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LIFE COACH CERTIFICATIONS
The Definitive Guide
Are life coach certifications necessary to kickstart your journey as a life coach?
Do you really need one? And if yes, which one should you pick?
What are the short-term benefits of getting a life coach certification? Are there any drawbacks to getting certified?
If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions about life coach certifications, this article is for you!
Here, I’ve demystified and simplified all the questions surrounding life coach certifications.
By the end, I’m sure you’ll discover which certification program fits your unique requirements just right.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?
The Fundamentals of Life Coaching
Launching your own online life coaching business hasn’t been easier than it is today.
To succeed as a life coach you need a clear sense of purpose, the drive to help people, and the right training. However, that’s not all. To make it big as a coach, you’ll also need to learn how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of life coach certifications. The goal is to give you all the information you need to make the right decision based on your goals.
No doubt, we start coaching because we’re passionate about making a difference, but without the right training and education, we may not be able to bring about the difference that we desire.
Before we move on to decoding the bigger questions, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of life coaching and certifications.
What is Life Coaching?
Life Coaching refers to the process of addressing specific goals, ambitions, failures, successes, motivation, and transitions in various parts of a client’s life like personal goals, relationships, business, spirituality, health, fitness, etc. A life coach first examines the present reality of each part of a client’s life, then works to identify obstacles or challenges, and finally helps clients choose a course of action that improves their life.
Why Do People Need Life Coaching?
While a life coach may sound like something most people don’t need, just hear me out for a moment.
People have been seeking guidance from friends, colleagues, or even family members for years! Wouldn’t it be better if a trusted professional could guide them instead?
Just think about it. Unlike family members, siblings or near and dear ones, a life coach isn’t biased. They’re less likely to be clouded by their own judgements or emotions.
And, of course, they’re going to have a more objective input and they’ll probably be able to offer their clients a new perspective while they’re at it.
In addition, a life coach is equipped with tools, techniques, and experience to effectively help their clients get closer to the end goals they are working towards.
What Life Coaching is NOT
Life coaching is not a one-stop solution to every small and big problem one may have in life. Neither is it a quick fix for deep-rooted psychological or behavioural problems.
If you’re looking to explore a career as a life coach to transform people’s lives overnight – abort mission immediately.
However, if you’re someone who enjoys helping or supporting others as they try to improve their lives, life coaching may just be the right career for you!
Are life coaches the same as therapists? Not at all. Here’s how they differ.
Types of Life Coaches
Life coaching isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ industry. There are many different specializations or niches that coaches fall into, and these usually depend on their unique strengths.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of life coaches –
- Career Coaching
Career coaches help students, young graduates, professionals etc. pick a career that’s best for them.
As compared to any other time in history, students have a wide variety of professions and career paths available to them. Be it a lawyer, actor, artist, archaeologist or plumber – choosing a career path is more than just about your interest, skills and talents.
This is where a career coach steps in. A skilled career coach can help their client choose a career that aligns with their short-term and long-term goals.
Apart from helping students pick the right career, these types of coaches can also aid those looking to transition from one industry to another, by helping and supporting them.
As the name suggests, relationship coaches help their clients work on building, repairing and maintaining better personal and professional relationships.
Before I dove head-first into building coachfoundation.com, I specialized in relationship coaching at ‘SaiFai Dating’, where I helped overcome their fear and groomed them to enable them to meet their perfect match.
Relationship coaching isn’t just about dating. The same core principles can be applied towards building stronger relationships even outside of the dating pool.
If you’re someone who has a keen eye for coaching people and helping them strengthen or improve relationships, this may be the right career path for you!
- Business Coaching
Business owners looking for guidance on kick-starting their own business, expanding their existing business, diversifying into a new industry, simply boosting profits, or improving your company culture all need a business coach.
Business coaches assist owners, managers, supervisors and other employees to understand their day-to-day responsibilities and aim at streamlining the process to make it more effective and productive.
A good business coach has the ability to understand the heart of a business operation and suggest changes based on the goals, mission and vision of the organization.
Not only that, business coaches can be an objective third party and can offer guidance on creating or modifying KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to achieve short-term and long-term organizational and team goals.
- Sales Coach
Often confused with business coaching, sales coaching focuses on boosting the performance of an organization’s sales department. Most sales coaches work with large organizations to teach their sales teams the tricks of the trade, but you may also find yourself working with individuals who want to improve their performance.
To understand exactly why sales coaches (or great ones, at least) are almost like celebrities or industry gurus, you have to understand that sales forms an important part of our daily communication.
Be it a simple roof repair business at the corner of your neighbourhood, or a multinational conglomerate that’s taking over the world – sales is the lifeblood of every operation.
Keeping this fact in mind, it’s no surprise that sales coaching and training is a thriving industry.
- Personal Development Coaching
Have you privately wondered whether you’d be able to achieve much more if there was someone who was there to support you? If yes, you might want to look into hiring (or becoming) a personal coach.
Personal coaching used to be a hush-hush affair a few decades ago, but there’s no shortage of personal development coaches out there today. And, there’s always demand for an excellent coach who can deliver results and make a real difference.
