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8 Common Fears about Becoming a Health Coach and How to Conquer Them

by: Jenn Maples
Published: July 31, 2018
Updated: June 23, 2022

Trust me, you’re not alone. We all experience self-doubt from time to time. And taking a big step like becoming a health coach is definitely one of those instances that could lead you spiraling down a fearful path of insecurity and depreciating self-talk if you don’t have the right tools.

So, if you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought I don’t look like a health coach or why would anyone take health advice from me?, this post is for you.

Today we’re going to look at some of the common fears among new health coaches, then show you how to tackle them. (Spoiler alert: they can all be addressed with a few shifts in your mindset.)

Fear #1: I don’t know enough.

How to conquer it: You wouldn’t have been able to graduate from the Primal Health Coach Institute or a similar program if you didn’t have enough knowledge. These rigorous programs are designed to give you everything you need to help your clients. Even a seasoned health coach doesn’t have every piece of data memorized, so don’t feel like you have to, either.

Your role as a health coach is to be an investigator as you dive your clients’ health history and guide them toward reaching their goals. No one has all the answers, so if you need to look something up along the way, you can always check out our library of posts here at the Primal Health Coach Institute, Mark’s Daily Apple, Primal Blueprint podcasts, and other in-the-know resources.

Fear # 2: What if I can’t get any clients?

How to conquer it: First of all, believe that you can. If you’re constantly thinking that you can’t get clients, there’s a good chance you won’t. Stay positive and remember what attracted you to health coaching in the first place.

Second, be sure you have a niche audience clearly defined. Contrary to what you might think, targeting people who want to get healthy will attract a lot less clients than targeting new working moms who want to lose the baby weight. Having a well-defined niche audience also helps you be more passionate about your work and relate to your clients better.

And third, be persistent and consistent. You may feel like you’re screaming from the rooftops about your health coaching business, but are you really? When I first started coaching, I’d hint at being a nutritionist by posting a few pictures of my healthy dinner on Instagram, and expected my inbox to be flooded with appointment requests by morning. It wasn’t. Consistently sharing content, being helpful on social media and in your email campaigns, and showcasing how you help your clients (even if your clients are your friends, family, or practice clients) is a great way to get the word out about what you do and how well you do it.

Fear #3: I’m not super lean and ripped.

How to conquer it: We hear this a lot on our PHC Facebook page for students and grads: “I don’t look like a fitness model or I’m still a work in progress. The thing to remember is most clients don’t want a coach that looks like they just stepped out of a workout magazine, they want someone relatable—someone who’s had a health challenge and has taken steps to overcome it. We’re all on this journey together. Whether you’ve lost weight, healed your gut issues, reversed a diabetes diagnosis, or rebalanced your hormones, it’s your personal story and successes that will make clients want to work with you, not your physical appearance.

Fear #4: What if I don’t eat healthy 100% the time?

How to conquer it: Feeling like you have to be the picture of perfect health all of the time is normal, but it’s not realistic or necessary! If you walk around snacking on soda and chips all day, you might want to rethink some of your choices, but for most of us who enjoy practicing what we preach, following an 80/20 split usually feels about right. In this post, Mark Sisson talks about the 80/20 Principal, which means eating Primally 80% of the time and making well-intentioned but practical choices the other 20%. Having sensible indulgences are not only normal, they help you feel more relatable to your clients. My husband is a Primal Health Coach and personal trainer with a weakness for donuts, which he indulges in periodically. His clients were ecstatic when they heard that he doesn’t feast on grass-fed beef and leafy greens 24/7.

Fear #5: I haven’t solved my own heath issues, how am I going to solve someone else’s?

How to conquer it: It’s easy to feel insecure about helping others when you haven’t quite cracked the code on your own health challenges, but it shouldn’t discourage you. Personally, I have a long history with adrenal fatigue, SIBO, and hypothyroidism. And for a long time, I saw this as a disadvantage. After all, why would someone take advice from me when I can’t even help myself?

The truth is, working through your own health issues is another way you’re relatable. And if you have a health issue that’s complex or that you’ve had for a long time, it can take awhile to get your health back to 100%. Also know that not everyone will have as complicated a health concern or the same goals as you do. What you know is invaluable to your clients, regardless of where you’re at in your personal health journey.

Fear #6: I don’t have as many followers as other health coaches.

How to conquer it: You might be tempted to compare yourself to health coaches on social media who have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers. The truth is, comparing yourself to others is extremely common and has to do with the fear of failure and not being good enough (as if we needed another fear)! Just remember that everyone starts somewhere and that the health coaches you’re comparing yourself to didn’t always have huge followings. Also remember that no one does what you do in the same way that you do it. And no one has your story! Focus on your strengths and your passion for health coaching.

Also keep in mind that (unfortunately) there is no shortage of people out there who need our help. According to this article, about two-thirds of adults living in the U.S. have at least one chronic condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. That means there are potentially 200 million clients out there who could use what you have to offer. Instead of coming from a place of lack and comparison, believe that there is enough for everyone.

Fear #7: I’m not good at sales.

How to conquer it: For a lot of people (myself included), sales doesn’t come naturally, in fact, it can feel a little intimidating. But you can choose to look at sales as a way to make money by selling health coaching sessions and packages—or as a way to connect with people and help them reach their health goals. Remember, you’re providing a service that your clients desperately need. You have the knowledge, the passion, and the skills to transform people’s lives.

And while it’s important to be confident and share what you’ll do for your clients in a genuine way, you’ll probably need to ask for the sale at some point. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Check out this blog post for more information and tips on how to close a sale.

Fear #8: What if I’m just not a good coach?

How to conquer it: According to the Primal Health Coach Institute’s Master Coach, Christine Hassler, it can take up to five years to reach your full potential as a health coach. So being unsure in the beginning is totally natural. It can be hard to have confidence when you’re just starting out, but by focusing on your strengths, your skills, and your passion for helping others, you’ll evolve into the health coach you’re meant to become. You are the real deal, and if you’re having trouble believing it at first, take Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy’s advice, and fake it till you make it.

In summary…

It’s common to have fears about starting something new, including health coaching. But at the end of the day, trust that you have everything you need to be a successful health coach. You (exactly as you are), your story, your knowledge, and your vibe will attract the right clients and help you build a successful health coaching business.

Fears will come up now and then, but you have the choice whether you let them stop you—or if you stop them in their tracks.

Want more info about overcoming your fears? Check out this post about limiting beliefs and this one that addresses the common fear of feeling like an imposter.

Now tell us what you think! Leave a comment below to start or join the discussion...

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