How Top Coaches Can Help You Become Successful
Coaches have become trusted partners on our personal and professional success journeys.
Coaches help clients to define their ideal future and to develop strategies and the action steps to get there. Objective facilitation is a key driver that accelerates this process.
How does one define coaching with all its slight variations? There’s agreement among coaches that they facilitate insight, focus on implementation, and support people to achieve their goals through self-execution. They help clients to identify personal goals, work-life balance, and career aspirations as an example.
Building confidence, increasing self-awareness, uncovering obstacles, and discovering untapped potential are some advantages of having a coach, and many more.
How does one close the gap between where you are and where you want to go? How can you design a blueprint and roadmap towards fulfilling your desired future?
18 Top Coaches Share Success Stories and Insightful Answers
- Set milestones to make sure you are on track.
- You can define how to live your best life.
- View life from a new perspective.
- Get a cheerleader and accountability partner.
- You can meet your goals and find a faster route to success.
- Be open to discover your blind spots.
- Deal with the present and look forward.
- You can overcome barriers if you feel stuck.
- Self-exploration will uncover things to change.
- Analyze the reasons driving and stopping you.
- Get encouragement when you want to give up.
- You can learn to see what you cannot see.
- Get guidance and move forward.
- Commit to self-improvement.
- Have a desire to flourish.
- Deal with repetitive patterns that limit you.
- Age doesn’t matter.
- Frame your challenges and the actions to overcome them.
1. Help People Create Goals and Set Milestones
Dr. Justin Hiebert, Executive Success & Mindset Coach, #NextSteps Coaching
Who should get a life coach? Well, a short answer is that everyone would benefit from one, but there are certain times where they are the most helpful.
First, is anytime a big transition is happening: job change, promotion, or major life event.
As a future focused career, as opposed to therapy that looks backward, coaching helps a person create goals and set milestones to make sure that they are on track and held accountable.
Second, coaching is helpful when needing personal feedback or clarity.
Coaches can provide values assessments, life direction, and other positive benefits. This is where I have seen the most help come from coaching.
I was working with one client a number of years ago that hired me to help him “be a better father.” His work was fulfilling (so he thought), his marriage was good, but he felt disconnected from his kids.
Over several months we unpacked what that looked like, what values he wanted to honor, and I helped repeat back to him some of the stuff that he was saying (that he wasn’t aware of).
It turns out he didn’t enjoy his job nearly as much as he thought and that was draining him of what really mattered. We created an exit strategy (he was a C-suite executive), which he executed. He then took a sabbatical and spent the time with his kids.
After that, our work together stopped but he sent me an update letting me know that he had found a new (less stressful) job that allowed him to be home every night with his family and he was much happier.
Justin Hiebert is an Executive Coach that focuses on helping leaders get the right things done. By eliminating distraction, pursuing clarity in goals, and providing focused attention on what matters most, he believes that leaders can influence the world, inspire their teams, and create compounding wins.
2. Help People to Live Their Best Life
Sherry Richert Belul, Author, Life Coach & Founder, Simply Celebrate
My definition of a life coach is someone who helps people to live their best life — whatever that means to the client.
In some cases, clients will want to focus on deepening relationships. Others may want more creativity, play, or spirituality. Clients may want to increase their income or happiness. Maybe they want more energy or better health.
Personally, I love when the coaching is holistic and I am able to support coaching clients in all areas of their life. I believe that each area of our lives impacts the others and we can take small steps with a big impact!
One client I worked with wanted a big raise and promotion at work.
We spent several months before her review focused on who she needed to be BEFORE the review in order for it to be obvious at the review that she deserved the promotion.
I worked with her to make some changes in how she showed up at meetings or on calls — bringing more leadership and innovation to the table.
For example, before meetings, we would talk about the outcome she wanted and also who she needed to be in the meeting.
We also worked on her self-esteem and confidence. As well, this client implemented some new habits around sleep and exercise that contributed to a better overall attitude and productivity.
By the time she got the raise and promotion (Yay!) she was already living the new role at her office. That is an example of how holistic life coaching might work.
Sherry Richert Belul is the Founder of Simply Celebrate and author of the book “Say it Now: 33 Creative Ways to Say I LOVE YOU to the Most Important People in Your Life.” She’s a Writer, Gift Maker, and Happiness Coach who gets excited about helping people find creative, intentional, and impactful ways to celebrate life and to express love for family and friends.
3. Can Help to View Life from a New Perspective
Lynell Ross, Certified Life Coach, Founder & Managing Editor, Zivadream
About twenty years ago, a life coach approached me and asked me to let them coach me. I hesitantly said yes, not knowing what I was getting myself into.
Being coached by this insightful life coach absolutely changed the direction of my life. In fact, I wound up changing careers and became a Certified Life Coach and Health and Wellness Coach because I understood the power of coaching from personal experience.
A Certified Life Coach who has been trained can help us view our life from a new perspective.
A Life Coach helps you look at all the aspects of your life, and assists you while you create a vision for the life you want, your relationships, finances, living environment, career, health, fun, and most importantly finding your strengths and purpose.
Working with a life coach as opposed to a therapist can be described in this way.
A therapist helps you look back at your life to help you uncover the things that happened to you, so you can see how your past experiences shaped your life, while a life coach helps you move forward.
The analogy is that a therapist is like being in a car looking at the rearview mirror seeing behind you, while the life coach is like the front windshield guiding you forward.
Success story with Cora (name changed to protect identity)
When Cora came to me for help with her weight, I quickly discovered that how much she weighed was not the problem. Cora was a high powered executive with a big job, and she was a woman with a kind heart.
She was in charge of hundreds of managers, who were in turn responsible for thousands more. She also had aging parents, a husband and three teenage children all living at home that she also felt responsible for.
I quickly zeroed in on the fact that lack of boundaries and time were what was dragging Cora down, but a good life coach doesn’t tell their client what to do.
As her life coach, I asked the right questions, while helping her look at the areas of her life to determine what gave her energy and what drained her energy.
