Personal development coaches (Professional life coaches) are professionals who specialize in helping people achieve specific goals and overcome obstacles to personal growth. Goals may be related to any area of personal development, including relationships, business, finance or health and wellness.
Personal development is a form of coaching that focuses entirely on the self. This style of coaching aims to evaluate and assess your current strengths and weaknesses in order to improve a certain aspect of life.
Just as an athlete would have a coach to push and support them, a personal development coach is there to make you feel at ease and confident in your life. You deserve to be happy and proud of where you are; a coach will help you achieve that happiness and develop any skills you wish to improve.
This fact-sheet will explain what you may expect from a personal development coaching session. You will discover how this form of coaching can help improve your life, assess your own skills and what needs to be improved.
Is personal development coaching for me?
Life coaching for developing the self can cover a range of issues and concerns you may have. This could include money management, confidence building, public speaking and any other skill you believe would promote personal growth.
For a personal development plan to help you, you have to feel ready to start making these changes and be willing to put the effort in to achieve them. To discover whether personal development coaching is for you, consider these questions:
Do you wish you had better communication skills?
Do you want to become more confident?
Do you want to be more motivated?
Do you need a specific skill to advance further in life?
Do you want to be happier?
The way you approach or deal with a situation will determine the way it turns out. For example if you are having problems at work, you may need to develop or improve certain skills. Maybe you need to build self-confidence, be more motivated, control your temper or develop the ability to say yes or no.
A life coach for personal growth may be useful for many reasons. Whether you have one skill you wish to target, or there are several issues contributing to your concern, a personal development plan may help. The various issues could include the following:
Mental and emotional state
Do you approach life negatively or positively? Do you wake up dreading the day or are you able to have a spring in your step and feel ready for what’s ahead? Often, the way we feel about the events or changes that are happening can affect the way we cope. In order to promote personal growth, a coach will ask you to place emphasis on your thoughts and meanings of things. For example, if you wish for success, you will need to ask yourself what that success means to you. What makes you successful? How do you know when you have reached ‘success’?
Understanding your mental and emotional state is the first step in reaching your goals. Having the confidence, motivation and drive to achieve what you desire is important in personal growth.
Recognizing your ability to do this will help you progress further, but this can be difficult. To build self-esteem you can:
Engage in positive self-talk.
Remember what you like about yourself.
Discuss your good qualities.
Write down your achievements to look back on.
Plan for your future.
Personal development coaching can often help you address any social concerns you may have, such as lacking the confidence to meet new people or make friends. A life coach will be able to help you recognize and overcome certain anxieties by teaching you to examine your feelings. These anxieties could include arguments, coping in relationships or dealing with anger.
Your coach may ask what your social life is like. They will question whether you need lots of people around you to feel safe and happy, or whether you are the independent type that enjoys being alone. Recognizing your social needs can help you to understand what has caused certain issues and how you can find a healthy balance.
We spend more time at work than we do at home or with loved ones. For many of us, work dominates our social life and if you are not enjoying your job, it can lead to many problems.
Stress at work, feeling undervalued or feeling like you are not reaching your full potential can have a negative impact on the other aspects of life if not dealt with. Not maintaining a balanced routine can affect relationships, productivity, happiness and well-being. Considering personal development coaching can help you to recognize the problems and build your personal goals. A life coach will be able to guide you in your journey of personal growth and help you face the workplace issues you are experiencing.
Money is the source of many problems and one of the main causes of stress for people in the UK. If you find yourself in debt, you will often think of nothing else. The debt can cast a shadow over every aspect of your life, eating away at your positivity and overall health. If you are experiencing financial problems, life coaching can help you identify your strengths in money management and where you may have gone wrong. Are you spending more than you earn? Do you have any expensive hobbies or habits?
As well identifying your financial strengths and weaknesses, personal development coaching can help you to devise a money managing-plan that will in time, regain control of your finances.
Relationships and happiness
Your happiness can be greatly affected by the status of your love life. It doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship or single, but take a moment to consider if you are happy. Recognizing the state of your happiness is the first step towards making positive changes. Maybe you are single and find it hard to maintain relationships, or maybe you are in an unsatisfying, long-term relationship and you just need the confidence to confront the issues. It is important to learn what you want and happy you are in the current situation to understand what improvements can be made.
Personal development coaching can help you address your relationship concerns, build your confidence and find the satisfaction you deserve.
More people are seeking personal development coaching to help address their ‘spiritual needs’. The need to explore ideas and understand life can be an integral part of life for some, therefore a tailored plan will look to address all aspects of the self, including spirituality.
How do personal development sessions work?
Personal development is about increasing your self-awareness. Life coaches aim to pull out your strengths and weaknesses in order to identify the potential that already exists within you. This is often accomplished through a series of questions designed to help you recognise, accept and build upon your strengths and weaknesses.
In a sense, developing the self is like a spring clean. When cleaning your home, you will often go through each room, examining old memories and belongings, deciding whether you need them or not. Similarly, personal development is a way of improving one’s life by evaluating aspects of the self and putting them in order.
A life coach may not necessarily offer direct advice and they will not tell you exactly what to do. What they will do is offer guidance and support through personal development plans and strategies, in order for you to practise effective self-help at home.
These personalised plans will help you to begin the journey towards success and happiness. A personal development coach will also:
Ask questions in order to guide you to an answer.
Encourage deep thoughts about how you are living your life and the changes you want to make.
Challenge your thoughts by identifying inconsistencies.
Support you through difficult decisions.
Assist you with creating and following your personalised plan.
Help you to create strategies and reach your goals.
Personal development techniques
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses – The first step in personal growth and development is identifying the strengths and weaknesses in each area of your life. If you wish to develop yourself personally, then the first thing you need to know is what you want to develop.
Goal setting and skill development – Developing yourself and building confidence is all about recognising your achievements, however big or small. Day-to-day challenges can sometimes make us feel unsuccessful, but recognising and praising yourself for the small things will help this. Try to view life as a series of small challenges where each journey you make has its own achievements. Recognise these and you will start to develop a more positive perspective.
Setting personal goals is a great way to start growing. Make a list once a month, or once a week and try to tick off most of the goals you have given yourself. They don’t have to be big, start with simple goals such as donating to charity or organising your home – just remember to applaud yourself when you have achieved each goal.
Tracking your achievements – As mentioned above, recognising your successes will build your confidence and self-worth. You may find your life coach suggests you keep a personal development diary. This will be for you to record your thoughts and feelings about each journey you make in life. Having a record of your feelings toward different events will help you to evaluate your behaviour and how to improve it.
What to expect from personal development coaching
If you are considering a personal development coaching session, you should expect to be given the opportunity to assess your emotional well-being and how you are progressing in life. You will consider whether you are happy, whether you are reaching your goals, your state of mind and your relationships.
This process of self-assessment is to help you learn and recognise where you want to be in life and how you can get there. With the help of the coach you will devise a plan, set a goal strategy and determine the best ways for you to achieve them. A coach will not be there to judge you or make your decisions, they will use clever and careful questions to help you raise your awareness and recognise what issues may need to be focused on.
Personal development tips
Organise your time
Time seems to get in the way when considering making lifestyle changes. When are you going to develop all these new skills or hobbies if you spend all your time at work? How can you spend more time with your family?
Whatever the reason, you need to evaluate how you currently spend your time. Knowing how you manage your time will encourage you to make changes and find the process less stressful.
Tips to manage your time more effectively can include:
Saying “no” to extra responsibilities at work that require you to stay late.
Make a list of tasks you need to complete; organisation is key in time management.
Recognise your most productive time of the day – complete the most demanding tasks during this time.
Try to spend at least one hour after work doing something you enjoy.
Enhancing your current skills, or learning new ones can empower you as a person and increase the opportunities available to you. However, we all have things that can prevent us from doing so, these barriers could include:
Economic situation – If you feel your financial situation is holding you back, try looking online for free courses and information. There may be courses in local schools or colleges that are free or at a reduced rate for people in the lower income bracket.
Lacking time – If you don’t have time to complete a course alongside work or your other commitments, find out if your work offers any skill development courses. Many companies will fund a training scheme if they feel it will improve your skillset and be beneficial to them.
Low self-confidence or self-esteem – This can be a barrier many people face when wanting to develop their skills. Your confidence levels will grow in time, but ask yourself if there is anyone to join you on your journey or offer support along the way. Voicing what you are doing will often promote encouragement from others, or maybe even help you make a new friend.
Record your journey
During this time, keep a journal or a diary, or even a sketchbook. Keep a record of your journey; write down any key events, developments or achievements as they happen so you can reflect on these later. Having a record of these achievements may even encourage you to learn more skills in the future!