I had this conversation with someone who didn’t really understand.
And I thought to myself: I’ve been sharing coaching podcasts, and I’ve actually not talked about coaching itself.
What does a Life Coach do? Or what do coaches in general do?
Here’s a question that people are asking.
Is life coaching, or coaching generally, just this new fad, something that’s in right now, that’s come out of nowhere, and it’s become common amongst people?
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Is that what it is?
The term Coaching itself is not even new.
Originally, it started with sports coaches, but actually, coaching in the original sense of the word is more of a mentoring relationship that two people have.
It’s about bringing two minds together to create something amazing.
Traditionally, the people who get coaching are top performers, high performers, sports people, or politicians or people in leadership.
They would have coaches who would help them to polish up and become the best that they can be. But here’s the thing about coaching.
When I talk about coaching, it’s something totally different.
I don’t really call myself a life coach.
However, depending on what your needs are, depending on what the challenges are, what the goals you’re trying to achieve are, the life you’re trying to create, the coaching can be very different.
Sometimes it’s business coaching, sometimes it’s personal coaching.
Sometimes it’s transformational coaching, other times it’s actually therapeutic coaching.
By therapeutic I mean specifically coming from an Islamic psychology background. I’m talking about Quranic intervention.
Quranic intervention therapy is based on Ilmu Nafs, the Science of the Nafs.
This is all about clearing away trauma, mental, and psychological challenges that we’re facing, because of something we’ve experienced along the way.
People are often asking what this is all about.
What do you do? Is this the New Age therapist?
The question is a little simple because some coaches do accountability and some coaches focus on one area of life.
Be it mindset, parenting, marriage or divorce or emotional resistance, whatever it is, there are different types of coaches.
In this article, I will share and shed light on what it looks like to be a coach from a background in Islamic psychology.
I’m not talking about traditional psychology that fits into an Islamic framework, but rather, the psychology as described by Allah in the Quran and the Sunnah.
So, we come into psychology, through theology. This is a science of the religion.
This is the science of the Deen. And it’s always been there.
In recent times, it’s taken a bit of a backseat, but it’s always been there.
So what is it?
It’s a combination of spirituality, a combination of your psychology, and your physiology.
It combines all three and this is why it’s called the Science of the Nafs because it combines everything to do with the person.
The well-being of the person, be it their psychological well-being or physical well-being, or spiritual well-being. Without the three of them, we’re incomplete.
PROS and CONS of Coaching
If you’re already a coach, or a therapist, or a clinician or some sort of help worker, then this will interest you.
If you’re interested in actually seeing whether or not this could actually help you in your challenges in life, then Insha’Allah this article is going to help you to understand exactly what’s going on.
It’s all based on the Quran and Sunnah. And of course, it’s based on the Science of the Nafs.
A Little Background Check
I’ve had this lifelong desire to master the human behavioural sciences. And it’s all to do with me personally.
It’s about living according to my purpose, living an optimal life, and being a high performer.
Performing in every area of your life is really important. For me, it’s about actualising my potential. It’s not about being someone else.
It’s not about creating a life that resembles someone else’s life, but it’s just about showing up in life and being able to be the best possible YOU.
How do we do that?
Many of us struggle through life.
We struggle with the different things that happen to us, the circumstances in our lives, and these things often knock us.
They knock our confidence, we become overwhelmed, we may feel anxious, and some of us even get panic attacks.
Everyone has different challenges. Not everyone has those challenges. But sometimes it’s a challenge to break the glass ceiling.
You’ve achieved a level of success in your life, but the rest of your life has become imbalanced,
You’re a leader in your field, but in your home, everything is crumbling. So this is something of a science, isn’t it?
It’s the science of the human being.
That’s why when we talk about Ilmu Nafs, we’re talking about the Science of the Nafs, the science of the self, YOU.
Without giving away my age, I’ve been around for a little while, and for the past 25 years, starting off in the corporate world, many years in the corporate world, in a business development background, business consultancy, building sales and marketing, working in technology, working in different industries.
Then there came a point where I wanted to live a more purposeful life for myself.
I wanted to move away, not move away from the money, the cars, and lifestyle and all that stuff, but it was about living my life, according to the purpose.
A few things happened that were pivotal in my life. They got me thinking and they literally shifted my perspective on life.
I began looking much closer at my purpose.
I went through some very difficult challenges, and through that, the desire to pursue and understand my purpose fully in this world was born.
That took me on a spiritual journey of seeking knowledge and understanding.
It took me to the old dusty corridors of Al Azhar; the Islamic Seminary in Egypt, originally in Alexandria, and then down to Cairo.
So my journey with the Quran and the Islamic sciences, although it began in the UK where I’m from, it really flourished while I was over there, and I’ve been going back and forth, and really, that’s where it all started.