We then crafted a Life Vision, and goals for three months and one year.
Once Cora could see what she wanted in her life, we broke down her daily activities into small steps to help her reach her goals.
We set small goals around her eating, plans for shopping, preparing food and tracking what she ate. We also set small fitness goals to get her moving.
And lastly, we set goals around managing her stress. It turned out that Cora would leave for work at 7am, only to return at 6pm, pick up food on the way home or make a rushed dinner and then sit on the couch the rest of the evening checking emails and working. The only deviation from her weeknight routine was when she took her aging father grocery shopping on Thursdays and helped him clean his house.
Cora spent her weekends fielding calls from her siblings to help them solve their problems, working as a volunteer at her kids athletic events, and cleaning her own house, only to get up on Monday morning and do it all again.
By asking the right questions, I helped Cora see where her boundaries were being violated, and helped her learn how to back out of obligations, volunteer activities and extra work functions that were eating up her time.
They hired a house cleaner to clean her father’s house and do the grocery shopping, so she could take him out to dinner or do something fun on their visits.
That gave Cora more free time for herself. She began walking in the evening and hiking on the weekends with her husband to get more exercise. She no longer brought work home in the evenings.
Instead she and her husband prepared healthy dinners together, and the family pitched in to clean up. She and her husband even started having a date night out or taking a weekend day to play golf.
After working with Cora for 12 weeks, she lost 10 pounds and felt more energy from eating healthier foods and exercising.
She signed up for another three month session with me, and by the end of that session, she had dropped all obligations and volunteer activities that were draining her energy, and kept the ones that she felt good about.
She practiced saying no and upholding her boundaries by not taking phone calls from people that used her as a place to complain. She also dropped another 10 pounds, went dancing with her husband once a week and started painting as a creative outlet to relieve stress.
Working with a life coach helped Cora to create a vision of spending more time with her family, and doing what she loved instead of catering to the demands of everyone around her.
Having a support person helped her to take more time for herself, to eat healthier, get some exercise, reduce her stress and have fun. Many people will do whatever it takes to make others happy, while doing little for ourselves.
Working with a life coach teaches you that self-care is not just okay, it helps you become your best self.
Lynell Ross is the Founder and Managing Editor of Zivadream, an education advocacy website dedicated to helping people improve their lives. She is also a Certified Life Coach, and Health and Wellness Coach with decades of experience.
4. Can Be the Biggest Cheerleaders and Toughest Accountability Partners
Nate Battle, Health & Well-Being Coach, Battle Coaching, LLC
Contrary to what some may believe, a coach is not someone who tells you what to do but instead helps you achieve what you have decided to accomplish.
They are not your friend but your accountability partner. They care deeply about you, your wellbeing, and helping you reach your goals and aspirations, but not more that you care.
We see the potential in our clients that they may not see, bring it out and show it to them.
This approach builds confidence and conviction within the client that it (the goal) is possible. Above all, we are honest, direct, and transparent with our clients.
We maintain boundaries, attempting to avoid putting them in harm’s way but allowing them to the captains of their lives.
We guide, not direct. Encourage and inspire, not dictate.
We challenge them to grow and develop to live up to their fullest potential, yet it all depends on their choice, determination, and commitment.
Who should get life coaching?
The short answer is everyone looking to be the best version of themselves. Seldom are any of us able to get there on our own. A skilled coach is adept at seeing the areas of opportunity that exist within their clients and helping to refine them.
We also see the potential and limitations. We are unbiased in our view, as in not being blind to the pitfalls and risks, only seeking the best possible outcome for our clients.
While I could select a specific client, my experience inworking with those I’ve chosen to coach is remarkably similar. I will provide content in non-client specific terms for confidentially reasons.
For starters, the client almost always desires more in life, are discontented with where they are at professionally and potentially also in their personal relationships.
They don’t necessarily know where they want to go but do know it’s somewhere different from where they are currently. They stumble and fell previously in life, and that adversely impacted and eroded their confidence to the point where they chose to play it safe and suffer instead of risking the pain of falling again.
My assistance was to first learn who they are as a person: their likes, dislikes, past successes, and failures. I need to know the authentic person to understand their strengths and potential – specifically their vulnerable areas.
Then I encourage them to dream while guiding them into a no limits “what if” conversation. I conduct discovery sessions to learn and understand what ignites their passion and how that can be related and defined as a purpose in life. It can be similar to a “what do you want to be when you grow up” at any age.
From there, I help them identify their inner strengths and abilities. They are aware of some of their strengths while others surprise them, even though they’ve been right under their nose all along.
We set specific goals to achieve and agree upon set timelines to explore the identified opportunities. I regularly provide relevant, meaningful, and direct feedback. I encourage the successes and work through the challenges – which are never called failures because the only failure is not to have tried.
I’m their biggest cheerleader and also their toughest accountability partner.
I strike a balance between the two, keeping top of mind the end goal they are after. It’s critical to know where you are going before starting, even if adjustments are made along the way.
Above all, I invest in my clients, guiding them towards self-development for which they can take the credit, not me. That approach turbocharges their confidence and ability to achieve.
I’ve had clients who started out homeless, working minimum wage jobs, growing to have their own businesses, or moving up in the corporate world earning well over six figures. Other clients have walked away from a toxic work environments or unfulfilling careers to find different opportunities that they love.
Once a client can grasp and understand their strengths, weaknesses, and what drives them/they are most passionate about, they become unstoppable in achieving the life they chose and want to live instead of walking in place accepting what they may have happened trip over.
Done right, being a coach is an incredibly rewarding profession. Seeing the continually evolving success of your client provides a sense of fulfillment that cannot be beaten.
Nate Battle is a Certified Health and Well-being and Crisis Coach, speaker, and author of the book: “Battle Endurance – How You Can Be Someone Who Never Quits and Gives Everything You Have To Give.” Nate motivates individuals and groups of all sizes, offering doable advice, with wit and charm, garnered from his years of professional experience.
