Top 10 Benefits from Hiring a Life Coach

Screenshot 2014-09-10 22.44.09This post is the second of three posts sharing my Top 10 learnings as a life coach. In this post, it’s all about the benefit of working with one!

I’ve had the good fortune to be on both sides of the coaching experience. So in sharing my top 10 list of benefits from hiring a coach, know that it represents both perspectives.

  1. My friend Shann Vann Leek wrote a fabulous article about self-love for Aspire Magazine titled You Deserve to Put Yourself at the Front of the Line. Not only does Shann talk about why putting yourself first is so important, she gives you three easy transformational tips on how to make a habit of doing it. Her article is spot on, so take a couple of minutes to read why it’s so important to put yourself first!
  2. In Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends & Influence People, his first two princiDale Carnegie How to Win Friends & Influence Peopleples in handling people are to avoid criticism, condemnation or complaining and to give honest and sincere appreciation for others. To perform these two principles consistently, one must first learn to look for the good in life. Not only will this practice help you win friends and influence others, it will also allow you to go through life feeling much happier! Coaches know how to help you shift your line of thinking — reprogram your mind, so to speak, so that your default is set on “find what’s right” rather than “find what’s wrong.”
  3. I wrote about gratitude in last week’s post, and I include it again here because so many people don’t realize the power of expressing authentic gratitude. The beauty in expressing gratitude, even for the smallest thing, is that it builds upon itself. I can’t think of a better role model than Oprah to explain how this works. Click here to watch her short video What Oprah Knows About the Power of GratitudeIt’s only a few minutes, say go on, have a listen!
  4. Quote by Author Sheila CallahamOne of the most powerful benefits I received from working with a  life coach was learning why all emotions are good — even the ones that feel yucky. How we feel serves as our “emotional guidance system,” alerting us to when we are not in balance and harmony with our authentic self or deeper wisdom. If you feel depressed going to work every day because your manager suppresses your creativity, that’s your emotions telling you that you are not in alignment with your expressive self. When you are not in alignment, actively seek change so that you can feel better. Sometimes, however, our yucky feeling emotions stem from baggage that we continue to carry with us which brings us to our next benefit.
  5. Last summer I wrote the article Let Go of Your Past and Focus on Your Perfect Future. Here I outline five ways to release the baggage holding you back. I find that when working with clients who feel a lot of anger, there is typically something in their past that keeps coming up for them. Once you discover the cause of your yucky feelings, then you can make a conscious effort release the baggage responsible for it. Coaches are trained to ask powerful questions that aid in your reflection and identification of emotional baggage you’re carrying around.
  6. Caroline Myss, internationally renowned medical intuitive and author of several bCarolyn Myss The Language of Archetypesest selling books, makes a clear distinction between fate and destiny in The Language of Archetypes. Fate is caving under fear and relinquishing life into the hands of others. It is, she says, selling our soul for the safety of what’s known. Destiny, however, is the willingness to go with the unknown to create the life you truly desire. The Secret (pun intended!) to creating your desired future is is first to get very clear on what you want, and then visualize yourself already receiving it, connecting to how it feels to have already achieved what you desire, and finally appreciate every small step in the right direction! Coaches know how to facilitate this thinking in their sleep!
  7. What you think about yourself, you become. End of story. Don’t like how you think and feel about yourself? Hire a life coach!
  8. There is simply no end to the possibilities for the abundance of joy, love, pleasure, excitement, discovery, wonder, amusement, and laughter if you are looking for it. In this way, abundance is your birthright. It’s up to you to claim it. Coaches show you how.
  9. Perception is a powerful tool. How you perceive yourself is projected to everyone around you — whether you realize it or not. When you appreciate yourself more, respect yourself more, extend more patience and kindness to yourself, that will shift your self-perception in subtle ways that will be noticed by others. Your inner reality is projected outside of yourself.
  10. Have you ever met anyone who remained calm when you were about to blow? If so, you’ve probably met an expert in the art of allowing — the acceptance of a person or circumstance as he/she/it is. I can’t think of anyone better than Christy Whitman to explain the Law of Allowing in this short video and how you can benefit from practicing it every day!

There are many benefits to hiring a life coach, and I’ve just skimmed the surface. If you are considering working with a life coach, one thing to keep in mind is the many different kinds of coaches including leadership coaches, relationship coaches (both work and personal), spiritual coaches, success coaches… and so forth. Most coaches offer a complimentary session which I would highly recommend. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about yourself in 30 minutes. Better yet, there’s no cost or commitment! Why wouldn’t you do that?!

Remember, a coach will push you — that’s their job — and if they are doing a good job, they may even make you a little uncomfortable. A good coach will point out where they see you tripping yourself up, so you must be open and willing to receive feedback.

Becoming a life coach has been rewarding for me. Not only have I made a personal transformation, I have had the honor of working with many others in their transformation as well. If you are curious about life coaching click here to watch five free training videos that Christy created to help you better understand if life coaching is right for you.

If you are looking for a coach, what benefit do you want to take away? And, if you are a coach, what are some of the benefits your clients have expressed as their takeaways?

