Confidence & The Natural Health Professional
Many Different Reasons
Students come to us from all walks of life and for many different reasons. Some are young and gaining the skills to enter their first career. Others are now pursuing a passion for natural health that had been put on hold to raise a family. Still others are actively raising children (or grandchildren) and attempting to balance their studies with parenting and perhaps holding jobs outside of the home. While our military students experience frequently being uprooted which causes disruptive breaks in their studies. Fortunately, with our programs they have the ability to pick up where they left off.
It is common for some folks to begin their studies seeking to find answers to their own personal health crisis. There are also those who are caregivers for a loved one who has decided to refuse the benefit of natural remedies for the duration of their illness. Still, these students remain grounded in the belief that natural healing with herbs and gentle remedies is the best support of the body in its ability to heal, if not for their loved one, perhaps for someone else who will embrace it. They are absolutely right.
Quite a number of our students have already worked in the healthcare field. Once having gained a clear understanding of the industry’s strengths and weaknesses are wanting to understand the functional relationship between body systems and how gentle, yet powerful, non-invasive remedies foster the healing process and not simply disease maintenance.
These are some of the most common scenarios in a broad sense, yet there are as many different stories in totality as there are students.
Of these, there are students that graduate and immediately take flight applying their knowledge and quickly building a clientele. They seem to give no thought to their ability to “fly”. They just believe they can, and they do. It is quite a sight to behold.
Yet others struggle with a myriad of doubts and concerns. Do I really know enough? Will people listen to me? Can I possibly help someone? As an introvert, how do I convince people I can help them? I don’t yet “look” the part, will people trust me to help them? I’m still working on my own health issues, will anyone believe I am capable? …and on and on.
Often there are a number of themes centered around self-doubt. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly expressed concerns.
I Struggle with My Confidence Because…
- I still have my own “uncured” disease or health condition
- I’m not perfect
- I don’t look “the part”
- My family refuses to take my advice. Who else would believe me?
- I’m not perfect
- I’m overweight
- I’m afraid to speak in public
- I’ve made previous “health” decisions that have harmed my children
- My experience is only in the medical profession
- I’m not perfect
- I’m not married
- I think I might be too old
- I’m not good enough
- I’m married
- I’m not smart enough
- I struggle with unhealthy lifestyle choices (addictions)
- I’m not perfect
- Insert your special disqualification here: _________________
All of the listed items above are legitimate concerns. However, none of them are good-enough reasons to derail our hopes and dreams. So here we find those suffering silently who just can’t get past their personal fears of unworthiness and private feelings of inadequacy. Are those feelings actually valid reasons for holding them back? Likely not.
Self-doubt is a powerful force that can hold us back from our dreams. It comes replete with constant reminders of our shortcomings and any shred of confidence we manage to gain takes a pummeling when we consider stepping out.
if you’re someone who suffers from self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy I’m gonna ask you to do something brave. Put on your greatest “inner warrior” and determine not to let self-doubt keep you from realizing your God-given dreams. Get ready?
So I want to take a moment and expose self-doubt for what it is …a coward that is full of fear. Just wait warrior, you’re gonna be all over this because the very thing self-doubt accuses you of (that list above) is the very thing that self-doubt is. You on the other hand are not self-doubt. If you see yourself as a player in this scenario, then perhaps you’ve been listening to its voice for much too long.
Self doubt can only appear strong when it remains hidden within you influencing your thoughts. Once it is exposed it loses its power. What is the power of self-doubt? In one word…
Bouncing around in our minds and our hearts, self-doubt wields paralyzing power. Worse than a discouraging roommate …and certainly not a topic shared by any of Dale Carnegie’s professionally trained presenters You know the type, they look a fabulous picture of health presenting no major health issues or bad habits.
Silence. Yes, that’s it. As long as these thoughts remain unspoken, they will remain unaddressed. A modern-day poet wrote about silence and its power to restrain our life vision.
The Sound of SilenceWords and Music Written by Paul Simon
Verse I ~
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains, within the sound of silence…
Verse 5 ~
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence”
Reflecting upon these words I was taken aback by that last verse. Here the author describes the homage paid to ‘silence’ and how the voices and dreams of many are being squelched. I wonder if anyone besides me can relate?
Break the Silence.
Now is the time to speak out about your dream. Now is the time to believe. It is great to have a vision, because we need to set goals to get ourselves there. If you need help setting goals read this blog to learn how:
If you recognize self-doubt it is critically important to do so that you may realize your dream. Share that dream and the doubts you are having with someone. Be brave. BREAK THE SILENCE! Find someone to share with! There are many people who will listen and be encouraging. In any case take action and break its power. However, once spoken, you may be surprised at how fast self-doubt retreats.
When I hear all the talents, interests and visions of the students I speak with I am absolutely amazed at how different each one is. Like snowflakes, no two people and no two dreams are alike. It is so incredibly beautiful. So don’t let a lack of confidence ruin your whole day, or week, or year, or life. Work with the talents that you have and continue to build yourself up in areas that are lacking. Don’t try be a mirror image of someone else. That just no fun and someone’s already done that.