5. Work with Clients to Meet Goals
Alice Dartnell, Life & Success Coach, Alice Dartnell Limited
Coaching is a vehicle, support system and tool to get a client from where they are now, to where they want to be.
A coach shouldn’t come in to define the client’s goal but work with the client to uncover what their goal is and work with them to achieve that.
I say “uncover” as a lot of times a client will have a loose idea of what they want/don’t want but they have never had the opportunity to clarify the goal. Coaching can help with that as a first step.
Coaching (cheese alert) is a ‘journey’ – it is a way for the client to learn more about themselves and find a faster route to success.
I would never tell a client what “success” looks like by the way, we’re all different, but I work with them to obtain their version!
I have had coaching myself and one of the benefits I love about coaching is those “aha” moments of self-discovery, understanding what makes me tick, why I do things in a certain way, challenging my assumptions etc. This helps create new ideas and overcome anything that is holding me back!
Coaching isn’t counselling, mentoring or consultancy and because the skills are similar, people sometimes get confused.
Counselling is about looking back into the past to see where things stem from, consultancy is someone coming in and diagnosing the problem and acting on a solution to fix it and mentoring is about giving advice, often from someone who’s ‘been there done that’.
Client success story: With so many to choose from I thought I would keep it really simple and something most people could relate too.
I had a client called Emma who by her own definition, was in “rut” and having bit of a mid-life crisis. She felt stagnant being in her corporate job 6 years, and stuck that she couldn’t get up the ladder and secure a promotion.
She knew deep down she was worthy of a promotion plus she had completed her MBA but she felt that the leadership team weren’t listening to her, she was getting more and more work dumped on to her, and she didn’t know whether she wanted to stay or find a new role (and in what she had no idea).
In just four sessions, we transformed Emma’s mindset, got her thinking like a leader and stepping up at work! She even secured 3 job interviews for the first time in 6 years.
Alice Dartnell is a Life and Success Coach with a passion for empowering individuals and organisations to reach their full potential. She is of course the Founder of the company Alice Dartnell Limited, specialising in time management & productivity and empowering a ‘success mindset’.
6. Can Help to Discover Blind Spots
Amir Fathizadeh, Professional Business Coach, Coaching Collaborative, LLC
If I was to put it in a most simple definition, a life coach can help his/her clients to discover their blind spot in whatever it is they are dealing with in life.
Here is an example of my work with one of my clients: An African American client of mine hated white people, a 58 year old tall, handsome man who could not look you in the eye. He has been miserable all his life, could not get along with white people, been in lots of fights with and has been in and out of the jail numerous times.
He has never been able to hold a job for a long period of time and had no white friends.
Through our work, he was able to discover a blind spot, an incident that happened when he was 8 years old that determined the following 50 years of his life.
His eyes were closed while I was working with him, he was crying the whole time and had a very hard time. He shared: They were living in Detroit, Michigan and when he was 8, his father was transferred from one side of Detroit to the other side. He was forced to go from a black school to white school.
The first day of the class, his teacher said to him in front of all other students “You are so black, we can write on you”.
Through working with him, distinguishing what his teacher said and what he made it mean, he discovered that; in that moment of embarrassment he said to himself “I hate white people, they are evil and I will never get along with them”.
He created the context of his life. He discovered that an 8 year old boy made up a story based on what his teacher said and ruined his own life for the following 50 years.
He was a new man, you could see transformation happening on the spot. He discovered that he is the one responsible for making up the story regardless of the teacher’s awful comment.
He opened his eyes and said “I love you and I love white people”.
Boom, a new context for his life was created. Now he could actually get along with white people and work side by side with them. This is life coaching!
Amir Fathizadeh is the author of the book “Gossip: The Road To Ruin” and has over 20 years of experience in various aspects of business and 17 years of experience in personal and business coaching. He is certified as a Professional Business Coach by the Professional Business Coaches Alliance.
7. Deal with the Present Looking Forward
Wil Strayhorn, Transformation & Empowerment Coach, L.F.I Coaching & Development
Life-Coaching, although not defined as therapy or mentoring, almost always consists of some form of therapy or mentoring.
To simply distinguish between therapy and coaching; therapy deals with the present, looking backwards. The aim of therapy is to resolve those issues and barriers that have prevented or stunted your growth in the present.
Coaching, however, deals with the present looking forward.
With virtually ALL of my clients, something in their past history has contributed to their inability to reach their goals. In my sessions, we address them head-on.
I employ a wide variety of theories, techniques, and activities to achieve my therapeutic goals for each client, but most commonly commit to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT simply stated, seeks to change the patterns of thinking and behavior that an individual has. I’ve learned “We feel the way we think!”
I also incorporate Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which helps individuals identify those barriers and challenges in their lives that are preventing them from achieving their goals and by using a range of techniques and strategies we work together to help the client eradicate self-defeating, self-limiting beliefs so that that can activate the power they already have within them.
One of my most memorable clients is Cindy. Cindy is a wife, a mother, a daughter and an entrepreneur. Cindy first came to me because she was feeling that even though she had acquired and accomplished what the world would view as “success”, she felt like a “loser” in life.
Cindy set goals and worked diligently to accomplish them. Upon completion, the joy of victory rarely lasted longer than a few hours. Her husband and daughter were major priorities in her life and she often placed their needs before her own.
One day, I asked Cindy to visualize how her life would look if everything in her life was exactly as she wanted it to be. I was shocked at the picture she drew. She imagined that in her “perfect world,” she would be single, 30 lbs. lighter, an artist and probably with children!
When I probed to understand, she shared through tears: “My whole life is a lie.”
For the next six months, I saw Cindy 1 to 2 times per week to help Cindy work through the issues that keep her from living authentically. After a session or two, Cindy confessed that she was lesbian and suppressed her attractions for women because her mother, family members and the church, shamed her about her feelings.
They scared her away from her true affections. In fact, fear governed much of Cindy’s adult life. It drove her to marry a man, despite her same-sex attractions. Fear kept her from her real passion of sculpting, to settle for a “real” job in insurance sales.
