Top 5 Things I Learned from Health Coaching

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self awarenessI have been completing a health coaching certificate through MRU throughout the last year. Health coaches facilitate the behaviour change process with their clients to help the client create solutions that are right for them. We believe that everyone is creative, resourceful, and whole and has the answers within them. We don’t tell you what to do, we help you decide what to do.

Completing these courses has been hugely life changing. I have met an incredible group of people and changed my thinking and how I show up in all my relationships – both personal and professional. Here are the top 5 things I learned through my health coaching courses.

Everyone is creative, resourceful, and whole

The underlying belief of health coaching is that everyone has the answers within them and they know what is best for them. No one needs “fixing” and coaches don’t “lead” clients. Our job is to be like a flashlight. We can shine a light on where we came from, the present, and the various forks in the road to help you find your path. We are not the map that tells you where to go – you have the map in you.

Own Your Sh*t

A lot of the time we slip into victimhood – I know I certainly did. “Woe is me because of X, Y and Z” when I have made a choice (by action or inaction) that lead to this circumstance. We’re a little bit past January now so I’m sure we all have people in our lives who set a New Year’s Resolution but have fallen off the band wagon. If it’s something fitness related, their reason is probably something related to time – “I’m just too busy”. That may be true – everyone is busy and has their own battle to fight but at the same time, everyone has the same number of hours in a day and millions of people manage to make it to the gym most days of the week. If something isn’t a priority for you, own it. Don’t make excuses.

Be Curious

One of the key phrases of coaching is to “be curious” about everything. How often are you telling a friend or family member about how you’ve had a rough day and you really just want some compassion and empathy but suddenly they’re trying to one-up you with a similar story that happened to them but is way worse.

Being curious means actively listening, wanting to understand the other person’s perspective and needs, and having no agenda. Next time you’re talking to someone, try to just be curious – don’t cut in, only ask questions. I’m curious about how that will change your interaction.

Why are you so important?

Reliability and loyalty are huge values for me. I value being that person my friends can always call regardless of the hour or that I can always pick up the slack or get done what needs doing. There have been periods in my life where I have certainly done something not in my best interest because of this and the importance I place on it. During the first health coaching course, our instructor would continually challenge us with “why are you so important that you have that much influence on the person’s life?”. At first I was taken aback but the more I thought about it, the more freeing it became.

She highlighted that we only ever do something if we get something out of it and I definitely get something out of being the reliable and loyal one in the group. I’ve been keeping this in check by asking myself why am I doing this? What is my intention? And ultimately, why am I so important that I’m the only one that can do this? Can I ask for help?

When I first found out about my grad school opportunity I completely freaked out about all the reasons why I couldn’t go: I can’t leave my personal training clients! I’m in a new relationship – how will that work if I move?! I’ve only been at my job for 8 months I can’t quit!

A few hours of “why am I so important I can’t leave?” And here I am – 33% done my master’s degree.

Is there a “right” answer?

I’ve had jobs and relationships where I stayed way too long because I was scared to have the difficult conversations and I was worried I wouldn’t get the “right” answer and that would be more devastating that having no answer and being in limbo. The focus on health coaching is to move forward and do things differently than in the past. Regardless of outcome the answers to a difficult conversation will help you move forward and at the end of the day that’s what you want.

Contact us to learn more about health coaching.

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