But I’ve been on the journey for a while.
In life, we have responsibilities, and some of those responsibilities, family, and parents, drove me back to what I needed to be doing.
Being back in the UK, I set up an academy.
I set up teaching some of the sciences that I learned.
This psychology drive has been with me from a very young age.
I’m a bit of a researcher in that sense. Studying psychology, studying physiology.
But of course, doing courses and training, etc.
That’s my background in a nutshell.
So the psychology, the theology, and the business background spans over more than 25 years.
You’re probably wondering, what’s the connection to coaching here?
I train coaches. I coach myself. And of course, within that, there’s the Quranic intervention, which is a therapy.
We work with people and their needs, whether that’s a spiritual need, psychological, or something in the material world.
In terms of money and business, client acquisition, all these sorts of stuff.
In the whole process, often, what you find is that people come into coaching and they feel as though they’re starting afresh.
It’s all new to me, I’ve got to go on a certification course, I get certified as a Coach, and that’s it, I’m a new Coach.
But that’s not how it works.
What I find, especially with my coaches, and with my clients who go through their own personal transformations, is that you have a background.
You’ve got a wealth of knowledge.
You’ve been a leader in your field, or you’ve done exceptionally well in building your life, your family, and all of the things that you’ve done.
And when you bring that to your work, it makes your work.
Now, of course, Coaches need to be trained, and one of the problems in the coaching industry now is that anyone can be a Coach.
The bar of entry is so low, that anyone could call themselves a Coach.
At the same time, even though that’s not a great thing, it means that there are people within the industry, who bring into it a wealth of knowledge, experience, and background.
They go into different niches, and different areas, and they serve in those areas. But what they need now is to bring that all together.
They need Coach training.
They need to know how to actually coach people, because coaching in the traditional sense, is leadership.
Today in the corporate world, everyone wants to bring in coaches, change managers, management coaches, and agile coaches.
They want to bring in different types of coaches to help them with the transformation of a business.
Previously, this would have been under some type of leadership role and management consultancy role.
Today, it’s the coaches that do this, and the whole transformation within a business is managed that way.
I’ll tell you why.
An organisation is nothing but a collective of human beings. The transformation doesn’t happen with the bricks and the mortar. It happens with people.
It’s the people that transform, and when the people transform, the business transforms.
Just like that, when you work on a personal basis when the people transform, then the home and the family transform, the relationship transforms, a person’s mind transforms and their life transforms.
So my background in the classical Islamic sciences, that’s where psychology is coming from.
Because the psychology is based on the design of the Designer.
This serves as a basis for my training and the training that I give to my Coaches.
Let’s delve a bit further into life coaching.
What is a Life Coach?
A Life Coach, in my mind, is someone who helps people to overcome challenges or become the very best versions of themselves.
A Life Coach helps people to create a life that they’ve only been dreaming of up until now. And coaching can happen in different formats.
There are people who identify themselves in a niche such as life coaching, which is very general.
Or marriage coaches, mindset coaches, trauma coaches, parenting coaches, emotional resilience, nutritional coaches, digital marketing, and six-figure business coaches.
The list just goes on.
You’ve got all types of coaches and they’re all very different.
But what’s important is the results that they can bring into your life. That’s very powerful. The results that Coaches create.
I once heard a Coach say that therapy is about the past, and dealing with the past, which often is very much the case.
It’s about dealing with the past and creating a better present, that’s how our therapists would put it, and coaching is about the future.
That’s how it was put, but here’s the thing.
The kind of coaching that I do, and my coaches do, is coaching the past, present, and future.
In the past, you only have to go so far.
You don’t have to trawl through every detail of your past and relive everything and all of the trauma that you experienced.
You don’t have to continue reliving those things in order to resolve them.
That’s what some of the modalities of psychology do. But you don’t have to do that.
There are much more effective ways of resolving these issues without having to go through every single detail and relive all of that.
You don’t have to relive what you don’t want to even think about.
We’re talking about transformational coaching.
Islamic transformational coaching is not based on that.
As for the present, that’s what’s real, that’s what’s going on now.
Through working in the present, and in the now, we create the future in a way that you can’t imagine.
For example, when I talk about the six-figure business coach, that gets some people incensed a little.
They get a little worked up because it’s not all about the money.
Agreed, Coaching is about helping people. That’s exactly what it’s about.
That’s the prime goal. Our focus is to help people to better themselves and to improve their quality of life.
By doing that, you create a much better environment for everyone to live in. But let’s be very real.
You can’t live without material things.
The truth is that coaches make good money.
Not all coaches make good money though. It depends on what results they can deliver, but coaches can make anything from rock bottom, all the way up to 100,000, even to a million.
There are coaches who make millions.
It’s really down to the results they deliver and the niches they’re in.
I don’t want to focus on the money so back to coaching.
