Counseling, or therapy, has been around a long time. It has gotten a bad reputation at times, but is very beneficial for people wanting to heal from past trauma.
However, with so many “coaches” coming out of the woodwork these days, how do you decide whether to hire a therapist or a coach? And how to you know if you are hiring a professional?
There is one main difference between therapy and coaching. Therapy helps to heal a person from the past and coaching helps people toward a better tomorrow. In either case, the person you hire needs to be more committed to your mental health than they are toward their profit margins. There are therapists and coaches out there that count on you coming back, with debit card in hand, consistently. A professional counselor/coach will help you develop techniques so you can start to help yourself. If you are working with a professional who is not helping you to develop your own coping skills, it might be time to ditch them and look for someone new.
Determining if a therapist is a professional is not too difficult; counseling certificates are controlled by the government. A person cannot call themselves a professional counselor without holding valid certificates. That is not the case with coaches, however, so do your homework. Make sure any coach you hire is certified or, even better, has degrees in coaching. The best scenario will be a coach who has both.
Finding a good coach is a bit less expensive than finding a good therapist. Most professional coaches offer a free first session. This is a benefit to both of you. You don’t have to shell out a lot of money before determining if they can help you, and it gives both of you a chance to see if your personalities mesh.
The word “goals” almost makes your chest tighten and stress levels rise.
The knowledge of so many past goals that have failed may even lower your self-confidence.
So stop making goals.
Create a vision for your future instead. What do you want to be able to say/do/feel about yourself that you cannot say/do/feel now? Get as specific as you can. Don’t just say “I want to lose weight,” nobody likes to lose anyway. Turn it to a positive, like “I want to be able to fit into size ** jeans,” or “I want to eat 2 healthy meals a day and work out 3 days a week.” Don’t make your vision out of reach.
After you have your vision down, create action steps. What is one small thing you can change now to get one step closer to your vision? Is it changing one junk food snack into something healthier? Is it planning a 10 minute workout once a week? Start small. All the past failures may have eroded your confidence. Small successes will help to build it back up.
And if it doesn’t work, don’t consider it a failure. Figure out what went wrong, what you can do to overcome that, and try again. As long as you keep trying, you are not failing.
I would say that whether local or virtual business coaching is better is completely dependent on the person. I offer both, and most of my clients take advantage of virtual coaching because they are in different parts of the country or in different countries.
There are many fantastic online business coaches. My recommendation would be to take advantage of the free first session (for those coaches that offer it) to make sure the two of you can work together.
Certifications are important. The International Coach Federation is the gold standard of coaching today, but many colleges are now offering degrees in coaching as well. I would recommend taking the college path because you learn a lot more than just coaching, and many colleges offer certification as part of the degree.
The number 1 thing to look for in a business coach is compatibility. Hopefully the coach you are considering has a free initial session so you can make sure that person is good fit with your personality. An amazing coach may not be the right one for you if your personalities clash.
It is a fact that people who live near nature are happier, except those that are not. It comes down to whether you are an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are more comfortable in quiet surroundings and prefer to be closer to nature. If you are an introvert and live in an apartment in the city, it is a good idea to plan getaways to quieter surroundings on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation. A day trip to a park might be the ticket.
And, on the opposite side, if you are an extrovert that lives in the wilderness, a different kind of getaway is prescribed. Find out where the party is, and find a way to get to it. Any social gathering will do, as long as there are a lot of people and the conversation is flowing.
Are the days running together in an ever-growing state of monotony?
The work routine is a trap that is too easy to fall into. Wake up, go to work, do the day-to-day grind, go home, go to sleep, repeat. Sometimes we need a reset, but a reset is not going to happen without effort. That is why I developed a getaway time. At the end of each month, I take a half day and remove myself from all contacts. I gather all the materials I need from the past month and find a coffee shop, diner, or a good park bench to spend time working on my business rather than in it.
This is a good time go over the last month and look at what is working and what is not working. Are you burning out from overwork? Are you going stir crazy from lack of work? What can be done to change that? What do other business owners do in situations like that? And always start with why. Why are you doing what you are doing? Write it down, visualize it, remember where the passion is coming from, and you will rekindle that spark.
If you need help, watch the Success Planning series of Webishops at www.webishops.com.
We are all tempted to say things in the heat of the moment that we know we should not say.
Our feelings are hurt, and we want the other person to know how hurt we are. But lashing out at the other person will only make the situation worse. It will quickly change a heated discussion into an argument, and nobody wins an argument.
There is one trick that can diffuse an argument before it even starts. It’s the “I hear…” defense. When someone gets angry and lashes out, respond with something like “I hear that you are upset.” They may agree and lash out again. A great response could be “you seem very upset by that.” What you are doing is acknowledging their anger without feeding it. In fact, this defense usually calms the other person down because they have no more fuel for their fire. Then, once they are calm, you can start to present your side of the case. This defense will take time to master, but will make you a great negotiator whether it is in your marriage, a business deal, or with relatives over the holiday table.
Point 1: This is good, but in order to face your fears, you need to see the reality of them. Don’t change a Chihuahua fear into a Rottweiler fear (yes, I like dogs), and don’t change a Rottweiler fear into a Hound of Hell fear. See the fear for what it really is. Chances are, that fear is a lot smaller than it seems.
Point 2 is spot on, but point 3 is just an extension. However, a good thing to do is to occasionally step back. I have the habit of finding a direction, laying tracks, and going down that direction like a supersonic train. But, sometimes it’s the wrong direction. Take pit stops, and make sure you are still going the right direction.
Points 4 and 5 are excellent. Never give up. The only way to fail is to not try. Look for my #Webishop on this.
Change how you ask questions. That is one thing you can do right now to become a better leader. Questions are the lifeblood of coaches. Specific, thought-provoking questions propel a conversation.
This article in Inc. Magazine talks about the one question to stop asking employees. What I like about the article, however, is that it offers substitute questions at the end of the article. It is well worth reading.
We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. This article by Success Magazine outlines three ways you can be more positive even when nobody else will help you. One of the points is calming your inner critic, but the whole article is a good read.