Through a series of sessions focused on CBT techniques such as untangling thought distortions, cognitive restructuring and journaling, I coached Cindy to recognize that she was a “people pleaser.”
Through white board exercises and hundreds of open-ended questions, Cindy realized that most of the things that she is displeased with are a direct reflection of the lack of ownership she has with her life.
We set 3 SMART goals that were important o Cindy, without regard to anyone else. Becoming comfortable in her own skin, changing her career, and developing a spiritual life.
I vividly remember an “a-ha” moment with Cindy.
We were in session, conducting a “check in” about events transpiring since our last meeting. She had declined an invitation to a “paint night” event from a friend. When I asked why, she replied “I know my husband would get mad!” I immediately responded, “And then what would happen?” Silence.
I repeated: “And then what would happen?” Dead silence. Then she replied, “He would start to yell probably.” “And then,” I inquired. “He’d probably ignore me the rest of the day,” she whined. “OK, and then what,” I asked. She muttered, “He would get over it”. “Exactly!” I exclaimed.
Cindy’s inability to be her true, authentic self-eroded her self-esteem and often left her feeling unlovable, not worthy of love and acceptance. That caused her to make a number of life-long decisions to please others, gain what felt like acceptance, and to satisfy her family.
Our sessions have helped coach her out of that. Today, Cindy has won several sculpturing competitions, shared her sexual orientation with her husband/partner, and she has lost nearly 25lbs.
Change has been a challenge, but she is proud of herself for taking control of her thoughts and starting the change to a happier life.
Wil Strayhorn MS, MA, CLC is an Empowerment Coach and his main goal and purpose is to help individuals attain what they desire from life by believing in their abilities to soar. Professionally, he became interested in life-coaching following three months of working with one himself and was blown away with the life-changing results.
8. Works Best if You Feel Stuck and Can’t Overcome a Barrier
Chris Delaney, NLP Life Coach, Therapist & Author, Chris Delaney Therapy
Life coaching is a safe place to reflect on your own experiences and strengths to help you achieve a specific goal or overcome a barrier.
Life coaching is for everyone, but it works best for people who feel stuck (and can’t overcome a barrier on their own).
A recent client wanted support to lose weight. They came wanting to gain motivation to create a diet and exercise plan that they could implement long term. It was clear when the client came that having a new perspective on healthy eating wouldn’t be enough as the client’s self-esteem was a big factor in her overeating.
First, we looked at what she gained from over eating – she hadn’t thought about that before (the positive outcome from overeating) against the pain this life style was creating.
This reflection helps for long term success, as the positive outcome can be more powerful than the negative effect of over eating.
From this I used ‘solution focus’ questioning to help the client to find their own solutions to their barriers.
This resulted in goal setting (which fed into a diet and exercise plan) but with motivation embedded into the steps.
Each ideal given by the client was challenged; looking at what could go wrong, what support was required, and what would keep them motivated.
Chris Delaney is a published author and qualified NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Careers Advisor. With over 15 years of experience supporting people to achieve their life and career goals, Chris has the experience and skills to help clients move forward in both their careers and lives.
9. The Power of Self-Exploration, SMART Goals and Action Steps
Tom Marino, Certified Life Coach & Author, Monarch Life Coaching, LLC
I am a Life Coach who works with clients primarily on career and relationship transitions. The following is a story of one of my clients who successfully made changes in his life:
Mark came to me lost in a marriage that was moving towards separation.
In our first session together, the discovery, we learned the impact of his relationship with his family, the difference with his in-laws and how that was the cause of conflict between he and his wife. The expectations were not in line.
Through a self-exploration process we found the part of him that he wanted to change to be a better husband.
We created SMART Goals to design his approach to making changes.
These included improving communication, creating boundaries and reestablished expectations in his role of husband and father.
Week after week for 6 months he worked on his goals…he put in the effort and successfully changed how he communicated with his wife.
Through his action steps, we worked on listening skills, refined language in how he and his wife communicated and worked on active listening skills for both of them to use.
In this process of self-discovery, self-exploration, goals setting for his desired changes and outcomes, he gained a deeper knowledge of himself he never knew he had.
His self-awareness improved and he gained new perspectives in understanding himself, his wife, his relationships with his extended family and the important of change.
His marriage has been saved and he admits to having grown and how important that growth was in changing his life.
Tom Marino, Life Coach and author of “Bridge to Change: A Transformation Process for Sustainable Life Fulfillment,” founded Monarch Life Coaching, LLC after significant transformations in his life. He takes clients on a transformational journey to sustainable life changes with a proven method for life fulfillment.
10. Analyze the Reasons Driving and Stopping You
Francesca Polo, Business Coach, Curated Success
I recently worked with a client who had extra time and wanted to dedicate it to personal projects.
My client has a background in the film industry and recently trained as a designer, she felt the increased spare time (due to Covid) presented the perfect opportunity to work on a personal project and develop fictional characters and design props for them.
Though she was excited about this project and had sufficient time, she couldn’t get started as she felt overwhelmed with the possibilities, and in turn by not starting she felt guilty to not be using this “down time” productively.
Together we managed to analyse the reasons that were driving her and compare them to those that were stopping her, we created structure and a schedule for her to be able to tackle this project one bite sized task at the time.
As a result of making progress with this personal project my client has developed further awareness about herself and how to manage her mental status and environment to achieve her project.
By showcasing some initial drawings she has also been approached by a studio, and is currently negotiating to carry out some animation work for them.
Francesca Polo coach entrepreneurs and freelancers to create the lifestyle they want by bringing structure and automation into their businesses. As a Coach, she supports clients in translating their vision into an actionable plan for their business, building accountability and motivation into it thus creating more time and resources to achieve their personal goals.
11. Encourage When You Want to Give Up
Karolina Frydrych, Transformational Life Coach, Karolinafrydrych.com
A success story: My client is a composer and a programmer who wanted to start writing music, buy a house and achieve financial independence but couldn’t make a significant progress for years.
