna get?  The truth is you most likely need some guidance to put you on track for reaching your full potential in your profession and beyond. Many professionals assume that once they complete their years of education and training, they can just make it on their own. While this pedagogy works for many doctors, lawyers, dentists, and other licensed professionals, the most successful people have something more. They tend to have mentors who can identify their blind spots and provide them actionable advice. 

Enter life coach. 

In his 2017 TED Talk, “Want to get great at something? Get a coach”, surgeon and author Atul Gawande speaks to the merits of having a professional coach. 

When you try going it alone, Gawande says, “You don’t necessarily recognize the issues that are standing in your way… and somewhere along the way, you stop improving.” 

A few years into his surgery practice, Gawande found that’s exactly what happened to him. He stopped improving. He wasn’t performing poorly, he just wasn’t performing as well as he believed he could be. 

So, he took a chance and decided to hire a coach, one of his old professors, to observe his performance during live surgeries and provide feedback after the fact. The results were unexpected for Gawande. He received pages on notes from his mentor on little, yet, important things he never considered before. 

A coach acts as “your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality,” claims Gawande in his TED talk that has received over 186k views. He admitted that the coaching helped him make remarkable improvements in his practice of surgery and personal growth. 

What Exactly Does a Life Coach Do?

Even if you don’t know someone off hand who can mentor you, you can hire a life coach. 

A life coach is someone focused on working with you on building steps toward self-improvement and professional development. Whereas therapy is more about addressing past destructive behaviors, life coaching is about creating actionable goals to enact changes that you want to see in your future.  These coaches help you identify and prioritize your goals, whether personal or career-related. You can view them as a partner who challenges you and aims to bring out the best in you!

How Do I Know When I Need A Life Coach? Here’s 4 Helpful Indicators:

Now that you know about the wonderful things that a life coach does, you are probably wondering when the best time to establish a relationship with one is. 

We summarized the top 4 reasons why you should hire a life coach, according to Forbes Magazine:

You’re experiencing a period of transitions (either good or bad). 

Exciting changes such as job promotions and graduations can be a terrific time to reflect on your capabilities and examine how decisions will impact other areas of your life.  Consulting with a coach can help you make sure you are continuing on the right path to achieving your goals. 

Negative transitions such as a relationship breakup or financial setback can be tough to push through on your own. A coach can offer you a supportive space to help you grow from your struggles. 

You’re not achieving your desired results. 

We all have our moments when nothing seems to be going our way. Sometimes the obstacle preventing us from achieving our goals is our own fear. Specifically, the fear of failure. Life coaching can help you overcome self-defeating beliefs and provide you the perspective you need to succeed. 

You don’t know where to start. 

Tony Robbins, a famous performance coach who has mentored some of the world’s wealthiest people including Bill Clinton, offers the secret to success. "Who you spend time with is who you become," Robbins said. Surrounding yourself with successful people is a good place to start and you can then work with a coach to decipher how you can emulate the skills of these successful individuals. 

You’re not sure what the next steps are.

When you come to a crossroads in your life, sometimes you just need someone to help point you in the right direction. There is no shame in asking for help in reorganizing your plans and creating a clearer picture of who you aspire to be. Still not convinced? Check out these testimonies from Oprah, Bill Gates, and more. 

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