What is coaching? And what do I mean by mindset coaching?

The ICF (International Coach Federation) is the world’s largest coaching federation and defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

That means a coach can work with you to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Maybe you aren’t quite sure where you want to be. In that case your coach and you will work it out together. It is a series of conversations tailored to the client aiming to bring out the very best the client can be.

Coaching is not a replacement for therapy. Some therapists may have also trained as coaches, or will use coaching techniques as part of their practice. But you should never assume that a coach has the psychological education, background and experience to replace therapy. I am very clear on this: I am not a therapist, I am not a counsellor, and I am not a psychiatrist.

In fact I am unlikely to give you much advice at all. (So I am not a mentor either!)

I can hear you shouting. “What? You are not going to solve all my problems?”

Nope. Not a single one of them. Sorry.

But I will help you find a way to solve them. I will give you the tools to work on them, ask you questions which will help you solve them.

While the client does most of the hard work, the coach helps the client stay focussed, on track, and cheerleads them on.

Like all trained coaches I have been coached myself, both as part of my training and privately and I’ll be honest with you: it is pretty tiring being coached. Yes, a simple conversation can be tiring. But like a lot of hard work it is tiring in a good way, a rewarding way. A good coach will inspire, motivate and energise you to reach inside yourself and bring out your best. It really can and I would go as far as to say should be transformational.

And what about mindset coaching?  Why do I describe myself as a mindset coach as opposed to any other kind of coach? This deserves, and will get, a whole blogpost of its own. Several probably.

But here is a quick answer: your mindset is the beliefs you hold about yourself.

These beliefs have massive influence on every aspect of your life, both professional and personal. In mindset coaching, therefore, we look at the beliefs that you have about yourself, and see if they are compatible with where you really want to be. If they aren’t we will work on changing the incompatible belief or beliefs. In short, we will work on removing the obstacles being thrown up in your path by the beliefs you hold about yourself.

If you look at my beliefs you will see I talk a lot about self-confidence, self-criticism and self-doubt. This is all to do with our mindset. As a mindset coach I look at negative beliefs my clients have about themselves first, and see how we can zap them and replace them with positive self-beliefs. And it is SO exciting, as doing this brings the client so much closer to their goals than they could ever have been before. It’s fabulous stuff.

Anyway, more on that another time. Lots more. It is a huge and exciting topic and I want to do it justice in this blog. So, patience.

I hope this has given you an idea of what coaching is about. Feel free to pop any questions in the comments, or send them by email, and I will try and answer them as best I can, either below or in a separate blog post.


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