No one ever said this path was going to be easy.
To the coaches and healers of today’s world, I see you.
I see how hard it is to carve your way in an ever-increasingly competitive online market.
I see how hard it is to keep taking care of your precious self when you have a to-do list as long as your credit bill.
I see how much heart you put into every single conversation, coaching session, workshop, and course you create.
I see your disappointment when things don’t turn out the way you wanted.
And most of all, I see your tenacity.
Your strength to rise up, to keep following that beautiful inner voice that drew you to helping others find healing and inspiration in their lives again. I see your creativity, the hope of the Earth moving through you, to rise, to keep innovating, exploring, expanding, loving, illuminating.
You are doing this because it is your soul calling.
Not because it’s easy. Not in the hopes of making a fortune. But in the fact that you want to leave a legacy on this planet. You want to look back and say that you followed your heart, that you made a real impact in someone’s life, and that you both grew as a result.
It’s never easy to walk the road less travelled.
And when you come to this path—the path of owning your unique gifts and talents in a world that wants you to fit into a box—you are going to meet some ugly voices.
Ugly reminders of every reason why you should have chosen a path more well-trod. These reminders will feel real. It’s important to remember that they are not. They may take on your own voice, but they come from the past.
But the future belongs to those who innovate. And we need you to not give up now. Even if you feel like a failure, your business isn’t going anywhere, you’ve hit a wall, or you’re just so tired.
Take heart in the fact that there are thousands out there with your struggle. And thousands more that need your help.
Your success lies in not giving up.
By the same courage that allowed you to choose this path—whether it was leaving a corporate job to follow your heart’s calling in your 50s, or owning the wisdom of your nomadic soul at a younger age—you have overcome great adversity to be where you are today. The grief, the anger, the feelings of aloneness you have felt—they are not for nothing. They are what has forged the unique wisdom you have to offer others.
I see how overcoming those voices of self-doubt allowed you to get to where you are today.
But there may be insidious remnants of that doubt that are still sabotaging your success going forward.
So for you, the coaches and healers, the heart-warriors of the planet, here are seven ways you are self-sabotaging and how to stop it:
1. Lazily Avoiding Defining the Terms of Your Success
When you started your business in coaching or healing work you probably had a role model, someone who inspired you, someone who made you think, “Yes, I can do this.”
You might have enviously scrolled through their Instagram account, watching as their following increased, or maybe it was that luxurious vacation they took to Bali all the while “working” from their phone.
First of all, I’m not here to shame you.
It’s normal to be attracted to luxury because underneath that is simply a desire to be living a good life, a life where you can work and relax, where things don’t feel like an uphill battle all the time. However, as you grow your business, you have the opportunity to define success on your own terms.
If someone inspires you, great! But what is the deeper value you are attaching to their success? And what does success really mean to you? Social media has a way of streamlining what it means to be a successful coach or healer, while ignoring the many subversive success stories we don’t hear that often (hello LGBTQ2 and BIPOC coaches!)
Success might have dollar amounts attached to it for you, and if so great! But maybe success might also have something to do with building powerful collaborative relationships, healing your nervous system, trusting in the ebb and flow of your business, or creating community! Whatever it is, don’t waste another moment not spending some time consciously thinking about this.
Success will come when you know how to measure it, and most importantly, when you know how it’s going to feel in your body.
2. Believing you Cannot Be of Benefit and Be Improving at the Same Time
This is something I personally struggle with and continue to overcome in my practice. In a recent coaching call with a new client, I left feeling full of doubt. They didn’t sign up for the offering I presented to them and I felt like there were so many missed opportunities in the session. There was a specific moment where I knew I could have gone deeper, gone into more “scary feelings” territory, but instead redirected. Partly, I felt this was because of the client’s own discomfort, but the more I sat with it, I realized it was my own discomfort as well. I left feeling the session wasn’t transformative enough and didn’t hear from the client for some time.
A month or so later, without prompt, she wrote a glowing review of our session and my practice completely on her own accord.
I was shocked! I realized how harshly I was judging myself and how my perception of myself and the perception of others so often was incongruous.
I realized that I could leave a session knowing I would have done things differently next time while still being of benefit.
It’s important to be honest with ourselves in the areas we want to improve in.
It’s equally important to recognize we can be helping and improving at the same time.
In fact, it’s that exact humbleness that will make us a better coach or healer.
3. Fear of Using Your Intuition
Intuition is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days.
And for coaches and healers, it’s often something we rely on in our work. At the same time, using it can be cloaked in fear. When is it really intuition or just a projection? When is it appropriate to share a channeled message and when does it overstep a boundary? This is murky territory that’s hard to define, and the fear of messing up can stunt our creative energy and find us relying on structures that lack energy and vitality.
Knowing how intuition feels in your body is critically important. For some of us it might be a sensation of fluttering in the chest. Or it might come from deep down in your gut. Maybe it’s an opening at the crown of your skull, a visual image, or a channeled voice. Whatever your way of knowing is, know it well.