Andy is a 32-year-old British composer. He is very talented and interested in many topics. He studied music at a leading university, then taught himself programming and now works writing music for movies while simultaneously developing a tech-startup with a friend.
During our first call I explained the principles of coaching and asked about the outcome he would like to get after the 6 sessions we agreed on.
Andy took stock of his life and identified 3 areas still requiring progress.
The most important one was to start creating art.
The music he composed for his clients seemed like ‘craft’ to him – it wasn’t an expression of the universal emotions that existed purely to touch and move people. Wasn’t something that he would be proud to leave behind.
A relationship and a family were not important goals for Andy, he was sure he didn’t want to have children so he felt like he needed to make a good use of the time that other people invest in that area of life – by creating art.
The second goal of his was to improve his living situation.
He had saved a significant amount of money but couldn’t decide if he should buy a house. He liked living in the centre of London and didn’t want to move too far from it but couldn’t afford a place that would be nice enough and would allow him to keep the same lifestyle.
As a result, he lived in a former Airbnb with flexible contract – in case he wanted to move out soon – which was expensive and where he didn’t sleep well.
The last goal was to achieve financial independence – create a passive income that would cover his monthly expenses.
All of these topics had been issues for years and he was excited to see if coaching could help him create real progress. I asked him which of these goals he would like to focus on first. He chose art.
We started from defining what that actually meant and why was it important to him.
He said that creating art – a body of work that he would leave behind – was always his dream but he had never started composing his own music. He had no problem composing a song for a client, following a brief that he would get, but he felt lost if he had a complete freedom to compose whatever he wanted so he almost never did it.
He wanted to create ‘things that people would enjoy’ but recognized that, when he imagined showing people something that would be his own artistic creation, it was attached to wanting people to like him and a fear of his art not being as good as he wanted it to be.
He realized that the quality was a function of quantity; he needed to start somewhere and create the first song – and then more of them – before he would create something excellent. A masterpiece.
He repeatedly said that if he started creating one song per week, by the end of the year he would have at least 50 songs… and some of them would surely be at least decent. But he wasn’t doing that.
We started by setting a goal: 1 song in the next 2 weeks, which Andy seemed very happy with in his first coaching session.
“So that’s how it looks like, I do most of the talking, you mostly listen” – I assured him that that’s how a coaching session should be.
In the next 3 sessions we worked on this simple goal – writing a song every 2 weeks.
Andy struggled to complete this task. He would imagine a perfect plan for his week that included 2 hours of creative work in the mornings but couldn’t follow through afterwards. “I wish I could turn off my thinking for the part of the day when I complete my routine – exercise, journal, work on my music, it would be so much easier to wake up when this is done, otherwise I procrastinate or play video games and never feel like doing it”.
I asked if he would like a recommendation on a book that could help and then encouraged him to read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
He did indeed start reading it so we talked about her advice on overcoming creative blocks – the inner critic, perfectionism, wanting to create impressive art from the first try. He understood the ideas: “I can’t compare my first drafts to Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s not fair. I should compare them to the first draft of Bohemian Rhapsody or even his first songs”.
I was happy with these insights but also sensed there was some emotional obstacle blocking him from putting these thoughts into practice.
And at the beginning of the 4th session Andy said “I’m sorry I can’t do it, it’s too hard, it feels like stabbing myself on the arm each time I try to create something”.
He was very negative and wanted to give up. I tried future pacing and it didn’t work at all – he couldn’t imagine being an accomplished artist at all and it seemed to him that the only path to that reality was through painful hours of work that he didn’t want to put in.
I questioned how he would like to use that session instead if he didn’t want to work on this goal anymore, so we explored his second goal – improving his housing situation. I asked how his ideal living situation would look and what were the benefits of renting a place versus buying a place.
After some exploration of the topic Andy said “the UK housing crisis sets up an environment in which I don’t feel worth much”. I encouraged him to tell me more about it. “20 years ago people with normal income were able to buy nice houses, it’s not possible anymore.
The ones that did so now tell us thirty-something-year-olds that we could afford a place if we learned how to save up and didn’t eat avocado toasts all the time, which is really frustrating. And the culture tells you that you are not worth anything if you don’t own a property”.
I asked if I understood correctly that the whole generation of people around his age isn’t worth much because house prices went up. He confirmed and then thought for a moment. “It’s a bit silly to think that, isn’t it?”. I asked what a more empowering belief would be to have about this topic and he concluded that he shouldn’t link his level of self-worth with the UK housing market.
He realized that this belief and anger towards the UK housing market kept him locked in the current situation. We separated the factors that he could and couldn’t control. He decided that he would keep renting an apartment rather than buying one in the next year, but a nicer one, and committed to researching houses he could move to.
That realization and the small crisis around the topic of creating art felt like a breakthrough in his coaching journey.
He texted me later apologizing for being so negative (I assured him that it was ok) and from the next session we kept working on creating art.
He kept having interesting insights: “I shouldn’t think of creating a whole world, I should think of creating one room, pick one musical style and tell myself ‘you are going to spend some time in this room’ and then do it”.
We slowly reached the conclusion that what was missing in his approach was playfulness and self-kindness.
“It should be about exploring music, not about me being a great artist. The scary thing is only the outcome, I should focus on spending time in the process”.
It also turned out to be linked to the second goal. “I’ve been living here for 2 years and I don’t have a comfortable bed and a sofa that I would like. I can afford it, I just couldn’t justify buying it”. I asked how that change would affect him and his work. “Positively” he answered. “So what are you going to do now?”. “I will buy a sofa that I always wanted”.
Our rapport felt strong and being able to joke about the obvious or ‘so wrong that they’re funny’ things made the sessions enjoyable for both of us.
After the 6h session, Andy thanked me for our work together and said that he has full clarity on what he wanted to do and how to get there.
The rest is starting to do that but that’s not something that anyone can do for him and he said that he would think for some time if coaching would still be useful for him.
