#263: Unpacking Health Coach Overwhelm

ep263-unpacking-health-coach-overwhelm

Getting tripped up by ALL THE THINGS? It’s really common for health coaches to feel overwhelmed. Michelle has personal experience here – so this week she unpacks what overwhelm is all about and how to work through it like a pro.

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Unpacking Health Coach Overwhelm

Are you feeling constantly in the weeds? Getting tripped up by ALL THE THINGS? I get it. Overwhelm is real.

You need to stop spinning out and get your feet on the ground so you can make real progress in your business.

The real roots of overwhelm

I have tips. I have reframes. We’ll get to that.

BUT.

We have to start with why we do this to ourselves in the first place.

No one is forcing you to do another certification, right? No one’s telling you to get your website finished this week OR ELSE.

If you’re overwhelmed, you’re doing it to yourself.

Ever wonder why you’re always in the weeds?

Real talk: maybe it’s because being constantly overwhelmed with tasks is letting you avoid the stuff you’re scared of. . . like putting yourself out there. Working with clients. Really leaning into your business.

Think on that for a little bit.

Before we get into the tips, take a deep breath and assure yourself that you’re where you need to be. You’re enough. And it’s OK to be new at something.

Feel better? Good. Now on to my two best tips to ditch the overwhelm.

First, know your priorities

If a client told you their goal was to eat perfectly all the time, well, that’s a lot. It’s nebulous, and honestly, not very motivating.

If they told you their priority was to be more present with their family, though, that could really fuel their efforts (perfection not required). Priorities matter.

So think about it: what is your priority in your business?

Keep that front and center. Run everything on your to-do list through that filter. If it doesn’t support your current priority, it’s a distraction. Let it go for now.

Here’s how I learned that lesson. When my youngest was a baby, he’d nap for thirty minutes. That’s it. So I had just a few half-hour blocks per day. I had to know what single thing I was going to accomplish in that window.

If it wasn’t a priority, it wasn’t getting done, end of story. That taught me how to prioritize. And I still use that skill.

To stay on track, check in with your priorities daily, weekly, and monthly (they can and will change!). And be ruthless with that list.

Then, make peace with good enough

I was just talking with one of our Fast Track members, Susan. She was overwhelmed trying to build her mailing list. She already had an email service and a freebie to give away— but she was getting stuck trying to make a seamless setup integrated with her website.

Trying to make it perfect was tripping her up on something she could probably get done “good enough” in a day.

What if you stopped looking for perfection? Ask yourself, how can I get it done in a simpler way? Or, if I had to finish it today, how could I do it? Let that be good enough.

Sometimes B-minus work is ok: it’s done, you pass, and you can move on to the next thing.

No one has it all figured out

I’ve seen inside a lot of businesses, from solo health coaches just starting out to Fortune 500 companies. And none of them are perfect, no matter how shiny the exterior looks.

So ditch the overwhelm. Take your time, give yourself some grace, and don’t worry about the rough edges. Figure out what matters right now, and do it good enough. Everything else can wait.

Buh-bye, overwhelm. Hello, progress.


Full transcript:

All right. Hello there, health coaches, welcome to the show. Today we are unpacking the overwhelm that I've been hearing from so many health coaches lately. Is it you just like hand up? If you have been experiencing that overwhelming feeling, we you're just in the weeds. This is not a new phenomenon. Even though it feels like in the past week or two I've been hearing about it a lot.

It is a tale as old as time. Now, before we dive in, if you are looking to add more clients to your practice, I wanna invite you to check out our Healthy Profit University blueprint. It is available@healthcoachpower.com slash blueprint. It is entirely free and it is available now. So again, that is healthcoachpower.com/blueprint because it is always less overwhelming when you actually have a map to follow or a blueprint in front of you.

