Friends are my lifeblood. I thrive on relationships, soul talks, and getting down with my girlfriends. With my closest friends and safe people, I have open, loving, and raw relationships.
Yet, I see a life coach.
The truth is, friends are an amazing support. I truly believe that friendship is one of the most important aspects to living a healthy life. But what you need to know is that it is unfair to your friends to expect them to be your life coach. It's unfair to you as well! Your friends are not your life coach.
Your Best friend is not your life coach.
1. Coaches are trained active listeners.
In my coach training, we had entire chapters dedicated to active listening. Let me tell you, I do not actively listen to my friends like I do when I am coaching a client. It is a different kind of awareness that takes a lot of energy and focus. Typically, friends are not listening in this way. It is not practical in day to day conversation, and it takes training to learn and practice to master. In most relationships, this kind of listening is not present nor is it expected.
2. Friends talk to relate and connect.
The very nature of friendship is companionship. In friendship, you talk, share, listen, tell stories, and relate. Connection is built on shared vulnerability and openness. Coaching, takes a completely different approach to a relationship. Yes, my clients and I are very friendly, and I truly love them, but when I talk with them, it is about them. I am vulnerable, open, and relatable with my clients, but always in a way that directly benefits them and always goes back to them. It is not about me being heard, ever. In friendship, that kind of relationship is expected and healthy, but in coaching, the focus is 100% on the client. Every. Time.
3. Coaches ask hard questions.
In friendship, hard questions are sometimes asked. But after going through coach training I have learned what kinds of questions are beneficial, what kinds of questions to ask when, and what kind of questions actually hinder the client from growth or might cause shame. Friends are often asking for juicy details, asking to be your biggest support and take your side of a conflict, or asking questions that are not as challenging to your spirit. Coaches are trained to keep the focus on self actualization, moving forward, and positive change. They keep you out of negative story telling and on what you're learning, feeling, and where you want to go; training your mind to think differently.
4. Your coach is separate from your daily life.
Your friends hear all of your stories, they know the ins and outs of your life. They've seen you drunk on the bathroom floor, held you as you cried, and helped you pick out the dress that looks best on you. But have they helped you make 6 month goals and created action steps for you to get there? Probably not. (And that's okay!!) It's not their job! Their job is to be there in the daily with you. A life coach's job is to stay subjective, to motivate, and to call out the best from an outside perspective, and finally to help you realize that you probably already know the answers if given the space to figure it out.
5. Your coach sees you with fresh eyes.
Your coach sees you with unbiassed eyes. Coaching is 100% nonjudgemental and confidential, which means that what is shared in coaching not only stays between you two, it does not change how your coach sees you. Your coach has no emotional attachment to your "mistakes" but can see clearly where you are at. Your coach can see your wins as HUGE successes, because they know the mindsets you had to overcome to get there. Your coach sees you for not only who you are, but who you are becoming, and is dedicated to help you get there.
Most coaches are trained with degrees and certifications specializing in the field. It's their profession, and they are well prepared to handle a coaching relationship! Read more about what coaching is here.
As amazing as your best friend is, she is not your life coach. Take that burden off her! BE with her, share stories, get vulnerable, and create an amazing friendship.