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7 Reasons Why You Should Find a Life Coach to Reach Your Full Potential

7 Reasons Why You Should Find a Life Coach to Reach Your Full Potential

Life coaching is not just a fad. It is a useful and practical service industry that is here to stay.

Life coaching is a life changing partnership that helps people reach their potential. It is not counseling. Here is an easy explanation to differentiate between counseling and life coaching:

Counseling helps you deal with major life problems, such as depression, divorce, and death of a loved one. Whereas, life coaching helps you realize your goals and dreams, such as getting a job promotion, writing a book, or achieving a weight loss goal.

Every life coaching practice is different, but the premise of life coaching is for an individual to partner with a coach so they can receive counsel and encouragement to achieve their personal and/or career goals.

Before I married my husband and had children, I had a life coaching practice for several years. I also personally use a life coach. We have an hourly call once a month.

Life coaching works. I am stating this not only because I have seen it in my own clients’ successes, but it has worked for me personally.

While these are some signs that you need a life coach, here are more reasons why you need to find a life coach today:

1. Find Your Life Purpose

We all have the innate desire to be special and important. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to be on a stage or receive a standing ovation. It means that we each have an intrinsic desire to have a life that is of meaning. To be of value to this world in some way is the cry of our soul.

We each have a purpose in this world, but for most of us, it is not exactly clear what that purpose may be. A life coach can help you discover this in yourself.

For many, we have life experiences that shape and mold who we have become. We can use these experiences, both good and bad, to find our meaning in the world.

A life coach can help you unlock this potential for meaningful purpose. They can help you process your past and find the meaning and purpose for your life. It can be something positive.

For example, you may have twice performed CPR on strangers who had medical emergencies. You saved their lives and this left a lasting impact on you as a person that you felt within your soul and being. After you talked with your life coach for several sessions, you may decide that your job at a hardware store is not your purpose. You have come to realize that you react well in emergency situations and you find great meaning in helping others.

Your experience of saving those two individuals by your quick thinking and actions left an impression on you. You now realize that you want to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).

You have found that your purpose is to save lives in real emergency situations. The next step with your life coach is working on discovering and creating a plan of action that will get you to the goal of being an EMT.

You may love your career, but you don’t feel that is your end purpose. Perhaps you have a yearning for something more meaningful. Your life coach can help you discover that purpose even if it means staying in your current career.

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Also, it should be noted that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a positive experience that drives your purpose. For example, perhaps you are a widow because your spouse committed suicide. It happened a number of years ago and you have healed and found that telling your story to others now has helped a number of individuals and families.

You discover in your conversations with your life coach that you would like to channel your story and experience into helping others. This is your purpose. Your life coach can help you discuss what kind of options are out there and what you may be thinking.

In the end, after weeks of discussion and researching possible options, you have decided that you will become involved in your local suicide prevention organization. You find that there is a very active local chapter with opportunities for speaking.

Your life coach helps you set goals including meeting with the chapter president so you can help with the organization’s goal of suicide prevent. The end result is that you meet with the president and you asked to speak at their next public event about suicide prevention.

You are able to share your story along with the warning signs and how families can help their loved one who may be suicidal. Your purpose has clearly come into focus and fruition because of your life coaching partnership.

2. Unlock the Answers Within Yourself

Are you your perfect self? Have you achieved everything you want to be in life? Have you run out of things to improve in your life?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, then you can benefit from hiring a life coach.

Even if you don’t know what you want to improve just yet, or you don’t know what purpose you have in this world, a life coach can help you discover these things in yourself.

A life coach does not have the answers for you. However, they can help you unlock the answers in yourself.

Sometimes, you don’t even know it is in you, until the right questioning and person comes along. That right person is likely a life coach if you can’t put your finger on your future and what you want.

Life coaches are trained to question. They are not advice givers. Instead, they know the right questions and how to ask them in a way that gets you thinking introspectively.