Later the same day he texted me that “actually it would be really useful to continue even if it involves going round and round in circle – if nothing else, it will increase the frustration to the point of doing something about it!”.
The 7th session felt different to the first 6. The pressure and expectations were lower. Andy set for himself three goals: compose 1 song, see 1 property for rent and have fun. He also added a reward: he would buy himself a massage if he completes the tasks. And a punishment: £100 donation to Boris Johnson’s campaign if he fails.
He completed the goals, set new ones at the next session and completed them again. He started our 10th session proud and relaxed. He didn’t bring anything new to be coached on so we looked back at his initial goals. He still hadn’t moved apartments, but he had been to a few viewings.
His startup had taken off and they were about to close a major deal that was going to make the goal of financial independence “really close to complete”. And he was regularly spending time composing music and didn’t consider it to be painful anymore.
“So that guy who said he couldn’t do it is gone” he said with new confidence in his voice. “What should I tell him if I ever see him online again?” I asked for him to formulate advice he could remember for the future. “That guy has to get over himself” – Andy seemed really happy.
I asked what was key to his transformation. “It was kindness” he answered, which I wouldn’t be able to describe better. I asked how he would like to use the rest of our session. He said he felt like all of the goals had been achieved or would be achieved soon, “what do you do when the client accomplishes everything?”.
“There is always something the client wants to talk about, so we use the session to talk about something else” – I answered – “or” I added and smiled – “we celebrate”.
Karolina Frydrych holds a master’s degree in economics and trained with Animas Centre for Coaching, the world’s leading school of Transformational Coaching, accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). She follows the ICF competency model of using presence, active listening, and powerful questioning to create awareness, set goals, and design actions.
12. Help Clients to See What They Cannot See
Aaron Velky, CEO & Co-Founder, Ortus Academy
Being a coach is all about helping a client see something they couldn’t see before, but something that was always there waiting for them. Call it a life coach, mentality coach, business coach – having a coach can change a lot.
Enter, [Wendy]. Artist, musician, teacher – wanted to be out on her own, had just quit her job, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, but deflating fast. The world of freelance and entrepreneurship is hard.
Her relationship with money was clearly in her way and derailing her.
She was living stories from her past into her reality:
“I can’t do what I love and earn”
“I feel dirty when people pay me more than this really small rate”
‘I’m so focused on money and I hate that”
“I’ll never have enough”
We worked through the root of experiences, moments, and beliefs by examining the root, talking through new concepts, assigning work to reinforce the right mindset, and diving into the pains of the beliefs and how her life would change if we made the transition.
In less than 8 weeks, her standard rate doubled, she earned $1,100 from a one-hour live show online (compared to $200 for a 4-hour live gig before), built a tier of products and services ranging from $55 to $440, sold out a group-lesson, built a product funnel, and recruited 5 new clients, 2 of which are subscriptions/packages of services.
We’re now working on identifying online course options to help her earn while she sleeps. The ROI in two months is already positive.
We didn’t change her, or adapt her whole life. We just got her beliefs out of her way so she could be her best self and sometimes that requires a coach who can see through your own veil.
The reality is, when you run a business, you’re the upper limit, and coaches work to make sure that limit stays far, far ahead so you can keep growing.
Aaron Velky is the visionary and prolific public voice behind Ortus Academy. He brings to the team an award-winning managerial style, deep experience as a coach, and in-depth knowledge of business operations, leadership, social media marketing, and business development.
13. Need Guidance? Move Forward…
Dylan King, Life Coach & Clinical Hypnotherapist, Queen of Grit
Life coaching is incredible! It can really help you work through issues you are dealing with in your life that are holding you back, and give you the tools and resources you need to move forward.
There are many facets of life coaching – I personally specialize in assisting women who struggle with people pleasing and are looking to become fully authentic to their purpose and themselves.
Anyone who feels they need guidance to move forward in their life could benefit from a life coach.
Often times we turn to a self help book or a friend, but the benefit of a life coach is that they will help you discover the answers inside of you instead of telling you what to do.
I had one client who was truly struggling to open herself up. She identified as someone who would never be in love, and would never be loved. She had come to accept this, and didn’t see a way for this to change for her.
Through speaking with her, it became obvious that there was a part of her that was ready to commit to her loving relationship that she was in. This rift in her subconscious just needed to be resolved.
Using a neurolinguistic programming technique called parts integration, we took these two pieces of her (the one who identified as unlovable, and the one who was ready to be in a loving relationship) and helped them see how they were actually part of the same whole, working to protect her and keep her safe.
Much a mediator might help two angry people resolve their issues, my role in this case was to help the parts see how they work together and are in fact one. As they came together, she was incredibly moved, and even cried tears of release.
Since our work together, she has been able to move further in her relationship, unlocking pieces of her that she has held back for years.
Dylan King is certified through the International Board of Coaches and Practitioners for Life & Success Coaching, Hypnotherapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and TIME Techniques. She helps women connect with who they are and to step into their lives purpose.
14. Help Anyone Accomplish Their Goals
Clisver Alvarez, Owner & Founder, Blue Greis Lifestyle
Who should get a life coach?
The answer to that question is someone who is looking for self-improvement in a certain area of his or her life whether it be emotional, physical, spiritual, etcetera.
The tricky part of this question is can anyone get a life coach and accomplish their goals? Why the simple answer is no. The person has to be truly committed and wanting this change for it to take place.
Now I want to share a story of a person who I worked with very closely. She was in a deep depression, suffering a terrible illness, which led her to a financial crisis and made doubt her abilities as a mom, wife, and woman.
She felt like a failure in life like she had missed out on the last boat to “successville”.
But there was something special about this young girl she wanted more out of life yet she just did not know what to do to get it. Eventually, she built up the courage to leave that life of misery behind and she made a choice she had some money coming in and she decided to spend it all on her future because she decided that she was tired of her lifestyle as it was.
