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Being your Authentic Self
One of the very nicest facet's about working as a Certified Health Coach is the autonomy that it affords. One can carve out a nice existence for themselves and be as individual as they desire. There are many avenues a Health Coach can take that will function to help people, which is the point of being a coach. Some people focus on seeing clients in a 6 month program. Others are doing workshops and still others are running Webinars.
I have classmates that have more clients than they know what to do with; and still others without a single paying client.
Some are focusing on Blog writing while others have already published a book. Some are creating and marketing products to eat while others have created and manufactured healthy products for use on the body instead.
The one commonality that all of we Health Coaches share is that we became Health Coaches in order to help people find the best personal health for themselves. Having said that, there is no "one size fits all" to this. It is a grab bag of possibilities and if you can dream it, you can probably make something come of it.
I have loved the education that I received. One of the more valuable points that was made in my curriculum was that of Bio-Individuality. This concept is that there is no One Size Fit's All because we are all uniquely different. So, one doesn't go into this business thinking they'll design a basic program and use it for every person they encounter or that hires them to help them find better health. Rather, there are dozens of ways in which we as Coaches can have a positive impact on the people we wish to serve.
But, there is a fly in the ointment here. Lately I am seeing a lot of division and competition among my fellow alumni. It was slow to start, but now seems to be building momentum. I hope to share these words so that the Coaches or prospective Coaches that are reading this might identify the problem and maybe avoid the pitfall of comparison.
When we compare ourselves with another we will never measure up. Not because we are inferior, but simply because we are different. And being different is GOOD! We don't want to all come off the assembly line with the same point of view or approach! How can we help the most people if we are all trying to be the same?
I like to use Trees as an analogy to make my point. There are hundreds of trees in this big world of ours. There are fruit trees, trees that bear flowers and trees that are for shade. Some trees are huge and others stay small. Some are deciduous while others retain their leaves all year long.
But at no time do the trees compete with one another! There are so many types of trees which is a very good thing for people who desire a variety of trees or who have differing purposes for the different trees.
When a person buys a new home with a new yard, they almost always choose to plant a few trees. They often will have a variety; maybe a fruit tree, maybe a shade tree or two. The variety is helpful as they can benefit in multiple ways from more than one tree.
It works much the same with Health Coaches. Not all prospective clients are going to want the same things from the Coaches they work with. Some people will thrive on individual counseling over 6 months or a year. Others will benefit from grocery store tours to teach them how to make better choices when buying food and supplements. Still others are motivated by reading the blogs and books and articles that Coaches are writing and sharing.
One wouldn't expect the Elm tree to bear fruit and one shouldn't expect that all Health Coaches will offer the same things. What one can expect from their Health Coach is some type of assistance in achieving better health and life balance. It is up to the client to choose what that might look like to them. Maybe one client would benefit greatly from sitting with a coach in person or on the phone every 2 weeks as the best possible fit. Another might decide to subscribe to a Webinar series being offered by a different coach and still another might choose to take a store tour or subscribe to a magazine or buy a book.
The reality is that there is enough for each one of us to offer our unique perspective to help other's find healthy balance. We don't need to compete with each other. We all are valuable in our own way.
I really have become weary of seeing this once focused community of burgeoning Health Coaches become a disgruntled, divided alumni. I would love to see more congratulations and less attacking or nitpicking another's approach or information. In a perfect world, we'd be treating one another with respect and compassion as we do our clients. In the matter of Bio-individuality why is it that we can share that and encourage that with our clients, but with our peers it is often criticism instead for the unique point of view or different opinion.
I realize that there will never be a unanimous agreement. It just isn't in the scope of human nature. But, I would like to urge and encourage my fellow Health Coaches to exercise their compassion and tolerance when dealing with one another. Let's treat one another at least as well as we treat our clients! I truly believe that the world is starting to shift in the way that we all hope it will. It is slow and will be an ongoing process, but if we stay united we will have the biggest impact and make the biggest strides in creating a healthier world for us all.
So look within and think about how you might be a lemon tree and your Peer Coach might be an Elm; but there is no reason you can't coexist and complement one another beautifully.