Coaching is everywhere: life coaching, intuitive coaching, spiritual coaching, Law of Attraction coaching, holistic coaching and so on. But what is a coach, anyway, and how does a coach differ from a counselor, a teacher, a spiritual adviser, a religious guide, or a guru?
Counselors, advisers and teachers focus on inner process or outer results, but rarely combine the two. But a coach’s job is to source outer results from inner processes, to facilitate your self discovery, and to support, encourage and motivate you on your own unique path to self actualization. A coach’s primary tasks are to help you discover your core values, suggest a plan to actualize them, eliminate internal or external blocks to those goals, and go on the journey with you, motivating you along the way.
Why Have a Spiritual Life Coach?
The primary reason people seek out coaches is to fix a lack of confidence, direction or motivation. The primary benefit of a coach over a therapist, counselor or adviser is that a coach supports you in finding your own insights and your own solutions.
Spiritual coaches have the added tools of spiritual orientation and knowledge – timeless wisdom that often provides the only pathway out of a strictly materialistic existence and into a deeper, richer life.
Also, the results of a great coaching experience can be much longer-lasting than therapy, classes, workshops or counseling sessions, because the results are drawn from your core and structured from your beliefs, dreams and desires . . . because the solutions are yours.
What to Look For
You don’t want a coach who’s going to teach you from some lofty pinnacle of wisdom and accomplishment. That’s the guru’s role.
You do want someone who “gets” you, your dreams, your values, your beliefs and your fears, someone who can meet you right where you are and accompany you step by step on the journey to where you want to be. If you absolutely adore your fast-paced, high-profile, upwardly mobile lifestyle, for example, a gauzy Earth Mother shaman who knows all about spirit guides and herbs might not be your best choice for a coach, no matter how much she knows about the subjects which interest you.
Here are some basics to consider:
Knowledge. Since you’re looking for a spiritual life coach, you want someone who has at least a working knowledge of concepts and teachings which interest you.
Attitude. Working with your coach should help you feel positive and hopeful, and this usually stems in part from the coach’s own attitude about life. The best coaches are curious, flexible, courageous, non-judgmental and comfortable with themselves.
Approach. Your coach should make every session all about you. Great coaches are great listeners, know how to build rapport in a style that’s comfortable for you (do you prefer high-powered? or deeply introspective?), communicate clearly, and know to step back and let you find your own answers after suggesting paths to explore.
Experience. Since coaching, and in particular spiritual coaching, is a relatively new field, really experienced practitioners may be difficult to find. However, many coaches move into the field from other types of teaching and counseling. If, for example, psychic development is one of your goals, hiring a practicing psychic/teacher who has recently been trained as a coach might be a good choice.
Expense. Even though coaching is relatively new, the best coaches can cost as much as (or more than) a therapist. If money’s no object, fine. If it’s a consideration, balance the “experience” suggestions with your impression of the focus and efficiency (and therefore time management skills) of each to help you make the best choice for you, spiritually, emotionally and financially.
Last But Not Least
When you’re choosing a coach, listen to your instincts above all!