As a wellness coach, one of your favorite things is seeing how your support can make your clients’ lives better. Coaches tend to be the kind of people that love to give and thrive off of seeing how what they offer does for others. This can lead to coaches overgiving in their practice, however. Once you, as a wellness coach, start to feel like your boundaries aren’t quite what they should be, the next step is to consider how much you should give in your coaching practice.
Of course, your intentions are good. You just want to give your best to your clients and, just maybe, change a little bit of the world while you’re at it! Or you might be a newer coach and feel like you still need to prove yourself in your new career.
Lack of Boundaries in Your Coaching Practice
What does it look like when coaches are overgiving to their clients? First off, you might notice that you don’t have clear boundaries in place or, if you do, you don’t enforce them when working with clients. You might allow your coaching sessions to go way overtime. Or you might let your clients contact you at all hours, 24/7 with free access to you through phone, text, and email.
What’s Going On
You might feel that your value as a coach and maybe even as a person is dependent on how much you give your clients. This could come from the fact that you’re still getting established in your coaching practice. But it also might be a deeper issue for you to resolve. It might be that you struggle to value yourself as a person unless you are doing something for others.
It could be that you’re giving yourself too much to your clients and it also might be that you’re promising too many results to them. The kind of stress that those expectations put on you is heavy and overwhelming.
Why This Creates Challenges
What’s the harm in overgiving a little here and there? Or maybe you’re thinking that you need to put in a lot now in the beginning stages of your business to make sure you succeed. But is this really necessary?
Unfortunately, by overgiving, you create client expectations that your time and resources are unlimited and freely available. In their eyes, you become a bottomless well they can take from whenever they feel they need more help. This type of coaching style can drive you to exhaustion quickly. It also puts an overemphasis on coaching, taking you away from your business responsibilities like marketing and growth.
How do you create the best systems and boundaries that will support you so you can become the most effective coach that you can be?
Tips to Stop Overgiving as a Coach
1. Create your signature coaching system before you launch.
It’s really best to plan ahead for these situations before you ever launch your business, if possible. While you’re designing your coaching business, take the time to thoroughly think through and plan out all aspects of how you will help your clients. This is an excellent time to come up with your signature system and offering.
Design a system that is based on getting the best results for your clients and has boundaries baked into it. By creating structure, you’ll communicate confidence to your clients. You’ll also be able to create something that will get them results most efficiently. Make sure you know exactly what you’ll provide including how many sessions, interactions, emails, and which tools will be included. It’s best to get all the details planned out in as much depth as possible.
2. Set up boundaries from day one.
Really, your boundaries can even be clear on your website. Let your clients know specifics of what they will get when they work with you so they’re clear on how the coaching program will go. From the first contact, ensure that they have the specifics of when you are available for support, when and how long sessions will last, and how often they can expect to hear back from you by email or phone. By being clear from the start, your clients won’t develop unnecessary expectations or get frustrated with you. They’ll know exactly what to expect.
3. Focus on one problem at a time.
When you’re working with a client, make sure to keep the focus of your help on one problem at a time. If clients start worrying about all the things they feel like they need help with, they’re more likely to get frantic and cross boundaries. Just keep things simple and focused to make sure your sessions are the most effective. By modeling focus in your practice, you’ll also help them to learn that calm focus is the best way to move forward with anything in life.
4. Let go of guilt and be strong.
Even when you have clear boundaries, you still might have a client that doesn’t automatically keep to those boundaries. They might feel like they need more or reflect their personal issues into your coaching relationship. When you gently remind them of your system and boundaries, it might feel hard for you at first.
For those of us who have a history of overgiving, it can be really hard to stop that cycle and respect a boundary that we’ve created. It might make you feel guilty at first. Take some time to create affirmations and reminders that can help you step out of the guilt and re-empower yourself. Remember that healthy relationships are built on balance and with appropriate levels of giving. Work on your guilt so that you can get to a place of confidence in your boundaries.
Happy coaching practice balancing!