As with any career pursuit, I hope it goes without saying that it’s extremely important that we are walking the talk as a wellness coach. Please don’t get me wrong – walking the talk doesn’t mean perfection. It doesn’t mean every wellness coach must eat perfectly, hit the podium in every local race, and demonstrate the target BMI on every weigh-in. In fact, we may actually come across with MORE credibility if we admit that we struggle in certain areas around wellness. Admitting we go through periods where we’re burned out on exercising, or can’t stand another bite of spinach or sometimes struggle with our weight is fine. In fact, it may make you more real in the eyes of your clients.
So scratch the “perfection” target off your list. That’s not a goal for wellness coaches – nor should it be.
However, it is important that we really are walking the talk as a wellness coach. So what does that mean? Well – think about the ways in which you encourage your clients to engage as they look to optimize their own lives. What is step one? Most likely – it’s speaking with you, their wellness coach. So let’s start there – are YOU speaking with a wellness coach of your own? Is your first thought “of course not – I know this stuff – why would I do that??” then we need to talk.
I’m far from having it all figured out. But when it comes to the wellness arena, someone on the outside might think I’m the last person who would benefit from wellness coaching. A background as a Physical Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, Athletic Trainer and Manual Therapist plus an undergraduate degree in Biology provides a good start. Then add to that the fact that I’m not only reading wellness studies daily in my current role but also actually enjoy reading books and listening to podcasts on human performance and clearly the head knowledge is there. On the practical side of the coin, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy the sport of triathlon for almost 15 years, earning All-American honors in almost 10 of those years and qualifying for the Hawaii Ironman World Championship three times and qualifying for the Boston Marathon during the run portion of an Ironman. And yes – I actually like to eat healthy food – on purpose.
And you know what? I have a wellness coach. And every time we connect, my life improves in some way, shape or form. In fact, the majority of our coaches participate in a “Coach the Coach” program we set up for them – and it makes a difference! Yes, it actually makes a difference when we’re walking the talk as a wellness coach!
The key to wellness coaching isn’t to “tell.” It’s to draw out, to ask the right questions at the right time, to help our clients go deeper as they pursue a better tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but in spite of a pretty good “today,” I’m all for pursuing a better tomorrow. Aren’t you?