Now when I think about overwhelm, I was thinking back to when I was in college. I started college as a physical therapy major, if you can believe it. Later graduated with a degree in art, go figure. But anyway, I was there on a full academic scholarship. I don't know how often I share this story. So that meant that I had to take all these honors classes,
I had to maintain a certain GPA. I also had to work because even though my tuition was covered, I needed spending money. I needed clothes, I needed money for spring break, I needed books, all the things. So I always had two or three jobs going at the same time. And then freshman year my roommate talked me into doing sorority rush and we ended up pledging,
which I never thought I would do. And it added a whole lot more to my plate. Social events, you know, parties, community service, you name it. That is when I bought a planner for the very first time. I don't know if you can remember when you said I need a planner and you went to like, I went to the Franklin Covey store at the mall and bought one of those leather bound planners for the very first time.

I had my schedule down to the minute and realized I could accomplish so much that way. And that's the only time in my life that my period ever skipped due to stress. So, that tells you something. It was sort of the beginning of my personal health journey all stemming from the need to do all the things and keep up and be perfect and get it right.

Does any of that sound familiar? Because I think this is really close to how health coaches often feel. Yeah, we wanna do all the things, we wanna keep up, we wanna be perfect, we wanna get it right. It's a lot. Tell me if you're here live, on a scale of one to 10, how overwhelmed have you been feeling?

10 is the most one. Not at all. Go ahead, put it in the chat. I know there are so many moving parts that come with starting a business and you wanna get them all right. However, you've probably also noticed that the more you keep adding to your plate, the more you keep adding to your plate, right? You're doing an extra certification program who right now is enrolled in some type of gut health certification, hormone health certification, functional medicine training, right? You're doing additional trainings, you're building your website, you're sitting for the national boards, you're trying to figure out various technology tools going down rabbit holes every day. Maybe you're enrolled in some of my courses, which I love, but maybe you're starting to trip over yourself. Yeah, trying to keep up with it all.

Kimberly says 10, Kara gave an 11 plus. Okay, I get it today. Let's talk about the reality of this business. Maybe it's a little bit of a part two from last week's episode. 'cause that was also very much the reality of this business. I have plenty of tips, I have plenty of reframes to share. They're gonna help calm down this overwhelm.

However, I think we have to start with why we do this to ourselves. Yeah, why? Let's look at it. I'm guessing, correct me if I'm wrong, that nobody has a gun to your head forcing you to get that next level certification right now. Or you know, you've gotta complete your website this week or else like that's not the situation.

But yet still we want to do all the things and I think like that's who we are. Some people in the world cope with life by kind of zoning out. You know, these people they disassociate in various ways. Maybe it's alcohol even or drugs or they just kind of, hmm, go blank. Don't get involved. Try not to do much.

I know in college there were plenty of examples of that. Lots of students were like that. Not me. I don't zone out. And I'm gonna make a sweeping generalization here that most health coaches don't either. 'cause we do a different thing when when we're presented with a lot, we're like, yep, I'm gonna figure this out. I'm gonna do the extra research.

And this is probably, at least in my case, I know I solved my own health issues by doing this. And I think a lot of us arrived here as health coaches because we are helpers. We take on the projects, we get involved, you know, we lean in this resonate at all because I think we tend to lean in so far that it's inevitable that we're gonna tumble into overwhelm.

That tends to be the personality type that dominates this industry. And I think just like when I was in college, I think we do it because we are deeply afraid that we are not enough. So we need another certification, right? We're not enough right now. Let me get another cert. We need a website to prove that we are professionals because we are mired in imposter syndrome.
So there's that. We load up with the tools and the courses and the learning because if we're doing all the things, if we are so busy and we're learning so much, then we, we must be enough. You know, question mark. And staying stuck and overwhelm is helpful in a way because it means that, well we can't possibly take on too many clients right now or maybe none at all.
We can't possibly put ourselves out there in a meaningful way or do the work that sometimes we are terrified to do. Or take that next real step because that's all really scary. So we're safe over here under the cover of taking on too many courses and overwhelming ourselves with to do. And it kind of keeps us from all that stuff that we're actually terrified of.

