By Crabby McSlacker
Regulars here may recall that about once a month, Cranky Fitness gets all nosy wants to know what you guys are up to. These "goal support" posts may have started out being about New Years resolutions, but many people who check in are not actually pursuing any official resolutions or goals. And that's just peachy too!
So how about we do something slightly different? This month, I'd like to encourage Cranky Fitness readers to say something nice about themselves.
So join me, will you? Let's go ahead and brag a little!
And, like me, you can consider getting some practice promoting your business or blog or your employment qualifications or your leadership ability or the crafts you make or your athletic prowess or parenting skills. Or you can acknowledge your determination, generosity, accomplishments or the tough challenges you've overcome. Or...
Wait, no! Don't leave yet!
This is such an unpretentious, humble, down-to-earth, non-braggy bunch of readers that it's gonna be like pulling teeth to get some of you to join me in this, but please stick around and hear me out, ok?
You Won't Turn Into a Total Ass I Promise!
Cute Ass photo: wikipedia
Some people acknowledge their strengths easily... and way too f--cking often. They exaggerate their abilities; they never seem to shut up about how great they are; and every story they tell, even if it's about a freakin' trip to the grocery store to buy milk, is ultimately about how clever and righteous they are and how everyone admires them or envies them or is secretly threatened by their awesomeness.
These people are annoying as hell, right? And yet... they are often heads of state or famous celebrities or CEOs and they tend to be more successful in business than humbler people are.
Why? Because these self-absorbed nitwits put themselves out there, they ask for what they want, and they have no fear of "overselling" themselves to others.
But yikes! That's the most horrifying thing in the world, right? To risk rejection or disapproval by not disclosing upfront every fault you have, or by accidentally overpraising yourself?
I personally prefer to hang out with "under-sellers." I like people who can laugh at themselves, who are aware of and honest about their own limitations, who don't take themselves too seriously or spend a lot of time bragging about their accomplishments. But I do wonder if a habitual under-selling mindset, if it's not flexible enough, can be a hindrance sometimes?
I suspect it's generally true that women are more likely to undersell than men are. And this could well be a contributing factor to lower salaries, being overlooked or taken advantage of, missing out on promotions or opportunities, etc. Even worse, the "downplay your strengths" mindset can be really problematic when it's internal and you are not reminding yourself often enough of all the good qualities you have. It can sap your confidence and keep you playing "small" with your life.
The thing is: we don't have to be total assholes to sometimes, when appropriate, be honest about our strengths the way we always are about our weaknesses. But if you are not used to doing it, it takes some practice and feels really f--king weird.
I'm crap at it myself. But I'm thinking a friendly and fairly obscure forum like Cranky Fitness might be a good safe place to do take a chance and practice a bit and tentatively strut our stuff?
I'll go first! With a long explanation and pitch for my life coaching practice. Lucky readers!
Why I Haven't Been Properly Pimping My Life and Wellness Coaching Lately.
So yeah, I haven't done much marketing of my life and wellness coaching practice in a while, and so now I'm forcing it into the monthly support post, sorry. But the lack of advertisement doesn't mean I haven't been coaching. I have awesome clients, mostly folks who have found me through this blog.
Some of the quietness had to do with getting an ACE Health Coach Certification, and trying to figure out what this meant to my life coaching. Should I expand my client base and change my services and prices and do a big ol' website re-vamp? And if so, gosh, well, no use sending people over to the crappy old soon-to-be outdated site, right? Let's yank the ads and links and be invisible!
Well, changes may still be possible one day, but I think for now: Nah, no need. The certification process gave me a lot more background and resources and confidence around nutrition and exercise principles in addition to the general life coaching and psychotherapy background I already had. And yet, more than ever, it reinforced my belief that there are no universal right answers and solutions when it comes to health and fitness.
So the additional certification is not going to turn me from a collaborative life and wellness coach into a personal trainer or teacher or guru or other sort of "expert" telling people what they should do. My value is in helping each person find what is uniquely right for THEM, not supplying ready-made diets or exercise routines.
But being totally honest with myself: some of my lack of marketing has come from a fear of "over-selling" my skills and talents.
If I am not the perfect life coach for every person and every problem, and I can't guarantee quick and easy success with every difficult goal or struggle, then how can I possibly put myself out there as offering a really valuable service? Even if I can see, all the time, that the coaching I do actually helps people?
I had to remind myself again what I like to remind others:
Why I Need to Stop Apologizing For Shifting from Psychotherapy to Life Coaching
Having been both a therapist and a life coach, I sometimes feel self-conscious talking about my new role in helping people grow. "Life coach?" It sounds so sketchy! People know what a shrink does and they may make jokes... but it's a respected profession. A life coach? That fits somewhere between "panhandler" and "psychic" in most people's career hierarchy.