The world doesn’t need two of any of us. What it does need is for you to be the very best you that you can be. You will reach people that others never could. Likewise, this is true for each of us, but only if we refuse to pay homage to the silence of those things that hold us back.
In order to see ourselves accurately we need to know what we can do. So without being hypercritical or getting into a funk, analyze your personal strengths and weakness. Remember, you have both! We all have both. So make sure to list items under both the ‘strengths’ category and the ‘weakness’ category.
Celebrate Your Strengths!
Focus on who you are and what you can do and not just on those things you are not – or are not… yet. We’ll get to those in a moment.
Any student that is learning about natural healing is already increasing in strength and knowledge. Experience helps it all come together. It is normal to be a little jittery in the beginning. Don’t worry if all the pieces don’t fit right away. If you persist, eventually they will.
We can use our journey as part of our testimony:
“I am not yet who I want to be. but I am also not what I would have been if I had not begun making changes. By actively using these tools, I have accomplished this“… (and name your victories). Talk about the struggles you have had and the obstacles you’ve overcome.
People relate to the struggle and they will trust your honesty. More still, they will hope that you will have compassion for them because you have faced difficulties. …and you will.
Next. Take Action.
Meanwhile, turn your weaknesses into strengths! Skills can be gained. So where you believe you are lacking, do some extra work. For instance the person who struggles with public speaking could join Toast Masters International. It is a free club that provides speaking opportunities and offers constructive feedback. If you are interested visit their website and find a club in your area or a group that meets online.
If the thought of interviewing clients brings on anxiety, then ask friends or a sympathetic family member to sit in. At the end let them critique you. Although it’s not always easy to be on the receiving end, honest criticism is extremely beneficial. This has helped me to be a much better interviewer – giving my clients what they need, and not too much.
For those with physical issues, whatever they may be. Having the perfect body or being disease-free is not a prerequisite for helping people. While it’s true that some people are judgmental, much of your business will come from referrals. Once you begin to help others they will talk and your business will grow.
Still, each of us should be actively engaged in becoming a better “ME”. For some of us, we may need the help of another health professional to walk with us in our journey for awhile. This can be a great learning experience as well as a healing one. It’s not just about being smart enough to learn all the answers for our clients. Walking a similar path to that of our clients will be very enlightening and the tips and tricks we gain are incredibly helpful. Do or will you require your clients to keep a food diary? Then keeping one yourself for months on end will give you a good idea of what some folks will need for encouragement along the way.
Is family less than encouraging? Sadly, just about every natural health professional deals with this in some form or other. Family are often the most difficult people to help. After all, they’re older and “wiser”, a witness to some of the shear dumbest things we’ve ever done, know how to “push our buttons”, and a host of other things. Even so, we love them.
Still, when we want to break out of the box, it’s hard to work within those well-established boundaries set for us as children. It is wonderful if we gain our family’s support. But if not, it is only as limiting as we allow it to be. Stay humble, take courage and press on.
Surround yourself with those people who are supportive and give ample space between yourself and those who are not. Don’t let them drain the strength and momentum that you need to accomplish your goals. When we love our family members we must respect (not agree with) their decisions for their health. Given the space they need, sometimes down-the-road they will seek us out, and then sometimes they will let us help them. In my experience, it their initial coming to me has always on their terms and never on mine. – I direct the path to healing, they have to do the work, just as any client would. The initial coming to me for help is always determined by them.
For those living a stressed-out life, finding it impossible to balance family, work, school and everything else, learn and apply stress-reduction techniques to your own life. What herbs do you find effective? How do prayer and meditation help? Why is exercise important? What things, not so much? Why is sleep foundational to good health? How do you get good sleep. All these things and more, are the important life lessons learned in your journey all the while getting a holistic education. NONE of it is wasted!
Your clients will deal with just as much stress and self-doubt. In time you will find that your recommendations, having been hard-earned for you, will be delivered with compassion and conviction, not simply intellect. You will feel the right amount of pressure to use in the delivery – not too little to be ignored and not too much to overwhelm.
Perfection is stagnation. Your clients won’t need a perfect example, they need someone who can identify with them and the hindrances they face to getting well. They need to be met where they are at. They need to be given creative and manageable goals that will get them right where they need to be. They need your help and encouragement to feel successful along the way. So ask yourself, what did you learn (or are learning) on your journey to a healthier you? How did you clear your obstacle to healing? Have you arrived at perfection? Nope, but you’re on your journey to excellence! …and you’re further now than you used to be.
There is a theme in all of this. The excellence that we find in our own personal journey, offers those golden nuggets to be shared with others. Things that can really make a difference. If we only became ‘perfect’, then most of our clients would find true health (like perfection) to be unattainable. So let’s teach them to be their best THEM while we are learning to be our best MEs and leave images of perfection to the television health guru pseudo-personalities.
Rest assured, that experience will come with practice. Meanwhile, let us set our hearts on being excellent each day of our journey. While true confidence comes with experience, you can do a lot to bolster that in areas that you see room for improvement.
“The one who says it cannot be done~Chinese Proverb
should not interrupt the one doing it.”
What is confidence, if it is not believing in ones-self? So as you can see, there is no need to worry. Simply take stock, take action, and trust yourself. You got this thing!