Parents or Friends As Life Coaches?
Parents and friends each have a unique role in your life, and so does your Life Coach.
I found the same distinction when I worked with expectant parents as a Doula. A laboring woman has myriad needs before, during and after birth - she needs the love and support of her partner or husband, the nurturing of her mother or sister and the expert guidance of her midwife. But, a Doula (Greek for "with woman") is there for her in a special way. She provides a more objective, knowledgeable, knowing presence and a capacity to join up with the woman in ways that allow her to see needs no one else in the room may see.
So it is for a Life Coach. She has the capacity to sit with you in the angst of your confusion or frustration and ask powerful questions that you or others in your life may not be considering. She brings an indispensable perspective that can illuminate and clarify your ideas into action steps.
Most parents do not focus on telling us that we're responsible for creating our own lives. Some of my clients have had wonderfully supportive parents, but it’s also true that very often parents advise from a place of comfort and fear. There are a lot of people who benefit greatly from validation and accountability from an objective outsider as they work toward a goal.
As for friends being life coaches, that’s asking an awful lot from friends. Let’s say you’re a business administrator who wants to switch into a social services career. You share this desire with a good friend, who encourages you to give it a try. But, then what? Does she help you create a concrete goal around that intention? Does she assist you with a weekly action plan to move you closer to it? Does she ask you powerful questions to eliminate barriers that could be holding you back? I’m guessing she has a life of her own and may not be able to guide you through the many detailed steps of your action steps.
As a high school gymnast, my coach inspired me to stretch beyond self-imposed limits in ways my parents or friends just were not able to do. No one individual can serve all the roles in our life, nor should they be expected to.
Having a life coach frees up your parents and your friends to be just that, your parents and your friends.
Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach, Sheryl Melanson, partners with people to transform limiting habits into mindful choices that express their values, create action plans and recalibrate their lifestyle to optimal well-being.