Though we all come from various training and educational backgrounds, the heart of being a coach or healer is staying connected to your own wisdom.
In the online world, we can quickly become disembodied. Many of us work on Zoom, or on online platforms where the body is secondary to the intellectual or verbal connection.
Making friends with your intuition and getting to know how she or he chooses to speak to and through you will increase your chances of success. Your unique voice will then be able to shine through.
4. Limiting Your Work to a Box
You might have been drilled by a coach you worked with at some point, or maybe inundated with Facebook Ads, telling you to define your niche. It seems a catchphrase nowadays. But is it really helpful?
Knowing who you want to serve and how you want to serve them is definitely clarifying for yourself and for others. The problem I see is when this becomes a dogma, and not something flexible with time.
You might have chosen your niche and then realize it’s a different kind of person that is attracted to your work. Will you then keep stubbornly pursuing your well-thought out and neatly organized client profile or will you open to the moment and see what is presenting itself to you?
We often think we know ourselves better than we do, but part of the beauty of this kind of work is that our clients often reveal our hidden strengths and talents. It’s through the process, not before, that our niche is formed. And it’s never static. As your grow and become a better coach or healer, your clients will change. Adapting to that is honouring them and yourself.
So if you’re not ready to define your niche yet, don’t worry! Allow yourself to be open to what comes. Continue to find yourself in your practice and you will hone your craft.
The work comes from doing, not from thinking about the work.
5. Avoiding the Silence Within
We can get so caught up in promoting our work, with seemingly endless avenues nowadays—YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn—that sometimes we put aside connecting to the thing that makes us good coaches and healers in the first place. It’s the opposite of frenetic social media energy—it’s silence.
You likely have your own way of connecting with silence. It might be through meditation, journalling, dance, or movement, or being in nature. Whatever it is that plugs you back into that source, that still place within—your power centre.
As our businesses grow, it can be tempting to make less time for this essential practice. Yet it might be sabotaging your success. If you get too caught up in promoting your work or filling your schedule with clients, you might begin to lose some of that magic that drew people to you in the first place.
Sometimes taking a step back brings us more powerfully forward than we could ever have expected.
If you’re feeling rundown or tired, uninspired, or frenetically anxious, now might be the time to clear your calendar for a few days or weeks (or even months!)
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ll stop being relevant.
It’s the people who journey themselves to gather the wisdom who will find success. Remember this is an ongoing process.
Always return to the inner journey when in doubt.
6. A Fear of Tech or Getting Lost in Tech (and How they Stem from the Same Source)
When I began pivoting my practice online in 2020 (how many times have you heard that sentence lately?!), I was overwhelmed by the amount of tech on offer. The website, social media, creating courses, Zoom calls, google meet ups, email lists, membership sites, the list goes on.
It felt overwhelming and at times burdensome. I sometimes felt like I spent more time figuring out the tech than actually using it! And I felt frustrated and a slave to it at times.
Eventually, after much trial and error, I realized how unnecessary so much of it was.
We sometimes forget that the online world is simply an extension of basic human connection. The internet was built to make it easier and faster to connect, but nowadays with advertisements and seemingly endless new apps, it can be easy to forget that connection is at the heart of the agenda.
Just like in real life, if you try and maintain 100 friendships you are likely to not have as much depth as maintaining close bonds with a few of your dearest friends. At the same time, if you didn’t reach out to anyone and expected everyone else to do the work, you probably wouldn’t be popular.
Tech is great. Don’t get me wrong. But do you really need all of it? Probably not. Choosing to focus on a few tried and true methods that work best for you and ignoring the rest will help you focus on the heart of your work—building connections.
So don’t be intimidated by tech. But don’t get lost in it either. Remember it is a tool to build connection. And if it’s not helping you build those connections, then don’t be afraid to let some of it go!
7. Avoiding your Failures
One of the biggest misconceptions about the coaching or healing path is that it is linear. I was lucky to know a few coaches over the years before I started my biz and I can tell you that their journey has been far from an easy road! They made mistakes. And you can too. In fact, you should make mistakes if you want to be really successful. The quicker you make mistakes, the faster you will learn and grow.
Just like being lazy about defining the terms of our success can hinder our growth, so too can avoiding looking at our failures.
What is failing anyway, but an opportunity to learn and grow so that we can do things differently next time?
It’s okay to share publicly about this too. In fact, we need more coaches and healers to do so! Otherwise, it creates a false narrative for the rest of us growing our biz—that the path goes in one direction only, captured on Instagram, of course, with glowing smiles.
We have to take some of our own medicine and look at those places that make us uncomfortable, just like we do for our clients.
We have to be brave enough to own up to our imperfections, to our disappointments, and mistakes.
Doing so won’t make us look weak. In fact, it will humanize us and draw to us those people who are ready to be human too. To drop the BS story of constant positivity and accept the rocky road that is life and build a successful coaching and healing practice.
Keep going beautiful soul, you got this!