Personal development coaching is all about helping your clients identify life goals in areas like career, relationships, discipline etc.
In a way, all coaches that help their clients become better versions of themselves are personal development coaches.
But the key difference is that these coaches often focus on helping you feel “unstuck” in life. They help you pick up the pace, and enable you to reach your goals in a streamlined manner.
- Spiritual Coaching
More than ever before, people are feeling the need to reconnect with themselves and the collective consciousness.
Spiritual coaches help such people explore connections deep within themselves and the Universe to connect with energies and understand the world in a deeper manner.
With a spiritual coach, clients get to access the benefits of a wide variety of healing tools and modalities to develop a positive mindset, move past internal blocks, stop self-sabotage, heal wounds from the past, and much more.
Unlike mentors, spiritual coaches aim at enabling their clients to develop self-trust and self-confidence, so as to continue growing spiritually in an individual capacity.
- Wellness or Mindfulness Coaching
Wellness coaches work with clients to help them achieve self-determined, tangible health and wellness goals. By empowering clients to develop stronger discipline, mental fortitude and confidence, they aim at facilitating life-long change.
Whether you’re working on becoming less emotional during arguments, or you’re looking to become more assertive, a mindfulness or wellness coach can help you get there.
- Health Coaching
However much wealth you may have unless you’re healthy, you won’t be able to enjoy your life. This is probably why health coaches and the demand for their services are on the rise.
As human beings, we’re constantly trying to improve ourselves, and more often than not, we need support in this self-improvement endeavour.
Most importantly, health coaching is something that people who are trying to lose weight, get fitter, gain muscle mass, get back on track after an illness or even those who are trying to live with chronic illnesses need.
If you have a keen interest in making people live healthier, more fulfilling lives, you may be able to make a real difference as a health coach.
How to Determine if a Career in Life Coaching is Right for you?
Do you have what it takes to have a successful career in life coaching?
If you’re wondering whether you have what it takes to make it big as a life coach, answer these questions.
- Which unique skills of yours can help people the most?
Without beating around the bush too much, let’s come to the point. Do you think you have a set of unique skills that can help improve someone’s life? In my opinion, we all do.
Forget about the qualifications for the minute, we’ll come back to that later.
Whether it’s related to health, personality development or even sales; which of your skills are best suited to help others improve their lives? Can you help your friends stay motivated throughout a diet? Are you great at listening to someone going through a tough time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’d make a great life coach!
- Are you committed to coaching as a professional path?
Let’s get real for a minute. Life coaching is a serious undertaking where your inputs and advice have a direct impact on another person’s life.
Just like you give it your all at your job, college or school, building a successful life coaching business also requires your 100%.
Irrespective of whether you choose to pursue it full-time or part-time, dedication makes all the difference! So, before you can determine if a career in life coaching is the right fit for you, consider whether you’re ready to take up coaching as a professional path.
- Do you have the skills, qualifications and/or certifications needed?
If your clients are paying you, they deserve a certain level of expertise and professional service.
Think about it. If you had to choose a therapist or chiropractor, you wouldn’t want one who had no certifications or credentials, right? The same principle applies even in the case of life coaching.
While life coaching certifications are a great way to show your client that your inputs are well-informed and from a trained perspective, you also need to have a multitude of soft skills and interpersonal abilities to give your clients their money’s worth.
- Are you ready to invest the time, money and efforts needed to make this a career?
Nothing that’s truly worth having comes easy.
To excel and become one of the best in the business, you will have to invest your time, money, efforts, and a lot more into your life coaching endeavours.
Even if you have responsibilities like a child, a full-time job, or even health-related challenges, a little planning and dedication can help you work around any challenges.
- Can you do justice to your clients by committing your time, energy, attention and concern for their wellbeing?
As you answer the previous question, consider whether you’re in the right emotional, mental and physical state to do justice to your clients. After all, life coaching is a huge responsibility.
Anything you choose to advise your clients on will have real-world consequences.
If you’re not in the right emotional or mental state to be an objective, impartial, and professional coach, work through your challenges to make sure you can give your 100% to your clients.
- Are you in the right frame of mind to coach, guide or support others?
Again, your mental well-being is crucial to ensuring that you can add value to those who seek your guidance.
If you feel like you aren’t at 100% peak performance, invest in a webinar, training course or certification to work through your limitations (real and perceived) to show up in a manner that benefits your clients and brings you satisfaction.
- Do you wish to pursue life coaching as a full-time or part time career?
This one is quite the no-brainer. Before you launch your life coaching business, it’s important to plan how you’ll take it ahead.
After considering where you’re at with respect to your professional abilities, personal life, mental state, and other goals, you’ll be in a better position to determine if you’d rather be a part-time coach, or if a full-time career is a right fit for you.
Why Do Life Coach Certifications Matter?
As you enter the world of life coaching, certifications are incredibly powerful resources that show potential clients that you offer value. It shows them that your expertise is backed by an accredited and reputed organization, and that you’re capable of helping them achieve their goals within a tried-and-tested framework.
It also helps in justifying your fees and ensuring that your clients feel like you’re delivering value.
Even if you plan on pursuing life coaching as a part-time vocation, a certification teaches you important techniques and modalities.