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Lessons in Leadership

for Health Coaches


revised/updated and republished from March 2015

Sitting here, sweating in a hotel swimming pool room…. I’m watching an 11-year-old and her 3 nearest and dearest friends swimming at her birthday party.  One of her friends is not a strong swimmer and instead of telling her friends …she came up with 3 different excuses not to swim…but her friends wouldn’t let her get by with it…and she is in the pool now…moving slowly away from the edge of the pool.

What made her do it?  Peer pressure, peer support and wanting to be a part of the fun.  She isn’t swimming laps – but she is a part of things.

Sometimes you just need to do it.


Getting Past the Fear

When we were at Club Med in 2014, I don’t know what came over me.  I have been at different Club Meds with flying trapeze many times and never had the inclination to do the flying trapeze.  I decided I was going to do it…then I got excited, changed out of my conference clothes and into my golf clothes…went up and watched someone and decided my golf skirt wouldn’t stay up…so I went back to the room…put on a skirt that I knew would stay on and ran back to do it.

I have never been so afraid of anything in my life.  I got halfway up with no net underneath me and thought “what the heck am I doing?”  I was shaking and perspiring – I was that scared.  ….and I heard the health coaches from below me…” come on Cathy, you have this”… AND I KEPT GOING.  I think I am reliving that fear as I write this.  I was petrified.  Everyone else made it look so easy…you get halfway up, swing your body around to the back side of the rope and go the rest of the way up to the bars…then…there is this huge space between the ladder and the bar…I asked the guy up there just exactly how I was going to fly from the ladder to the bar.  He secured the belt to me and said to trust him.  Well…at that point, I had no choice.  I could either jump willingly into the net a failure or trust him…so I trusted him.  I don’t remember the part of getting from there to here…but I did it and then, the rest was not pretty…but I did it.

     Don’t Do it Alone

You have a huge network of fellow health coaches

That event actually was a giant example of facing fears.  I hadn’t really been around people for about a year, sure I’d encountered thousands of health coaches on a daily basis, but no one-on-one.  I’d put on weight because I’d been at my desk for a year creating a great new business.  I’d never really been on video before, and I’d hired a videographer to be with us 24/7.  Not only did I conquer this fear, but our health coaches did their elevator pitch on video, many for the first time.  I spoke and got through it.

There were health coaches who tried to back out at the last minute because they became afraid of the hot seat.  We turned it into the love seat and now that’s their favorite part of the event.

In business, the first time is always the hardest.  The podcast, the blog, the webinar, the workshop, the event, the first coaching call.  It’s always something and there is always something outside your comfort level.

It’s okay and normal to be afraid.  I can tell you, from the experience with the flying trapeze, and many other things really, the secret is to do it.  The faster you do it and the less you contemplate the fear, the better off you are.  It doesn’t eliminate the fear until you do it, then, there’s no more first-timers fear.  With something like speaking, you just need experience and practice.  Join Toastmasters and do it until you’re no longer fearful.  My secret is to be interactive and focus on the crowd.  It’s easier for me if the focus is on you instead of me.

I’m way, way past this, but I know from talking to you guys, you’re afraid of being an entrepreneur.  You’re afraid to be less than perfect, and you’re afraid to make a mistake.  Here’s the BIG secret; the more mistakes you make, the closer you are to doing it right.  We all make mistakes and when we can accept those mistakes as being proof that you’re trying, you will accept them.  I’m not saying (and this is from experience), that you won’t be mortified when the other person on the webinar can’t hear you (Amy Porterfield), or your sequence on the auto-mailer goes out and is too early or sent twice in one day (Marie Forleo), or….well you get it, I’ve made mistakes, things don’t always go smoothly, but we live through it and sometimes, people like you even better when you’re honest and real about it.  SO – it’s okay to make mistakes, the secret is to learn to deal with it gracefully and honestly.

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“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity.  They seem to be more afraid of life than death.”

James F. Byrne

I (a grandma) did a flip off that net and landed on my feet, a sweaty, jubilant, triumphant mess.

Although the accomplishment was mine, I could not have done it without the coaches cheering me and telling me I could, and (I should remember his name, he saved my life) the person on the bar who earned my trust and came through for me.

So…why am I telling you this?

We need each other.  We have the potential to be bigger, brighter and more triumphant and we can enjoy doing it when we don’t do it alone.

