...could be conditioning their clients to endure "two steps back."
Everyone intuitively and experientially knows that change is a process of taking three steps forward and two steps back.
It's naive to think everyone enjoys taking forward steps because that's not always the case. If your client subconsciously believes she doesn't deserve success, realize she will energetically manifest that reality to match her belief. All the while, your intellectual encouragement to "stay focused" will fail to penetrate her emotional armor.
If you can't create success in her mind first, it makes no sense whatsoever to rush towards tactics. All premature action is, well, untimely, unenjoyable, unrewarding, unsustainable, and unproductive--truly a waste of time.
Instead of taking her to the exercise floor, help her understand how strategies (planning & preparing) differ from tactics (implementation & execution), her thoughts influence emotions (and vice versa), beliefs drive behaviors, experiences shape worldviews, and changing behaviors is much less important than changing consciousness. As you work through the mental gymnastics of these types of conversations, you'll encounter the Resistance that precedes all of her protective behavior.
Once she's ready, you'll then need to manage her expectations around the humiliation of failure, taking "two steps back." By this point, hopefully, you can see why so few clients reach their goals, it's an emotionally layered and complex process. Though painful, setbacks are necessary, otherwise:
- Change initiatives would be a straight line, we would become bored, and completely disconnect from and become unenthused with the journey.
- There would be no joy associated with transformation as the conflicting emotions are what give joy meaning: anger, sadness, anxiety, etc.
- There would be no experience of the tension of "this may work or this may not," and we would fail to develop skill-sets such as resilience, humility, and wonder
Your goal as a fitness professional is not to help clients become successful. What?! No, your goal is to help them fail successfully. Then, success is simply a matter of time, and that will give your clients the capacity to find peace within the unfolding mystery of change.
"No problem can be solved from the consciousness that created it." Albert Einstein