Let's pause, let's breathe in and breathe out. Part of what I wanna share with you today are practical tips for managing your growing business. And part of what I wanna share with you today is saying if you're overwhelmed, you are doing it to yourself and you're likely doing it for a reason. Like it is serving you in some way, otherwise you wouldn't do it.
So figure that out first. How is my overwhelm serving me? How's that for a journaling prompt? How is my overwhelm serving me? And that's going to be your key to overcoming it. It's just like any habit. You know, we're humans. We do things to keep ourselves feeling safe and secure. But if you can assure yourself that you are safe and you are secure and it's okay to be new at something,
you're building a new business, you know? And of course building a business takes time and that's okay. You might just find that extra breathing space. How does that feel, Kara at 11 plus? How does that feel, Kimberly at a 10 or Adu who's here and also gave a 10? It's so important that we take this step back and look at why are we doing this?

How can we give ourselves some space? Because we all know doing 100 things at a time at once, right? It's gonna backfire. You are not gonna get anywhere any faster. Your business isn't gonna grow any faster. You're not gonna have more clients because you're pushing yourself to the edge and then some. So when you're ready and when you're breathing...
Kara says, so far this has lowered her anxiety a little bit. Okay, lowered that overwhelm. Let's turn that list of 100 things into something that's more manageable. I mean, if you're here live with me, go ahead and tell me in the chat what are the things that are overwhelming you? What are the things that are getting you to a 10, to an 11 plus with your overwhelm levels?
I bet you have a list like this long and I have lists and I have lists of lists and lists within lists. Trust me, I think it really boils down to two things. The first is knowing your priorities and keeping that top of mind. The second is becoming okay with, and I'm gonna give you massive permission today to do good enough work.

Any moms here? Sometimes moms have heard of this concept of the good enough mother and it's kind of the same thing. The good enough health coach, the good enough entrepreneur, the good enough marketer, good enough. I often talk about this with my HPU members. We talk about doing B minus work, B minus. Because that means you've done it and it's pretty good, it's good enough, it's passing, but you haven't strived for that A plus so long and tried to be so perfect with everything that then you actually get nothing done. Right? We all know that feeling. So these two things are what I wanna talk about. One is knowing your priorities. Two is doing enough, I'm sorry, doing good enough work.

Kimberly's got a hand raised and Kara says, good enough gets it out the door. That's right. But can we practice that? It's easy to say to somebody else, right? I just, just before this, just before I came on live to do today's episode, I had to record a video for a project that we're doing. And so I recorded it and then I thought, oh I could do it better. But then I looked at the clock and I said, that's good enough and we're gonna send it off to get edited just as is. And I have built my business that way I think out of necessity. 'cause you know I've created this whole business of mine as a health coach. I was trying to do the work, trying to market myself, trying to find clients and at the same time I had babies, then I had two little babies and they were napping and they were crying and they were nursing. So when I had time to do something just like today, a little bit of time before this video to record that one thing, that was it. We just had to roll with it.

So I encourage you to embrace the good enough and get it out the door just like Kara is saying here. So let's talk about priorities. It's very similar to when we speak with our clients because if your client's priority is to eat, I don't know, perfectly balanced meals every day and have perfect health, whatever that even means, that's a lot. And it's also not very motivating 'cause it's nebulous.

But when if your client instead says, well my priority is to be really present with my family, that's so much more motivating, right? That's really gonna fuel his or her efforts to make the necessary changes. And they don't have to be perfect. They don't have a perfectly balanced diet in order to be more present with their family. But maybe it means drinking less caffeine, drinking less alcohol, you know, whatever it is. So what is your priority in your business? What is your priority in your business? And when you can keep that in mind, then everything on your to-do list has to get run by that filter. Because if your priority really truly is like you wanna get your website built this week, well guess what?

