Searching for the ideal life coach can prove to be a daunting task.  Do they have your best interest in mind? Will they attempt to make you believe false follies just to snag an extra buck from you?

It’s tough finding an expert to help you with any niche you don’t know too much about. But what if the niche is YOU. This is a subject that is open to multiple facets of interpretation and techniques, so it can be easy to get taken advantage of.

Know what you NEED.

First things first. Before you even begin your search for a life coach, you need to fully understand what you need, rather than what you want. Do you really need coaching? Or do you need mentoring? Or perhaps therapy? It’s important to understand the difference before making any decisions.

Essentially, mentoring is just very heartfelt, and sincere advice given by folks who have weathered the same ferocious storm. They understand what it’s like to wear your shoes and try to help you based on methods that worked for them. Although this can be helpful, a life coach is trained to provide methods which are tailored to your specific personality, rather than personal experience.

Therapy can also be misrepresented as life coaching. Life coaching focuses on the now. How you can change your current situation with tactics that exist in the present. Therapy (more or less) tends to focus on the past, and how previous events might have affected your current psyche.

Mentorship and therapy can be extremely beneficial, but vastly differ from life coaching. Understanding these differences can save you time and money.

So, what am I Looking for Then?

As previously stated, a life coach will remain focused on the future. They will show you, and sometimes create, the tools necessary for your self-improvement but will leave it up to YOU to use these tools.

They will often be very pro-active, wasting no time in telling you how it really is. Think about it, you don’t want a typical “yes man” to just tell you everything is honky dory when you feel your life is in shambles. You are depending on them to be sufficient in providing you with the harsh truths of your current reality. The truth hurts and receiving that type of feed back from an outside source may be exactly what you need. You don’t want someone who is just going to tell you what you want to hear and proceed to drain your wallet.

You want someone who is qualified, and passionate for what they do. Someone who isn’t just satisfied getting paid to talk, but who is happy when they see positive results.

This brings me to my next point, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

A life coach is a professional who earns their certification through a variety of training programs. So, don’t be afraid to ask them about their credentials. As wonderful as the internet is, any schmuck can advertise themselves as a life coach online. So be sure to do your research and understand who you’re getting involved with.

If possible, you can also discuss their tactics and results with their former clients. Everyone is different, but this can help develop a clear perspective.

Most life coaches will offer free consultation. This is a perfect way to determine adequate compatibility between you and the coach. One of the first things you should ask is their price. Before you take it further you need to make sure that you can actually afford their services. That sounds pretty obvious, but it’s often overlooked.

Hiring a life coach means that you are willing to give up part of the reigns to someone to lead you in the right direction, despite how uncomfortable it may be for you to make appropriate changes. But you are still the one dishing out the dollars! You’re still the one in control! Don’t be reserved about asking them about their methods, coaching styles, tactics, and past results.

You have a busy life, and you want nothing more than to improve upon that, so don’t let your self get taken advantage of.

Doing Your Part.

In addition to establishing the perfect fit for yourself, you need to make sure you have the right mindset for the challenge. Basically, you have to be ready to take the heat.

Putting all this work into finding the right guidance will all be for nothing if you don’t trust them. Change is hard, and difficult to traverse, but a great coach will always provide you with honesty (sometimes bluntly) no matter what.