And other self-doubts

I hear this a lot from clients launching new programmes or a high ticket package for the first time.

I’ve had the same self-doubt myself on occasion (who hasn’t?) and expect to again. For me it’s a sure sign I’m on a path to growth.

And there’s a lot of accompanying anxiety:

What if they don't get results? - self-doubts

Seriously, what if I don’t deliver?
What will they say about me?
Will they think I’m a fraud?
Will it mean I’m not good enough?
What if they think I’m useless?

And so on – add your own versions to the list!

But what do you mean by results?

When you launch something new there are no guarantees.

And here’s the thing about results – there’s more than one kind.

1.  The results your clients are hoping for
They’re in pain of some kind and dream of being pain free

2.  The results you want for them
And know they will get if they engage with your process and do the work between sessions 😉

3.  The results they eventually get
Which may or may not match your expectations – and could far exceed their own. They will also likely be in proportion to where your client actually started from.

It’s a thorny issue where personal self-worth and professional competence are deeply entangled, so it makes a great target for tapping and clearing on my Big Leap to Success Programme.

Awareness of entanglement is the first step towards that.

Try this to start disentangling

Imagine you’ve hired a personal trainer and set a goal to be super-fit in 6 weeks.

He or she prescribes exercises to give you the results you want, based on their professional assessment of your fitness and health. They give you guidance in sessions and homework to do between-times.

But they can’t do the homework for you. They can’t do the push-ups for you. That’s up to you.

Do you do the exercises religiously? Some days, maybe – other days, not.

At the end of the programme, if you haven’t given it your all and you’re not exactly where you wanted to be, will you blame your personal trainer? We hope not.

Your clients’ results are none of your business

People know how much effort they’ve put in. They know when they haven’t been doing enough. They can see where they could have done more, if life hadn’t got in the way.

So what if you could get yourself out of the way, release your attachment to specific results and trust that the results they get are just perfect for them?

What if you could rest in the knowledge that provided you show up with all your genius and with complete integrity, you can safely leave the rest with them? They are adults.

And besides, if you take responsibility for their ‘failures’ you must also take responsibility for their success.

If you’re still feeling responsible, tap on your collarbone point and take a deep breath before reading on because …

Relax. It’s not about you anyway!

I know it’s great to see clients get results – that’s what motivates you to do this work because you really want to make a difference – I get that.

But continue to tie your sense of self-worth to your clients’ results, continue to believe you’re responsible for those results, and self-doubt will hold you back from boldly launching your offerings. And you’ll struggle to get the clients you need to sustain you.

We don’t want that!

Now over to you

What do you think?

Do you agree with me that your clients’ results are none of your business (provided you’ve been showing up 100% for them, of course)?

Join the conversation here, share your own tips and inspirations below.

We’d love to hear them!

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12 Comments on What if they don’t get results?

  1. Excellent article. Yes, I always want my new clients to do as well as my best clients. I have to focus on the process and not the outcome!

  2. Thank you, Linda, for encapsulating so neatly the freeing philosophy of coaching – that it’s a collaborative activity. I, the coach, have an obligation to show up as my best self, but the client has an obligation too – to show up as the prime driver in their own development. The results they get are the best form of feedback!

  3. Brilliant topic, brilliantly illustrated. I completely relate to this – and for the first view years of my practice, it was something I really struggled with – both from my own perspective and from a client ‘fix me you’re a therapist’ perspective. When I began to disentangle myself from the pressure of that mindset, my whole way of working began to change. Now I am all about providing space, being present and providing tools and support to empower women. I still want the very best for my clients – but I’ve learned to let the outcome go – and in doing so, I’ve freed them up as well as myself! The key was realising I needed to move away from ‘pleasing’ and move towards truly ‘serving’ – honouring the highest needs of those I worked with independent of their (or my) expectations!

    • I wish I had seen this post when I first began my work as a therapist. It would have helped me in times when I felt deskilled or that I had failed a client in some way. It is always wonderful to know a client is doing well and that the work we have done together has enhanced this in some way. I have found over the years that I have learned to accept that this is the clients journey and that they may not be ready to go all the way. They may need time to process the small step they have taken before taking another one. In my acceptance of the client and their choice to take things further or not I feel they are empowered to make their own decisions about how far they travel and do not have to worry about pleasing me or disappointing me. The fact they came to see me in the first place is a giant leap of faith and courage. It is an honour to walk beside them, even a small way on their journey and I do not have to feel I failed them if they do not reach a goal or change their lives dramatically. I am not the all knowing guru who can make it all better and I don’t have to try to be. I just need to be me.

  4. My heart skipped when I saw the title in my inbox this morning. Such an important lesson to learn early on for service providers. Of course we design the best products and processes. We show up with our best work and want the transformation for those dear clients. And you and I know what it means to work hard to become the people we want to be. We’ve been doing it and do it every day. Committed. So the other part of this to me is that we also let people know in advance about the 100 pushups that will be part of our program to get the stamina we promises them. Part of getting ideal clients is letting them know what you expect from them. Then both of you are successful. They need to show up for themselves too. I always have that conversation. 100% effort on our part and 100% effort on theirs. What a winning team! Thanks for the great work you do, Linda!

    • Ah yes, Miriam, letting them know about the 100 pushups is a key part of that pre-enrolment conversation. Makes for great team-work as you say – and also allows those who you’re not a good fit for to continue their search elsewhere 😉

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