What is life coaching?
Let's say you really want to improve something in your personal or professional life. You would seek a life coach if you want somebody in your corner who can help you achieve what's best for you:
by your own measures,
using your best qualities and virtues, and
considering your weaknesses and faults.
*You* will decide what's good for you, but it's not easy to lay out the parameters. Is it going to work long term? Does it take into account what and who matters to you? Or what you're good at? Is it worth suffering for?
The coach is your ally in developing as crisp a vision as possible of your desired future. He helps you come up with and implement actions and habits to get there.
You can expect to work on concrete and measurable areas of improvement, such as:
social and relationship skills
study and scheduling skills
anxiety about professional or personal future
self-evaluation of performance and self-criticism
replacing of bad habits
The outcome, for each person, may be different: be it higher quality social interactions or a fulfilling intimate relationship, better grades, healthier self-criticism, more assertiveness, or more clarity about what you want from life.
But, most importantly, you can expect to become better at being truthful to yourself and to others.
From such a position of strength, your path, however difficult, towards your best-scenario future will be filled with meaning, positive emotion, and tangible results that accrue exponentially, in a very literal sense: as increments on increments, like compound interest.
Young people today are unhappy, despite having higher incomes, more things, and safer environments.
In fact, as far as material wealth and safety are concerned, youth are doing better than ever, while, at the same time, experiencing depression and anxiety at rates that are alarmingly high. Youth today are lonelier, more sensitive to (even minor) failure, more anxious about their future, and less engaged with real adult behaviors.
Even young adults who are successful by conventional measures (good grades or successful jobs, involvement in extracurricular activities and social causes, no bad habits...) are often deeply unhappy.
Some of the unhappiness is perhaps driven by the rat race that school and work have become: I've heard kids as young as twelve, talk about "their career". Some of it may be explained by the increased visibility and connectivity brought upon by smartphone use: self-worth now being measured in the number of likes. The lack of authentic friends and intimate relationships, supportive communities, and profound values exacerbate the problems, while the disconnect from nature doesn't help. All these factors converge to create a self-perpetuating fragility that parents, and society at large, struggle to grapple with.
Having been around and worked with young people for the last decade, I can confirm anecdotally what the data says: that they are getting increasingly sadder, more anxious, less communicative. But I don't think that reactions that oscillate between lament and contempt, on one side, or alarmism and overprotection, on the other side, are justified.
I don't think that young people today are horrible, nor that they need to be kept safe. My practice reflects this belief: it is rooted in positive psychology and antifragility principles.
I trained with Academic Life Coaching in Portland, Oregon (an ICF accredited institution) and obtained my certification first as an Academic Life Coach, and then as a Professional Life Coach. I'm specialized in teens and young adults life coaching. The rigorous training I received confers my practice structure, accountability, and adherence to strict standards of professional conduct.
But I got here through a multitude of school, work, and life experiences which have equipped me with wisdom and humility in addition to knowledge. I'm trained as an applied physics engineer, but besides working in a physics lab, I have held many - some odd - jobs, in a few countries in Europe and North-America: science teacher, sous-chef, food caterer, agricultural equipment mechanic, furniture mover, tutor, inventor, Sunday school teacher...
I'm naturally curious about people. The encounters and interactions with people in my life created a positive feedback loop that reinforced this curiosity and got me working on it more consciously. I was told I have a gift, but it wasn't the praise that kept me going: it was rather the rush of positive emotion I felt in unison with my interlocutor – as we were figuring things out – that was the cue, for me, that this is something I wanted to pursue more ardently.
I followed this deep sense of meaning to coach professionally and was able to replicate, time and time again, with my clients, a sense of well-being which can only be derived from deep and authentic human connection. My clients get out of these alliances a plethora of other good, measurable results: better grades, longer focused studying, healthier relationships, fewer hours on social media, cleaner rooms, sharper negotiation skills, lower fight frequency with their families, and more laughs, to list but a few of the positive changes I am able to bring about in their lives.