The Horse and the Water

As a wellness coach, you’ve likely heard the following phrase repeatedly:  “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  The source of this statement is often the individual who has little confidence in the impact you can really have as a wellness coach.  And you know what?  They’re actually right.  You can’t make a client drink – even if you guide her or him right down to the edge of the water.

However, you CAN do something much more valuable in the long run:  You can make him thirsty!

As a wellness coach, even if you had the ability to do so, you really have no desire to “make” anyone do anything.  When you “make” someone do something, they’ll only do it while you’re standing there with them, looking over their shoulder.  As soon as you’re out of the picture, the behavior returns to it’s previous state.  But if you help garner a thirst in that individual, then the activity follows – and continues over time.  And that is the essence of an effective, life-changing wellness coach!

So the next time someone cynically says to you “Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” – just sit back, smile and respond “Nope – we wouldn’t want to do that even if it were possible.  But we’re sure good at making him thirsty if we do this right!”


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