Top Ten Lessons Learned as a Life Coach

QSCA Life Coaching

The next three posts are part of a series to share my experiences as a life coach. I am forever grateful to Christy Whitman, founder of Quantum Success Coaching Academy, for following her heart and creating such a transformative coaching course. 

Funny thing, how life is. Especially when we open ourselves to paths that reveal themselves unexpectedly. Right when we think we know what we’re doing, we learn (as Paul Harvey would say) the rest of the story.

Learning to wait for the rest of the story enabled me learn so much more about myself and others. Now I wait with great anticipation for what’s next and because of waiting and being open to what presents itself, I chose to follow a path I had not anticipated —that of a life coach. Now, four years later, I’m sharing ten of the most important lessons I’ve learned while coaching others.

  1. All the answers lie within — it’s part of our birthright, being born of the divine. When we turn inward seeking answers, the spark of divine within us connects us to a higher source for the answers we seek.
  2. The past is not where I need to focus my attention. The power in creating a happy, fulfilling, empowered life is to focus on the future. The Achilles’ heel in this simple life strategy is that we fall into “gap mentality” where all we see is the gap between where we are now and where we long to be. Once that mindset is recognized and repaired, the future is all that matters.
  3. Many clients indicate that they don’t know what they want in life, or they don’t know what to do about a certain situation. The key to unlocking what you want is to ask the right questions. I’ve learned as a coach the power in asking the right question which, surprisingly, can sometimes be as simple as, “Who would you be if nothing could hold you back?”
  4. Thoughts create feelings which, in turn, influence our behavior. Think about it. You can feel happy as a lark one minute but then begin to think that someone doesn’t like you, which makes you feel yucky, which then leads you to walk away. When maybe the other person was simply distracted or was dealing with their negative thoughts about being ill-received. Bottom line, think positively about every situation. Practice positive intent. You’ll immediately feel better about yourself and the situation.
  5. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. And, it takes a lot of practice to be our best human! Life is a process. One where we learn as we go. We figure out what to do by making mistakes along the way. And that’s okay. That’s life. Be gentle with yourself by allowing space for the hardship because that’s where a lot of the learning takes place.
  6. As a coach, I am forever amazed at how similar we all are. It seems we all want the same things in life: to feel happy, loved, and to know that we are making a difference in the world. In the big scheme of things, we are all seekers walking through this life as an individual and as a collective consciousness.
  7. As Oprah says, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is to celebrate.” Practicing gratitude is one of the fastest tools for shifting client’s emotions to a higher vibration. All it takes is just a moment to look around and consider all the things for which you can be grateful. When you mindfully and passionately practice gratitude, you are rewarded with even more of what you appreciate. Through gratitude, miracles truly do occur.
  8. If you use the analogy of humans as vessels filled with water, then you can only pour yourselves out for others so long until you run out of water. If all you do is serve others, care for others, give to others, consider others, support others… then what remains for you? It is not selfish to ensure that you are taking care of you first because from that place of fullness, you are better able to provide for others. Stand that vessel up and hit the refill button!
  9. American writer Robert Collier once said, “Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.” There is great wisdom is those words because in your visualizing it, you are connecting to pure potentiality. When you visualize something you desire, your thoughts shift, your feelings move into alignment with the desire, and you instinctively know what to do and say to make your way, one step at a time, toward your destiny.
  10. I have long rebuffed the concept of “only one path” for representing ridiculously limited thinking. Coaching confirms for me that there are, in fact, many ways to happiness, many paths to success, many doors of opportunity to create the life of your dreams. Imagine being in the desert with no nearby city lights to block your view of the night sky. All those stars you see when you look up represent the abundance of paths you can take in life. Which one will you choose? That should be entirely up to you; not influenced by what anyone else wants for you.

Going through the QSCA was the one of the most transformational choices I’ve made because it locked in many of my long-held beliefs. When I first enrolled into QSCA, I had no intention of becoming a life coach. My goal was to give myself the tools I needed to make a huge life change. What I learned in the process is how much I genuinely enjoyed motivating others and how easy it was for me to connect. In the end, not only did I make a major life transformation that I had been putting off for years, I also found a meaningful way to make a positive difference in the life of others.

Whether you are looking for personal transformation or you are interested in a coaching career, I whole-heartedly recommend Christy Whitman’s QSCA. She only offers open enrollment twice annually, and the doors will be opening in just a couple of weeks. As a mentor to new students who join the academy, I always tell them how transformational the course is. I’ve yet to have a coach come out the other side of the program to disagree.

Just a little curious about life coaching? Click any of the links in this post to watch five free training videos that Christy created to help you build a thriving coaching business.

I am an affiliate of Christy Whitman International and happily recommend her coaching course. QSCA helped transform my life and gave me the tools I needed to make a positive difference in the lives of others! No worries, you don’t have to purchase anything to benefit from Christy’s five free videos. Enjoy!

How I Know Being 50 is Better than 30

Maya Angelou Quote, At 50A few weeks ago I did something I have never done before. I ran four miles without stopping. Let me set some context here: I used to be one of those people who said, “I hate running!” I said that when I was a sprinter in college and every year afterwards until recently. The fact that I have overcome such a limiting belief is just one of many reasons why I believe that being 50 is better than 30.