They are positive, encouraging, and open to your ideas, thoughts, and their desire is to unlock the answers within you for yourself. They don’t want to provide you with your answers. They can guide you, but truly the answers lie within yourself.

A life coach will partner with you to help you find the answers in you about yourself, even if you don’t know or believe that you have the answers. You do. You just have to trust the process and trust yourself.

3. Develop Steps to Improve Yourself

Once you know what it is that you want to achieve and you have unlocked your passion, desires, and hopes, it’s then that the work begins.

Your life coach can help you achieve your goals, whether they are self improvement or career related. They partner with you to help you develop a plan of action. Your life coach will work with you to develop a step-by-step plan in achieving your goals.

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For example, imagine that you have decided that your goal is to write a children’s book about overcoming cancer. You made this decision because you overcame cancer as a child and you want to help other children with cancer have hope in their bleak situation. You also have the desire to create an awareness among children about cancer and its affects.

Your life coach will likely ask you questions about how long you think it will take you to write the book, how you plan to obtain illustrations, and thoughts about publishing options. Those discussions will help you brainstorm the process of everything it takes (that you know) to write and publish a children’s book.

From there, you set goals to achieve before your next call. For example, you decide that you will try to write a first draft of the book before your next call that is happening in two weeks. You also determine another task or goal in the next two weeks is reaching out to your friend who is an artist, and may be interested in drawing for the book. A third task on your list is to research online how children’s books are published.

Your discussion along with the tasks and goals to achieve in the next two weeks have you moving forward toward your goal of publishing this children’s book. You have practical and realistic steps that will move you in the direction of your goal.

Whatever your goal or life purpose may be, your life coach can help you zone in on what needs to be done in the here, and now to work toward making that dream a reality.

4. Set and Achieve Goals With Someone Who is Holding You Accountable

This is one of the primary reasons I have a life coach. I am great at setting my own goals, both personally and professionally. However, life gets in the way and the lack of achieving those goals slips from days, into weeks, and then into months.

With my monthly life coaching sessions, I have overall goals. My life coach helps me break those big goals down into smaller achievable goals.

During our coaching sessions, she will ask me how much time I believe it will take to achieve the tasks involved in achieving my goals at hand. Then, I write down on my calendar the date I plan to achieve those tasks by. This helps me keep moving forward on my goals by breaking things down into achievable tasks.

I know that she is also keeping track of those dates, as she is jotting them down during the call. She will be asking me during our next call about all of the line-items and dates we had set during the previous call.

We go through each of these during the next session. It works! I don’t want to let her down. I also don’t want to let myself down. Just knowing that I have someone holding me accountable in completing the tasks and jobs that are getting me toward my dreams and goals helps me complete everything on time.

You may be thinking, “why can’t I just have a friend hold me accountable.” Sure, that may work, but it likely will not be as effective. How committed are they going to be in checking in on you and your completion of tasks every month that are helping you reach your goals?

Also, when you have money invested in the process, you have a vested stake in the matter. When you put money into something, it creates care and dedication because you don’t want that money to be wasted.

5. Start Doing Instead of Dreaming

Do you have a dream that has been put on the shelf? Perhaps it is a book you have in your mind that you have wanted to write for years, or maybe it’s a dream to travel abroad but you have been too busy with life to schedule in the trips you have dreamed about for years?

Now is the time to make that change happen. You can take your dreams off the shelf where they have been waiting and begging to be removed. You can begin to make those dreams a reality when you partner with a life coach.

A life coach can help you discover what it is that is keeping your dreams shelved, so that you can overcome the obstacles standing in the way.

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For example, imagine you have wanted to adopt a dog for years, but your job has kept you too busy. You engage with your life coach to discuss this dream. Your life coach may help you discover that you do have options even with a busy job.

Through your discussion, you realize that your work load will be changing in the coming years and that there are plenty of dogs in shelters that need a home now. You are willing to pay for daily doggy daycare until you have more time at home during the week. Until that day, you can enjoy evenings and weekends with a dog who needs you and you need them.

