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Nov 7th 2011 at 9:02 PM

Whenever people ask me the difference between Life Coaching and Counselling/Psychotherapy, I say: “Well I have not individually tried the other stuff, but from what people have told me, I guess that it's much more targeted on the issue, while Coaching is regarding great possibilities.”

This means that coaches, hardcore self-developers and similar people typically go around with an extremely positive frame of mind, seemingly inhabiting a life where the sun always shines, and the place in which for every one of life's difficulties - oops sorry! - “challenges”, there is a comforting belief/rationalisation/slogan that makes it all seem like something that they needed all along. Lost your job? “Now I am free to follow my true purpose!” Boyfriend left you? “It was not 'meant' to be!” Best friend just died? “Each and everything happens for a reason!”

Now do not get me wrong, I consider that most of these people really do experience extremely happy lives. I know I generally do :) Then again ... I do not believe in the conveyor belt, in “one size fits all”, when it relates to the way we react to what’s taking place in our lives.

So maybe there are times when the relentlessly positive is just not what we may want to hear. For those times, we require a good option - one that acknowledges that we occasionally cannot elude or spin our situations. As there is success in our lives, and there is also unsuccess, in so many different forms: big and small, material and psychological, internal and external.

Of course saying this is merely a reminder of what we really already know. But it’s even an invitation to behave as if we did really were aware of it, and to choose, to the best of our capacity, to be totally unbothered by the reality that the world is constructed the way that it is (because let us face it, it is, is it not?)

The old life-coachy cliché, “There is no failure, only feedback” could be an incredibly empowering slant. But so can “It is natural and quite OK that we do not always get, or will be able to keep, what we determined to put on our wish list”. Since once we keep in mind that the world was not created to be an infinite gratification machine for our every need and wish, life becomes not harder, but a great deal simpler!

It disappoints me that in the self-development industry the role models held up are those who have achieved success to a great extent (which invariably translates as raking in inconceivable numbers of dollars or by accomplishing global celebrity status by “selling” their ideas). Surely a happy and meaningful life does not need to be like this?!
It might simply be me, but individually I am a lot more impressed by those who have learnt to accept and live awesomely well with the unsuccesses they experience on their path.
Live the difference Life Coaching is based in Melbourne which offers transformational one-on-one coaching both face-to-face and on the phone. People come from all walks of life and live in and around Melbourne, interstate and overseas.

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