I recently wrote a blog post entitled “Who am I to Coach People in Weight Loss and Eating Issues” and I shared it on social media. It was hugely stepping out of my comfort zone, and at the same time, hugely liberating. But from the lovely and positive feedback I received, it showed me that being true to myself not only felt right, it also served my clients, and for that reason alone it has been worth it.
When I’m coaching, I try hard not to share too much about me and my experiences, because I don’t want to detract from my clients. But sometimes I do really feel that sharing helps them to see that they are not alone, that they are no different to me, and that we are all going through ‘stuff’ day to day. The only difference is that I now understand where that ‘stuff,’ or rather the stressful, uncomfortable or unhappy feelings around ‘stuff’ are coming from. And that’s what I try my hardest to share. This very understanding has made the biggest difference in my life over the last few years; and it is definitely the thing that makes the biggest impact on the people I work with.
Over the years, I’ve been told by various friends that I give off a certain persona. I was told this again very recently by two of my peer coaches. This persona is one of being very together, sorted, controlled. It’s one of health, and few struggles. My real friends (and I count these two coaches as friends) of course know this isn’t the whole story. Far from it. There are lots of things that I keep hidden about my life, but I’m getting much more comfortable with sharing them.
What I’m discovering more and more is that it’s no different for my clients. Of course, we don’t want to reveal everything about ourselves to everyone, but at the same time, keeping a big part of who you really are hidden, is not always helpful to others or to yourself. Allowing people to see vulnerability can be very reassuring for others (and liberating for you).
I was having this discussion with a coaching client last week who admitted that she doesn’t just have one persona, but multiple. She has the one for her ‘day job’ which is very controlled, perhaps slightly unapproachable. And she has one for her weekend/hobby clients where she is seen as a ‘good listener.’ This client agreed that very few people in either of her jobs know the real her, the real person with her passions, her foibles, her fears and her vulnerabilities, just like everyone else, and we are now exploring this more fully as she starts to discover her true self for the first time. And it's a beautiful things to witness...
I’ve recently realised that it’s ok to admit that some aspects of my life aren’t how I’d like them to be. That doesn’t mean I’m not happy, (I'm actually happier than I've been in a very long time) and it doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job. I used to have this weird notion that to be a nutritionist or a coach, your own life had to be perfect. I’ve realised that this really isn’t the case at all. No one’s life is without struggles of some description, no one’s life is perfect, whatever perfect actually means anyway. We all have things in our lives that we’d like to change and that’s ok. It really is ok. And it becomes even more ok when we see through the illusion behind what is causing us to want to change something in our lives in the first place.
So, what is it about yourself that you are hiding? What is it about you or your life that you are keeping from the world? I'd love to know, either in the comments if you are happy to share them, or privately by message if you feel you'd like to.
Helping people to achieve optimal health and wellness - sharing simple nutritious recipes, tips and advice on how to improve your health through food, without compromising on taste.