What is Life Coaching?
What does a Life Coach do?

What is life coaching?

What is Life Coaching? What does a Life Coach do?

These are commonly asked questions, which we set out to answer below along with brief explanations of how life coaching differs from other more commonly known disciplines such as counselling and mentoring.

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an emerging and exciting profession

dream job ahead

Life coaching is a relatively new concept, having risen to popularity in the late ‘90s and the early years of this century, thanks to the many celebrities who credited their success to having hired life coaches.

Of course, although the term ‘life coaching’ is relatively new, the idea of helping others to appreciate their strengths and overcome obstacles to live to their full potential has been around for a very long time.

However, it is only recently that life coaching has become a mainstream career for people who are passionate about people.

Today, in the US at least, this emerging profession has become a burgeoning $1bn industry and it is set for explosive growth elsewhere in the world including in Africa.

You can read a related independent article by clicking here.

at the core of life coaching

Create your own reality

At the core of life coaching is the belief that every person has the capability to be, do and have anything he or she desires.

We are all unique individuals but we share one very powerful attribute – the ability to create our own reality through our thoughts, intentions, beliefs and actions.

solution focused personal development

Personal Development

So, what is life coaching exactly?

It's a solution focused approach to personal development aimed at helping people make very positive and lasting changes in their lives.

People, or 'clients', are encouraged to realise their true potential by following a process that will uncover and eliminate obstructive thinking and behavioural patterns in their lives.

The life coach facilitates this change using tried and trusted tools and techniques to empower their clients, in a caring, supportive and inspiring environment.

A life coach is there to guide and inspire his or her client to bring about a clearer understanding of their aspirations, goals and life purpose and to effect the necessary changes in their current and future behaviour to ensure the realisation of those goals and aspirations.

Human nature being what it is ... with the motivation, support and caring that a good life coach can provide, most people are capable of achieving far more and leading more fulfilling lives than they would if left to their own devices!

life coaching is different!

To answer the question 'What is Life Coaching' it may be helpful to explain how it differs from other disciplines.

Life coaching is different
Counselling and Psychotherapy

interventions aim to help people overcome past traumas and events that require healing before the future can be faced with confidence.

What is life coaching and how does it differ?

Life coaching is specifically aimed at functioning, mentally well people who want to achieve more from their lives by accepting that the present is what it is and that the past does not have to dictate the future.


Mentoring is a process in which wiser and more experienced people look to impart their knowledge to younger people or apprentices who want to be guided to advance in their lives or careers.

What is life coaching and how does it differ?

Life coaches do not look to share their experience, give advice or offer solutions. They look to use their training to help their clients come to realisations about themselves and to embrace their own inner power and capability to achieve their goals and dreams.


Consulting is a process by which experts with specialist knowledge and skills will design solutions to problems or challenges faced by their clients.

What is life coaching and how does it differ?

Life coaches know that their clients are the only true experts when it comes to their own lives. Life coaches will work with their clients to help them design and execute their own solutions to their problems and challenges. Life coaches are facilitators of change.

what is life coaching?
– An alternative perspective –

There's an alternative, perhaps more compelling way, to answer the questions:

What is life coaching? and What does a life coach do?

Here is a beautiful piece that answers these questions in a very different way, and which may suit some people more than others:


IMAGINE ... a relationship where the total focus is on you, on what you want in your life, and on what will help you achieve it.

IMAGINE ... someone listening, not only to your words, but also to what's behind them; someone who even listens to the spaces between your words; someone in tune with the nuances of your voice, your emotion, and your energy - who is intent on receiving everything you communicate; someone who listens to the very best in you, even when you can't hear it in yourself.

IMAGINE ... someone who will hold you accountable and keep you moving forward toward your dreams and goals.

IMAGINE ... a relationship with someone who is totally curious about your dreams and aspirations, what makes you tick, what you value, what you are most passionate about in your life - a person who will help you clarify your goals and provide the tools for action and learning that lead to the results you want.

IMAGINE ... a relationship with a person who is sometimes even more committed to what you want in your life than you are.

IMAGINE ... what it would be like if someone knew your values and life purpose and was holding you true to them; someone who would hold the flag at the top of the hill, encouraging you to press on towards it; someone who is with you to celebrate your victories and help you learn from your setbacks.

IMAGINE ... a relationship with someone who will absolutely tell you the truth - the truth about where you are strong, and where you sell yourself short; someone who knows you can handle the truth and knows that's what you really want; someone who sees how big you can be and constantly holds that big image for you - even when you can't hold it for yourself.

IMAGINE ... a relationship where you finally break free of those self-limiting conversations you’ve been having over the years - where the voices of sabotage are simply noticed for what they are and where the really powerful part of you is always encouraged.

IMAGINE ...  someone who listens to you without judgement and allows you to show emotion; someone who accepts you without analysing you.

IMAGINE ... you get to talk to this person every week, after you've had some great successes or after you've just made a mess of things. This is the place you visit regularly and consistently... to consolidate, to integrate, and to push on.

Welcome to Life Coaching
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