What’s in it For You?
The question I want you to think about is. What is a coach meant to do?
If you had a coach in your life, or if you were a coach yourself and you trained up, what would you want to do?
What I think, and what I teach is that we help to improve the quality of life. That’s our goal. To facilitate that.
To facilitate the improvement of the quality of life through transformation.
It’s to help people create a life of less fear or no fear.
OK, no fear is not realistic. But to have a life that’s not crippled by fear, and anxiety.
A life without constant overwhelm, without the past experiences and trauma holding you back.
That’s what happens to a lot of people. They’re held back by past experiences, and coaches help you to create balance.
They help you to get past procrastination and to take action.
A lot of people have great difficulty in taking action.
Ultimately, to achieve your wildest dreams, those seemingly impossible dreams, having a coach helps you to create them.
A Powerful Journey and Shining Self-Discovery
Coaching helps you to become the highest performer that you can be. It’s not that you have to better yourself and become something that you’re not.
You already have that potential. It’s just about shining when you can. It’s about polishing and bringing out that shine.
Coaches will help you to get over this obsessive, doubtful thinking that sabotages your progress.
Even better than that, you already have success in some areas of your life, but you want success in different areas of your life.
Often, with high performers, they have this glass ceiling.
They’ve achieved so many different things but there’s this glass ceiling they feel they can’t get past, but they’ve reached so high.
And it’s like they’re being held back.
So what we do is that we help them to break that glass ceiling and get beyond whatever they thought was not possible.
The kind of coaching that I train my clients on, helps you to get so deep, that you transform your life from the very core of your being.
That’s the goal.
That’s why we call it Ilmu Nafs, the knowledge of the Nafs, the knowledge of the self.
It’s beyond your body, getting right down to the core, helping you to change from the inside, where the whole of the exterior and everything outside of you changes.
Insha’Allah, when you get into that place, you become who you already are, behind all of that stuff that’s holding you back.
The true superpower in your life, your own self, starts to appear. You gain your independence and your autonomy.
You have no need for anyone except your Creator.
Sound too good to be true?
I’ve said that to people and their response was, ‘Wow, that sounds too good to be true. Is that really possible?’
It’s absolutely possible with the permission of Allah.
Right For You?
So why should you get into coaching yourself?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who’s already a Coach.
You’re probably someone who’s already trained in different modalities and you’re thinking, why is this any different?
People get into coaching for different reasons.
But I’ll give you three reasons why this kind of coaching transforms lives, and why it will transform your life and the lives of your clients.
Most coaches, therapists, and change workers resonate with these reasons, not because it’s something to do with me, but it’s something that they themselves want to experience.
The bottom line is we want to do meaningful, purpose-driven work. You want to live in alignment with your purpose in life.
I personally have the desire to help improve the human condition.
Everyone does it differently, but this is the way we do it. We align with our purpose.
That means that you can live doing the work that you are passionate about, living your authentic desires, not things that society is throwing at you.
And we all have a purpose.
We have the most fundamental purpose of life, which is to connect to and worship Allah(swt).
However, how your purpose manifests is different for everyone.
This is from my own experience, but what do people want from a career in coaching?
Personally,I wanted to create an impact on people’s lives, to help them overcome challenges, spiritual, psychological, and physiological.
Because the three are connected in Ilmu Nafs.
Now, if I can facilitate that change just for one person, one life, just one time, that would add to the change of the world.
If every one of us could do just one, even if it was ourselves, and that was it, that would change the face of the Earth.
This kind of work really creates an impact.
And you’re doing that while you’re serving your Creator. And you’re helping humanity.
Ultimately, that’s a legacy.
The second reason is to have time and freedom, to be able to work when I want to work.
You want to do this because you want the flexibility to base your work around your family and your home.
You want to have complete autonomy. You decide.
That’s a freedom that so many people don’t have. Freedom from time restraints, and location restraints. It’s a basic freedom that most people struggle to gain.
Being in the corporate rat race for many, many years, and I’m not knocking it, because there’s nothing wrong with it.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being in a job.
But being in that situation for many years made it very difficult for me, and sometimes impossible to manage my life in the way that I could spend quality time with my family.
This freedom is one of the most valuable things that I ever experienced.
Having worked in the corporate world, back in those days, leaving home at 6 or 6:30am, and then getting back from work at 8 or 9 pm every day of the week, that was the norm.
Your life becomes about work, and I get it.
We have to do that. But for me, I truly value the freedom of not having those restraints. Alhamdulillah.
Not everyone in the corporate world works that way.
But for the kind of business I was in; client acquisition, business development, dealing with people, consultancy, building all of these things, in the sales and marketing world, you work long hours.
That’s not just in the Sales and Marketing, but general management, senior corporate life, that’s how it works.