But I can honestly say that for people who are not suffering from moderate or severe mental disorders but who are looking to achieve difficult goals or cope with life's challenges ... coaching is far more helpful, practical, effective, empowering, and cheaper than traditional psychotherapy. And way more fun, for both clients and coaches.
Yet because people aren't familiar with life coaching, and because the profession is still unregulated and attracts a lot of over-promising flim-flammy flakes, many people miss out on the benefits. Folks who could be living much more fulfilling, exciting lives will stay stuck and stagnant. Eventually they may end up depressed or anxious enough to trundle themselves off to expensive therapists who will use the medical model to deal with their "disorders"--when timely coaching long ago might have been a much better answer.
So I'm gonna stop downplaying what I do: coaching rocks! It can help you! It's a great investment! Unless you don't think your one and only LIFE is something worth investing in?
The Not-Perfect Part First
We can still add caveats to our Shameless Self-Promotion I'm thinking, right? Especially if it makes us feel more honest and comfortable. So I'll get a couple out of the way:
1. I am not the best match for someone is looking for a Demanding Authority Figure to Aggressively Confront Them and Push them to Do Things They Never Dreamed Possible.
Photo credit: x-ray delta one
There is nothing wrong with this kind of coaching--hell, look at the success of Jillian Michaels! But it ain't me. I will encourage you to stretch, and to dream big; I will gently help you realize when you are bullshitting yourself and rationalizing counter-productive behavior; I will help you brainstorm ways of expanding your comfort zone. But I will always respect the limits you set and not try to substitute my judgment for yours about what you want to achieve.
When I first started off I thought I needed to be more flexible about this, but honestly: I just don't have the personality of a drill sergeant. And I'm ok with that.
2. I am not Slick or Charismatic.
I am smart and thoughtful and empathetic, but I'm not a polished, eloquent speaker with an uber-confidant personality. Sometimes I stumble or rethink what I started to say. Sometimes I can't quite hear over a shitty phone connection and try to pretend I heard you until I can catch the thread, and then if I can't, I have to 'fess up that I lost you a few sentences back and make you repeat yourself. Sometimes I realize I'm talking too much and have to step back and apologize and listen more. I have been known to become suddenly unsure of a spouse or child's name even after I have heard it dozens of times. Silly stuff like that... anyway, there is a good reason I have a health blog and not a health video channel or podcast.
OK, enough with the disclaimers!
Why I Am a Pretty Damn Good Life Coach and Might be Right for You And Why You Should Stop Over-Thinking it and Hire Me Already.
There are a lot of life coaches out there, with different backgrounds and strengths. Here are some of the things I do well:
1. I'm good at creating a really comfortable safe place to dream, to whine, to experiment, to plan, to laugh, to cry, and to surprise the hell out of yourself with your own creativity and strengths.
2. I am skilled at keeping you encouraged and moving forward when you are feeling crappy and defeated and tempted to give up.
3. I ask strange but helpful questions and I can help you reframe situations in ways that let you see things from a totally different and, usually, more hopeful perspective.
4. I'm good at helping you feel less weird and inadequate and self-conscious about having understandable human reactions and hang-ups and difficulties.
5. I can use my psychotherapy background to listen at many levels; sometimes I hear what you are not saying as loudly as what you are saying.
6. I really, honestly, care a LOT how you're doing and I believe in you. Maybe I've just been lucky, especially in drawing clients via the blog, but I do not have to fake my affection for my wonderful clients. Popping in on various life coach forums, this is does not appear to be universally the case!
7. I work particularly well with shy, brainy, geeky, under-confident, cautious, analytical, overthinky types, helping to gently expand the range of possibilities that feel comfortable and achievable and make life more rewarding and exciting. But confident action-oriented types can get a lot out of my coaching too!
And right now, because I've been so lax about marketing, there's a one week flash sale!
I'm offering a 50% discount off website rates, renewable for at least 6 months, for people who sign up in the next week--by midnight Monday March 10th. Which is kinda lame timing given that I'm out of town from March 29 to April 9, but whatever, I'll make sure you have plenty to keep you busy if we need to miss a week, and I'll keep in touch via email.
There is much more info over at the Life Coaching site, but the bottom line is: I want you to get off the fence, stop dithering and accepting a status quo you're not happy with, and change your life already! You CAN do it and I can help you. And I'm hoping a time limit will make it easier to stop putting it off.
Jump on it people, you got one week! You can email me at either crabbymcslacker at gmail dot com, or at livealittlecoaching at gmail dot com.
And if coaching just isn't for you right now but you have a friend or family member who might benefit, let 'em know before they miss out on the discount.
So... that was me shamelessly blowing my own horn. Can I get a little company please?
I have no idea whom to credit for this bizarre ad.
And sincere apologies to any midgets offended by it.
Got anything nice to say about yourself or what you do or something you've created? Don't let me hang out here tooting my own horn by myself!