You had shelved your dream because you felt you didn’t have enough time for the dog. However, once you realized that you have the money to provide the daytime care needed, and you could save a dog who may otherwise be euthanized, your perspective changed.

You became empowered to make your dream happen. You adopt a dog from a local shelter and the rest is history. You wouldn’t have thought about the options and your perspective being changed had it not been for the right questions being asked by your life coach.

Your coach helped you discover a real and feasible plan to make your dream a reality. The result is that you not only have your dream of owning a dog realized, but you also saved that dog’s life.

6. We All Need a Personal Cheerleader

Wouldn’t it be great to have someone cheering us on in life? Someone that rejoices in our successes, even when they are small?

If you hire a life coach, you can have your own personal life cheerleader. Your life coach wants you to succeed because it is a reflection of their work with you. They are cheering you on because you have partnered together.

One of the first people I texted after I got a book agent was my life coach. She knew I had the appointment scheduled. She responded instantly to my text with an overjoyed message of congratulations.

I knew she, of all people, would understand the work that had gone into my goal of landing a book agent. She had helped me each step of the way in setting small goals and tasks to get the agent. She was cheering me on in my proposal writing stage, my editing phase, and my pursuit of meeting with the agent. She was excited and cheering me on with words of encouragement and praise of the work that I had done to get me to that point.

Once the appointment happened and the contract was offered, I was thrilled to tell my life coach because I knew she would be excited too. It was a success for her as well. She had been helping me set my goals and was cheering me on all these months.

It is so nice to know that I have someone walking beside me in the process of pursing my goals. Friends are enthusiastic and sweet of course, but none are partnered with you like a life coach.

A life coach wants you to be successful, because your success is their success. They will be your cheerleader and don’t we all need one in this tough world!

7. Gain Better Self Understanding and Confidence

When you know who you are, you can become confident in who you are.

A life coach can help you better understand yourself. They ask questions that help you identify what matters to you most.

A life coach does not tell you what to do or how to do it. Instead, a good life coach will delve into questions that help you discover for yourself what you may not consciously know.

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For example, imagine you are struggling as a mom. You can’t put your finger on what it is that is causing your failure as a mother. You just know that you feel that every day is a struggle and you don’t feel like you are doing things right.

You begin to discuss with your life coach your childhood. You realize in her probing questions that your feelings of failure and inadequacy come from your own childhood. Your mom is a perfectionist and was an incredible super-mom. You don’t feel that you could ever measure up.

In discussing what you do as a mother on a daily basis, you also realize that you are a hard working mom doing your best and trying your hardest. Your realizations help you come to the conclusion that it is your confidence in your abilities that are lacking, and not your actual mothering abilities. You decide that you will work on these issues with your life coach.

Once you can discover why your confidence is being undermined, you can begin to dismantle the false thoughts that were keeping from being a confident mom. Your shift in mom thinking has changed because your life coach asked the right questions to help uncover the truth about where your lack of confidence was stemming.

Once that was uncovered, it could be taken head on to dispel with thoughts from your past that still had a hold on you. Your life coach can then help you discover what you are doing right as a mom and build on those qualities, so you can gain even more confidence as a mother.

Sometimes, we think we know ourselves and simply think that there is something wrong with us when we feel inadequate. Instead of chalking things up to inadequacy and failure, we need to delve deeper.

Often, we can find thoughts and beliefs founded in falsehood that are keeping us from being our best self. Things that we think to be true may not be truth at all. Don’t accept the lie that you are not good enough. Find out what is causing your feelings for not being or doing enough.

Partnering with a life coach will help you discover in yourself the root of these thoughts so that they can be overcome. Your life coach will help you become more confident in who you are and what you do.

How to Find a Life Coach

Word of mouth is usually the best way to find a life coach. It you know of a friend who uses a life coach, then ask them about their experience. If they highly recommend their life coach, ask for their contact information.

