I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what I do. When I describe it, some people seem surprised to see a passion for both career and health coaching while others realize how interrelated the two are.
One commonality I've noticed is that in both areas, I see “analysis paralysis” because of a tendency to rely a lot on other people and sources for making decisions instead of turning inward.
I see this in career coaching when people ask everyone (including Google) to tell them what to do with their lives. They’re left with a million opinions that are all based on the values of the people giving the advice. Every person has a different perspective because of their differing values and that, coupled with using the interwebs to get advice, leads to lots of conflicting information and overwhelm.
In health coaching, this shows up when my clients try to follow all of the latest diet and fitness trends. The recommendations from one source are typically the opposite from another (For example: Fat is your friend! Fat is the devil!) and can lead to instant confusion and frustration. While there's a lot of good information out there, a lot of it assumes that what worked for one person will work identically for another and ignores the important concept of bio-individuality.
This makes sense when you think about how we’re typically taught about wellness – we often eat the way our families or the government has told us to, based on their traditions or definitions of healthy. With exercise, many people stick with the sports that were required in school or the general guidelines given by medical providers or social media.
So, what do I recommend people do differently?
The answer in both cases is essentially the same:
Stop. Slow Down. Breathe. Turn Inward.
In career coaching, I always advocate for people to make decisions based on their internal drivers. Specifically, using their VIPS (values, interests, personality, and skills) to guide them can increase their likelihood of being satisfied with their jobs. Many people come to me when they’re finally ready to do this. They admit that they've had a nagging feeling in their gut all along that something was off, but they just followed the advice or expectations others put upon them.
In health coaching, I help people learn how to quiet the noise and chaos of the wellness world. I share ways to pay attention to not only what they eat, but also the way they eat it, and how they feel afterwards. I also encourage them to find the type of movement they actually enjoy.
When people change things up and eat the foods they feel nourished by, and exercise in the ways that their individual body craves, they're much more likely to continue than when they just go through the motions of following what they've been told they're "supposed” to do.
This may sound so obvious, but can you think back on a time when you behaved differently than this? Maybe it’s still going on in some areas of your life today?
These are just two examples of how I see people tune out what their intuition has to say about the career move that will make them happiest or the foods that actually make them feel good. By solely looking externally, people get so much more overwhelmed by all of the options available and that’s often what makes them too afraid to make changes or take any action.
Though career and health coaching are indeed very different, in both areas I help people slow down, cut through all of the information overload, and see that it really can be as simple as turning inward to find the answers. It all comes back to asking the right questions and taking the time to do the work.