Dear Health Coaches: We Need You

If you are a health coach who feels like all the work you are doing is going unseen, or that your contributions don't matter, or if it is difficult for you to find people who need your help, this post is for you. I'm going to zoom out and show you why your work is so important in today's world, and provide you with some encouragement to carry on when you feel like giving up. Read on.

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Your life experience and the health struggles you may have had to overcome are the source of your power. You can relate to the things that many of us go through, and offer real guidance and tangible advice for how to cope or even overcome them. You provide a safe place for people to express emotions that they normally keep bottled up and to make changes that would otherwise never happen.

You are a bridge-builder between an evidence-based holistic approach to health, and the sometimes seemingly impossible task of concretely applying it to people's everyday lives. Like a translator, you take incomprehensible information and convert it into something that makes sense for those in need. This can mean carefully crafting individualized programs, or even just answering a one-off question on why someone is struggling with their health.

I say all this to say that we see you. Your work is valued, and as time goes on, more and more people will see the impact of your efforts. Just you wait.

This is your industry

Don't just stand on the sidelines and hope the health coaching industry will succeed. Step up and be part of why it succeeds. Lead with passion and conviction, and others will follow. Help set the standards so there's no room for doubt or uncertainty regarding the work of certified health coaches.

Help set the tone

If the health coaching industry is to gain the trust of the public and for health coaches to be sought out for their services, it is essential that you set the tone of professionalism and dedication to helping others.

You need to understand this: You are the industry. Your work is about more than just making a living. It's about helping people, giving them the gift of knowledge in taking their health and wellbeing into their own hands. It's about providing hope and support in a time when our mental and physical health is under so much strain.

Be the beacon

Before ships had radar, they would need the flashing light from a lighthouse to guide them to shore.  In the same way, you can be the beacon of light in people's lives, helping them find their way to better health. You provide the guidance and support that allows them to create a lifestyle of wellness for themselves.

Support each other

You are not alone. Every year, more and more health coaches join this industry. They are not your competition, they are your support. There are close to 8 billion people on this planet and over 330 million in the United States alone. There's a long way to go before the industry would ever reach saturation (if ever). So support each other, learn from one another, and collaborate. You'll not only grow your knowledge and skills, but also the health coaching industry as a whole. Community is everything. It's where standards are created and shared, so that your work can reach its full potential, so partner up.

Health coaching is not a trend, it’s here to stay

We live in an age where good health isn't just being talked about, it's being demanded and sought after. People are tired of diets that don't work and short-term fixes. They want something deeper, something real, and someone who sees them, hears them, and can help them get to the root cause of their health issues. That's you.

You are not an imposter, so get that out of your head

I recently heard someone say: "You are not an imposter unless your plan is to deceive and take advantage of others." If those are not your intentions, then you have nothing to worry about. You will indeed make mistakes, but that does not mean you are an imposter as a health coach, it means you are a human learning and growing from your mistakes. So, let that negative voice be gone, you have a job to do.

Healing a sick world

We are sick. All of us. There's no way around it. Most of us sit too much, drink too much, eat too much, and neglect our mind and bodies built-in alarm systems when they are blatantly screaming at us to change things. The problem is that the insurmountable conflicting information out there paralyzes most people.

The current medical system does a great job at treating diseases, but the world would be a much more balanced place if the focus was shifted towards prevention instead of sick care.

Healing a sick world is a big task, one larger than any one health care professional or health coach alone. That's why it's critical for health coaches to stick together and share the load. There will come times when you feel like giving up, but don't. You are needed more than ever, so continue to do your part in healing a sick world.

"If not us, then who? If not now, then when?" —John Lewis

Final words of encouragement

Every person you encounter who needs assistance is an opportunity to do good and make a difference in the world. You have chosen a road of service, compassion, and hope, and this distinguishes you. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Health coaches are needed to help make the world a better place, and you, my friend, are doing just that. Go out there and make a difference, because we need you.

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