A guide to life coaching

You may be wondering about life coaching and its purpose with wildly successful people having used one such as Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Princess Diana and many more.

What is life coaching?

According to personal and professional development coach Thomas McCormack @the.authenticity.coach on Instagram:

“In the loud world that we live in sometimes, it can be hard to define what your goal is, and a life coach can help to ask the questions to steer you in the right direction”.

Life coach and motivational speaker of 15 years Mark Fennell @markfennell.ie on Instagram defined life coaching as “discovering your full potential in life”.

More and more people are opting to hire life coaches to help them seek clarity rather than searching for more in-depth help from counsellors.

To put life coaching into simple terms, they offer a service, and their focus may vary depending on the client and their individual journey. A coach is a trained professional whose job it is to help you find clarity as to what your goals are and then create an actionable plan to achieve them.

A lot of people often wonder about the differences between what a life coach can offer you rather than seeking a counsellor to help you on your journey.

When posed the question about the differences between what a life coach does differently than a counsellor Fennell offered an interesting response.

“The main difference between a life coach and a counsellor is that coaching is very future focused. I ask the questions of what is holding you back and what is causing you unhappiness now and then I work to put a plan in place in moving you forward in a direction you want to go.”

According to an article published by the Journal.ie there has been a spike in managers buying into the multibillion-dollar life coaching business.

Five years ago, Forbes magazine described life coaching as the second-fastest growing profession in the world and has estimated the industry to be worth €1.8 billion globally.

According to the Irish Times, a one-hour session with a life coach can range from €100 to €250 depending on your chosen coach’s experience and reputation.

As life coaching is a relatively new profession and concept there is still apprehension from people around its purpose and credibility.

Fennell explained how he deals with criticism from people who share this standpoint.

“I think diversity is a good thing and we all need different viewpoints. When I get criticism, I hear what people say. I may disagree with it but it’s not going to stop me doing what I do because I’m all in.”

McCormack also spoke about the common misconceptions around life coaching and that people often are of the opinion that life coaching is someone telling you what to do.

“The beauty of coaching and what I love about it is that the expert is always the client. The client is the person who takes ownership and makes their own decisions.”

What are the benefits of life coaching?

It has been reported by many that life coaches can help a person to identify their strengths and develop them and pinpoint personal and professional goals in the process.

A huge part of the process and a vital part of life coaching is the compatibility between mentor and mentee.

Fennell explained the biggest lesson life coaching has given to his life, stating that, “we can always reach higher than we think we can reach, it is ourselves that hold us back. Sometimes people settle and don’t realise their own potential and don’t realise what a happy life really is”.

McCormack echoed Fennell’s realisation from life coaching when he stated his biggest takeaway from his experience of life coaching so far.

“The biggest lesson would be an awareness around how I was the person getting in my own way and I was the only person who could figure out what I truly wanted.”

Although life coaching may be a new and unchartered way of seeking clarity it is an industry that is booming and shows no signs of decreasing.


Sarah Burke 

Image credits: Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash