You’re someone with big dreams of making a difference in the world, but right now, you feel stuck.

You’re a high-achiever, but you’re struggling to reach your goals. Your confidence is suffering, and you may worry about how this will impact your relationships, health, or work. You’ve heard about the benefits of life coaching, and you’re wondering how to find a life coach who’s right for you.

Life coaches can be helpful in many arenas. Perhaps you’ve gone through a life change and want to get clear on your path forward. Maybe you want to make a bigger difference, be more effective at work, or finally, find that elusive work-life balance. Or, perhaps you want to improve your relationships, experience greater well-being, or deepen your spirituality. While a life coach can help you create change in each of these areas, life coaching can be quite an investment, so it’s important to find the coach who is best for you.

In the last couple of decades, the number of life coaching training programs has proliferated. However, there are still no licenses for life coaches or regulations to protect you.  Some life coaches are talented, experienced, and skilled. And others, well, less so.  Because of this, it’s important to make sure you hire the right person.

So, how do you find a life coach who can actually help you change your life?

Here’s a simple, five-step process to help you find the life coach who is right for you.

1. Ask your friends and colleagues if they’ve worked with a life coach they like.

Although it can be scary to let people know you’re seeking support, you might be surprised when you broach the subject. Most people relish the idea of receiving non-judgmental support and undivided attention from someone who helps people change their lives. Sharing about your challenges and opening up for support can strengthen your relationships with the people in your life. And while your friends may not have worked with a life coach, if they have, this can be the easiest way to find a coach you trust.

2. Do a Google search.

Often, the easiest way to find a life coach is online. When you do a simple Google search or use an online coaching directory such as Noomii, you’ll find hundreds of life coaches. You might even find life coaches who work in your local area. At this point, ask yourself if it matters whether you work with a life coach in person or online. I often speak with new clients who hesitate about working with a life coach online.  However, they’re quickly surprised how effective it is to work with a life coach through Skype, Zoom, or even the phone.

3. Get a sense of the coach’s specialty, skills, and background.

Once you find a life coach who you resonate with, take a good look at their website. Read through their blog articles, check their certifications and professional history (for example, here’s mine), and get a sense of their specialties and expertise. Look for answers to these important questions:

• What’s their specialty? Do they focus on career, leadership, health, spirituality, relationship, money, or something else? Is their specialty aligned with your needs?
• What do their clients have to say? Do they have great client testimonials?
• What is their professional training? What are their coaching credentials?

I highly recommend hiring a life coach who is certified by the International Coaching Federation. Although non-certified coaches may be talented, it’s hard to know before you invest. ICF-certified life coaches have passed through a rigorous evaluation and adhere to a strict ethical code.

If you’re looking for a life coach online, my candid advice is to be aware of the difference between high-quality content and flashy marketing. Just because a life coach says they’re one of the “best life coaches” out there or that they’ve “worked with thousands” doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll help you get to the heart of the matter. Instead, focus on their professional background, testimonials, and specialties.

4. Sign up for a free discovery session.

Once you find a life coach who you think is a good fit, sign up for a free discovery session. In your discovery session, the life coach will help you get clear about what you need and recommend a path forward (which may or may not include working with them).

When done well, discovery sessions can be a great opportunity for you to get clear on your next steps.  That said, I recommend getting as clear as possible about what you want to get out of coaching before you talk. Ask yourself these coaching questions before you talk to help you identify your needs and priorities.

5. Decide whether to invest.

During the discovery session, the coach may invite you to work with them. Most life coaches work with their clients for three to nine months, so you have enough time to learn new skills and create lasting change.

If you’re thinking about investing in coaching, but it feels scary, I’ll tell you what I tell my new clients. First, listen to your gut. Then, if you decided that you want to work with a life coach, and you find a good match, then consider the cost of not taking action. It can be easier to focus on the cost of coaching, but I encourage to ask yourself what would happen if nothing changed. Is the cost of not getting help greater than the cost of investing? If so, and if your gut says yes to coaching, I encourage you to take the leap. It can be hard to invest in yourself, but you matter, and you deserve to receive support.

Whether or not you decide to work with a life coach, the process of looking for a life coach can help you get clear about what you need right now to change your life. If you feel called to do so, I invite you to click here to learn about our life coaching services or sign up for a free discovery session with me so I can help you get clear on how to stop feeling stuck and start creating the life you want. No matter whether you end up working with a life coach, I wish you all the best on your journey towards crafting the life you most desire.

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