An interesting and sort of funny thing happened last week. Someone reached out to me via Facebook in response to a recent blog post responding to a lecture by a registered dietitian. She reached out to me without solicitation, requested to join my Healthy Adult Athletes group and also joined my Facebook page. After having a pretty involved conversation with her in which she acknowledged having all kinds of things to fix insofar as her health went, having struggled most of her adult life, and after spending HUGE amounts of money to deal with her weight, she ultimately decided she didn’t want to spend the money to work with me as she had other financial obligations occupying her life.
This is a common reaction. My job, as a coach, is to help people recognize that this is simply an excuse. BELIEVE ME, I recognize that everyone has very significant financial obligations. Personally, I’ve had a job since I was 12 years old and understand hard work. But when someone has spent an hour or two telling me about what they have missed out on being overweight, hiding from activities, races or events they really wanted to do but didn’t, spending YEARS making excuses for themselves, knowing DEEPLY that they are not happy with the way they look and worse with the way they feel (and all the ways it has affected everything from crossing a finish line to walking into a meeting to the quality of their relationships), and worst of all have actually spent loads of money on foods, products, services (including medical services and surgeries) that are nothing close to my fees … well, when they tell me they don’t want to spend the money on something they acknowledge would help them and instead will give it a shot “on their own” (the other fallacy), it’s my job to help them recognize the REAL costs of their own decisions.
I do this in part not to convince someone they should work with me because ultimately people enter my program never being convinced but being READY and COMMITTED and that’s the only way I can help them. But regardless of whether someone chooses to work with me or not, it’s still my job to help them understand what they are CHOOSING.
It’s why I always tell people and announce on my website that if they are someone who believes life happens to them rather than making it what they want, my services will be of no interest to them.
So, when I made these points to this particular person who had reached out to me last week, I was promptly unfriended, unliked, and she left my closed group. Fortunately, I have a thick skin. Life is too short not to have one. Besides which, people come and go every day and no one should aim to please everyone. That said, it’s always a little sad to me when I see someone utterly incapable of accepting what is going on with their lives. It is certainly in my best interest to avoid working with such people, which is why I put them through a fairly rigorous consultation before I agree to work with anyone. Because ultimately, if someone can’t handle politely-delivered hard messages, after telling me they know I could help, they are simply unlikely to make any substantial and significant change, certainly not for the long term. It takes a brave and strong soul to head into the fire … and not all of us are ready to do it. They may be at some point, but not quite yet, and that will always delay progress.
For those that are willing to open their minds, do the work and suck up some of the hard lessons, the results far surpass what they thought possible. Health is, after all, the cornerstone and foundation for everything that is available in life. It’s a beautiful thing to see. And it is for those brave souls for which my energy will always flow.