She used that money and moved to another state where she created for herself and her family a whole new lifestyle now she’s living the life she so desired.
Let me tell you how I as a life coach played a role in this person’s life – this girl I mention here was me.
Before becoming a life coach, I had to go through an extreme transformation and personal growth so this can show you what a success story looks like and what actual transformation has to take place.
It’s a choice! The process you have to make is life-altering choices that will define the course of your life and whether you succeed or not.
Clisver Alvarez is a Life Transition Coach who helps women make transitional life changes through her one-on-one coaching sessions, online course, and written content. She appeared in the print issue of GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine and was also featured on EHealth Radio.
15. Work with Clients Who Want to Flourish
Kathryn Pirozzoli, Certified Life Coach, Kathryn Pirozzoli Coaching
I am a certified life coach who works with people in major transitions in their lives, particularly as it relates to relationships.
I love working with clients who are going through a divorce or break up because I believe that in the depths of our most painful relationship experiences, a coach can set the tone for the next stage of life in the most profoundly powerful way.
I take clients who feel hopeless about ever having a lasting and loving relationship and help them to understand themselves in a way that when they are done working with me, they go into the world and attract the kind of relationship they always wanted deep down.
I work with functioning people who want to flourish; highly successful men and women who have stumbling blocks in the areas of relationships.
I believe that any person who is functioning in life but wants to flourish, would benefit from hiring a life coach. Anyone who feels they have unmet potential, unmet desires, unmet dreams, would knock it out of the ballpark with a coach by their side.
Last year I began a relationship with a twenty nine year old woman who had gotten married the year before. She is a PhD and highly successful in all areas of her life except as it relates to romantic love.
Since her wedding the year before she couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that she had made the biggest mistake of her life. Through weekly calls and homework, she identified all the ways that she sells herself out to men and how she has settled in love dating back to her first relationship at 13.
She figured out that she was so disconnected from her heart and her intuition that choosing a suitable mate wasn’t going to be possible until she learned to stand in her own intuition and guidance. After a lot of careful consideration, she decided to divorce her husband.
She rented an apartment and began diving into her ‘hurdles’ that she had been tripping over for twenty years. Within six months, she transformed herself into a woman who knew exactly who she was, her inherent value in the world, a woman who could use her voice and know exactly what her heart and body were telling her at any given time.
At some point towards the end of our relationship, she was introduced to a man through her cousin. She trusted her instincts. She slowly got to know him. She listened to her gut each step of the way as they spent a little time together.
A few weeks ago, she writes to me and says, “It almost doesn’t feel real. But in every single instance he has shown up for me. Every time I’m triggered he is there saying he wants me to let it out and he wants to understand so he can support me. He shows up physically with acts of service and consideration for ME.
He shows up intellectually with the best conversations and a genuine drive to continuously level up and improve himself as a human. He shows up emotionally, always digging deeper and sharing what comes up for him and genuinely wants to know my heart. I asked myself if I was a hell yes to this man and closed my eyes. I got a resounding “HELL YES” and decided it was worth it to invest some more into our relationship!”
She had hurdles in the form of false beliefs about herself and about men.
We identified those beliefs and began choosing actions to solidify the new true beliefs.
She felt unworthy of true love and unworthy in general. So we made a list of actions that worthy people would take. She started making new choices and taking new actions until she felt worthy.
We continued to identify beliefs and a course of action to correct those beliefs that weren’t serving her in creating her ultimate dream of a long lasting and loving relationship with a true partner.
She is now creating her dream. Not because of me, but because she chose someone to help her with her blind spots so she could go from good to GREAT!
Kathryn Pirozzoli is a dynamic Life Coach who helps people live their best life. It is her passion to see women and men transform, and with coaching sessions, they can spend time on removing mental barriers and designing and creating blueprints for their lives.
16. We All Have Repetitive Patterns That Limit Us
Katherine Bihlmeier, Transformational Life Coach, Katherine Bihlmeier / IM MOMENT SEIN
I work with a truly amazing client who is a CEO of a big fitness studio.
He is a family man, a father of three, and very protective. He would do anything, even the impossible, to take care of his wife and children and protect his family. He is also a very powerful man and a great creator. Whatever he directs his attention to, that grows.
When I met him, he was using this power and determination in a pretty destructive manner. It seemed as if he used his resourcefulness in a way that just kept creating more trouble for him. Even though he was about to start his new business endeavor, he kept pairing up with business partners who were not at all on his wavelength.
He was totally broke and was about to break a deal with a former business partner. Things seemed very bad for him, and he was supposed to pay a big sum to get out of the contract.
As I heard about his situation, I gave him a few great tips and I could see his eyes light up when he heard what I said. He instantly stated he’d like to get a session in me. But having a big debt to pay, he was reluctant if he could afford a session at the time. Even though I saw that he couldn’t really get me and my work, something in him knew that we didn’t meet on accident.
In the end, he chose to go for a session, right before this big meeting with an important client.
We worked on some deeper issues and patterns, that were creating such a situation for him.
He left the session a shinier and stronger man.
He called me a few hours later, elated. He said that he couldn’t believe how the meeting went. He used the tips and tools we spoke about, kept his calm and stayed silent in the meeting. He ended up not having to pay anything to the former business partner – just a symbolic sum of 1 Euro!
He is now in a long-term coaching program and his business flourishes. I am amazed seeing the grand steps he is making in his life and how much change he is willing to choose with his session.
His determination is fantastic.
Every time after a session, he approaches his business in a new way, totally leaving the old behind. Last week we had a session where he chose to see some really deep things in himself. He called that afternoon to let me know that all of a sudden, he’s negotiating a deal with investors worth 100 million!
Even he can’t believe the changes sometimes. And I am so grateful to see the steps he is making. He is using the same capacities he always had, but now for himself.
We all have blind spots and repetitive patterns that limit us in life. Sometimes we just need the right person who is willing to look at that with us and contribute to us to choose greater. That’s what coaching is for.
