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What is life coaching?

Until I started working with a life coach, I didn't know what it was or how it could help me. I hope that this is a useful starting point for people who are curious about what it is. I've written this from my own personal perspective and understanding, relative to my own experience. Understandably, many people assume that a life coach gives advice. The truth is that life coaches ask open questions - and here's why that can be a very effective tool for making positive changes in your life.

What is life coaching?

Life coaching provides dedicated time on a 1-1 basis for you to talk through problems that are having a negative impact on your life, and to work towards resolving them by answering questions that get to the very core of the issue. The purpose behind coaching questions is to challenge repetitive thought patterns that can make you feel powerless, stuck, or lost. They are an effective tool to open up your perspective, to bring clarity to muddled thoughts, to identify steps towards making changes in your life, and to find the courage to make them happen.

How can it help me?

Coaching can help you to:

  • open your eyes to alternative options and choices

  • overcome doubt and make clear decisions

  • break down big changes into small steps

  • feel empowered to turn ideas into actions

  • realise what you truly want and start making your way there

  • communicate more clearly and maintain better relationships

  • arrive at clear truths that may have been buried in self-doubt or shame

  • bring your focus to the present

Why does a coach ask questions?

Questions are an effective tool for navigating beyond what you've experienced in the past. They help to:

  • let you speak and to be heard in a confidential environment

  • explore alternative options even when you think you've exhausted them all

  • break through barriers or limitations

  • think outside of your usual environment

  • reveal the truth about what you truly want

  • discover answers that previously seemed to be invisible

  • feel empowered to find your own answers and act on them

What if I don’t know the answers?

That’s ok. A coach will expect there to be long pauses for thought and “I don’t know” responses, especially at the start of a session together. The questions will shift and turn, change in approach, and guide you all the way.

Is coaching a worthwhile investment?

Coaching provides a unique environment for you to speak without judgement, to think without interruption, and to explore solutions without being given advice. It helps you to see that you have the answers right there inside you. A coach simply invites you to access them, and holds the space for you to work through your fears and blocks. If you’re willing to go there, it will be a worthwhile investment of your time and money.


This is part of a blog series about life coaching. Do you have any questions that you’d like me to answer in future posts? Please email:


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