Life Experience Matters In Life Coaching

As I review this post in June 2023, at the age of 58, I am reminded of the value of my life experience, and the perspective that comes with that experience. I have done so many things in my life that have brought me to this point.

By my own admission I am unconventional. That said, I have worked and thrived in many conventional, and at times, very challenging environments over the years, including 11 years working for the Tasmanian government.

These days, I have chosen to move beyond the conventional ways of working and doing, and now live life very much on my terms - these days, I work for me. To be clear though, I don't like to box myself with too many definitions. There is value in all approaches to life it must be said so having gears, as I often say, and being practical and pragmatic requires being open to multiple ways of seeing life.

Why did I move beyond the conventional world? Many reasons of course. I simply grew out of, and away from, a way of living that I saw as limited, finite, and too restricting for the way I wanted to live my life. I wanted more.

In short, I see myself as more than any label that defines me as either conventional, or unconventional - I am simply who I am, and who I choose to be. I am always learning, unlearning, and growing.

Life is how you see it, how you choose to live it, and how much you are prepared to push beyond the limitations, real or imagined, that are all around you.

This brings me to life coaching.

In my opinion, a life coach should have an open curious mind (and that is indeed a relative statement if ever there was one!), and a breadth of experience, that enables an appreciation and awareness, that life is always changing, and that it isn't 'locked in' to a way of living, working, or thinking.

Life is many things for many people - it is not one fixed definition. Change is the one thing we can all count on.

Life for me keeps changing. To demonstrate that for a moment,  up until November 2021, I often did not know where I would be living just a few days later. Between December 2014 and November 2021 I lived everywhere. At times I didn't know where I would stay, and for me, there was power in that as it demonstrated to me that I was in control of my own life.

I usually have any number of possibilities that are ready to go in my life - a parade of preferences you could say. I am excited to live my life this way - for now at least it works for me. When or if it doesn't? I will change it.

My decisions create my experience, and these days, I am making more of them.

For many people, the way I live may appear to be unrealistic, unworkable, unbelievable, and totally impractical. I get it, I really do. We are not trained, conditioned or encouraged to move too far away from the status quo... in fact it is often shunned and ridiculed.

My life works for me. It would not have worked for me, nor would it continue to work for me, if I had taken the advice of other people outside of my experience - and that is why 'advice' is sometimes the worst thing you can possibly follow - let alone give to anyone else.

I continue to back myself in in life. I trust in life and myself. As a coach, I practice what I coach. What does that mean? It means I am in the business of helping people help themselves to change, to transform, to improve, and to reframe their ways of living.

Based on clear evidence, and personal demonstrated results, that is EXACTLY what I am doing in my life.

You see, I coach transformational change - and I live transformational change.

It is incredibly important to establish genuine rapport and trust in relationship with the people I am coaching with.

Coaching is about you. It is about your capacity to change. I understand that.

Together, we are cocreators in the coaching relationship, but ultimately, our time together culminates in a collection of perceptions, realisations, and decisions, that you yourself must make alone.

YOU are your own guru. Maintain your personal power. Seek guidance. Continue to grow - and always think for yourself.

As a coach, I am as good as you want you to be... you might want to read that again! That is, you need to show up, be present, be engaged, and stay open if you want to get the most out of coaching with me.

I have worked with, and for, literally thousands of people. This includes both private enterprise and for government. I have often stated that I have probably had more than 100 jobs/roles, training, both paid and unpaid, in my lifetime.

Some were for 10 years... others were for 10 seconds! Regardless of time allocated to each situation, that is a lot of contrast and experience for any person... particularly for a person who is a professional coach focused on helping other people be the best versions of themselves they choose to be!

In a coaching sense, this gives me so much experience to draw upon.

I have tried so many things in life, had so many different experiences, and see myself as much more than a job description. Life experience matters in life coaching - it provides perspective and contrast.

Life is bigger than a narrow job description - and so am I. Just as importantly, I think you are too... wherever you are at, or not at, in your life.

I started life, and in fact lived through life, through very humble beginnings. It gives me an appreciation of the struggle many of us face in our lives. It also helps to give me a deeper awareness and understanding perhaps, of the journey many of us face in our lives.

That is why I know that together, we can unearth your talents, your strengths, and help you to help yourself, get back in the game, or get better at the game you are playing! (so start your list and see what you come up with!).

For me life is not locked in. We ALWAYS have options. We can create possibilities and opportunities. We can improve our lives. Life always gets back to us.

We either accept or tolerate or struggle through our lives as they are, or we step up and find new and better ways forward and take on a growth mindset.

Coaching together, we can help you move closer towards the life you choose to live.

Craig Hedge is a Professional Coach based in Hobart (nipaluna), Tasmania, Australia.
He is the author and narrator of the Instinctive Living self help ebook and audiobook series available on Amazon.