1. What is transformational life coaching?
Human beings are constantly changing as they get more educated, gain exposure, go through different life experiences, etc. In most cases change just happens.
One no longer associates with a certain kind of people because of some unpleasant experience he or she has been through. One changes careers, stops dressing a certain way or changes the hairstyle. We are all constantly changing whether consciously or unconsciously.
Transformational life coaching is a process that enables an individual to take charge of their own transformation, to sit in the driver’s seat of one’s life. With the help of a transformational life coach, one digs deep, peels layer after layer of one’s beliefs and understand how he/she was programmed.
The process enables one to get to the root cause of his/her value systems, beliefs and practices, questions them, evaluates them realistically and gives oneself permission to get out of one’s way. This empowers one to create the life that resonates with one’s authentic self.
Through transformational life coaching, you discover who you really are at the core and what you really want, without being blinded by external voices or your internal critic.
Transformational life coaching empowers one to become the change that one desires, as opposed to making patchwork or piecemeal changes that are often driven by external pressure and influence.
Transformational life coaching is different from fire-fighting or addressing symptoms as they appear while the root cause of the problem continues growing underground.
You can expect to get support, guidance and a listening ear from a professional who is objective, compassionate and non-judgmental.
Encouragement, cheerleading and permission to be your authentic self without the influence of the professional.
Deep relaxation as you look inwards, put your issues as though in front of a mirror and process them without judging.
Turn a spotlight inwards, explore, ask questions, gain perspective, insight and clarity.
Face up to the factors that are holding you back, peel layer after layer and resolve them without fear.
Silence all the external voices, listen to yourself and identify your real values, priorities and goals.
Nurture a growth mindset and give yourself permission to be you.
Identify where you are right now, where you desire to be and develop a road map to enable you bridge that gap.
Before one has invested in self-awareness, they are buried under layers of other people’s opinions, voices, value systems and teachings. To create the life you desire for yourself begins with delving deep into yourself and nurturing a deep relationship with yourself.
Real lasting transformation begins on the inside. BECOME then Do. Trying to change the outside while the inside remains unchanged is temporary, like a chicken pasting on itself peacock feathers and looking beautiful on the outside while it still remains a chicken.
Unlike in traditional coaching, in transformational life coaching the key to creating the life you desire begins with building a strong foundation of personal transformation, which is set in motion by nurturing a deep relationship with yourself. This is deep coaching that goes beyond the intellectual goal setting that is heavily driven by external voices, expectations of others and pressures being exerted by others.
We begin all the way from prenatal (what happened in the womb and even earlier), perinatal (factors around the delivery process) and postnatal (experiences during the formative years) factors.
These are the factors that form childhood programming. Most of childhood programming is actually values and beliefs of other people that were passed on to us before our critical thinking faculties developed.
These factors end up robbing us of the opportunity to become our authentic selves and to discover our life purpose. We live in other people’s shadows especially because most of those who contributed to our childhood programming are people we don’t even believe in questioning or critically analyzing what they instilled in us.
Transformational life coaching is rebirth, evolution. It can compare with a caterpillar transforming itself into a butterfly. It provides self-awareness with a structure that bridges the gap between where you are and where you desire to be.
On the journey to becoming the best version of yourself, you are never alone. This personal transformation journey places in your hands the resources, tools and support that you require in order to transform yourself into the individual you desire to be.
As your walk with your transformational life coach, you benefit from a safe space where you look inwards, question what has been driving you all this time, without fear of being judged or misunderstood. You deconstruct your life as it has been and reconstruct it in line with your life purpose.
Transformation is a journey. The work is done by the individual who desires to get transformed. The personal transformation journey gives the caterpillar the tools it requires to transform itself into a beautiful butterfly. You rise above all that you have been told about yourself from a young age and unveil the ‘you’ that you choose to create.
You unveil the greatness for which you were created, celebrate yourself and become comfortable accepting praise and compliments. You stop being distracted and held back by the negativity around you.
No matter what is going on around you, you learn how to listen to your own voice above all the noise in the external environment. You give yourself permission to get out of your comfort zone, set big goals and grow into the person who is capable of accomplishing them.
Sometimes what drives people to seek help is being at a crossroad. “I am facing this situation, what do I do? It could be a career, relationship, personal dilemma, etc. They are confused whether to keep pushing or to stop and take a different direction. Many people find it difficult to give themselves permission to stop pushing and take a different path. They feel like failures for doing that.