Don't be tuning into this podcast right now. Go get your tushy over there and build your website. This has become a distraction, right? If you're one thing that you wanna get done is you're going to email your list. Well, if you're suddenly sucked into building your website, that's not helping you email your list. So I'm gonna ask you every day, every week, every month to examine the priorities in your business and then your to-do list. It's like you know a sieve. It's like when you're strain pasta or something, you're gonna put it through that filter and only if it helps support your priorities, are you gonna keep it on the list? Everything else can wait. And sometimes when things wait and wait and wait, I've noticed we eventually just cross them off the list because we don't actually care about them that much at all. Some, some. Sometimes I have things that sit on my to-do list for like six months, eight months, a year. And then I'm like, you know what? Let's get rid of that one and that, that, that's good. That means it didn't make the cut priority wise.

So again, I think having babies really helped me become a better business woman. And you don't often hear that, do you? We always hear about how being a mom is hard when you're also trying to run a business. But I'm gonna tell you that it gave me skills I didn't have before. 'cause here's what I would do when my little guy, I remember when Danny was a baby and he'd take a nap. God love him, he'd sleep for 30 minutes and that's it. Anybody else have 30 minute nappers? Well I got a couple 30 minute naps a day when he was little and that's when I would get some work done for my fledgling health coaching business. So that's a very short period of time.

I had a list of things that I wanted to get done and every day I'd prioritize. And I would circle one thing on that list, just one. 'cause in 30 minutes, you know you're really not gonna get much more than one thing done. And I told myself, if I could just get this one thing done today, it would feel like a success.

And as soon as that kiddo went down for his nap, boom, here I am. I know exactly what I'm working on because I have decided in advance what the priority is for the day. I'm not fiddling around with my website or Facebook or whatever I'm doing that one important task. I called it my hit list. So you can do this no matter what your situation is.

If you have limited time to work, when you sit down to work, you wanna know what that thing is. That number one thing is that has to get done and you're going to be able to feel like you're making progress. You will be making progress as opposed to getting lost in that whole crazy list of things. Okay? So that's something I would do on a daily basis.

Circle that one priority. And then on that weekly basis, look at the whole list. What doesn't belong there anymore? What do you need to add? You know, priorities are constantly changing. And I definitely used to do this on paper, but it's a whole lot easier if it's something that you're doing with some sort of document on your computer screen or on your phone.
'cause then it's really easy to reorder things and you won't have nearly as much scribbles and circles and arrows as I did. Okay? So priorities, that's it. Some weeks your priorities not going to be your business. Careful with this one. If you are running a business, there's really not too many weeks that it can't be a priority. But every now and then it happens.

And that's okay too. You have to say, it's okay, I'm not going to, I'm deciding to not do these things this week because someone in my family is sick because I am sick because I am on vacation for the first time all year, right? These are all good examples of when you're gonna prioritize something else. But if you can start there, you'll no longer be plagued with all 100 things on your list at the same time. Just one or two. Alright? So today earlier I was having a call with one of our fast track members from 2023. Susan and Susan, if you're listening, thank you. 'cause you were just like so perfectly aligned with the episode that I had planned for today on overwhelm.

'Cause this is exactly what Susan said to me. She's like, I am in the weeds. And she started listing off all the things that she was thinking about and worrying about and trying to figure out. And she was talking about one of the things she was talking about was her lead magnet or her freebie. And so if you don't know what that means, it's very, very helpful in building a mailing list to offer something for free in exchange for an email address. Get my free guide, get my free checklist, get my free recipe book, you know, whatever it is. Great. So with that, there's a couple bits of technology involved. You have to build that thing. You need an opt-in page where you say, get my free guide, enter your email address here, right? You've all seen pages like this and then you have to deliver it. So there's a couple pieces here. Now Susan has the step-by-step because she took part in our fast track program, she's got all the tutorials, she knows what she has to do, but it was like, oh, but I have my website on, you know, this platform and they have this other service for lead magnets and I have to connect this to that and I don't know how to do it and I don't know how it works. So she was trying to make it like the perfect setup for her freebie.

And this is where we often get stuck because we're like, I I, I mean if I'm gonna do it, I wanna make it right, you know, I wanna do it the right way. But then I want you to remember my voice in your head saying, good enough. Just do it good enough. Just get something done. Right? B minus work. And so we talked about how maybe what Susan could do is forget about her website.

