By now we should all know that showing up and staying consistent in how we show up is key for a successful health coaching business. But let’s be honest, sometimes we’re not in the right headspace, or we’re feeling all the feels, or we’re in the thick of our health issues.
So, how can we actually show up when we’re not feeling our best?
This is one of the biggest questions we get asked. So I’ve invited Michelle Ellis to join me on this episode to deep dive into how we can show up for our people even when we’re not feeling it, when we’re too scared, or when we feel shame around sharing vulnerable parts of our lives.
At the end of the day, our clients need us to be human beings and to show up as we are because someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.
Connect with Michelle:
Rachel: Today, Michelle is back, and we are having this really open conversation about how to actually show up when you’re not feeling your best or when you’re in the thick of your health issues. Too often, we see coaches, even myself, feel shame around sharing very vulnerable parts of our life or parts of our journey, or things that may even be happening now.
I sent out this newsletter talking about going into one of the worst adrenal fatigues that I have gone through in my life. And if you struggle with adrenal fatigue that burnout and adrenal fatigue can come back so easily, especially if you’re not holding your boundaries.
Or maybe you’re dealing with a toxin load, your body is just full of those toxins, or you’re just dealing with mental health issues. What I realized after going through COVID and overworking, over-stressing, over running was that I got myself into a really bad stage of burnout and that led to depression.
How do you show up when you’re not feeling your best so that you have consistency in your business? This is one of the biggest questions that we get asked. And that’s why in today’s episode, we are deep diving into it.
So Michelle, talk to everyone here who’s listening. Has there ever been a time in your life where you haven’t felt your best? You’re in the thick of your health struggles? How did you show up?
How To Show Up When You’re In The Thick Of It
Michelle: Definitely, number one, I think everyone kind of goes through their own health struggles and mental health challenges as well. For me, I’ve been in the height of COVID and lockdown and in New York, it was different for us. So it was really hard for our kids. They couldn’t go to school for a while. And a lot of things were shut down.
For me, I actually allowed myself to slow down, I realized that I could still move forward in my business and for myself and with my kids. But I had to do it at a pace that wasn’t overwhelming. So I gave myself permission to actually slow down a lot during that time, which was actually really hard for me to do. Because I’m definitely like a go, go let’s get this done. And I just realized it was becoming a little hard for me personally.
So I gave myself permission to actually slow down and incorporate more things that gave me life again, things that I felt really good doing just even on lockdown. Having a fire in the backyard at nighttime, playing music during the day, just trying to do things that made me feel like life was still happening, even though it was on pause. And so for me that made all the difference.
Rachel: I wish looking back, that I could have done something like that. For me, it was the opposite. My anxiety got so triggered that I started just overworking. One of my addictions that I have, and something that I’ve been actively working on these last two years to balance is that I can just get lost in work.
It’s also a way that I’ve always dealt with emotions, which is not the best way to deal with emotions. Because when an emotion comes up, you want to be able to handle that emotion, process it, think about it, not go into overdrive, and I just went into pure overdrive.
I know that a lot of coaches also went into that place and kind of got triggered during COVID. Not even because of just what was happening, but just the uncertainty of everything. And so one of the things that I did is one I overworked my butt off, but then I went into that place where –for people who struggle with adrenal fatigue, you can always feel like you don’t want to get too excited. You don’t want to get too down because that adrenaline can feed into the adrenals and can create a lot of toxins and pathogens from that adrenaline.
Showing Up & Sharing The Truth
But what I started to do was step back, and evaluate what was going on. What was at the core of my emotions? Why was I running? And I think this is a really hard thing. Because when we start a business and I’ve had this business for 12 years, which means I’ve gone through recessions, I’ve gone through economic changes and I still was showing up, but it was a really tough time to show up because I felt like a fraud. I felt like if I wasn’t talking about it, that I couldn’t really show up and be authentically me.
I think this is a really important part because for a lot of coaches, they feel that shame about still struggling with their health issues. They feel that shame about needing to be the perfect practitioner. But one thing I realized early in my career when I was still having gut issues, because I had ulcerative colitis, I had years and bouts of asthma, my gut issues weren’t going to go away. They didn’t happen overnight. And they weren’t going to just go away in the beginning stages when I was building my business with that anxiety and that stress of showing up. I wasn’t in that mindset yet of being able to handle it.
I really felt like if I didn’t show up and share with people what was going on, that I would feel that I couldn’t even be confident on a Live, or I couldn’t even be confident in our webinar or workshop. So what I started to do was to really share with people what was going on, but I always shared it –not like spewing out on Facebook as a diary. But really like, what happened? What was life like? What did I learn? So that I was always sharing what was that journey, so that somebody would also identify with me.
I remember when I was an emotional eating coach and a gut coach, I shared about my addiction to potato chips and it was one of my biggest posts. It got me so many clients and it got me so many coaches coming to me and saying, I need you to be my coach. I also shared about this relationship with my father that was always up and down. I hadn’t talked to him for so many years. Then I went to do some emotional work and that was when I actually reconnected with him. But I still had so many years that was unresolved. And he and I used to eat potato chips.