Other times one feels under pressure to quit even when quitting is not the only option. Situations can be turned around but giving one permission to honestly weigh the options and decide what is best can get drowned by the voices of other people in one’s head.
It is possible to live a life of regrets because of making decisions based on the voices of other people. Have you seen cases of successful people who self-destruct or live a life of misery, their success notwithstanding?
This happens because they became successful before they dealt with their baggage, before becoming their authentic selves. They are under pressure from other people who include their fans. No matter what their inner voice is telling them, they silence it because they can’t handle disappointing other people.
Have you seen people who are stuck in situations they don’t like at all such as a job one hates or an abusive relationship? Sometimes people say that that person has not had enough yet and will make a decision the day he or she will have had enough.
People have lost their lives or suffered irreparable damage such as being maimed or going down with a serious illness before they have reached that point of ‘having enough so that they can make a decision.
A transformational life coach works with you so that you discover your authentic self then you choose what is in line with your true self. The journey enables you to discover who you really are, what makes you unique and what your strengths, passions and resources available to you are.
You learn how to speak to yourself, to make a distinction between your authentic voice and the voices of others in your head telling you what you can or cannot do, should or should not do.
The transformational life coach empowers you to rise above fear of change, by using tools that are proven to produce results. You don’t have to wait for something drastic to happen to push you to change. You make the changes you desire even without waiting to reach breaking point. You don’t have to wait until the volcano erupts so that you can move your home to safer ground.
The undesirable behavior we observe is a symptom of deeper issues. Think of a sweet potato plant. The sweet potato tuber is below the surface. What you see above the surface is not the sweet potato. You have to dig to get to the sweet potato.
Everyone’s life situation has a root network that has developed over the years shaped by diverse life experiences all the way from the womb and even earlier. Some issues are passed down the generations. For example, an individual experiences a traumatic event. The trauma is so massive that it changes the way his DNA reads information. That change is experienced down that individual’s generations.
A good example is the trauma caused by colonization, war, slavery, etc. There are people who find themselves reacting in a certain way towards a specific gender, certain races or ethnic groups yet they have no idea why they do. It is only when they dig really deep that they discover things that happened to their ancestors that changed their entire perceptions about a group of people. This goes deeper than learning through observation.
Everyone’s root network is unique because no two people have been shaped by the exact same factors all the way from their history and their genetics to going through the exact same life experiences over the years and processing them the same way. It is therefore not possible for one solution to suit everyone who portrays similar struggles. What lays below the surface is different for each person.
Giving generalized advice such as advising all people in certain type of relationships to quit or advising all people of a certain age bracket to do a,b,c,d is NOT life coaching. That is advice giving. One does not require any kind of training or any professional skills to do advice giving.
Anyone around you can do advice giving which really is just giving one’s opinion. Everyone has personal opinions about different things and anyone can share theirs when asked to do so.
Transformational life coaching means shining a spotlight such that the person who is struggling with an issue is able to follow the root network, understand where he/she is coming from, why he/she has those struggles in the first place and uproot that root network step by step until the manifestation above the surface changes to match the internal shift.
Following that trail in order to understand oneself could go deeper than the current generation, digging up one’s history.
Transformational life coaching: “I am here to walk with you & shine the spotlight for you as you follow the trail below the surface and discover solutions from within you…”
Generalized advice giving to men… women…. parents of toddlers or teenagers… is NOT life coaching. Anyone can give generalized advice even the next person on the street or on the bus. Generalized advice giving is NOT professional service. That’s what lay people do.
Religion has its place in the lives of human beings. It keeps people adhering to acceptable codes of behaviors.
In order to understand the difference between preaching and life coaching, compare preaching and medicine. A doctor focuses on identifying your symptoms; do you have a fever? Where are you experiencing pain? How long have you had the pain? Can you describe the pain? Is it a sharp pain or a dull pain?
Based on the doctor’s training and experience, he/she will follow the diagnostic procedures e.g. send you for x-ray or lab tests, in order to identify what you are suffering from then prescribe the specific treatment for it.
When it comes to helping professions such as life coaching, the professional shines a spotlight illuminating your path as you look within yourself and unearth the answers; “I was told over and over again as a child that I was not as good as my brother John and I believed it”.
Through the process of life coaching, you learn strategies that empower you to change the negative perceptions maybe the use of “I am” affirmations; “I am enough. I am unique. I am gifted and talented…”
Preaching and life coaching are very different. Unfortunately, there are people who preach then call that life coaching. The way a preacher looks at issues is very different from life coaching. Preachers & professionals such as life coaches play very different roles in society.
