What To Ask Before You Hire A Life Coach

What To Ask Before You Hire A Life Coach

I know firsthand how hard it can be for sassy, strong, high achieving women like us to admit that we need support. Let me ask you this. What do you do when you get stuck in ‘the swirl’? When you are stressed, uncertain, and floundering in your life? 

Who do you trust with your fears? Who helps you gain perspective and clarity when you’re navigating a transition in your career, at home, with your health, or in your relationships? Who sees your potential even when you can’t? Who’s your ride or die go to person for support?

A skilled and experienced life coach can help you gain clarity, perspective, and confidence.

Life coaches help people with all of these things- and many more. Coaching conversations can help you create a solid plan to be more successful, at every age and stage of life. They can help you actualize your potential. A skilled and experienced life coach can help you achieve profound clarity and growth. This type of co-creative life coaching relationship can literally transform your life. 

Here’s the rub. Life coaching doesn’t always lead people to positive outcomes.

I used to roll my eyes when I heard the words ‘life coach.” I imagined hokey motivational speakers at woo-woo seminars, hocking gimmicky books, and taking advantage of people who were desperately trying to ‘fix’ themselves. 

I’d heard of people who’d gotten divorced or fired and figured that was enough to call themselves a ‘life coach.’ They had opinions but not a lick of coaching experience or professional training. They hadn’t developed or practiced the deep skills that are essential for a life coach to have to successfully help and support others. 

I knew friends who’d hired ‘life coaches’ who fell into that category. They wound up frustrated and worse off after working with them than they were before. These so-called ‘coaches’ were my only frame of reference for years. (Now you can understand the eye roll.)

My experience challenged everything I’d known or believed about life coaches.

I was navigating a difficult chapter in my life and career. My energy was depleted. I was stuck in the swirl- overworking and under sleeping. I wasn’t clear on what I wanted or needed. I just knew that something had to give- that I needed support from a professional who could help me.

My first stop was therapy. 

At the end of our first hour, my therapist paused and said, “Cole, you’re not clinical. You don’t need therapy. It sounds like you know what you need to do. You just need to work with someone who can help you see that, take a step forward- then another. Have you ever thought of hiring a life coach?” 

I rolled my eyes then explained my concerns. My therapist assured me there were legit professional coaches helping people navigate similar things. She gave me a couple of names of skilled and experienced life coaches she knew. A few days later, I took her advice, did my research, and took a really bold step.

One phone call changed my mind about life coaching.

The coach I spoke with was a total professional: educated, skilled, and wildly insightful. Her coaching speciality matched what I needed. I felt all the good vibes so I hired her.

My life coach helped me get out of the swirl. Over the course of our relationship, she helped me regain my energy and clarity. We explored possibilities that previously were not on my radar. She challenged my thinking. Coaching with her helped me transform my mindset and my life. 

I learned firsthand that coaching can absolutely be a life changing experience.

This is  the power of great life coaching. The difference maker for me was the research I did that helped me find a skilled and experienced coach who could support what I needed.

There are three ugly truths about the life coaching industry.

  • The industry attracts all kinds of ‘coaches’ because it’s lucrative. It was worth over $1.5 billion in 2022 
  • The industry is unregulated.
  • Because it’s unregulated, there are plenty of unqualified people calling themselves “life coaches”. They’re giving shit advice, doing harm, and giving the coaching industry a really bad rap. 

There are also beautiful truths about the life coaching industry.

  • Skilled and experienced life coaches are having a positive impact on people’s lives every day. 
  • Coaching is a powerful practice rooted in positive psychology. Life coaching has been scientifically proven to help improve mental health and the overall quality of people’s lives.
  • The coaching industry has ICF a powerful international governing body and the gold standard for the coaching industry.

In the wild wild west of coaching, ICF is the beautiful, badass sheriff keeping watch. They are pro industry regulation.

  • ICF accredits coach training programs and schools. These programs and schools have to meet consistent ICF coaching standards and ethics. Formal education, key skills development, and real world coaching experience are three of the components that prepare coaches to have a positive impact on their clients lives.

How do you know whether or not a life coach is the real deal?

Great question. I’m not pretending to have all the answers but I do have a few solid ideas to get you started. I’ve put together a short list of five questions to help you be more successful in finding a life coach who can help you achieve your goals. (*Note: This is not intended to be an exhaustive or comprehensive list. Do your own research and trust your gut.)

# 1. Ask about their background, training and certification. 

Anyone can build a website and call themselves, well, anything- including a coach. Get curious. This is your money, your time, and your life. Start with basic questions like:

  • Where did you receive your professional coach training? 
  • Was your training program ICF accredited? 
  • What certifications do you have? (Yes, it’s ok to ask this question.)

# 2. How much real-world coaching experience do you have? Make sure the coach you choose has the skills and experience they need to well support you in achieving your goals.

  • How long have you been coaching?
  • How many hours have you coached?
  • Who do you coach? 
  • What do you specialize in helping your clients with through life coaching? 
  • What are some of the benefits and growth your clients experiencing? (It’s ok to ask for testimonials.)

