1. ‘I’m empty I must not be good enough.’
Sound familiar? I felt this at the start, but you know what? Until I’d seen a good number of clients, I didn’t have any info to determine how good or bad I was. Turns out I delivered value even at the start, but I was only going to know that if I put myself out there and found clients. That’s the test of this.
It’s not how good you are at the start, it’s how easily can people find you!
2. ‘People don’t want my help.’
3. ‘I must have the wrong skill set.’
These two, while both are common, are really the same issue at heart. If we stay empty or are struggling for a while, we often decide that the problem is the type of help we offer – that it’s not what people want.
I fell for this emotional illusion too. I re-trained, and then was still quiet, so I got another skill set, still quiet, so I went even further in the skills I had, getting higher qualifications. At the end of it I had loads of skills that were not being used.
Until I told the world what I could do and how it helped, I stayed empty. When I did, I got busy!
4. ‘People must want a higher level qualification!’
This is a subset of the last two but no less damaging for that. I’ve seen people list their qualifications, talk about how long they studied, and write about the scientific or holistic support for their therapy at great length, while avoiding telling us what they work with.
Seriously. When we think about it, people need to know why they might be interested in us long before they will want to know how highly trained we are.
I recently saw a Psychologist close up office. All her info was about how she was a ‘real’ therapist with 7 years experience. Sadly she didn’t say what she helped people with: grief? Relationships? Anxiety? I simply don’t know.
If client aren’t saying it to your face, then we can’t assume it. Normally this is our fear not reality.
5. ‘I’m not experienced enough.’
6. ‘I need to be better before I put myself out there.’
If you don’t have some fear at the start there’s something wrong with you 🙂 Again though people raise these as different points they are the same issue.
I had this conversation over coffee with a colleague the other week. She’s a talented therapist who’s expanding to help more people with different issues. It really was a case of ‘how will you get more experienced before you see more clients?’ - ‘By starting and working with more clients!’ Yup.
It’s the only way. Start and do what you can. When you do this you develop more skill and ability with every hour worked. (By the way she helped someone the very next day who was in a bad way and needed someone straight away. Happy client and happy therapist.)
7. ‘What if somebody doesn’t change?’
This is massive and holds a lot of people back. Here’s the simple truth: some people won’t. However, most will in my experience.
Why do we think we have to have god-like powers? If someone needs to see a doctor and they have cancer, they will go to an Oncologist. What guarantee will that doctor give? Now, I have a lot of friends who are still alive because they went to Oncologists. If those doctors held back because not everyone will get well, that’s a lot of treatment that would be gone from the world.
I’ve taken a very mainstream example. One that most people look to if they need that sort of help. Here’s my question to you: Why do we feel we have to be held to a different standard?
Talking with hundreds of therapists in scores of methods used, the feedback is: most will work with us and try for change. Some won’t get change, but don’t let the fear of a bad result stop you from helping all those who can make a better life for themselves.
8. ‘What will people think?’
Usually we’re assuming people will think badly of us, but the reality often seems to be people value the life experience on top of the skills. In any case the only opinion that should matter is the one of the person in need. Who can you help? What difference will that help make to them?
Focus on the value of the change that is potentially there. This is what truly matters and giving it time can build motivation and success!
9. ‘I don’t have all my own issues sorted how can I talk about this?’
A wise man said to me some years ago ‘We don’t have to have our s**t sorted to help other people with theirs!’ He’s right.
If you needed help with something would you go to someone who understands it or someone who doesn’t?
That can be the way to look at it. To take the example of a Yoga Teacher I know who has mobility issues – they point out that in spite of their back injury, they are able to run their own Yoga business and help hundreds of people every year thanks to Yoga. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
I know a depressed Psychotherapist who has great results helping people out of depression. He says ‘I don’t know why mine won’t lift, but this understanding it gives me means I empathise and ‘get’ what people are going through and that helps me.’
Now of course there are some situations that would be a problem. A bankrupt ‘wealth coach’ might have some difficult questions, but even then there may be a good reason. For example ‘lost it all in a divorce’, ‘medical expenses ate it up,’ etc. Could all be examples of reasons that wouldn’t question ability even when a result is currently lacking.
Bottom line. We are where we are. Can you help somebody? That’s more important. Get moving!
10. ‘It’s not possible to earn a living at this.’
It doesn’t happen by magic. And it’s not just hard work. Loads of people work hard and see little reward. However, hard work combined with doing the right stuff makes all the difference.
Don't think about this in terms of what we have to do to find a client, but start looking at what a person who needs your help would have to see or hear to notice you, understand that you can help, and reach out for that help.
This shift in mindset is delivering success for therapists and coaches all over the world. It’s not magic, it’s doing the right things consistently.
Please keep sharing your help.
Have a great week,
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John Prendergast is an award-winning Success Coach and and Psycho-Trauma Anxiety Therapist.
He is also the Founder of Therapy and Coaching Success that specialises in helping Therapists, Coaches and other Wellness Practitioners, connect with those in need, build their diaries and earn the income they need.
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