People have been asking me a lot recently: What exactly is Life Coaching? And how is it different than counselling or therapy?
I first found life coaching two years ago after an intense transition from Toronto, where I had moved for a career shift that hadn’t worked out. The gap between my expectations and reality was painful. I felt like a failure.
I wanted to transform this feeling of failure into an opportunity, but needed help.
That’s when I discovered that being supported and guided through change is what life coaching is about. Deb Thompson, life coach extraordinaire, showed up in my life at that time. And I asked: What would help me thrive through this unwanted change?
One of my favourite teachers had told me years earlier that change is about three things.
Awareness: of what needs to be changed, of the desire to change (sometimes forced on you, like happened to me)
Acceptance: am I ready and willing? Where are the resistant and resilient areas.
Action: Begin to build the plan for changes, using strategies and tools
Life coaching supports you through change to flourishing on purpose. It draws out your deepest yearnings, helps you articulate your vision for your life and offers strategic practices and tools to support you.
Deb told me, It’s all about you. And the changes you need to make so you can thrive.
I still had to do the hard work. I increased my awareness of old patterns and built deeper understanding of my strengths and expertise. And had to fully accept the reality of where I was now and let go of anger and resentment. Only then could I begin to envision next steps. Once I knew clearly that I wanted to change my career to life coaching, I moved into action.
After much research, I chose to study with Integral Coaching Canada—an incredible school grounded in research, theory and practice. It’s one of the best in North America. The course aligned beautifully with my Masters of Adult Education in transformative learning. And offered skillful knowledge and training to support people—you and me—to thrive through change.
Life changes. All the time. I know this to be true and I often resist it. And usually we need help to see where we resist and how to move forward.
This past summer, I had an opportunity to see how much I had changed when I was paddling my kayak across large, open water in Georgian Bay (see my blog here). The wind suddenly rose up half way across. At first, I felt fear grip my throat and saw threateverywhere. But by pure, sweet grace, my perception shifted so instead I saw astonishing beauty: the fierce, playful wind, the amazing white caps leaping, and felt my body’s steady and capable strength that carried me safely to the other side.
When we are open to change, we don’t resist what is happening in this present moment. We go with the flow—the root of thriving.
But sometimes we need help and support to get there. Like when I left my job, and had to work through feelings of failure and let go of my idea of what I should do. Instead: What is my vision? What does life call me to do?
Zen Habits has a wonderful post by Leo Babauta called 7 Little Habits That Can Change Your life, and How to Form Them.. These are the tiny, universal habits that can help any of us to make the changes we need. One step at a time.
Change is simple but not easy. But you don’t have to struggle alone. Life coaching can help guide and support you to make the changes you want. With lasting results.
Call or connect with me for a complimentary session when you’re ready—or need to—change.
Susan Young, Integral Life Coach, RYT