# 3. How do you initiate relationships with new clients?

  • Do you offer a free exploratory hour so we can test the water before we commit? Be weary of coaches who say no. In my experience, this is a reasonable request. Great coaches will be open to sharing an hour with you to answer your questions and give you a taste of what it would be like to coach with them. Coaches in this category understand that life coaching is a privileged relationship. They want to make sure there’s good alignment before either of you commit.
  • What requirements do you have around scheduling sessions? Change takes time. There is no right or wrong approach. Ultimately, this is all about you so it has to work for you.

I steer away from lengthy packages. My reason is simple. At the end of the day, my job is to help you develop the clarity, confidence, and skills you need to rock your life on your own. I have a minimum requirement for my new clients- four coaching sessions over a one month period. 

# 4. Do you have a coaching agreement? This is really important. The coaching agreement is a mutual agreement that governs your coaching relationship. I make it a practice to send my coaching agreement to every woman who considers coaching with me before we meet for their complimentary coaching hour

Reviewing your prospective coaches agreement will help you understand (at a minimum) what the coach charges, how many sessions they require you to schedule, packages they offer, their policies, how to sever the relationship, if needed, etc.

#5. Where are you located? What time zones do you work in? This is such an important question!

It’s such an easy one to miss in our remote world of working. Make sure your coach is able to accommodate your schedule and not the other way around. 

Remember, life coaching is all about you.

Spend some time thinking about your ‘why.’ 

  • Why are you hiring a life coach?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Why is that important for you at this point in your life?

Ask people you trust for referrals. Research the coaches they share. Check out their LinkedIn profile and their recent posts. Read their blog. Get insight into their background before you contact them. Researching on the front end will most likely lead you to a few new questions which will lead to a more powerful conversation. 

The moral to this blog post is this. Life coaches can help you realize your best and rock your life. Making sure you have a skilled, and experienced who aligns with you and what you need is the key. 

You’ll be much more likely to have a positive experience with life coaching by doing some research and asking smart questions.

You owe it to yourself. After all, you’re entrusting someone to coach you and support you in achieving what you want for yourself in your life. That’s big potatoes. And, just in case no one has told you today, you deserve to live your very best life. We all do. 

If you’re considering life coaching and you’re looking for a professionally trained, experienced, and skilled coach who is having a positive impact on women’s lives, head to my contact form . Send me a message. I’d love to meet you. 

Developing A Self Love Mindset By Recognizing Her Nemesis, Self Sabotage

Developing A Self Love Mindset By Recognizing Her Nemesis, Self Sabotage

I coach women from all over the country. They come to me with unique goals, dreams, and experiences. But, there’s one thing that most of them have in common. They are practicing self sabotage in some form or another which is negatively impacting their mindset and their lives.

They don’t recognize this tendency until we start working together. They are unaware that their self sabotaging actions have deep roots in their mindset. And, it makes perfect sense because like so many of us, they learned self sabotage at a very young age. They developed the muscle for self deprecating thoughts and behaviors and it got stronger every time they flexed it. They did not learn self love. Consequently, wit never became part of their language, mindset, thought process, or actions.

Self sabotage can take many forms.

When it comes to low self esteem, self sabotage can sound like this: 

You’re not good enough. 

You’re not smart or talented enough.

You’re unloveable.

You don’t deserve to have a good time.

Why are you so stupid?

The mindset that fuels self sabotage negatively impacts our holistic being and the quality of our lives.

This mindset shapes the way we feel about ourselves. It governs the way we think and how we experience the people and events in our lives. We develop patterns of thinking and behavior from childhood, past relationships, and experiences. These patterns become ingrained and reflexive the more we practice them. Eventually, they become our norms. But, here’s the good news. We can change. We can grow. We can break our learned patterns and tendencies toward self sabotage.

Science had proven that we’re dynamic.

We can change and grow at any age and stage of life- if we choose to change and grow. I talked about this during Episode 16 of my podcast, She Grabs The Mic. And, I’m not the only one shining a light on this topic. In an article for Very Well Mind, Barbara Field (a mental health and women’s empowerment expert) said, “There are many reasons for self sabotage including low self image and low self esteem.”

We can transform our mindset to one of self love. 

As a professional life coach for women, I see this as massive opportunity. By learning how to transform our mindset to one of self love self esteem and self image increase. When we develop the muscle to love and value who we authentically are, our tendency to self sabotage decreases. This is a game changer when it comes to improving our mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life.

Self sabotage and self love are mindsets shift that influence every dimension life.

  • The relationship you have with yourself (your inner voice, self talk, and beliefs)
  • What you see when you look in the mirror
  • The quality of your relationships with other people
  • Your tendency to show up authentically as you are or show up to please
  • Your sex life- how you feel about your body, how you view sex
  • What you believe you deserve
  • What you tolerate and accept
  • How you prioritize and invest in your mental and physical health, your growth and happiness
  • What you say yes to, what you say no to
  • How confident you are when you make a decision and how mindful you are about why you’re making it
  • Whether or not you advocate for yourself at work
  • Your overall feeling of worth, peace and contentment
  • How successful you are at achieving your goals and dreams

Self love is unconditional love for yourself.

