Life Coaching For Dummies
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People talk lots of hokum about life coaching. Life coaching television programmes, magazines and newspaper columns range in quality from the powerful and inspirational through to the downright misleading and dangerous.

True life coaching isn’t about some guru telling you how you should live. Yes, you may be tempted to bask in the comfort of an expert who can fix your life, your fashion sense, your body flaws and your emotional angst. But these fixes are too often like an elegant sticking plaster.

Changes don’t last, unless a real change has come from deep within you. True life coaching enables you to call on your very own inner guru, any time, any place, with or without the support of another human being.

Think of yourself as a unique person

Instead of thinking about your good points and bad points, consider the question: ‘What are my unique qualities?’ That’s a very different kind of question, even though to answer it you think about many of the same traits. The whole focus of the question is on what makes you uniquely you. It’s a lot easier to be confident about the positives and stay more objective about the rest.

Seen from this perspective, everything about who you are is key to being your best self. Instead of worrying about your weaknesses, you can begin to think in terms of your opportunities to develop what you like about yourself and what works for you, and to change the stuff about you that gets in your own way.

A character trait that you may think of as a weakness may turn out to be one of your biggest strengths, when you find out how to apply it in the right way. Two of the basic life-coaching truths support the idea that you’re already good enough – ‘You are resourceful’ and ‘You are already capable of much more than you know’.

Don't worry; be happy!

Happiness is no laughing matter; in fact, it’s a serious business! Take a moment to think about the reason behind all that you do. You set goals for better health, wealth, a great career and brilliant relationships. Why do you do all of that? Chances are, it’s because you believe that attaining these goals will make you happier, or at least enhance your current level of happiness.

Even truly altruistic goals – where you make a contribution to the world and to others, perhaps at some personal cost – still contribute significantly to your feelings of happiness.

The best goals make you feel happy by a combination of a great outcome that really motivates you and a process of getting there that is, at least in part, an enjoyable one. Even so, happiness can still be elusive and fleeting. Things that you think should make you happy sometimes don’t, and you can find true happiness in unexpected places.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Jeni Purdie (formerly Mumford) is a personal life coach who works with individuals and within organisations to facilitate personal growth, greater happiness and authentic success.

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