My fitness career started 20 years ago, in 2003. When I think about why it started, how it got started, and how it goes, I become more aware of what I wish I had known from the start. At the time I graduated, I didn’t realize that you only graduate with a degree – not a job. The degree symbolizes your commitment and success in a particular field of study…what comes next is up to you. My hope in sharing these reflections is twofold: First, the messages will resonate with some of you who are veterans of the industry. Second, that what I share may guide a new professional as they begin their unique journey forward. Here, I share 12 lessons I wish I knew 20 years ago.
- Harmony value. I started this journey thinking if I only knew the science, the pieces would fall into place. This is only half true. Relationship is the basis of everything we do – not science. Our knowledge of science guides us forward in program design; However, there are no programs to design if we do not prioritize building relationships with those we serve first.
- Network strength. Nobody achieves success alone. The work we do with clients requires a team approach. You are more successful when you surround yourself with people who have different talents and ranges than you bring to the table. Not only does this benefit you, but this also elevates your customers’ experiences with you.
- Reviews are not always the first priority. I realized after a few years of my experience that I can cure all of them a movement as an evaluation without subjecting the client to a full range of evaluations. evaluation The selection should be deliberate as well as purpose-driven and take into account the skills, capabilities and history of the client’s activity.
- Limit setting value. I, like many, was eager to get started and “do everything well”. Here’s where I got off track. You can either do it all or do it well. I guess you want to do it well over doing everything. Set limits, which include when you will be available to customers (response time, how you will communicate, etc.). You cannot be available 24/7/365 and succeed; You will achieve little more than fatigue and diminished interest in your work. Set aside your time to recharge and consider that time “non-negotiable”.
- Programming to heal. I naively thought that if you asked clients to stretch and recover, they would. I have learned, long after what I have to learn, that I need to include these elements in their programs and provide them with dynamic recovery at home and mobility and stability exercises. I also knew that I needed to guide them through an active recovery period at the end of each session.
- Abandoning the plan is OK. Customers’ motivation can be diminished just as much as ours. They come to us with their stresses, stories, celebrations and concerns. Some days, it’s okay to cancel the session you’ve planned and engage in a walk and talk or a relaxing yoga session. It’s still a movement and is, at times, just what both of you need.
- Impostor syndrome is common. For the longest time, I doubted my “sufficiency” and forgot that I had so much to offer the industry, my clients, the educated, my family and my friends. I started viewing these questionable moments as opportunities to learn and enhance my knowledge and skills.
- Every coach needs a coach. Yes, we are experts in our fields, with strong qualifications and cultures. But we still need a support system that can help us identify and change the habits and behaviors that may be holding us back from achieving the best version of who we want to be. Looking for a guide. I started directing for this reason and it is honestly one of the best parts of my career.
- Do what scares you. I am much more introverted than I am extroverted, so it takes tremendous energy and courage to put myself out there. The idea of applying at a national conference or at a live webinar is terrifying at first. But I’ve learned to get ahead, you must challenge yourself and be willing to challenge whatever scares you. Use this energy as good energy to propel you forward. It leads to amazing places.
- Business knowledge is a must. We are scholars of commerce and education. However, running your own business is uniquely challenging. Take time to learn how to do it and how to do it well. Make business classes part of your continuing education plan.
- motivational interviews It is a necessary skill. Learn about this tool. Use this tool. Doing so will help you orient your client in a way that makes them travel confident and capable along their journey of change.
- Trust your brilliance. I found that many of the challenges I once faced were due to my lack of the necessary ingredient for success – confidence. Even though I had two high-quality degrees and a certificate, I somehow felt unprepared and found ways to question myself instead of following my instincts and believing in my skills. You are not expected to know everything – this is not realistic. First, trust your knowledge and be comfortable with the fact that you won’t always know what to do or the “correct” answer. Second, commit to learning more as you advance in your professional role and experience and share your experience with your clients: Finally, if you find yourself wondering as I did, conduct a SWOT analysis to remind yourself of your strengths and identify opportunities to expand skills and improve knowledge.
The list of “what I wish I knew then” goes beyond these twelve lessons, but these are the ones that I consider the most valuable. Embracing the knowledge I gained from these lessons has shaped and enhanced my career more than any degree. Experience is the hardest teacher, but it is also the most honest. Be open to learning and growing in ways you least expect, and you’ll soar strong.