For example, a preacher will hammer issues very hard, telling people that they’re sinners headed to hell and need to repent. That is okay because that is the work of a preacher.
How does a transformational life coach look at people who portray behavior struggles? He/she – like a doctor and physical symptoms – understands that the human brain, the organ that controls behavior, is shaped by a combination of nature & nurture (genes & life experiences).
People who suffered neurological damage in childhood as a result of toxic stress are damaged and by working with competent professionals, they can reverse that damage and become whole, just like sick people can go through, treatment and become whole.
Just like a doctor working with patients follows the trail of symptoms in order to know what disease to treat, a transformational life coach follows the trail through skills such as asking powerful questions, being an active listener and being observant to understand body language.
I can remember on my fingertips how the story of a very successful motivational speaker confirming publicly that he cheated on his wife once created heated debates on social media. It disappointed some who looked up to the motivational speaker as their role model. Some unfollowed him.
One thing I encounter from time to time is confusion between motivational speaking and life coaching, with some using the two interchangeably.
The easiest way to understand what life coaching is, is to compare with sports coaching. Sports teams and professional sportsmen and sportswomen hire coaches who have a track record for achieving results. Why do they do that? The coach has worked with others and enabled them to achieve desired results, probably to win tournaments.
To achieve desired results in sports – maybe to make it to the Olympics or the world cup – requires following a proven road map. Haphazard training is highly unlikely to produce those sort of results. That is why experienced coaches are hired for that.
It is the work of the coach to study the teams that they will be competing against, understand their strengths and weaknesses and prepare the players to focus on the opponents’ weaknesses and whatever it takes to defeat them.
The coach also must be well conversant with the rules & regulations of the game in order to ensure that the players don’t get in trouble or get disqualified because of breaking rules. The work of the players is to trust the coach and cooperate with him/her.
A career in coaching is a specialized field and coaches require the skills that are in line with the area they coach in. Working with a competent coach in any area of life is like working with a lawyer when you are faced with a court case.
On your own, you are likely to find yourself in unfamiliar waters and unable to prepare adequately because you do not know what to prepare but when you work with a competent lawyer, your work is to trust your lawyer to show you the way. You trust your lawyer to know how to win the case and guide you about what to or not to do.
Coaching – just like any other profession – is not about the personal life of the coach, whether he/she eats 3 meals a day, sleeps 8 hours a night, drinks 3 litres of water a day or whatever. The work of the coach is to guide the players to their goals.
Sports coaching can be compared with transformational life coaching. Goal: To earn a full-time income from a hobby. The life coach works with you to understand what you require in order to get there (skills, mindset, self-discipline, networks, effort, etc.), helps you to come up with a road map to that goal and works with you to achieve them.
Motivation is good but it is not enough. One needs the methodology to be able to achieve desired results. Not just methodology but support when working on making changes. The human brain’s most important work is to keep us safe and alive.
Our ancestors were under constant threat from wild animals, attacks from warriors from rival communities, natural disasters and much more. Their brains were programmed to reward what is familiar and run away from what is not familiar. That was a very effective survival mechanism because unfamiliar could mean instant death.
That survival mechanism however works against us because familiar even if it is harmful will be rewarded and unfamiliar even if it is what we need to save our lives will be resisted and rejected. The brain interprets familiar as safe and unfamiliar as dangerous. That explains why stopping bad habits such as abuse of substances, living a sedentary lifestyle or poor eating habits is very difficult, same with adopting new habits.
Working with a transformational coach while transforming your life or making changes in certain areas of your life increases your chances of success because the coach is experienced in supporting people through change. The life coach also has the right tools to help them bypass the fight-flight-freeze response that blocks people from leaving their comfort zones and accepting what is not familiar
Transformational life coaches need training from reputable institutions in human behavior and psychology as well as in coaching skills and ethics. In some countries higher degrees in the same are required while in other countries basic degrees or diplomas coupled with extensive experience are acceptable.
Make sure to find out what the requirements in your country are but ensure that the transformation life coach is trained and certified. There really is nothing like an untrained transformational life coach, just like there is no untrained doctor or lawyer. Transformational life coaching is a specialized field and is not just about passion. Relevant training is a must.