The more you earn, the more you work. If you’re in that life, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Life revolves around your career moves. For many years, that was my life.
Don’t get me wrong. As a coach, I work hard.
I work exceptionally hard and I absolutely love doing what I do.
Because it aligns with my purpose in life. It’s what I want to be doing. It gives me the time freedom, location freedom, and of course, the financial freedom.
So showing up every day to this work is the same as showing up to your job.
But you have the choice of when you show up, how you show up, where you show up, as long as you know how to grow that business.
That’s something that I train my coaches with. But the main thing is, we go back to these benefits that we have.
As a Coach, these are the major benefits.
These are the things that people love about coaching, because it gives you autonomy.
It gives you freedom and it gives you the abundance that you’re looking for.
Mostly for me, it’s absolutely about impact and legacy, about creating a ripple effect in the world of good deeds, creating a ripple effect in this world that we’ll see all the way through to the Akhirah.
For me, that’s super important.
The third reason is financial freedom. Money freedom.
Yes, that’s a struggle for some people. When they think about that, they shy away.
But the fact is, we all need to live and beyond living we need to thrive. We need to grow.
When you’re constantly eating humble pie, you might tell yourself, I don’t need that much. I don’t want that much.
But the truth is that’s a basic necessity of life.
I’ve seen it when I’ve spoken to people about money. They get shy about money.
They say they only need this much or that much. But the truth is, it’s all relative to you and your life.
Someone else may look at you and feel as though you’re very wealthy, or someone else may look at you and feel as though you’re not.
What you want is what you want. The fact is all of humanity has been created on this natural disposition of having the desire for the Dunya.
We absolutely love Dunya. If that sounds a little bit difficult to deal with, let me give you a verse that gives us that clarity.
In Surah Al-Kahf Allah says:
الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا
Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.
That means we have this natural desire and inclination towards these two things.
They beautify our lives.
Who doesn’t love to have what they want?
Whether it’s a big thing you want or a small thing you want, you still love to have those things. Even if you think they’re modest.
To live in a spacious accommodation, to have the ability to have children and to spend your wealth on your family, to give your family the best that you can give them , who doesn’t want that.
We all want to give our families the best of the Dunya and the Akhirah. So we strive to do that.
Coaching gives you financial freedom, and it can give you an abundance. That’s something many careers may not give you.
I don’t want to focus on what you can earn but coaches earn in the mid five figures to six figures and way beyond.
A lot of coaches don’t actually make that because they get lost in the whole marketing world and all the shiny objects, and they lose their way.
They overcomplicate the whole process to the point that they find it very difficult to achieve.
And it becomes very overwhelming.
People become overworked, and they become their own worst bosses. Slave drivers of themselves.
This happens to so many people. Not just in the coaching business.
But coaching is a great career. If you want to have an impact on the world, if you want to have an impact on your own life, you can.
You can absolutely create the life that you want. It gives you that ability, it gives you time freedom, it gives you location freedom, and it gives you financial freedom.
If you can get the business part.
Money Matters and How You Live the Dream
Having the business part is essential.
When I’m training my Coaches, we’re very focused on a holistic way forward. That includes setting yourself up and it includes the money mindset.
That includes beyond the mindset to actual strategies that help you create the business that you want, and earn the income that you want.
Even though a lot of coaches don’t earn a lot. There are others that earn a huge amount. They earn what they need or what they want.
And there’s always a better way. Simplicity is the key.
Most people overcomplicate it, and they make it difficult.
You will find different programmes,free programmes,paid programmes,Coach certification training.
You’ll find how to become a holistic coach, transformational in your own life as well as other people’s lives.
I always remind my people that you can’t give to others what you don’t have.
You have to go through those changes. You have to grow through your comfort barriers.
You can do all of that, whilst living your dream, enjoying your time, and your family, and living according to your purpose.
And look, maybe you’re not ready for that.
Like many of us, we have baggage and things that we struggle with, throughout our lives and experiences that have shaped us up until now.
If you’re still struggling with some of those challenges, and you really just want to clear those things away before you could even consider a career in coaching or having an impact on the world, then go through the emotional mastery programme in the Nafs Coaching School.
You will set yourself up and it will give you clarity in your life. It will give you the confidence, the self-belief, and love for who you are, and you’ll be comfortable in your own skin.
That’s achieved through your connection to Allah (swt) and this is all a journey with the Quran and the Sunnah.
Of course, you may be coming from a particular modality of psychology, but the ultimate solution lies with the designer of your psychology.
When you find that, you’re going to find a permanent solution, not just a coping strategy.
They’re all good things. But you want a permanent solution.
So this is a journey with the Quran, and it’s the most beautiful journey Ahamdulillah.
It doesn’t matter where you are, or how you feel, how bad or how great you feel. You can create far beyond what you think is possible.
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