As a professional serving the health and wellness industry, I always believed I had to look perfect, act perfect and be perfect to be sought after. Because I believed that, I behaved in a way that supported my belief.
Simply stated, we confirm our beliefs with our behaviors. You’ll never find someone who believes they’re horrible at basketball playing basketball in their free time. At the same, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who loves basketball anywhere but courtside.
I used to engage new clients physically and tactically; we’d start off by setting goals and finish up with a workout to assess their capacity. Nowadays, I initiate clients mentally and strategically; rather than knowing their goals or capacity upfront, I’m mostly interested in understanding what they believe about themselves.
Take someone who works 70 hours a week, hasn’t worked out in twenty years, eats mostly on the run, sleeps minimally and caffeinates maximally, has a strained marriage, limited social outlet and no long term goals. Could you start to imagine what someone like this believes about themselves?
Believe it or not, in most settings, this “not so fictitious” person would start off by setting goals and working out, even though the majority of their needs aren’t physical. Here’s the deal, people come to me to enhance their Body but their Mind holds them back and their Spirit suffers. Our industry needs to start treating people and not their waistlines.
When you invest the time with someone and really sit down and actively listen, you start hearing their story, what they believe about themselves. At this point, they don’t need a workout or a meal plan; they need compassion, understanding and encouragement.
So where do I start? How on earth can I get someone who is living so far away from his or her Preferred Status to start living in that direction? I always start with love. Huh? Yep, love is all you need to get started.
Rather than telling them what to do, I start teaching them how to think. So I ask: “Do you believe you are more likely to reach your goals while operating from a space of love or fear?” Love, they say. Then I ask: “If we look at your Current Status and how you’re living your life, do we see any forms of self-love?” No, they say.
In an effort to find love in their life, I equip them with a question they can ask themselves anytime and anywhere: “What does love look like in this situation?”
Take working 75 hours per week…oftentimes, workaholics derive their value or self-worth by their performance and productivity but we can see that comes from a place of fear. In this situation, love is realizing that our work cannot affect our worth, so we leave early knowing regardless of what gets done, we’re still worthy of love and belonging.
Interestingly, as people start believing they are worthy of love, they start behaving that way. All of a sudden, the work schedule lessens, physically activity becomes a priority, home-cooking becomes the standard, late night TV is exchanged for a book and coffee’s replaced with a smoothie, there’s a spark in the marriage, you start developing friendships and they write a vision for their life…all of which are acts of love towards themselves.
So if you’re stuck in the middle of a life that is less than what you desire or deserve, ask yourself: “What does love look like in this situation?” and then behave yourself into becoming someone who believes they are worthy of love.