Since the coaching profession is not well regulated such that anyone can call themselves a coach, a transformational life coach, a relationship expert or anything else, make sure to ask for the credentials of the coach.
Transformational life coaches are knowledgeable in their field and also competent in working with people to bring about transformation. It is possible for someone to have academic credentials and be not focused such as people who have credentials yet most of their focus is on other hustles.
One can be a certified coach and not actually be actively building a coaching career, may even be holding a full time job in a different field.
You want to look for a transformational life coach who is focused on working with clients to transform themselves, not one who is distracted and busy doing other things.
Besides the academic qualifications, transformational life coaches need to have step-by-step processes and tools they use to take their clients through the personal transformation journey, to facilitate that internal shift from the old mindset to the new mindset, from the old habits to the new habits.
Ask about the transformational life coach’s curriculum. How comprehensive is it? The transformational life coaching curriculum in a step-by-step process maybe 5-step or 7-step guide or roadmap.
Ask about the steps in the curriculum. An experienced transformational life coach has the steps on the fingertips and has no problem outlining what the roadmap is.
Transformational coaching is a process where you work with a coach to transform yourself. The bulk of the personal transformation work is done by you on a day to day basis.
Transformational coaching is not training, motivational speaking or preaching. It is to your mind what a fitness program is to the body. It is work to recreate yourself.
How much personal work and exercises are included? Does the curriculum include daily habits to help you train yourself? Are the strategies practical such that you are able to do them in your day to day life and will be able to do them on your own after you complete the program?
In physical fitness, some of the strategies used to evaluate your success include increased energy levels, amount of weight lost, fitting better into clothes, etc. Find out from the transformational life coach how your progress and the effectiveness of the coaching will be assessed.
Will it be in terms of improvement in life skills such as communication, conflict resolution, decision making and boundaries? Will it be in form of better self-care and overcoming self-sabotaging habits?
The effectiveness of a transformational life coaching journey should be evaluated (the before and after story). That needs to be clear from the beginning.
Change happens as a result of diverse factors. Some people wake up to the reality that their time on earth is limited after a near death experience or being diagnosed with a serious illness.
For others it takes emotional pain such as end of an intimate relationship or job they invested heavily in, betrayal or loss such as loss of wealthy. The shock to their system gives them the courage to go for their dreams, to transform themselves. Some get inspired to go even further and then transform others.
Change is a process, a journey. Change is scary. You will learn, grow, expand and evolve. There will be sacrifices as you change from the person you are to the person you desire to become, from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
You will be rejected by some people whom you value. Some people will no longer associate with you. Many people know that they are not living the life of their dreams but they are held back by fear and lack of self-confidence. You will have to rise above that fear.
A transformational life coach supports clients, allowing them to sit in the driver’s seat of their lives, hold the pen and write the story of their lives. They have someone non-judgmental to walk with them as they genuinely face up to their life experiences and use their challenges, struggles and pains as stepping stones to become a higher version of themselves.
How much support will you get from your coach as you put in the work to transform yourself? Will the support be from the coach or will they delegate to assistants? In case they will delegate, what are the qualifications of the assistants and how are they supervised? How are complaints handled?
Is the coach rigid?
Can you for example request for extra support when you are going through a difficult phase on the journey? Can you request for some change in the schedule such as in case of unforeseen circumstances? What would happen in case something unexpected happened such as sickness or bereavement? Would you lose your money?
Adheres to coaching ethics.
Make sure to ask questions about ethics. How is confidentiality handled? How are records kept and who has access to them? Does the coach ask for permission before using your information anywhere, even for purposes of marketing?
Life coaches who have gone through credible training understand about confidentiality so if the coach you want to work with has no clue, don’t even start the journey. You do not want to risk infringement of confidentiality.
Personal development does not come cheap so do not expect transformational life coaching to be cheap. With the lack of regulation of the coaching industry, do not focus on price as the determining factor when selecting a coach.
Imagine if you were sick and chose treatment based on price without caring about safety and effectiveness. What you want is transformation.
Cheap service that does not give results or even ends up harming you is not worth it, the price notwithstanding. I always say that it is okay to sell an asset and invest in your personal development for it will reward you greatly in future.
If the cost of coaching is beyond what you can afford at the time, better take some time putting together the money to enable you afford it than to settle for cheap service that might end up being a waste of your time and money.
Transformational life coaching is worth the investment. You would not want to go to a backstreet college whose quality of education is questionable just because it is cheap.
