So I've been doing wellness coaching for WCUSA since May 2008. When I began at RIT in mid-January, I knew it was going to be a stressful few months. In fact, I think I kept telling that to myself so I would keep my faith that it would get better and easier over time. I'd know where and who things and people are. After all, I had been through the start-up process at other places and continue to see how much easier and comfortable it gets at Rotork over time. Employees become friends, they make progress, they realize they can trust me, and we all move along around the wellness wheel. My day is less about logistics and more about people and stories.
There's a fine line between offering wellness coaching and telling people what to do, between offering assistance and not crossing the line of being pushy. Sometimes, I have to say, in certain places/offices/departments with certain people, I have felt really discouraged. Sometimes I want to leave by saying----I'm not trying to sell you something...have you ever heard of just saying no thank you? Could you just be friendly, and let me know you aren't interested instead of leaving me guessing? There's no pressure---I only want to help people who want to be helped. Could you just ask me if you do want help? I'm not a good guesser.
I refrain myself from saying anything, and sometimes just leave a little less sure of the process and myself. I'm also less likely to stop by as frequently to re-visit and re-offer to ensure I'm not being pushy.
From the beginning there have been those people who were always nice and interested and inquisitive---I'd name names if I thought that was appropriate.
Over time, more people have become interested and welcoming and more friendly. I realize that avoiding me is not always a personal thing--some people are afraid or not ready to face their wellness issues and needs for change. Some people are skeptical that their organization is using me to spy on them and force them out. Some people are just plain busy.
How is this like wellness? We have to get to know ourselves and why we live the way we live. Where is the smoking/binge eating/negative attitude/lack of motivation/lack of exercise coming from? How did we get here and what has nudged us one way or another along the way? Over time, how have we changed for the better? What little things have become more friendly and accepting, more positive and less threatening? Was our change a big deal or a little one? Did other people care or notice? Did that matter?
I knew an elderly woman who bought a new house, and she frequently repeated, "I always say, New is New." At the time I thought it was funny. Now, I get it.
New is New. It's different, scary, exciting...a lot of different things. It's new. If we can roll with it and develop it and make more new out of it, we've succeeded. Wellness and lifestyle change is new until you get to know yourself and where you're headed. Then changing and improving becomes more comfortable.
So, think about trying something new and better for you. Realize it might be a little awkward or uncomfortable. Then take a deep breath and try it anyway!