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How to coach clients when you’re having an “off day” personally.

I hear this question often from coaches — what if I’m having a really hard day and not feeling my best — how do I still get on the phone and coach my clients well?

And I see this as being a ‘block’ that some coaches have around reallllly leaning into their businesses + taking on clients in the way they know they want to.

This deeper fear of… can I really handle it? can I handle the commitment of long-term clients when my personal life is up and down all the time?

As I approach a decade of coaching, I can tell you, my personal life has been all over the place, too, throughout my coaching career. Whose hasn’t?

  • I have many memories of wiping away tears right before saying “hello” on a client call
  • I’ve coached after nights of being up fighting with my partner, hearing disappointing news, being dumped… you name it, I’ve coached through it all 🙂
  • And of course, I have tons of memories of being tired or not feeling my best during a day of client calls

And I want you to know that you can, too. I hope that by reading this today, you gain some confidence that it’s okay to be exactly who you are… so completely human with a full range of human experiences… and still be a powerful coach.

So, here are my thoughts on this. And make sure you read through to the end to see my thoughts on when I WOULD reschedule a client session for personal reasons.

ONE: You do not need to be a peppy, fully healed, fully energetic, full-of-love-and-light at all times person to be an incredibly good coach.

Is this a belief you hold, to some extent? That you need to be this perfect human in order to hold space for another person’s healing? If so, this is a TON of pressure you’re putting on yourself!

Nobody expects that of you, especially your clients. They’re coming to you because they feel that you can help them get to where they want to be, not because you are some perfect human that they aspire to.

If this is a belief you hold in some way, I encourage you to ask yourself, if you really think this is true. When you hire coaches, do you expect them to be ON at all times? Do you give them grace for being tired or going through rough times in their lives? What if you were to give yourself that same grace?

Repeat after me: I can be a flawed human with a full range of human experiences and still be a powerful coach who people can’t wait to work with.

TWO: The hard moments that rock you actually make you a BETTER coach, even in the moment.

When I went through a breakup that completely rocked me to my core, my coaching had never been better.

Why? Because when you have experiences that crack you open… that humble you… that cause you to go deeper within yourself than you have before… that ask you to be in your OWN space of healing…you are able to coach from that cracked open space.

The hard moments often cause you to go deeper within yourself… and when you’re in that space… your clients will feel that. They will feel your depth. You may find yourself feeling more connected to them on a deeper level because that’s the world you’re living in.

When you’re cracked open and in the depths of your own soul, you’ll naturally coach from that deeper place and it can be even more powerful.

THREE: What if your “tiredness” is exactly the vibe that they need that day?

Some days, I feel super energetic for my client calls.

Some days, I feel tired and more introverted and quiet.

And I trust… that the energy I’m bringing that day is exactly what the client needs.

On days when I’m tired, I usually get cozy on the coach for my calls (you can even do them from bed!), and that calm, cozy, quiet energy is sometimes even BETTER than the energetic energy. Sometimes it allows us to drop in deeper. To approach things with more quiet introspection. I find that often that calm, quiet energy sets the tone for the call and helps my client get into that space, too.

What if you stopped making ‘tired” energy wrong or bad, and instead saw it as the perfect energy for your client sessions that day, seeing the benefits that it offers?

FOUR: Your sessions are all about the client, and you get to leave your world behind and drop into theirs.

What I’ve learned from years and years of coaching clients, while I’ve had all of my personal drama playing in the background, is that being in those sessions is like an escape from my personal stuff. I get to fully drop into THEIR worlds, their thoughts, their feelings, their experiences, their energy… and leave mine behind for an hour.

And I bet you’ll find the same to be true, too. That when you really really tap into your clients, you can coach them so well no matter what is going on in your life. When you’re really really present with them, you’re not thinking about your own stuff. But, the key is to be REALLY present with them.

FIVE: Do take some time to get yourself in the best place possible for your sessions

With all this being said, of course you want to always put your best foot forward for your sessions. So if you’re feeling tired and you have a client call coming up, is there anything you can do to elevate your energy a bit? Get outside for some fresh air, make a cup of tea and get cozy on the couch, put on some music and dance to a song, have a snack and some water, etc.

If you’re feeling unfocused or distracted by something going on in your life, can you just sit quietly for a minute or two before your client session and ground in your energy? Light a candle or some palo santo, get settled, and breathe.

Note: these are things to help make you feel better and put your best foot forward, however, I want to reiterate that you do NOT need to be in the absolutely perfect state of mind and soul in order to coach your clients powerfully. These are just little things that can HELP.

SIX: When I DO recommend rescheduling a client session for personal reasons

Okay, so far I’ve pretty much made the case for the fact that you can coach through a lot. You can be tired and be a powerful coach. You can have drama going on in your personal life and still show up beautifully for your clients.

But there are a few cases in which I do believe it makes sense to reschedule your client sessions for personal reasons…

  • If something is going on for you that is SO distracting and consuming that you truly feel like you won’t be able to pay attention to your client
  • If you truly feel like you are doing your client a disservice by getting on the phone with them that day

My rule of thumb, is I essentially ask myself, given my state, can I really truly drop into my client, listen to them fully, be present, and do my best?

And there are moments when that answer is no. Here are a few examples from my coaching history:

  • When I went through that bad breakup I mentioned above, there was no way I could coach when I was in the thick of it. It was ALL consuming for me, and there was just no way I could serve my clients when I was internally so knocked off kilter. So, I told my clients that I was going through a breakup, cancelled all of my sessions for two weeks and then re-evaluated. After a couple of weeks, I eased back in and like I said, had some of my best coaching months ever as I continued to heal. I was not “fully back on my feet” when I started coaching again (that took months!), but I was in a place where my mind was settled enough that I knew I could be present with my clients for an hour at a time.
  • Just a few months ago, I got a call from my doctor that one of my prenatal genetic tests came back weird. I had missed the call, so I was waiting for a call back for more information, and while I was waiting for the call back, I was in a complete state of anxiety. I was so freaked out that something was wrong with the baby. For me personally, when I have acute anxious moments like that, it’s very hard for me to focus on ANYTHING else. I had a client sessions during this “waiting period” while I was waiting for the call back from my doctor, and I knew I would not be able to focus. So I told my client the truth — I had a weird test result come in, I was waiting for a call back, I was in a state of total anxiety worried that something was wrong with the baby, and I know I can’t serve her properly during our session, so I’d like to reschedule for the next day once this doctor thing is resolved. Of course, my client completely understood.

When something like this comes up, here’s how I phrase it to my clients:

I either say that something personal came up, or I tell them what the thing actually is (I try to be open with my private clients). I then say “You deserve to get the best possible coaching from me, and I know that given this situation I won’t be able to give that to you. Are you open to rescheduling until ___ (put in when you think you’ll be ready) so that we can make sure we have the best session possible?”

I have never had a client have an issue with this — again, your clients know you are a human and they respect that.

I hope this helps give you confidence that you CAN be so incredibly human, with all of your moods, all of your energies, all of your ups and downs… and still be a powerful coach through it all.

Nobody is expecting you to be anything other than the full range of the woman you are.

If you want to dive further into creating an abundant 1:1 coaching practice, my course Your Coaching Flow is available for self-study and is always open for you.

Sending you lots of love as you keep creating the life + business you know is FOR YOU!



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This place is for you: To explore what your soul needs to hear today.

I mainly write about Inner CriticSelf-CareFollowing Your IntuitionLife + Evolving, and the occasional Recipe. Enjoy!