Wellness, Honesty, and Authenticity.

I sense when I speak with people about their wellness, that many of them are, up front, not honest about their entire situation. It's a double edged sword, because their capacity to be honest is often times impacted by what they perceive from me. Very tough it is, to ask someone to be upfront about something which essentially touches every part of their life.

Honesty.

When someone desires to lose weight, or eat better, or stress less, I tend think that they aren't fully aware of the nature of their request.They're asking to have their most secretive habits revealed. They're asking someone to judge them, from cover to cover, without bias. They're asking someone else to be honest with them. They're asking someone to peer into their private life, and rip apart all the things keeping them from reaching their goals.

They're asking someone to be honest with them.

As a wellness coach, it's not easy to extract the truth from a client. People just aren't comfortable with revealing those types of things. As a client, it's not easy telling someone about things that truly keep them from reaching their wellness goals. It's a mutual, symbiotic relationship, because the coach must learn to help without biased judgement, but the client must learn to reveal personal matters without bias for what the coach personally thinks about their behaviors.

Here's an example:

Clinician Rob : “OK Jane, what’s really keeping you from going to the gym?
Jane (in a pre-processed, robotic tone), replies, “Oh it’s just time. I just don’t have the time”.
Rob, sensing that something else is bothering Jane, probs Jane for more intel. “Jane, I’m going to ask you again. “What really keeps you from being around people?”
Jane: “I feel like everyone is staring at my legs and my arms, and it keeps me from dressing comfortably. It keeps me from going in public places with my arms and legs exposed. It keeps me from being relaxed. It keeps me from...well...being me.” My husband talks about my legs and arms all the time. I know he doesn’t’ like them. And he shouldn’t.

Ah. Now, we get to the heart of the matter. But a conversation like this can only happen with (yep, you guessed it) honesty! Inauthenticity is not honesty. If you, the clinician only show concern and aren't actually concerned with anything other than making money, you're not honest. If you, the client, are only concerned about the perception of others and therefore dampen the truth with fabricated stories of why you hate the gym, you, my dear, are not honest.

Action Point

We must meet each other in the middle. We must help each other. I would never write this post as if I've always acted in an authentic manner. I've gotten so busy with things, that I know I haven't given my best to people before. I know I've had negatively biased judgements about clients who smoke or binge eat or lie, or do many other things that I know will be tough to handle. But we all must get better - we all must demand better. For each other. For ourselves.

Honesty. It's still - and always will be - the best policy. Even in wellness.