For example the details on the website enquiry form I had recently received were not uncommon. The client required help with his two online businesses, his time management, and if I could help him increase confidence in his relationships with females then that would be great too. What was also becoming more common was the fact that he was still at school. He was 15 to be exact, and although I get many clients from the UK, this young man was from Sweden.
What is different as a teen these days?
Why are so many of you now taking time out from social media, homework, making your first million, and the hormonal roller coaster to consider working with a life coach? One of the reasons seems to be that just as people are experiencing growing up faster now, they are becoming aware of the opportunity to become successful faster too. That may be success in business, in love, in health, and in many different ways. Whatever it is that defines success to you, there are now ways to achieve it faster.
And what it is that makes Life Coaching so Life Changing? Any good coach (or therapist for that matter) is not only looking to help you solve the issues that you have come to them with, but is also looking to teach you a way of dealing with future issues that may arise in life. This often takes the form of techniques and exercises for you to use, but behind all of these methods lies at least one and probably more philosophies on how to be successful in life and live happily. An experienced coach is not only teaching you to be able to adopt different ways of thinking and acting more effectively in the moment, but showing you completely new perspectives that can bring long lasting change and allow you to deal with the future challenges that life will throw at you. Obviously the younger you are able to learn these methods and philosophies, the more naturally and efficiently you will be able to profit from them. Look at anybody who has started young learning a language or a musical instrument to see what I mean.
Let’s look at the statistics of what you are looking for. Many subjects are much the same whatever age you are: Health, love, wealth, and career choices (oh yes – forty something’s often have serious career choices to make too!). But there are some subtle and not so subtle differences for many teenagers. You might find that you are feeling a lot more pressure in your relationships due to the level of social media you are engaged in. Health itself is often distorted by the powerful hormonal changes you are feeling. How are you supposed to look and act to cut it out there in the world now? There is the pressure of exams and getting that first job/business to carry you into the next stage in life. And as for love – well - we have only got about 1200 words in this article. Add to all this the challenges many young people face involving sex, drugs, alcohol, and very importantly the relationship you have with your parents, and it can seem like there is an awful lot of life to manage. A Life Coach can teach you life management from an early age.
Where do you find a good Life coach?
So young people are starting to understand the benefits of learning the philosophy of being successful, and knowing how to deal with challenges in life. Another explanation for this rise in the number of younger people seeking a coach for support is that with the maturing of the internet, they have become aware of the help that is available to them. Anything that offers a good (and sometimes surprisingly fast) solution to a problem or a worry has got to improve your life because as we have already noted, there is a lot going on and time is valuable. It is easy to run a Google search and find local coaches to talk or have an online conversation with. Many will offer a free consultation to give you time to decide if you feel comfortable working with them (research has shown that one of the most important factors of success with a coach is your trust and rapport with them). Making sure that your coach has qualifications and belongs to a governing body is very important – you’ve all been warned about the internet! Look for a coach that is recommended by testimonials or references that you can check, and one that is established in the area is also a good sign. Services like the Life Coach Directory are also good for doing some of the ground work for you and checking the coaches that they advertise, but still use your own judgement on who you make contact with. Be prepared too for your coach to ask you to attain parental consent if you are under 16.
That just leaves the big final question then: does it all work? Well the client who sent the contact form at the beginning of this article has just sent me an email:
“You really gave me clarity and that is why I would just like to thank you for your help, it really means a lot to me. The things you are doing to help me I don't believe nobody has ever helped me with in this way before. The way you help me is that you really ask what I want and you are not asking me to do stuff that wouldn't really help me, or that I don't want to do, which no one has ever done before and it just makes me really happy deep down that you have guided me more and more in the right direction. For every session and for every exercise that you have suggested that I should do have just made me happier and more clear of what my goals are, and deep down I appreciate that a lot! Thank you.”
Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind. You are as old as your doubt, your fear, your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young."
I'm already fascinated to see what the future brings us. Due to the exponential rise in mental health issues, control issues (OCD, Self-Harm, etc), and life/work related stress, I predict an even greater surge in people looking for answers. In response, more people will look to become coaches and therapists too, and that's all good as long as the quality stays high and is provided by people who have faced the abyss and actually come out the other side...
I started in Hypnotherapy before it became popular and I worked hard to become an advanced therapist. In time it became fashionable but when the wave passed it filtered out the serious amongst us and it's popularity as a career choice was a positive. I realised over time that my approach to therapy was commonly grounded in a form of Psychological Coaching (as a lot of my past experience had been in leadership and personal coaching/support). Now as Life Coaching becomes increasingly desirable we shall again be weighed and measured in the aftermath of popularity.
This cycle rolls on, but where does the next step truly lie? What is the next level in finding and maintaining true happiness? Why are so many people still suffering in a western world where we have so much of everything and much more? There is a clue in the question.
It is to be found in the truest Freedom of all; that of the mind. Yet this greatest of freedoms also carries the greatest of responsibilities...
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”