Self love is not about being conceited, selfish, or egotistical. Not at all. It’s having an awareness and appreciation of your 360 degree self- your strengths and weaknesses alike. It is loving and accepting all parts of yourself equally and compassionately. Self love is recognizing what you want and need to be happy and live well. This mindset allows us to be our best for ourselves and for the world. 

Mindset, health, and quality of life improve when you have a mindset of self love.

  • You know your worth. This increases your tendency to speak up and advocate for what you need, want and deserve.
  • Your inner self talk turns positive which improves the way you think and feel.
  • The choices you make originate from a place of honoring and loving who you truly are.

Self love is foundational to discovering your best and living your most kickass life.

When you use tools like coaching, mindfulness, and meditation to bring awareness to your thoughts, patterns, and beliefs, you can begin to understand when you’re practicing self sabotage, disrupt the pattern, and shift your mindset to self love.

Neuroscience has proven that we can change the way you think.

Every single one of us has the ability to change the way we think. Choice, knowledge, and practice are the differentiating elements. Even if you’ve been living in the dark lands of negativity, you can transform your mindset, habits and patterns into positive ones. You can grow at any age and stage of life.

Mindfulness is a tool that helps you recognize whether you are practicing self sabotage or self love.

Mindfulness is very simply the practice of observing what we are thinking and feeling. When we learn how to observe our minds, we can recognize when we are:

  • Practicing self judgement instead of compassion
  • Doubting or criticizing ourselves
  • Procrastinating in pursuit of perfection or fear of failure
  • Harboring self sabotage beliefs we learned from our past
  • Unconsciously blocking ourselves from realizing our potential and achieving our dreams and goals

Mindfulness is an act of self love. 

The scientific benefits of mindfulness are vast. I teach mindfulness to every woman I coach because it profoundly improves our mindset and overall quality of life. Mindfulness provides us with perspective. It helps us recognize when we have an opportunity to shift from self sabotage cycles to self love.

Three tips to help you shift your mindset from self sabotage to self love: 

#1. Take a personal inventory. Write a list of what you fear, criticize, judge, hide, or reject about yourself. Kindly ask yourself:

  • How is the way I feel about myself affecting my choices?
  • What would change if I accepted what I fear, criticize, judge, hide, and reject about myself?Get in touch with what you want and deserve. Think about your relationships, career, happiness, goals, and dreams. Ask yourself: What do I deserve to feel and experience? What do I want most for myself and why?

#2. Get mindful. When you notice negative self-talk or self-limiting beliefs, hit your mental pause button. Take 10-12 breaths. Kindly ask yourself:

  • Where did I learn this?
  • What words, thoughts, and beliefs can I offer myself right now that are more loving and supportive?

#3. Be patient and be consistent.

Changing your mindset takes time. Effort is Queen. Day by day, small mindful practices like observing your mind and feelings will lead you to the promised land.  This practice will help you recognize your self sabotage tendencies and in time, boost your self love. The more you practice, the easier it is to develop a mindset that is supportive, confident, and land most of all, loving. This is how you transform your life. 

If you’re ready to tame your mindset and transform your life, let’s talk. I’d love to meet you.

Life Lessons From My Mom

Life Lessons From My Mom

My mother is powerful and courageous. She’s suffered too many hurts to count. She’s carried heavy baggage. She’s learned how to survive in the midst of chaos.
She’s taught me lessons over the last 54 years that have shaped me.
How to:
Stand up for myself and speak my truth- especially in my early years when I stuttered so badly I could hardly say my name,
Love animals,
Shave my legs, use a tampon, and enjoy a good book,
Find joy in cooking, mow a yard, tend a garden, and body surf,
Live curiously, work hard, and question authority,
Hug everyone and say yes to love,
Fail fast and keep going,
Have faith in myself and The Divine,
Love my son unconditionally,
Use my voice for good,
Do everything I can, as one woman, to make the world a little better,
Self sacrifice
My mother has lived on her own terms.
She was a medical professional working full time and a single Mom of three daughters, in the 70’s. She was in demand because she was so damn smart, committed, and good at her job. She defied all the rules, busted the stereotypes, and taught me what it means to take bold chances.

As I’ve watched her over the years, I’ve learned that women are strong, capable, and hard as hell on ourselves. I have learned that it is only possible to wield our magic if we learn to fully love ourselves- the dark and the light equally and unconditionally.

54 years later, self love is the lesson I am able to share with my mother. 

I am grateful to be her daughter. I am blessed to witness her magic.
Today, I am celebrating this amazing woman- raising a glass to her imperfect extraordinary life, as she kicks off her __th revolution around the sun!
If you’re ready to live your best life, let’s talk. I’d love to help you get there.