Coaches used to be reserved for athletes and Hollywood celebrities. But thankfully not any more, because coaching can be powerful for personal growth. But what is it, who is it for, and what do you really get out of it?
What impressions come to mind when you think of coaching? Advice on dealing with a traumatic event or difficult time? Being cheered on and told you’re wonderful whatever you do? Getting expert step-by-step guidance on how to do something? A bloke with a whistle, shouting from the sidelines? Unless they’ve experienced it for themselves, people can have misconceptions about what coaching actually means.
Ok, so what exactly is coaching?
Let’s start with what a coach is—someone with specific experience or expertise in a particular subject, who is then willing and able to pass it on in the form of professional advice and guidance. Coaching clients have all that rich experience at their fingertips to help them achieve their goals. The goals can be for pretty much any area in life, and for those keen to challenge themselves and push out of their comfort zone, the coaching process can offer invaluable insights.
Everyone knows about sports coaching (football teams, track and field, gymnastics; the list goes on) but you’ll find coaches in almost any walk of life where people want to develop their skills. Singing, public speaking, relationships, dating, even stand-up comedy! And of course there’s a slew of both personal and professional options under the subheading ‘growth and development’. Here you have coaches in nutrition, mindset, behaviour change, wellness, productivity, leadership—the list is endless.
The same principle applies throughout. Want to improve yourself in some way through learning and development? A coach can help accelerate that journey. It gives you an opportunity to tap into someone else’s expertise and carry on learning, empowering you to achieve things that might have seemed out of reach before. A coach can also offer a valuable outside perspective to counter habitual thought patterns and beliefs that are actually holding you back.
Is there anything coaching isn’t for?
Lots of people seek out a coach to help them work past a particular obstacle, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s just for people suffering with a problem.
It’s not the same as counselling or therapy. The BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) explains the difference as:
Coaching is about change and action. The core purpose of coaching is to increase self-awareness, to make choices explicit, and to close the gap between potential and how things are currently. While counselling is reparative in nature, coaching has a developmental focus.
We all need to learn from our past to move forward, but coaching takes the present as neutral ground and helps you figure out how to get to the future you want. It certainly helps if your coach can get to know you well, but you don’t have to spill your life story if you don’t want to. If you had visions of lying on the proverbial leather coach while someone writes notes about your childhood memories, you can set them aside. That kind of process can be great in therapy, but it’s not needed here. Coaching is all about creating a roadmap to reaching your goals.
What do you get out of it?
One of the great benefits of coaching is that it can help you to reach conclusions in order to make decisions for what you want to do next in your life. If you have ever been unsure about a career change, uncertain of how to bridge the gap between a pipe dream and reality, or just need a confidence boost to rally you to take the leap, life coaching can offer you some clear steps. It is an opportunity to put yourself first, prioritise your own goals and aspirations and to invest in your own future – you could be enjoying the positive domino effect of this for the rest of your life!
One of the biggest benefits to be had from coaching is clarity. Your coach will help you sort through your jumbled thoughts, pull out what’s most important, and draw conclusions so you can actually make decisions about how you want to move forward. Getting crystal clear on what you want is what propels you into action.
It sounds great, but is it really for me?
Absolutely anyone can benefit from being coached. Let’s say that again for those at the back: absolutely anyone. Remember what we said earlier? If you want to improve yourself in some way through learning and development, 1-2-1 coaching is the fastest most effective way—because it’s tailored to what you need and no one else. Here are some examples:
- You have a particular goal or ambition that you want to achieve, but you don’t know where to start.
- You’re finding it difficult to make lasting lifestyle changes, like changing your relationship with alcohol, eating well, breaking bad habits etc.
- You feel drained in your job and you’re considering a career change but you’re not sure where to start.
- You’re reassessing your life after taking your alcohol-free challenge, and want to figure out what’s next.
How can a coach help you with any of these things? By working with you to implement tools and techniques tailored to your life and how your mind works. Or by showing you how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to find the best path. Or in whatever way works for you, because it can be completely bespoke to your personality, circumstances and heart’s desires.
How do you find the right coach?
It’s a fair question, because you’re trusting this person with a lot—your whole life and wellbeing! You want a coach with:
- The relevant skills and experience for the area in which you want to develop
- Qualifications with a recognised training provider
- A personality and approach that fits how you work best
Every coach comes with their own skillset and qualities, and like any relationship, you’re going to gel more with some than others. Think of it a bit like dating—you may need to chat to a few before you click with one. But once you meet that special someone, the coaching relationship can begin to blossom.
Coaching at OYNB
Changing your relationship with alcohol can be hard. That’s why we feel it’s important to make sure that reliable, effective coaching support is available for our members if they need or want it throughout their OYNB journey. There are different options to suit different needs, of course:
- Small-group coaching in Alcohol-Free Me: A smaller, more close-knit community with multiple online group-coaching calls each day.
- Personalised 1-2-1 coaching: Highly tailored support from someone you know will always be in your corner to help you achieve.
- 6-week MasterMind course: For members who have completed a challenge, this structured goal-setting course is hyper-focused on the path to success—whatever that looks like for you. (The course only runs a few times a year, so look out for announcements if you’re interested!)
And because we understand the impact that coaching can have, we keep really high standards for all our coaching services. OYNB coaches all hold qualifications with recognised and trusted institutions, follow a strict code of ethics, and have access to coaching supervision so they can continue their development. (Yes, even coaches need to keep learning!)
How far can you go?
The only limitations on our personal development are the ones we put on ourselves. Coaching can help you smash through those confines to get what you really want out of life—no dream too ambitious or barrier too big. Equally, it can be the simplest things that mean the most—either way, sometimes it just takes an objective expert eye to help you discover them.
Questions? Thoughts? Want to know more? Drop our wonderful customer support team a line at [email protected] and they’ll be happy to help.