All you need, by the way, all you need for an opt-in page is an email, an email provider like MailChimp or ConvertKit or MailerLite. And Susan has one of these. In fact, she already created a page like this. So all she has to do is duplicate the page, change the headline, maybe change a picture or two. And it's essentially done.

Is it gonna be connected to her website? No. Is it the end of the world? No. She will have something now that she can give away for free in order to build her mailing list, right? Because if that's the goal, to build her mailing list, okay, boom, now we have something. Now we can worry about integrating it with her website another time.

Maybe when she gets a little more comfortable with that platform. As soon as you start trying to mix like two, three different technologies together, oh my Lord, that is a recipe for overwhelm right there. So how can I get it done in a more simple way? How can I get it done? Period. That's a good thought Exercise whenever you have a project,
if I had to get it done like today, if I had to get it done in some way as quickly as possible, what would that look like? And is that good enough? And we decided, yeah, that would be good enough. So now Susan's like, oh yeah, I can get that done by the end of the week. Of course she can.

So all the stuff she was worrying about didn't need to be there good enough. And to really drive that point home, you know, it's funny because we wanna get it perfect, we want to do it exactly right, but even when you think you have, oftentimes it's still not exactly right. Like, and I'm gonna use the example of my own website.

You know, I spent an awful lot of money building my website a couple years ago and we put a lot of work into it, put a lot of money into it. It was a big, big project. I hired a copywriter to help me out. I mean it was a whole thing. And here we are just about three, maybe four years later, and I told my project manager today, I'm like, my about page is garbage. It's so old, it's outdated, I hate it. So there's an example of putting all this energy and resources into doing something quote right or perfect or getting it done exactly the way you want it. And then just a short period later, 'cause I've been feeling this way for a while, that page became outdated probably within a year. So suffice to say, even when you have something just right, it's not gonna stay that way. It's never set in stone. Things are always changing. You know, like you think you have your health figured out and you always eat like the same breakfast every day and you're like, yep, this is just what I do all done.

I got it all sorted. But your health changes too, right? So sometimes we have to change what we're eating, how we're moving because we're getting older and our bodies are changing and our circumstances are changing. So just like that, your business is going to grow and in an organic way, whether you like it or not. So all the more reason, if you're writing some about page copy today for your website, write it, do a good job, do a good enough job, get it up. 'cause you're probably gonna be redoing it again in another six months, 12 months. Anyway, I've been inside enough businesses, health coaching businesses, even other businesses, tangential to health coaching that I have the pleasure of working with some of our partners.

Even back when I used to work in advertising, the advertising agency itself, plus all of our various clients and meeting with them. I can tell you this for sure, no one has it all figured out. Even big shiny fortune 500 corporations. It's always a little bit messy and it's always just kind moving along. It's never perfect. What you see on the outside is a shiny facade.

Like, I don't think you probably went to my website the last time you were there. If you've ever been there and thought, wow, this is really terrible. You know, you don't see that. You see the shiny facade, but I know from the inside it's not what I want on the website anymore. And some of like my clients, like I remember working on the Oral B account, the Ocean Spray account. I mean, when you hear what was going on inside their companies and their departments and their internal politics and things like that, you realize, oh, it all looks so perfect on the outside. The ads all look so great. That does not mean that it's all buttoned up on the inside. And if it is, if there is a process, if there is something that's really streamlined in a company, it took a lot of time to get there. So please, you're just starting out. Give yourself some grace and don't worry about it. If it's a little bit messy, just keep getting it done. And if you're looking to add more clients to your practice, stop. You gotta stop running in circles, right? 'Cause that kind of frantic energy is attracting no one. You're trying to do all the things at once. You're overwhelmed. You're in that space. That is not client attraction mode whatsoever.

I wanna invite you to check out our Healthy Profit University Blueprint to see how it's done. And that's at healthcoachpower.com/blueprint. It is entirely free. It's available now. Again, that's healthcoachpower.com/blueprint and I will see you all next week. Thank you for joining me.