If you use social media, it can also be a great resource. Ask your friends and family via social media if they know of a reputable life coach. Be sure to put below your request “no negative comments please.” There are some people who have negative opinions about therapy, life coaching, and counseling. Their opinions are not needed to hinder you in your pursuit of making yourself better.

If you are more private and not wanting to ask others, then there are websites that allow you to search for life coaches.

Keep in mind that many life coaching sessions are done by phone or even Skype. You do not need to live near a life coach to hire one. Instead, think about looking for a coach that either specializes in a specific topic in which you are searching for help, or look for one that you think would be a good match for you personally.

Don’t be concerned about location, since most coaches work by phone anyway.

Think you’re too late to find a life coach? Surely not! Here’s the proof:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

Featured photo credit: Taylor Ann Wright via unsplash.com

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Dr. Magdalena Battles

A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong

How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong

She could hear her beautiful baby crying but was frozen in the doorway unable to move. The crying got worse and she knew that unless she comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet her feet wouldn’t move. She didn’t look at the cot but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat before her…. .okay it was a UK spider so not likely to kill her at all, and yet still her body was frozen as the tears fell down her face. “What a useless mother you are” she berated herself.

That awful mother was me 14 years ago. My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me but now that fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders but I’m not going to leave the room because of one and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact on us, how they can destroy (and I don’t use that word lightly) our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and most importantly how you can fight your fears too.

How Irrational Fears Impact Your Life

The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at them. It makes us feel inadequate, weak and daft because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to:

  • Avoid situations where that fear may have to be faced. Dodging parties, new jobs, new experiences where we aren’t sure we will be able to protect ourselves.
  • Stop us from sleeping for fear the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!
  • Feel ill with the stress. Stress can be the cause of wrong decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better, the list of excuses is long that we hold on to so that we can avoid the cause of our stress.
  • Cause more distress as our minds overload us with negative thoughts of inadequacy. This can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.
  • Risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives too.
  • Feel debilitated. Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world but to the sufferer they are debilitating. Even impacting on their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

Why Bother to Fight the Fear

Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport, another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now at the height of their profession they had no choice, what were they going to do? Quit? There was another who could never ask for help and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

All these fears and many more can be fixed but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

Let’s look at the benefits of fighting your fears:

If you’re going to change the way you do something, something that has impacted on your life, thoughts and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

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The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

I can still see the spider trapped in my hair because it had obviously been on my hairdryer. I also remember that I probably looked ludicrous in the South of France in my underwear running down the lane screaming and flinging my hair everywhere. The poor spider had not only been flung a long way from my head but was probably destroyed in the flight.

Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards, for me it meant that every time I picked up a hairdryer I could see a spider crawling towards my ear in my hair. Guess how helpful that was for reinforcing my reactions and irrational fear?

Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body, doesn’t feel good does it?

When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. So new opportunities can come your way and instead of fearing them and what people will think of you for your choices, you can be open to;

  • New hobbies
  • New travels
  • New opportunities
  • More success
  • Financially more secure
  • Happier
  • Healthier
  • Confident

The list is long so what can you do to get rid of your fears?

How to Fight Your Irrational Fears

In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact on success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious but they all have far reaching impacts on our lives.

Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

Why Did This Happen?

For some people they really need to know why the fear started, for others all they want is to get rid of it. If you need to understand yours then don’t skip this tip. Learn how your fears are made and appreciate where yours came from. If you don’t care how it arrived, you can jump to top tip 2.

I’ve seen some clients who are not prepared to look at how to get rid of the fear until they’ve understood how it got here in the first place. It’s not my place to tell them that is right or wrong, just to help them find the right steps to lead them to a happy path.

When a fear first starts, we don’t acknowledge a fear has entered our lives. It is only after a few occasions that we begin to notice that there’s a strong negative emotion connected to this “thing”. That’s how fear is allowed to grow because as humans we have in-built responses that have kept us safe for our entire existence. This means we are meant to perceive fear and either run or fight, either way our bodies jump into action creating physical responses to the perceived threat.