So I had this potato chip addiction where I would actually shove my mouth, overeat, I would be eating in the mind to rediscover that emotional connection with my father. I remember sharing about this emotional eating addiction I had and how I was really conscious of that. But that’s still an area of my life that hasn’t been resolved yet. And I was still searching in that potato chip bag for love and for connection.
When I shared that and talked about how I was really present to the emotions, but that addiction still took over, I got so many clients. And that gave me everything I needed to realize that, truthfully, our clients just need us to be human beings. They don’t need robots, they need us to share the stories, we call them the micro and the macro stories of our life, in order to identify with us.
So when I sent out this email, talking about the stages of adrenal fatigue and how it really affected me with depression, I got so many responses, not only on Facebook, from my email list, saying, wow, I’ve been there. It takes a real leader to come out and be authentic and to be transparent. And I think that’s what the exciting times that we’ve seen coming off of this time of uncertainty is that it really birthed a lot of leaders to be extremely transparent and to actually attract their ideal client in that transparency.
Sharing The Insecurities & Stories To Connect With Your People
Michelle: Yeah, I think that’s everything. Showing up and actually sharing the truth. I think so many coaches, and leaders in general, have had a habit or felt like they couldn’t be themselves because that meant sharing some insecure parts and stories and things that were currently happening.
What if people read this and they think I’m not good enough, and they think they can’t hire me? Or maybe if I can’t fix myself yet then I can’t fix them. All these thoughts that are so not true because really, you only need to be one step ahead to be able to help other people get to that same place.
I think it’s wowing to read people’s stories and hear people sharing some really hard stuff. And it’s been invigorating to see it because it’s just honesty, and that creates community connection and magnetizes followers because now you’re hooked. What’s their next move? What are they going to share next? You can identify that. If you start sharing your own story and how you solved it, or how you’re working through it, even if it’s an ongoing thing, that’s going to be the driving factor for connection.
Share When You’re Down If You Have A Solution Or Strategy That Can Help
Rachel: I would love to hear your opinion on the coach that’s an introvert. If you really know me, I appear as an extrovert, but internally, I am a massive introvert. I need a lot of time and space. Parties don’t work that great for me. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to do groups. When I was a coach, I loved a good VIP day. I loved one on one clients but I felt overwhelmed by speaking in public.
One of the things that I had to break through when I was a coach, especially in those early stages, is understanding that my ideal client is not going to identify with me, if I don’t share these parts of me that feel hard to share. So especially if you’re an introvert, work on writing down, what are the stories that you can actually share with your audience to help your audience identify with you?
And if you have a story, just like Michelle was saying, where you’re in the thick of it, think about strategies that have really helped you to get out of it. I know for me, Ancestral Supplements, adrenal support really helped me. B12 really helped me. B vitamins really helped me.
We can have those down times where we share about those downtimes. But we always have to give a solution. I think that the thing that I want you to take away from this is if you don’t have a solution to what’s going on, it’s probably not the best thing to share. Because trust me, you will find a solution and you will be able to share that with your audience.
Advice For Coaches Scared To Share Their Stories With Personality
What do you think is the best advice for somebody who is scared to share? Because one of the things before I just asked you this question, but before you answer, one of the central things that I see is that you’ll have a coach who’s not as great as the other coach, but they have this real explosive personality.
So maybe they’re doing better on Instagram, or maybe they’ve really nailed TikTok or they’ve nailed Reels. These things that are trending. What does this person who is more of an introvert, how do they still show up and have this explosive personality with maybe not necessarily having those traits naturally?
Michelle: I think a lot of that has to do with stretching your comfort zone, as much as you can little by little. So maybe if you’re not comfortable doing a live video, you start with a recorded video, and you upload it. Just those little moves forward are really all you need to just do it and when you start doing the practice of it, you get better at it and more comfortable. But also like, don’t be attached to the results.
I post reels now because I just want to and whether it gets 200 views or 4000 I’m like, whatever. I did it for me. So I think that it’s really important for you to do it for you and do it for that one person who just needed to see that or hear that story for that day, that moment. And if you just tie it to one person, if you can just make help change the life of one person that day, then that’s all that really matters if you get more, great. But if you don’t, one is enough. One is enough to change the whole world. If you can look at it through that lens, that would be great.
Also when it comes to that whole copywriting messaging aspect, I love the idea of thinking of a vision board, but a storyboard, take some post it notes and write down individual tiny stories that we’re at the store the other day, and this happened, or you visited so and so in your family, and you thought about this and creating those healthy tips. Or a new supplement that you tried, or a new article that you read, your opinion on it or just these little stories from your life as a child at the doctor’s or as an adult in the waiting room.
There’s all these moments that we all collect and gather kind of like photo albums. Most people don’t use photo albums anymore, we have all these online. Thinking of what that actually looks like and creating the album stories in your life that you can then share. When you have that, it sparks the content and then from there, you just have to step a little bit out of your comfort zone to be able to share that with others.