Katherine Bihlmeier is a Transformational Life Coach helping people get out of their fears and limitations into living their potential and that what fulfills them. With 20 years of practical expertise in working with kids and adults worldwide, she is the author of the upcoming book “Soul on Fire” – a fun and practical guide to true fulfillment in all areas of life.
17. Your Age Doesn’t Matter
Yumna Aysen, Life & Business Coach, Oh Yes It’s Yumi
When people think of a life coach, sometimes they think of an older person being a life coach or a person who is in a mid-life crisis- seeking out a life coach.
However I feel because the world is changing so fast and we live in a very fast paced society and there is so much pressure on us to succeed – people in their 20’s and 30’s need a life coach. Your 20’s and 30’s are the building blocks of your life.
It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can have a life coach at any point in your life.
No matter what age we are, we are all going through something and it’s great to have someone by your side that can guide you through this thing called life.
More than ever before, I truly do think that there is an increasing need for 20 something year old’s to have a life coach.
Millennials live in a generation unlike any other that has come before them. Life is extremely fast paced, technology and social media has put a lot of pressure on millennials to be more, do more, and live a life that is very hard to maintain without losing your sanity.
There is so much choice out there and with so many choices, this has created a lot of anxiety – young people don’t know where to start or what choice to make so they get stuck and struggle to get unstuck.
And this is where a life coach can come in by offering someone in their 20’s guidance on how to get started and take that first step to living a life that is true to themselves and that brings them joy.
I always like to say that my client is the hero and I’m just the guide.
Just like Yoda is to Skywalker in Star Wars. I believe that you already have the answers within you. As a life coach, I take you through a journey of self-discovery by going through a variety of visualization exercises, asking you discovery questions to help you uncover your passions and what you are looking to achieve out of your career and life.
I believe that the magic happens when you are able to take action on everything that you know.
I had a client that felt very lost in her life and she lost all hope of where she wanted to go.
She thought that she didn’t have the power to change anything in her life because of external circumstances. She thought she never had the answers within her. However I do believe that people have the answers within them already.
It’s just a matter of doing a variety of exercises with them and most importantly asking them powerful questions to guide them on finding the answers to their challenges in their life. She has been living at her family’s home her whole life and has never had a boyfriend and she is in her mid 30’s.
She had been trying for many years to try to figure out a way to become independent and move out and get a place of her own.
As the coaching session went along, in the beginning she didn’t have hope and she thought she didn’t have the answers within her. She thought she didn’t have the power to change her circumstances.
However I tried to shift her paradigm of thinking from shifting from having an external locus of control (focusing on external circumstances’) to having an internal locus of control (focusing on internal power and internal guidance).
I asked her- “I know that there are external circumstances and people that you cannot control right now in this moment in time, but I want you to think about what CAN YOU CONTROL?
And I used an exercise I learnt during my studies to become a professional life coach that worked very well for her to open her mind and access the answers within.
I used an exercise with her called “The Three Chairs.” She was having a challenge with taking back her power in her life and needed guidance because she felt lost. Basically, I set up three chairs in the room and I ask her to sit on each one.
So the first chair is called the “Logical Chair.”
This chair accesses the logical parts of your brain and helps you think of all of the logical things you can do on a day to day basis to gain motivation and direction in her life. When she sat in the logical chair, I asked her to envision that this chair is giving her insights, solutions, and advice to the challenges that she is going through right now and for her to repeat those answers to me of what the chair might be saying to her. You can even ask the client to name this chair or give it a color. And I know that this exercise sounds very strange, but it truly does work.
After she was done with the logical chair, I asked her to go and sit in the “creative chair.”
This chair is different from the logical chair in that it gives you creative advice to your challenges going in your life. So the same process applies where the person sits in the chair and imagines that this particular chair is giving them advice. The creative chair encourages you to think out of the box and think about unconventional solutions to the issues that you might be going through at this moment in time. I asked her to repeat the answers back to me. She struggled a little with this one but I gave her time and eventually all of the answers from this chair started flowing to her. There was so much insight that she gained from it. She had so many epiphany moments.
I then told her to sit in the final chair which is the “Integration Chair.”
Now the integration chair marries the best of both worlds. It takes into account all of the lessons, advice, solutions, and insights that you have gained from both the logical chair and the creative chair and asks you to integrate those solutions, advice and insights together. The main questions that I ask her when it comes to the integration chair is this:
“Take a moment to consider what you learned from both chairs. What was most helpful to you?” “How can you use what you learned to move towards your goal?” “How can you integrate these 2 sets of solutions?”
It was amazing how her eyes brightened up after this exercise and she had gained more hope, guidance and motivation in her life. She felt more in control of her circumstances and making decisions.
It was truly a beautiful experience.
Yumna Aysen is a Success Coach and motivational speaker. She helps and guides clients on a journey of deeper transformational growth and to elevate their lives to reach their fullest potential.
18. Help Us Frame Our Challenges and the Actions to Overcome
Priya Jindal, Transition Coach & Founder, Nextpat
Life coaching is partnering with a champion who believes in you and supports you in achieving your goals and dreams.
Anyone can use a life coach – we all need cheerleaders that can support us and help us frame our challenges and how we’re going to overcome them.
I work with returning expats. When I started my business, a friend reached out to share her frustrations in moving from a large, cosmopolitan city to a rural U.S. city.
In the course of our conversations we discussed her challenges in finding a community, people who understood her experiences and were interested in more than their day-to-day lives.
We also discussed her feeling of being stagnant and being seen only as a mom and not the dynamic, entrepreneurial person she is. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned that if she couldn’t find her happiness, she needed to make it – it was a call to action that she took to heart.
She made it the theme of her year – started pursuing a new psychology degree and is one semester from graduation! She’s been building her own business and has found women of a similar ilk in her area.
In fact, she’s turned around and started to support my business and efforts!
Priya Jindal is a Transition Coach who supports people returning from overseas. Drawing on her own experiences, in consultation with others, she developed a program dedicated to serving returning expats to figure out what’s next.