Look for when you first noticed the fast heart beat, the shallow breathing, the shaking hands, the redness. You have created an automatic way of dealing with this fear. It could be that it felt sensible to fear this because you had an unhappy outcome, although it is usually the case that your head has the facts and your heart is not prepared to hear them as it creates a version of the event that is far scarier than it actually was.

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Learning how to remove the emotions and feelings will help you to change your body’s response. The first time I fixed someone’s fear of public speaking, they told me that it physically closed their throat, I worried that was it possible with words to change our physicality? The answer was yes! With the tools and techniques I share below.

The Tool Kit to Fight Your Fear

From the many people that have contacted me after reading Fight the Fear to my clients, I know for even myself creating a tool kit is a must. This is not a bag that you physically must haul everywhere. This is about learning tools that really resonate with you so that when you can feel the fear start to impact on you, you’ve got your kit ready to take it on.

I don’t have the space in one article to share all of those tools so let’s visit a few:

1. Why I’m Awesome?

Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions and feelings. It is not easy to write, and I get many messages telling me so however it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish.

2. Draw out Your Emotions

Earlier we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down you can follow the positive spiral up again.

I draw these individually for clients and with each action, thought or feeling we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different. Top tip 3 will help with that.

3. Acknowledge That You Need to Change

It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Top tip 4 could assist further, however for this tip, remember that when you want to do, think or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what). But if you aren’t sure yet if there’s really something different you want to do, this story about Nancy may help you to figure it out.

Then it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

Then for 2 weeks, decide that you won’t allow the thought to be in your head. There are usually some negative thoughts allowed to fester in your head. At this stage, just say “No I’d like you to stop.” After 2 weeks choose a new thought that you would prefer to hear in your head, maybe “I can cope with situations that scare me” or “I am stronger than I know”.

There will be times when you fail. Don’t berate yourself because that is another negative thought you are allowing your head to process. Just start again and at times like that have a read of your “Why I’m awesome list”.

4. Choose Your Words Carefully

I’ve heard many clients tell me that “It’s going to be hard to change” “I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t petrified” or “This is a lot to ask”. Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully.

Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved xxxx and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for”. (Take the xxx from your why I’m awesome document.)

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5. Believe That You Have the Control Power

The only person that can control what we think and feel is us. I know it can feel like other people are impacting on us, however they can only do that if we give them permission to do so.

If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

6. Put up Physical Reminders

Working one to one, I can find the fear, work through it and create a tool kit of thoughts, feelings and actions that will help them fight that fear and get rid of it. For some, they don’t need physical things to help them; others do.

For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought, imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

Or the client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome document”.

So they had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job and they could do it. These daily reminders all come down to one key point — help you to Hack the Habit Loop.

What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

7. Physical Supports

Music, environment and even smells can impact on us. Know the music that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energised. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

Changing these things is physical and giving yourself physical ideas to action can help power up your emotional state too.

8. Don’t Go It Alone

The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book) so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design and as such it can be tough to admit that you have a fear impacting on you.

However, by sharing your fear with a trusted friend, colleague or loved one can mean that when you are feeling the fear. you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your fear. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

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9. Get Physical

One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, once repeated the behaviour and it became a formed habit that was accepted.

Challenging a fear can be done using our body too when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose[1] was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe and even the speed at which we speak can impact on us as well as those around us.

If you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of people thinking you are stupid or a fear of what people are thinking you can look at how you speak, stand and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

The research around placebo’s reinforces us that if it feels like it is working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

Final Thoughts

A little fear can be good. As someone famous once says:

“It is not fear, it is performance energy.”

Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear says “Are you well prepared?” “Do you know your audience?” “Have you rested your voice?” “You really want to deliver to this audience what they need” And those thoughts are sensible.

So as you reduce your fear, be aware of a good level of fear.

More About Fighting Fears

Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

Reference

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