Ask for testimonials. How are their clients? Have they come out the way you wish to come out? Do you admire the way they have turned out? The proof of a coach’s work is the results and those are only evident from clients who have successfully gone through the coach’s hands.
The first client whose story you should look for is the coach’s owns story. In a professional space where anyone can call themselves anything, you need to at least try to choose a coach who is authentic.
Asking the coach about their own transformation will help you gauge how authentic he or she is. A coach can only take others where he/she has been so if their life has simply been constant and there is no before and after story, you may want to dig deeper.
No matter what a coach says, the fruits of his/her labour are the evidence of her effectiveness as a coach. A competent coach will have success stories, beginning with his or her own story.
No coach has 100% success rate because not all people who enroll for coaching do what needs to be done but for those who do, their results should be tangible.
Much as a coach cannot guarantee that her clients will put in the work, people invest in coaching because they desire some sort of results so at least some of her clients should have achieved desired transformation.
You would do well to settle for a coach who has clients that have achieved the sort of results you are looking for. Do you want to become a better entrepreneur? Then look for clients who have become better entrepreneurs.
Is your intention of investing in coaching to become a better parent? Then you need to see clients who have become better parents as a result of the transformational life coach’s work.
How have the lives of the clients changed by working with the coach? Do they recommend the coach and why? Do they feel that they got value for their investment? What are their views about the strategies and processes and how effective were they? Are they able to still use them after completing the program?
Is the coach authentic or do they preach water and drink wine? Take time to research about the coach you wish to engage. Go through their website and social media presence. Assess their vibes and their energy from whatever information you can get about them.
Does their content inspire and motivate you or does he/she come out as arrogant? Do you resonate with them? Has the coach been featured in any media? Does the coach have a blog or any published content such as articles?
Something else that can help you assess a coach is whether there are testimonies of transformation among followers of the coach who are not his/her clients. Many people transform their lives by reading books by top coaches, being on their email mailing lists, watching their YouTube videos, following them on social media, etc.
What are the fans or followers of the coach saying on social media? What feedback do you get about the coach from the market place?
Successful coaches impact many lives and not just those of their paying clients. You want to assess whether the coach has following and what their fans and followers comment about them on social media. Does the coach engage fans and followers? How is the engagement like?
Note down questions you would like to ask during the free consultation. Don’t ignore anything that you feel that you need clarity about such as noticing on social media that the coach is anti-something that is important to you maybe the rights of women and children, marriage, women bosses or something else. Ask questions during the free consultation in order to get clarity.
The purpose of the free consultation is to assess if you are a good match and get clarity over issues that are unclear. Ask about the strategies and tools the coach uses, the support she gives her clients and everything else that is important to you.
It will save you and the coach time if you do your homework well before booking a free session. The session is simply to get clarity about a few unclear issues so do not book it from a blank page.
Unlike general life coaching, transformational life coaching involves a lot of support from the coach and is similar to engaging a therapist so you need to settle for a coach that is a good match for you.
A coach does not necessarily have to share the same values with you for example you are a Christian and can work with a coach who is a Muslim. This is because life coaching is not advice giving.
The most important thing is that the coach is non-judgmental and supports you as you drive the transformation journey. Coaches are not preachers and are not in a mission to convert anybody. The coach needs to be able to get completely out of the way so that you can thrive. Your differences should not be an issue at all.
Unlike traditional life coaching, transformational life coaches focus on subconscious programming that sabotages you and holds you back from living the life you desire. Working with a transformational life coach helps you to change your perception of yourself and of the world.
You have believed for so long that the person you are is all you are capable of being while in reality 90% of your perceptions have been programmed in you by other people.
You look for a transformational life coach who
- Is non-judgmental, shines a spotlight for you to look inwards without telling you what is right or what is wrong. It is your journey. You are the driver.
- Supports you to look inwards without fear, supports and encourages you to become all you desire to be. There are no limits.
- Teaches strategies that lead to transformation such as hypnosis, meditation, visualization and journaling.
- Encourages investment in personal development and exercises to help you grow and also links you up with helpful resources. Coaching is not just the work to be covered in the program. The way you feed your mind on a day to day basis matters a lot.
- Is Personal transformation is not an easy process and there could be struggles here and there. If the coach seems distracted and impatient, you might not get the support you are looking for should you opt to work with her.
- Is respectful and professional. You do not want to work with a coach who will look down upon and belittle you. Be on the lookout for an attitude that puts you off.