Everyone has problems in life. Who do you turn to? Family? Friends? Professionals? Usually you share with your best friend or a trusted family member because these are the people who know you best and understand where you are coming from. They “coach” you informally. But really, what they can provide is just a list of remedies that have worked for them when they had troubles of their own – well-meaning intentions, sometimes misguided and mis-placed.

Because the world is changing fast and today’s context is so very different from that of the past, when you have problems you need new remedies to resolve the issues that arise today in relation to work, life, family and friends. You need someone who will truly listen to you and be non-judgmental in their approach to supporting you through the maze. Just imagine if you put on clothes that you wore a decade or two ago. Would they still fit you? Would they still suit you? Would they help your situation or hinder it? It’s the same with advice that you receive from family and friends. Sometimes its good advice and you should follow it, but does that teach you how to stand on your own two feet and support yourself in situations that may arise in the future?

What you need is someone who can be on your side, helping and supporting you to find your own way through the maze that is your reality today, with today’s solutions. This is a professional coach who understands that everybody and every situation is unique, and that one size does not fit all. A professional coach is trained to ask the powerful questions so you can gain insight into your situation and needs. Your coach then guides you to find your own solution, which you own and commit to. Doesn’t that sound like a much better way to solve your problems – when you own them and can resolve them yourself – rather than rely on others to solve them for you? Here’s an example:

Yolanda was unsure of what to do when she first enrolled in university. In her heart of hearts she had always wanted to be an engineer. Yet her parents had talked her out of enrolling in engineering because there are so few female engineers in the industry and they thought she would have better opportunities if she became a teacher. As a teacher she could work part-time when she had a family of her own. It seemed logical at the time and Yolanda, at her young age, went along with her parent’s wishes and enrolled in a teaching degree.

Years later, feeling unfulfilled in a teaching role, Yolanda decided to engage a professional coach to help her become more motivated and enthused about life. She was successful in her teaching career, but there was something missing. After just a few sessions with her professional coach, Yolanda made the decision to follow her dream after all and enrol in an engineering degree. She now works part-time as a teacher while she attends university as a mature-age student. She is full of vitality and energy again and so very happy with her decision to pursue her life’s career dream. Her parents have acknowledged her choice and support her with babysitting when necessary.

What is Coaching?