I would have never imagined when I was 30 years old that I would go out and run four miles, for the first time, at the age of 50. Like many events in my life, this wasn’t something I ever planned; rather, it simply unfolded over time. It all began last autumn when my youngest son, Ryan, began working with a track coach. Every week we would meet at one of the local tracks and work out. Sometimes I would watch. Other times, I would work with them. Coach Titus was great with Ryan, understanding his initial resistance to the workouts and gently nudging him until Ryan began asking for more. When Coach couldn’t work with Ryan, he would send a training plan, and I would take him through the paces. You can see where this is going, no? Yes! I also began to strengthen my core muscles, I also began to build up my cardio conditioning, and I also began to want more — little by little.

Don’t think for one minute that you become more limited as you age, because that doesn’t have to be your reality. What you choose to do with your life is up to you and it all begins with your mindset. Too many people I know “dread” their birthdays, especially the big ones that end in “0.” It seems that by the time 30 rolls around people are already thinking negatively about their age.

I’m not 30, I’m 29.95 plus tax

You can imagine what one hears as the big 5 – 0 nears.

Fifty is the worst “F” word

This cultural bias of dread associated with getting older has created some very lucrative industries, especially for women. Hair coloring, for instance, begins the minute the first gray hair is noticed, which for many is around 30.

Here is an important question to consider:

Here’s the good news. Getting older is expansive if you allow it to be. I know this for a fact because it has been my experience. Hands down, I am healthier, happier, more energetic, more creative, more physically active, more of everything at 50 than I was at 30. Seriously. I blogged about this just before my birthday and, given my recent athletic achievement, I believe it deserves further discussion. Specifically, I want to share more of the aspects of my process to better health and happiness. Such as…

I spent years learning how to better love myself. That meant following my heart instead of the crowd. It meant not hiding behind my feelings that were in contrast to those around me (especially family). It meant me accepting me wholeheartedly and not trying to mold myself into the expectations of others. What did that look like as it manifested?

For starters, I stopped coloring my hair and let the true color shine through. That was an important part of my transformation because there is so much ego tied to body image, and I was no exception. I remember when a former colleague asked me why I stopped coloring my hair (with a tsk-tsk and a shake of her head), I explained that I was fighting my ego, and I thought my self-image made a great battleground. The winner would be made evident to the world, and I wanted to win. What I learned from this process is when I began to release attachments to ego, my true self had more room to emerge.

Secondly, I left a job making big money because it was not fulfilling to me. No package, no retirement, just started all over with something new that I loved: writing and coaching. The writing spawned my creative nature, and I’ve published two books and written five more in just over three years. My trilogy is forthcoming and I’ve two self-empowerment books in draft scheduled for release later this year. That’s a lot of inspiration flowing! When I gave myself permission to be me, it was like I unlocked the dam of creativity! Coaching allows me to give back by inspiring and nurturing others in their journey toward happiness and health.

Thirdly, and this is a big one, I’ve let go of beliefs instilled in me as a child that went unquestioned. As children, we expect our elders to know it all and tell us what is important and age-relevant for our well-being. What we don’t understand is that our parents, teachers, and ministers are molding us to fit within the familial and cultural norm. Star WarsIt takes a very enlightened parent to have a belief about something and not teach that belief to his or her children as truth. I’m inspired by MindValley founder Vishen Lakhiani, who openly shares why he rejected religion altogether and raises his son on the tenants of “Star Wars.” If you recoil at the thought, I especially encourage you to read his post. It’s incredibly enlightening!

Fourthly, I learned that genetically modified, processed, hormone-induced food products hurt my body. It took a three-week elimination diet and another four weeks of reintroducing products into my diet for this to be confirmed. Now I don’t eat glutens, soy, processed sugars, or diary. (I stopped eating red meat when I developed an allergy about eight years ago.) Not only have I lost ten pounds and lots of inches around my waist, hips and thighs (and I wasn’t heavy to begin with), I have more energy than I have in years. And even better, my husband tells me almost daily how much younger I look!

Lastly, I focus my thoughts on the good in my life and the wonderful future ahead. I see where I want my life to go, and that’s what I envision. I don’t look at the gap between where I am now and where I want to be. When things happen that make me feel bad (like the death of my mother), I practice allowing. Allowing is accepting life as it is and looking for the good in it. My mother may have passed, but I can be ever-so grateful for the loving relationship we had while she was alive. I am also grateful that I could be with her, along with my brother, holding her hand as her energy left the physical world and moved on to the next great thing.

I know great wisdom comes with aging. I know that mindset is the master of our of experience. I know that learning how to live a joyful life is a process that, if we are open to possibilities, only gets better with age. I know that for me, being 50 is so much better than being 30. And I know this chick just ran four-friggin miles on a beautiful Florida beach. All I can say is, bring it on!

Sheila's four mile run

Click to see a 50-second inspirational clip of my four-mile run in beautiful Ponce Inlet, FL. What do you want to do next?

What can you do to embrace the wisdom that only comes with age and expand your health and happiness?