Being a Vulnerable Coach

I posted this on my professional Facebook page last night and after a little bit of contemplation, decided to share it on my personal page. The response was pretty overwhelming.

being a vulnerable coach

I thought clients needed to hear it. I thought that the people who come to us for help needed to know that health professionals struggle too, hit low points in life and don't always work out at the level we'd like to. We don't often share with clients our current shit because it's a HARD balance to strike while maintaining professionalism and a certain level of authority. More on that later.

What hit me so hard last night, watching my Facebook notifications blow up (while simultaneously binge watching Blacklist Season 3) was that COACHES needed to hear it! My amazing, loving, luminous colleagues needed to see my struggle. To have permission to show up in their own broken human selves even as they contribute to the lives of others. So this is for you , friends:

Here's the truth:

In your struggles. In your failures. In the times when your training is completely off the rails, your nutrition is a shameful secret, you have too many drinks on the weekends and your personal life is a complete shit show... YOU are an incredible asset to the humans who trust you. You get to share a piece of their experience, show up for them in a new way and develop your skill as a compassionate caregiver.

You have the opportunity to connect with your fellow strength and health professionals in a way that steps outside of the 15 sec Instagram victory video of that time you did a really cool thing.  I tell myself this as much as I say it to you because FUCK do I need to hear it right now.

But here's the catch:

it has to be vulnerable. It has to be real. It has to be you truly showing up to your emotional experience and using it to connect. Going in and bitching about being hungover to that client who's also your friend (#guilty) is not the same. Seeking validation via sob story is not the same. Those are ways of externalizing your experience and asking others to put a stamp of approval on your pain...which is the same as begging for attention via your athletic or professional achievements.


The past few months, I've had a slow, steady call to start writing my heart. To start offering my experiences of anorexia, bulimia, cigarettes and alcohol and self-abuse via relationships and work and sharp objects as a deeply honest look at the wellness industry and at women and humans who walk this earth hiding their pain. I'm afraid I have nothing new to say. Nothing to offer that hasn't already been said. And I can't ignore the little nudge anymore.

So if you're interested in staying in touch, hop over to my Facebook page Anne Jelinek, Coach, join my personal email list below to get updates when I blog or publish, or just keep this blog on your feed (what the hell do people use for that anymore anyway? ugh. RSS feeds are totally obsolete now, right? #techidiot) I'll have online and print content, courses and webinars and coaching available over the next year or two or five.

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