Honest to goodness I get this question every month. From the same person (and no, there’s not a memory problem!) A person I love and cherish. Yep. Every. Month. Love my Mom! So, in the interest of heading off that question this month let’s look again at what coaching is specifically and how it can perhaps help you, Dear Reader.

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter if you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or bridge player…we all need people who give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Bill Gates. Thanks Mr. Gates!

I specifically decided to become a health and wellness coach because in the course of my work as a therapist it became abundantly clear this was the foundation many people were lacking. You can go out and hire a life coach, a business coach, a creativity coach (yes, really) but from where I sit without a firm foundation on the pieces which make up health and wellness, these other coaches don’t have much to work with.

Wellness encompasses ones environment, financial health, occupational choices, social networks, intellectual stimulation, emotional stability, physical attention (medical, exercise, sleep hygiene, nutrition) and spiritual connection (adapted from Peer Wellness Coaching Supervisor Manual, Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives). Whew! That’s a lot of ground to cover!

What does a coach do and how could that be helpful to you? Simply put, having a coach on your side can help you get from where you currently are to where you want to be more quickly, efficiently and thoughtfully. Now, seriously, doesn’t that sound good? One of the best responses I ever get is, “I hadn’t ever thought to do that!” Having a coach on your side enables you to see a bit around corners and head off the blind spots.

Coaches in general and myself for sure tend to ask questions. A lot of questions. Thought provoking, stop you in your track sometimes questions. The stopping can then allow you to really dig down and decide what’s important, what you want to focus on and how you want to get there.

We’re also good for accountability. Mind you accountability isn’t about scolding or doing the tsk-tsk thing when you’ve not done what you had committed to doing; its about helping you get where you want to go.

While there are many other qualities a coach brings to the table one of the other ones that I find helpful and my clients report is helpful is the shifting mind-set aspect. When we see ourselves one way it can be a bit tough to see ourselves or our choices in a new way. With a coach we can gradually begin to see ourselves differently. The world moved under my feet when I began to see myself not just as a therapist and coach but also as a business person! Hold on because the shift can feel radical!

Is a coach for you? I don’t know! But here’s what I do know for sure ~ if you’re stuck or want to make some changes in how you’re going about your life it wouldn’t be a bad place to start! Give it a thought!