The other day, a friend of mine asked me if Life Coaching was a new trend or if it was an existing service, re-labelled for our time. This made me think a bit but I quickly recalled listening to Tony Robbins’ motivational CDs in the early 90s (although he did start much earlier) and learning of Ram Dass who started coaching in the 60s. I realize that offering only two examples doesn’t give you a huge point of reference, but I didn’t intend to list a multitude of people, but to simply illustrate that Life Coaching has been around for a while and a quick Google search has yielded information claiming that it may have even originated in the 1800s, albeit under a somewhat different cloak.
Further research indicated that the term “coaching” saw it’s start with a variety of services such as etiquette coaching, voice coaching, gymnastic coaching, sports coaching, etc. – all of which can also be a part of today’s Life Coaching skills, depending on where your point of focus and priorities are. So, as you can see, coaching has definitely evolved over the years and even centuries, to what it is nowadays.
If you take a closer look at what the term “Life Coaching” entails today, you will find that, while the online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Life Coach” as “an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems,” there are many variations at play, depending on what a Life Coach specializes in. I have read that some trends have developed within the Life Coaching environment and while some of these might be a re-packaging of past services that may have needed a facelift, this does not make them any less valid or effective. After all, an important aspect of maintaining the effectiveness (and popularity) of a service is to allow it to evolve with the times so that it can cater to modern requirements.
So, if you’re looking for a Life Coach, the main point is to find the Coach who best serves your needs through the services they offer. For more on how to choose a coach, please read my fourth blog entitled “Are Coaches perfect? How this Coach deals with her own life.”