But looking at other people and what they’re doing, that’s probably the worst thing to do. it’s good to look at it for inspiration but not for competition. Because really, nobody has your story. Nobody has your voice. Nobody’s going to do what you do the way you do it. If you can just show up with that confidence and knowing that if you could just change one person, then it’s all worth it. That’s all that really matters. Don’t be tied to the exact results of views and likes and comments and reactions, because that’s the stuff that trips us up. Because it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, if you could just impact the life of one person.
Rachel: I love that you brought up that pre recorded video, because going and doing a pre recorded video and practicing that I know is the way that I got comfortable to webinars to do lots and stepping, really stepping out of that comfort zone. Most importantly, getting support. If you have a great community of coaches that are your friends, grab a friend and say, Hey, I would love for you to listen to this pre-recorded video that I did, make sure that it’s a great training, before I put this out into the world.
Maybe you need to get a coach to really work on the mindset part in the visibility, being able to show up and say, Fuck it, I don’t care what anyone thinks, I’m going to show up and really ask for the words to be given to me through my higher-ups, whether you believe in God, or whether you believe in higher-ups, or the angels or all or anything. It’s like really understanding that we have to step into a place of faith.
The last is something that I did for myself, I needed to actually go back into therapy, I needed to have somebody that I can work with, to rewire thoughts, because I feel like when you can step into that anxiety place and depression place, it can be really hard to grasp on to gratitude, really hard to grasp on to like rebooting and rewiring because you get into a habit of being a Negative Nelly.
Something that I had to do was to really go back in and work on some old trauma that had me feeling paged or feeling like I couldn’t take a deep breath. And that I think is true for a lot of us health warriors. Because we get into this business to heal ourselves in a way as much as we’re healing others. So I think the most important thing is to get support in that area.
Lastly, is to have that confidence in your program, especially if you’re brand new. Get the results from people. Do a beta test for a program or your course, and see that you’re actually getting those results. Those results will give you that kick in the butt that you need to say, I can do this.
Michelle: Yeah, and I think remembering that healing is a marathon. We’re all running our own different race and just really looking at it from that angle to share your healing journey and what you’re doing and what you found that works for you. By doing that, you’re offering some value to your audience, and you’re building that connection, but they need to work with you.
Rachel: Well, and one of the biggest things that I see in life is we want to be vulnerable, we want to be transparent. We want to have that feminine flow. So much of what we learn requires us to be transparent, and to be authentic, and to live our truth.
I think that the greatest goal in life is to really live your truth and be present. And so often we have other stuff that’s pulling us away, or we have health issues, or we have mental health issues, or we have just our own fears that people are going to judge us.
One of the biggest things that I hear from coaches, when they say I’m scared to show up. It’s that we have this fear of being judged. But what if we just take a chance? I know if I can do it, you can do it. We take a chance to just show up and say, Screw it, I’m going to show up as I am. There’s somebody that really needs to hear this. That’s how one person turns into many people and all of a sudden we have a following.
Michelle: Exactly. I honestly think that’s the key to it all and just doing it each day, showing up and sharing your story if you could just commit to that one small little thing each day that’s all you need to do to eventually have days of doing it
Rachel: It’s like practicing a muscle. It’s just like going to the gym. It’s like we have to practice that muscle of being transparent. One thing that I’ve learned is when I’m not being transparent in my business life, it’s usually when I’m not being transparent in my personal life.
I really feel like it is a leap of faith, to take that leap of faith to show up and let people see you as you are, I think that’s a really scary thing. But it’s the most rewarding. And it’s going to be the way that you’re going to build a profitable and sustainable business. Because those people are going to want to keep following you, they’re gonna say, Wow, this no BS approach is so refreshing. I want to learn more about this person.
Before we close out, Michelle, do you have anything that you want to leave with the guests for today?
Michelle: Yeah, I would say to start that storyboard. Get some post it notes out and just start writing these little moments in your life and reflecting on those that you could eventually use as little stories for your emails, or your social posts. Weave them in with content and start using that as your platform and your foundation to be able to show up each day if you can.
Sometimes we just get in our own heads of like, well, I don’t know what I should share. Let that be the thing and always tie it back to, this was the problem that I had, it’s how I felt when I had it. And this is what I did or what I’m doing to get through it. And if you can keep that flow, then every post that you share will also provide value and still position you as someone knowledgeable and an expert in their fields.
Rachel: I love that. Well guys, today was one of those behind-the-scenes talk about what’s really been going on. And what I wanted to share is that despite everything that I was going through, I learned how to repurpose content really easily, and learned how to take videos and chop them down to be like little snippets.
I also learned how to show up without going into overdrive because when we show up, we get that adrenaline. We’re going really fast. I also stayed consistent. There were times that I gave myself social media brakes. There were times that I hired people to help.
But I think the biggest is to understand that we go through these ebbs and flows in life. When we’re a business owner, and we’re so client-facing forward, where we’re in the front of our business at all times, we need to learn strategies for when we are in that season where we just don’t feel as amped up.
Or maybe we’re going through something emotionally with our family. Pull out the snippets of the story if there’s a solution, share it. Most importantly, be consistent with your business because you are the face of your business, but also be authentic, so you don’t feel like a fraud.