Kora’s friend swims at the deep end now.  All the girls huddle and have fun, and I am sure that now, after the fear is gone…Kora’s friend is glad she got in.  I know this because she just forgot herself …and swam…with a smile on her face.

I am down to one free ticket for the event.  We had 10 people let us know that they won’t be using their tickets for this year’s event and I needed to fill those spots.  It’s first come, first serve and 9 of them have been given away.  Contact [email protected] if you would like that free ticket.

The event this year is November 2-3, we’ll be working with you to build your online wellness membership business model.  It’s in Stuart, Florida, very close to the beach and on the water on Hutchinson Island.  I’ve got an incredible price for the hotel.  We’re going to make sure you have actionable steps, confidence in execution, and a loving and supportive team to back you up.

 I hope to see you there.

     Further Reading

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Facing Your Fears

Tell me where you are in your business building and what you’re stuck on.  Let’s see if we can get you “unstuck”.  Comment below.


  1. Sue Johnson

    Great story. This reminds of the time I went to a Tony Robbins event and knew I was going to do the firewall. I was terrified, and kept having doubts throughout the day leading up to it. I had to trust Tony that he would properly prepare me to go through with it, and it took about 10 hours to do so, and even then I was still terrified and had my doubts. But I was there with a couple people from my team and we were all in it together, and being that I was the only girl on the team, there was no way I was going to back out. It really did help to be there with my team and share the experience with them, we were cheering each other on. I knew that if I could walk across hot fiery coals then I could do anything.

  2. Alyssa Rodgers

    What a great reminder of how important it is to have a support network. Sometimes, I don’t tell people specifics (or much of anything) about certain goals I have or upcoming projects/ideas I am hoping to launch simply due to the fear of not be successful in my endeavors. Reading this helped me remember that it can only help me to tell those who are supportive of me.

  3. Cathy

    I tend to feel as if I’m on a tightrope rather than a trapeze, but the fear is the same. If it weren’t for friends teachers and others cheering me on, holding my hand, I’d never have done half the things I’ve done. Reminds me to share my fears and ask for those hands as I step out over the abyss of my next big step with business.

  4. Johanna

    How right you are! So often we get in our own way. Someone once told me “If you don’t have faith in yourself, borrow someone else’s”. This is exactly what you have described – when friends hold us accountable, cheer us on, and have more faith in us than we often have for ourselves.

  5. Marian

    What a fantastic reminder! We all do need each other for sure. You don’t have to do it well but just do it and let those who love you, support you where you are at and have fun.

  6. Sue Ann Gleason

    Great story, Cathy. Yes, fear can be so paralyzing when we don’t meet it and greet it and let it move through us rather that over us. Just today one of my wise friends said, “You can’t outrun fear so you may as well just sit with it and feel it all.” I loved that.

  7. Susie Mordoh

    This reminds me of a post someone left on my wall this morning. It says ‘Surround yourself with people who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.’ Sounds like I’m getting some universal messages 😉 Thank you!

  8. Cynthia

    Awww, nice story. My daughter just learned to ride her bike and she took right off. No pausing or falling down right away – just scooted off on her bike as if she knew how to do it all along. Then she said to me later in the car, “Mommy, I just believed that I could do it, and I did.” Lesson for a lifetime at six years old.

  9. april

    so very impressed with your courageous action, cathy. congratulations to you! “we have the potential to be bigger, brighter and more triumphant and we can enjoy doing it, when we don’t do it alone.”

  10. Shelley ugyan

    I love this Cathy! I can so relate…I think certainly knowing when to call on “help” or support is so vital. …sometimes the help of a friend, or even a team can be powerful! I especially like to turn to people who empower me to let go and trust:)

  11. Michelle

    You GO, Cathy! Congratulations!

    My self-confidence slipped a bit today, and my friends helped me through it. I am so glad that I reached out to them instead of caving in my condo. I was afraid that I wasn’t cut out for a certain something, but they reminded me that I am. 🙂

  12. Shani

    When I had my son I had to step out of my shyness or fear to speak up. Its not easy to approach something you fear, but it is an exhilarating feeling when you do!

  13. Maria

    This made me smile. On the inside too.

    For my birthday, I asked for a tandem skydive which is waiting for me to activate – I am ready, willing and able – this is a huge one for me – to feel the fear and do it anyway.

    Thank you for sharing xx

  14. Karen Yankovich

    I really really love this Cathy. Kudos to you, Kudos to Koras friend.

    Lifting each other up, that’s what we’re doing. Why do it alone?


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