Help getting through life's obstacles

When my career first began and I would tell prospective clients that I was a life-guide, all of a sudden a look of recognition would come over their faces and they would say something akin to, oh, you mean a life-coach. My answer was and is, yes and no.

Yes it is similar in that both professions help clients to overcome the obstacles that keep them from reaching their personal and professional goals, by developing tools and strategies that will assist them in being successful in that process. As a life-guide and from my understanding of what a life coach is, both professionals also strive to create a safe, positive, confidential environment for their clients, whether the sessions are done on the phone, in an office, or somewhere else, and look to attain client’s goals in a briefer more succinct manner than say psycho-analysis, which can take many years to accomplish.

With that being said, it is also one of the differences that I feel separates what I do as a life-guide from what many life coaches do: just look at the here and now, as to how to create future change; (the exceptions being those that may have come from therapeutic professions before becoming life coaches). I believe that in order to create real lasting change in someone’s life and move them towards a more positive future you have to have a full understanding of how they got to where they are. In my way of working as a life-guide that doesn’t have to take years, but it cannot be overlooked, often times it’s even the key to the obstacle(s) that are keeping that person stuck.

To reach and tackle those key issues, I feel my eclectic professional experience and training in the arts, teaching, and therapeutic work in a variety of fields, brings more breadth and individuality to my work than is often used in the more standardized life coaching training and methodology. In other words, I think outside of the box. It’s a transferable skill I learned from teaching, and doing play and behavioral therapy with children with special needs. Sometimes, you have a lesson plan or a technique you feel will suit that child perfectly only to show up that day to see that something else has come up over the weekend that needs to be addressed immediately, and you have to be able to shift gears right away, often learning as much from the child as to what direction to go in as you do from your own tried and true teaching tools. The same thing I’ve found happens with my life-guiding clients, I may go into the session thinking session two would be a good time to look at their family background for clues to how their current eating patterns have developed, only to find that an event took place since I saw them last that needs working through first.

This is why when a client first comes in for their initial assessment and they ask how many sessions do you think it will take for me to successfully reach my goal, I always answer an honest, “ it’s hard to say”. As unique individuals, how can we say for instance that everyone will lose weight at the same rate, and therefore ten sessions will be enough, not only do we all have different mental, emotional and physical make-ups, but as both clients and I are constantly reminded of, “life happens, while you’re making plans.” I’m open to following the individual client’s lead, not adhering to a rigid set in stone, one size fits all sort of program. I feel like in the end the most important difference is that to me being a life-guide is about guiding a client through their own process, offering suggestions, helping them to discover their own truths, as opposed to the word coach, which beyond bad memories of being picked last in gym class, seems to me to be more about adapting to and adopting someone else’s set of rules to live by.

But please remember that since everyone is thankfully unique only you know who and what is right for you, whether it is a life-guide or a life coach, the most vital thing is that you make the decision and the time for yourself, to reach your goals, and move toward self-awareness to self-acceptance.


Personal Strength

Sandra Pereira - Personal Trainer & Fitness/Yoga Instructor             Tanya Loken - Life-Guide & Clinical Hypnotherapist

5320 Carpinteria Avenue, Suite F. Carpinteria, CA 93013   •   (805) 745-5800    •   info@PersonalStrengthOnline.com