Life Coaching and NLP – Differences and Similarities

Isn’t life coaching the same as NLP? Very often people ask me this question. The short answer is: No.

Attending countless London life coaching and NLP events, I found it surprising how many people confuse Life Coaching with NLP. Sometimes even life coaches and NLP practitioners themselves confuse the two. Although they overlap in many different areas, they are also inherently different.

The Origins

The exact origins of coaching are difficult to track down. And it’s because its origins date way back in time. The practice itself has existed for decades but only recently it has been termed as Life Coaching. In the UK and London it emerged during the 90s. Unfortunately this makes defining life coaching tricky. And asking five different coaches what it is that they do will probably result in, at least, five different answers. One reason might be that this profession covers almost every walk of life, be it business, career, relationships, health, wealth, spirituality etc. The one thing that is common between all of them is their aim to get their clients to achieve results.

How NLP originated, is on the other hand, well documented. And unlike coaching, any NLP practitioner should be able to explain exactly what NLP is. There are lots of material on what NLP is and how it came to be; therefore it isn’t necessary to revisit this here.

The Process

Generally speaking, coaches start with identifying what is it exactly that a client wants to change. Many clients would know what they want, for example changing their job, losing weight, finding a partner, getting a promotion, improving their business etc. There are cases however where clients don’t know what it is that they want. Figuring this out is the prerequisite to a successful coaching process. Following that, coaches lead their clients into developing a detailed plan to achieve their goals, taking into consideration any challenges that might come along the way. Then progress will be measured and the process will be sped up, slowed down, or modified according to constant feedback.

Similar to a life coach, an NLP practitioner’s objective is also to identify specifically what the clients want and lead them to acquiring it. There is one major difference however. Where a life coach’s main concern is the present and the future, an NLP practitioner will sometimes dig into the past. The reason is because NLP can be therapeutic and it could help rid clients from any negative emotions, limiting beliefs, limiting decisions etc. that are holding them back. For example, a woman might take all the right steps to meet the man of her dreams. Or a man might do all what it takes to buy his first house. But if she feels not good enough or if he feels he doesn’t deserve it, they both will very likely fail to reach their goals.

The Result

Both life coaching and NLP work towards a positive outcome. And even though they might follow different paths, these paths will very often intersect. Any experienced coach or NLP practitioner will tell you that both areas could heavily depend on each others. If a client wants to create more wealth when the client firmly believes that only deceitful people are wealthy, creating wealth will be very challenging. Similarly a knowledgeable NLP practitioner will know that destroying this limiting decision without tasking the client with action steps and committing the client to them, will get the client nowhere.


Whether you see life coaching and NLP to be very different or very similar, what holds true is that to get the best results possible, both are unquestionably essential. If you’re looking to rid yourself from negative emotions, phobias, negative attachments to the pasts and the like, then an NLP practitioner might be the right choice for you. If on the other hand you’re looking to achieve more, reach goals and so on, then a life coach might be the right choice for you.

Certified Business Coach

Everyone needs some guidance now and then, this is also true for businesses. It isn’t necessary to hire an expensive certified business coach to assist you in running or expanding your business. This article will hopefully be useful in providing some guidelines for you to search for the best certified business coach, which will suit your individual needs and cater to your business.

Ask around, friends, family acquaintances and get their feedback, who knows, the might know someone in the business coaching line. If they have a good certified business coach which they would like to recommend get their contact number and esquire. Don’t just ask those doing business but all your friends and family, they might be anyone using a great coaching service that will benefit you. Ask anyone doing well and stay away from those in a worse position financially then you. That would be a waste of time

if still can’t find a certified business coach for you then it’s time to look at the coaching industry associations. These are professionals and are most probably pricey and be of slightly high standards often requiring certain membership or even written and verbal recommendation, however these business coaches are probably some of the best that you can find. Study your needs first before scouting for a coach.

In which sector of your business do you want to expand on? Make sure you know what you want to do at least roughly. What are the improvements you intend to implement in realizing this? What kind of certified business coach in what field of business specialization will be most suited to you. Make sure your coach can handle all your needs.

Knowing your own needs make the process of interviewing and selecting as well eliminating any potential coaches easier and faster. Ready a set of questions for them that details all their qualifications and experience, such as: What is your academic background? Where did you coach previously? Give me a few satisfied clients which you managed previously?

Never beat around the bush when it comes to cost ask directly how much the coach charges for each session as well as the length of the session and whether or not the sessions are conducted by phone, in person or through email and teleconferencing. Select your coach based on the most suitable responses to your needs. Sometimes though it may be good to trust your gut, if you feel that a certain business coach is right for you but his qualifications are a little short then you might want to take a plunge. Sometimes even in this modern world of calculations a little calculated risk might take your business plans up to where you envision them.