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Myth vs. Fact: Common Misconceptions About Being a Health Coach

by: Jenn Maples
Last Updated: June 23, 2022

Ask 10 people what they know about health coaching and chances are, you’ll get 10 different answers. There are even different schools of thought among those of us working in the health coaching industry. In order to be truly successful, we might believe that we have to have our own health totally in order, or eat a certain way, or have a huge social media following.

The truth is, those are all myths.

A lot of times we tell ourselves “facts” about what it means to be a health coach, or get influenced by others who have their own opinions on what health coaching ought to look like. And if we don’t live up to those expectations, we believe we’re falling short. In today’s post, I’ll be putting the most common myths to rest, so you can get past these misconceptions and be the health coach you were meant to be.

Myth: You solve people’s health issues

Fact: As a health coach, you’re trained to guide your clients to uncover their own answers. Sure, you’ve got the knowledge and expertise, but it really comes down to asking the right questions. That’s because even if you know what to do to help your clients reach their health goals, no one knows the answer to how they’ll do it better than them.

Myth: You have to be in perfect health

Fact: Your struggles are what makes you relatable. And the fact that you’re still losing weight, clearing the refined sugar out of your house, or figuring out how to fit regular exercise into your day makes you an even better health coach, because you have a deeply personal understanding of the challenges your clients are going through.

Myth: You’ve got to be really outgoing

Fact: I’m a classic introvert, so I can tell you this is 100% untrue. If you are too, you might feel drained after a full schedule of one-on-ones or if you have to be around large crowds all day. However, introverts are actually known to be better listeners, not to mention more insightful and better at focusing—all excellent qualities for a health coach.

Myth: You can’t make a living as a health coach

Fact: Just look at the uber-successful health coaches on this list. Or check out the latest stats on the growing wellness industry. You might not be able to quit your 9-to-5 right away, but the fact that there are so many people out there battling chronic diseases, obesity, and addictions to the Standard American Diet shows that they desperately need what you have to offer.

Myth: You need more certifications

Fact: The short answer is, it depends. A certification like one from the Primal Health Coach Institute gives you everything you need to work as a health coach. However, if you want to treat or diagnose clients, or offer other services including athletic training or massage, you’ll need additional certs or licenses. Read what else we have to say about it here.

Myth: You’ve got to have all the answers

Fact: Nobody has all the answers, it’s just not possible. The knowledge you have right now is more than enough. So, if your client asks you something and you don’t know what to say, start digging around for answers—or ask your peers. As a PHC and NTP, I love being able to read what other people are asking (and answering) in our Facebook groups for graduates. Don’t have that as a resource? Check out Pub Med or the Cochrane Library for published studies and research-based info.

Myth: You have to follow an ancestral way of life (as a Primal Health Coach)

Fact: As Primal Health Coaches, it’s important that we walk the talk. But it doesn’t meet you have to live like a caveman 100% of the time. Even Mark Sisson himself has shared that he indulges from time to time, and in general follows the Primal Blueprint’s 80/20 rule.

Myth: You have to be self-employed

Fact: Being your own boss can be awesome. It’s not for everyone though, and it’s not the only path you can take. In fact, tons of major companies around the world are hiring full-time health coaches as we speak—most with solid benefits and sweet health perks.

Myth: You need thousands of social media followers

Fact: It’s easy to compare yourself to health coaches with tens of thousands of followers, however, being big on Instagram doesn’t necessarily equal success. There are plenty of coaches out there who focus on their email marketing strategy or in-person networking. Also, remember that those people you’re envying didn’t start off with 100K at the top of their profiles, they started at zero, just like the rest of us.

Myth: You have to love working with people

Fact: You might love the thought of working in the health industry, or being a part of the movement toward healthier living. But you don’t have to love doing one-on-ones or group coaching. Consider other ways you can use your health coaching certification, like writing for a health-focused blog, designing websites for other health coaches, or creating a keto-friendly cookbook.

Myth: You’ve got to have your niche figured out

Fact: It’s so valuable to know who you serve and why, but you might not have your niche narrowed down yet. Don’t let that stop you from pursuing a career you’re passionate about. Get started and you’ll figure out your niche fairly quickly. You might even choose one and decide to switch gears down the road.

Myth: You have to do it just like everyone else

Fact: Look at different health coaches’ websites and you’ll notice a lot of commonalities—the authentic photos, the testimonials, the fact that they have a lead magnet on their home page. However, if offering 3- and 6-month packages, or renting a space in a chiropractor’s office, or writing a weekly blog doesn’t feel right to you, do something different. What you bring to the table as a health coach is totally unique, so it makes sense that how you do it is unique, too.

In Review

Between the misinformation out there and our own self-limiting beliefs, it’s important to distinguish what’s really expected of us as health coaches (asking the right questions, being relatable, and staying true to ourselves) and what’s not (having perfect health, being an extrovert, and knowing all the answers). You have all the tools you need to be successful as a health coach, so don’t get caught up in the myths. And while you’re at it, don’t compare yourself to others, stop yourself before you start, or believe you’re not enough in any way.

Ready to become one of the world’s most trusted, experienced, and knowledgeable coaches? Get certified at Primal Health Coach Institute.

Establish clout. Elevate your career. Enrich your knowledge… with one of our industry-leading health and fitness coach certification programs.

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