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What Types of Coaches Are There?

A Guide to Choosing the Right Coach in 2023

The fact that you’re seeking personal coaching already indicates a predilection for success due to a little principle best summed up by Tony Robbins: “Where focus goes, energy flows.” The first act of getting what you want is acknowledging that you want it and beginning to put your focus toward it.

People seeking coaching usually have a specific purpose for it, so they want to choose someone who is geared toward that goal. And while there is some sound logic to that idea, it isn’t entirely necessary. 

In this article, we’ll go over the most common types of coaching, and then we’ll talk about why–in the case of choosing a coach–it may be better to broaden your scope rather than narrow it, even if that’s counterintuitive to what you know about achieving your goals. 

If you came here to learn about how alignment coaching can recalibrate your belief system to create a positive flow of success in all areas of your life, skip to this part.

Common Types of Coaching

These common coaching archetypes have arisen primarily out of people’s top three desires for improvement: life and relationships, career development, and fitness and wellness.

Life Coaching

While life coaching can be a broad, umbrella term for a variety of other types of coaching, it’s often sought out by people seeking to improve in multiple areas of their life, largely in personal goals or relationships. 

While there are many reasons a person might seek a life coach, they are usually looking to solve a broad-spectrum problem that exists in multiple areas of their life. Maybe they’re feeling unable to move forward or advance, or perhaps they have a good plan but just need some accountability. Regardless, more and more people are seeking life coaching as a way to help sort through all the noise of life and get focused so they can achieve the results they are looking for.

Recent statistics show that over two-thirds of people seeking life coaching to improve their lives are women. This isn’t surprising when you consider the social gender constructs that exist in the U.S. Many beneficial human traits like empathy and emotional literacy are ascribed as feminine and may be more difficult to access for men. 

However, it’s important for men to recognize that the world they are living in today is not the same one their fathers lived in. When it comes to succeeding in today’s world, those traditionally “feminine” skills are a crucial part of meeting life and workplace challenges, which is just one of many reasons more men should consider coaching to help them reach their potential. 

Life Coaching Summed Up:

  • Sought by people who are looking for general life improvements or have specific goals.
  • Is goal-focused and geared towards “fixing” you.
  • Can provide accountability and success strategies.

Career Coaching

Some people have a more specific focus. They may feel that their life is in pretty good shape if they could only get their career on track. Whether they are seeking advancement, career changes, or better people management skills, they may reach out to a career coach for advice. 

Career coaching can offer a variety of benefits beyond just helping you figure out your next move. While they will be doing some of the same things as a life coach in terms of helping you get the right mindset, they can also help you identify your priorities and make a long term plan. They can help you in any entrepreneurship goals you have. They can also help project manage your next career moves.

Career Coaching Summed Up:

  • Focused on specific career related goals
  • Can assist with project managing your career path
  • May offer limited mindset coaching

Fitness Coaching

A third major area of life where people seek coaching is fitness. I’m not talking about a personal trainer who lives at the gym and helps you meet your workout and body related goals. A fitness coach will be more holistic. They will work with you on your diet and exercise goals, but also your whole body and mind fitness.

People may pursue fitness coaching when they’re looking for personal accountability for whole life health changes that include physical, mental, and spiritual health. The great thing about a fitness coach is that they are there to listen, to help you over hurdles, to hold you accountable to goals, and to generally be your partner in reaching a healthier life. 

Fitness Coaching Summed Up:

  • Focused on whole body, mind, and spiritual health
  • Geared towards meeting specific goals
  • Offers mindset growth opportunity that can help in other areas of life

How Alignment Coaching Addresses All Your Goals at Once

Chances are, if you’re stuck in one area of your life, you’re experiencing stress in others as well. For example, weight problems are rarely an isolated issue. If you’re struggling with excessive weight, there is probably a systemic problem related to stress, trauma, genetics, or some other peripheral factors. And whether your weight is the cause or the symptom, it can affect your career and personal life as well. 

Alignment coaching recognizes that our external results (physical fitness, career success, or relationship success) are an outcome of our internal alignment. So while you can certainly seek a specific type of coaching for a specific goal, you may end up having to repeat that process throughout life and in other areas. Whereas with alignment coaching, you are essentially finding the source code that keeps resulting in repeated patterns of external results.

True Story of Alignment Success

A young woman–we’ll call her Jane–kept failing job interviews. Jane had the skills for the jobs she was interviewing for, but her experience level was low and she knew it was unlikely anyone would hire her with so few years under her belt. She was also struggling with some weight issues. As a newly single mother, she was working two (sometimes three) minimum wage jobs to make ends meet, and she was generally exhausted and operating at a consistent, low-level of depression. She had no goals for her personal life because that hadn’t made the priority list this year.

Even though Jane was actively seeking better jobs in the hopes of getting on a long-term career path, she didn’t actually believe she would get those jobs. The career she wanted felt like a little girl’s fantasy. She didn’t even have the right clothes for those types of interviews.

The life she was living now felt correct. Working too hard for too little and sacrificing herself for her children–that’s what made sense. It’s what the single mothers around her were doing. And ultimately, it was in line with what she believed she had a right to expect.

If you asked Jane at any time what she wanted, she would tell you about the dream career. But if you asked what she believed about the duty of a mother, she would tell you that it was the duty of a mother to put her children first and do whatever it takes to provide for them and nurture them.

While her belief wasn’t necessarily wrong, it was out of alignment with what she wanted. She was never going to be able to build the dream career while believing that a single mother should sacrifice self in order to provide for her children.

How Alignment Coaching Helped

Through alignment coaching, Jane was able to deconstruct her belief system to identify why she wasn’t moving forward with her goals. She found out that because of her beliefs surrounding single-motherhood, she was subconsciously disqualifying herself from anything that didn’t match that belief. 

Being fit, being happy, being successful, and experiencing positive cash flow all failed to match her belief about what a single mother does and looks like. In addition to recognizing the mis-alignment between belief and desired outcome, she was also able to trace back the origins of that belief.

Many people believe coaching will help you identify some trauma associated with your current belief system. While that may be the case, in Jane’s situation, she was able to identify a moment that wasn’t traumatic or even bad, but was simply a moment in her childhood where her beliefs about money were formed. 

Alignment coaching helps you go through this deconstruction process so that you can recognize what parts of your belief system are actually blocking you from not only achieving the success you’re looking for…but actually receiving the benefits of that success. If Jane had managed to land a job while still operating under her old belief system, she would still have experienced the overworked, under-rested, low-key depressed life–she just would have been doing it with a better job.

Alignment Coaching Summed Up

While there are many types of coaching to choose from, at Growth Makers Lab we recommend (and offer) alignment coaching for these reasons:

  • Alignment coaching helps reprogram your “source code,” or belief system, so you can start to experience positive flow in all areas of your life.
  • If you have a specific goal for fitness or career, when you pursue alignment as the solution, you’ll experience success in your goal while also noticing improvements in other areas.
  • You can achieve goals and still be stressed, burdened, depressed, and unhappy. Alignment coaching helps you not only achieve success, but receive its rewards as well.
  • Life can be gentle and generous, but only if you let it.

If you’re looking for better for yourself, consider joining us at Growth Maker’s Lab or reach out to one of our coaches for more information.

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