How does it make you feel when I tell you that your clients don’t NEED you or your services?
Scared? Liberated? Relieved? Worried? It’s a complex idea to process… especially when our culture’s entire economy is based on poking at pain points, amplifying not-enough-ness, and emphasizing problem-solving. But, what if there is a different, more effective, heart-centered way to engage with your prospects and clients? What if they didn’t NEED you and what you have to offer?
What if it’s more powerful for them to WANT you?
What if they came to you because they desired to spend time with you, to learn from you, to grow with you? How would that shift the energy of your dynamic together?
So much of the current marketing paradigm (and face it, the wider Western paradigm in general) is about creating motivation out of fear… out of wanting to avoid pain… out of fixing issues. It’s been proven again and again how powerful our drive is to avoid hitting rock bottom or to climb out as soon as possible. So, we turn to experts and people who seem to have THE answer to our problems and begin working together to solve it.
I have several issues with this model of doing business.
1. Once the problem is solved, there is no more need for the relationship.
While fine for something like flea shampoo, when it comes to coaching/healing services, this can create an internal conflict of interest, usually in the unconscious/shadow. For example, the person in the helper/healer position may not be 100% motivated to help solve the problem… Especially for those who have fought long and hard for their success; each client feels like a precious gem that they want to hold onto for as long as possible. Plus, if the client really enjoys working together and the relationship is based on problem solving, they may also unconsciously self-sabotage to justify coming back.
In both cases, there may be completely altruistic intentions and a genuine desire for change, but the unconscious patterns that run our daily lives have very different incentives. These patterns seem to get especially activated when the scarcity/abundance spectrum comes into play.
2. The coach/healer is responsible for the client’s results.
This sounds GREAT when the client is doing well. It feels good to receive accolades for our work and I think it’s a natural human desire to seek praise. And we DO genuinely want our work to matter, to provide relief, to be of service. But, it starts to get really sticky when the client isn’t progressing. What happens if they fail? What happens if they do everything right and are still [lonely, sick, hurting, floundering]? Is that also all ours to take on? Taking 100% responsibility for someone else’s experience, whether it is good or bad, is far too much of a burden. This creates a feeling of success or failure that is dependent on something or someone EXTERNAL.
Regardless of our clients’ results, we must remain in our center. This ensures that we remain open to learning and development, that we cultivate faith in ourselves and our own methods, and that we don’t get knocked off kilter by attaching to or identifying with the response we receive. I’m a failure or I’m a rockstar are both self-talk statements that can be major inhibitors of personal growth. Any blanket statement like that creates finality and closure rather than curiosity and openness.
The best and most powerful healers, teachers, coaches, and shamans are NOT carrying their clients on their backs. They are their clients champions, their soul family, they ask hard questions that the client might not enjoy responding to, they bring the client back to themselves over and over again – to their own gifts, lessons, methods, choices… their own responsibility.
This puts EVERYONE square in their own personal power; both the client and the practitioner. It is a scary place for both: not to be needed, to learn to stand on one’s own feet, to learn to be inter-dependent instead of co-dependent. And, it is the birthplace of a much more potent dynamic: where we WANT to be together. This is where some amazing shit can get done. And, in spite of detaching from results, the client can truly blossom and flourish, in a sustainable way because THEY are the one doing it for themselves.
On becoming co-creators.
I look at my clients as if we are in a sacred relationship together. For the relationship to bear fruit, there must be commitment from both sides, an equivalent investment of energy, and a mutual desire to be together.
Let’s look at my marriage as a model for this:
I don’t want my husband to be with me because he feels like he has to be here. Or because a long time ago he vowed to stick around. I don’t want to manipulate him into staying, to play games, to change myself to suit him, to cling to him or tie him down for fear he’ll find someone better. Nor do I want that behavior directed at me. Call me crazy, but fear, clinginess, and subterfuge are not sexy.
I want him to be here because he genuinely desires to be here.
This doesn’t mean we won’t have our challenges or that everyday feels like a cruise down the Mexican Riviera. But it DOES mean that I can trust him when he says that I’m his person, and he can trust me what I say he’s mine. It does mean that for it to work, every action either he or I take is in support of that commitment. We are both responsible to co-create our connection and to thrive within it, regardless of how much is in our bank account, what our job titles are, and what labels are in our closet. The outward status symbols have nothing to do with whether we feel as though we’ve made it. We are continually “making it”… one day at a time… with nowhere else to go but to be. here. now.
It is the same with my clients.
Our work together isn’t good because they always reach a goal of theirs, or that they are in radiant health 24/7. Our work together is great because, through constant support, reflection, and encouragement, they regain the courage to walk through life as THEMSELVES in all their glory… empowerment isn’t about being strong. It’s about being brave… Healing isn’t about fixing breaks, it’s about remembrance of wholeness.
What if you’re not broken? What if you don’t need me? Because you don’t… and you’ll never hear me telling you that you do.
What is possible when you WANT to be here and remember who you really are?
Magic, my friends. Pure and utter magic.
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