You’re inspired to become a health coach, but your critical brain tries to reason its way out of risk, distracting you from your formidable destination. It’s only natural to hesitate when you venture out on a new path. This underlying fear affects aspiring and existing health coaches alike, so let’s take a look at 6 common fears about launching your health coaching business and how to bust them.
1. Fear of failure
How will I make enough money to pay my bills?
How will I find enough clients?
What if I have to go back to my old job?
I call this “The mother of all fears.” It hovers over every other fear and keeps you from truly living.
“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem
If we stopped pursuing things we might fail at, we wouldn’t show up on first dates or job interviews, try ice skating, or raise a child. We may never even walk. A child often fears taking their first steps, but they instinctively try again no matter how many times they fall trying.
If you’re passionate about health and helping others, and have a gut feeling that health coaching is your calling, it’s time to trust your gut and use the 5-second rule to take action towards your dreams.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
2. I don’t know how to run a business.
I don’t know where to start with all of the marketing, social media, legal stuff, and technology. This fear paralyzes you with indecision or sends you on endless quests that result in overwhelm.
Even when a health coaching school provides you with extensive resources—as we do in the PHCI curriculum and resource center—one might question whether they’re doing it right, stalling endlessly in fear.
Here’s what I told a fellow alumni when she expressed her fear of taking “too long to get my business up and running,”
“I think coaches really put too much pressure on themselves to launch a totally comprehensive business with a perfect or professional appearance, and that really holds them back from coaching…for months or even years! I see it all the time, and no matter what the reason is, they always regret waiting so long to just start coaching. Forget all the tech stuff, the branding, the fears, and just start inviting people to discovery calls and coaching sessions. Start posting on social media now and put yourself out there. You’ll learn as you go and change everything a dozen times. We don’t know what we really need/want until we’re already doing it!”
Increase your self-efficacy by hiring a business coach. It’s worth the investment.
3. Fear of being inadequate, a.k.a. “Imposter Syndrome”
Imposter Phenomenon, as it’s sometimes called, is quite common in most professions. Coaches who struggle with imposter syndrome have trouble recognizing their own adequacy and feel undeserving of their title.
Imposter syndrome thoughts sound like:
I’m not really a health coach.
Who am I to be giving health advice?
I feel like I’m running a pretend business and it’s just a matter of time before others realize I’m a fraud.
Practice some of your coaching tools on yourself to help combat imposter syndrome:
Affirmation and Acknowledgment – Recognize your own efforts by tracking your daily wins and the attempts you make towards growth. Use affirming statements like:
- “I am on the right track to build a legitimate business and help others achieve their wellness goals.”
- “I am a passionate wellness expert who is ready to share that passion with others who need my support and guidance.”
Challenge Limiting Beliefs with Change Talk – When you catch that voice in your head saying “You have no idea what you’re doing,” challenge that statement with a response you would tell a friend who expressed that limiting belief. Include change talk in your reply by using words that acknowledge your efforts and desire for change:
“You know more than you did a year, a month, a week ago. Each day you learn more about how to be an impactful coach.”
Favor Progress Over Perfection – Sayings such as, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good,” or, “Done is better than perfect,” exist because, too often, we use perfection as an excuse to stay put.
Resist that voice who says, “I’ll be ready when ______.” Perfectionists are never ready.
Foster Self-Efficacy – Self-efficacy is an important concept in coaching because it represents one’s belief in their ability to succeed. Research shows that high-self-efficacy individuals set more challenging goals and work harder to achieve them. They also become more resilient regardless of setbacks.
Supporting your self-efficacy:
- Ask fellow coaches or classmates about how realistic your goals and expectations are.
- Check in with uplifting family or friends and ask them about their belief in your ability to succeed.
- Focus your efforts on tasks or topics that you’re good at and enjoy.
- Commit to an accountability partner, mentor, or business coach so that you have access to the support you need to succeed.
4. Who will take me seriously?
This fear feels very legitimate because it’s directly related to circumstances you wish to change.
You might be thinking, “Who will take me seriously when…
…I have an advanced degree in something inapplicable to health.
…I’m transitioning from a career that’s unrelated to health.
My friends and family don’t even take me seriously.”
Some aspiring and new coaches express concerns like,
“Medical professionals don’t take nutrition seriously.”
“I don’t know enough about lab tests, health conditions, or chronic diseases.”
Let’s clear one thing up: Certified health coaches generally need not concern themselves with medical knowledge because health coaches have a distinctively unique role in the field of health. It’s vitally important that coaches learn to stay within their legal scope of practice (which varies from state-to-state and by country).
Regarding friends and family, check out this exciting way to announce that you’re a health coach. The more you begin to make your presence known, the more others will see you in a professional light.
It’s time to get used to talking about what you do. Begin by crafting your elevator pitch and practice how it feels to introduce yourself as a health coach.
Yes, a career change can be a major transition. Over time though, you may realize that your last career equipped you with certain knowledge, skills, and connections that you can leverage in your business as a health coach. Many coaches ultimately carve out a new, niche business model by combining previous experience with new health coaching goals.
5. Fear of being underqualified: I don’t know enough.
I need to learn more before I’ll be ready to start coaching.
Am I getting the right certification?
Who am I to charge for my services when I don’t even know how to coach yet?
Many new coaches get caught in an education-chasing trap where they believe they need more certifications and training before they’re ready to launch a business.
You will never run out of ideas on how to improve upon your existing skillset or certifications. Remind yourself that you have precisely what you need to get started, and the only thing holding you back from building a business is your hesitation to just start.
If you’re still considering which school to attend, check out this article on the advantages of attending PHCI over other holistic health schools.
And remember: No amount of education will outperform real-life experience. Get out there, get experience, make your mistakes, and grow.
6. I’m not *_____ enough.
I’m not *healthy enough
I’m not *fit enough
I’m not *primal enough
Most of us coaches have experienced one of these “I’m not enough” fears before. We want to look like the picture of health and feel like we’re in perfect health.
Imagine that you are 60 lbs overweight. Which personal trainer would you rather work with: one who’s chiseled enough to be on a Nike billboard? Or one who has an “attainable” looking figure that’s not far off from your own health goal?
If you’re struggling with your health right now, answer this: Have you learned anything during your health struggle that you wish you learned sooner? I’m sure the answer is yes. That means there are others out there like you who would appreciate a coach who has experienced a struggle like theirs.
Share your story with your followers, and be honest about what you’re going through. Tell them what you learn along the way and they’ll thank you with admiration, loyalty, and trust.
Believe me when I say, your audience will greatly appreciate how relatable you are when you’re not perfect.
Are you ready to bust through fear and take steps towards your dream? We’re here to help!