There is a lot of talk of burnout in our society today. The fitness industry is no different.
There are articles, blogs, books and podcasts centered around signs of burnout and ways to overcome burnout. I have even written one of these articles myself. While I think this is valuable information for us to know and understand to care for ourselves physically and emotionally, I want to offer up another idea — some food for thought to help be proactive in avoiding burnout.
Avoiding Burnout: Better When I Practice
I know I am a better trainer when I am being trained. Also, I am a better group fitness instructor when I am taking classes. And finally, I am a better mentor when I am also being mentored.
Being on the receiving end of learning and growing is also a way I can care for myself. It is self-care for me to be a student or be trained. I get to show up and do what I am told. No planning, no preparation. I truly feel honored to get to learn from my peers and coaches.
Avoiding Burnout: Do as I Say and as I Do
Practice what you preach. Take the opportunity to be an example to your clients and mentees while filling your proverbial tank.
Being able to feel what your clients and participants feel in your own body and mind is a valuable experience that can go a long way to improve your professional fitness skills.
There are three ways this will benefit your career and yourself personally:
- Knowing how it feels to be coached helps you articulate more clearly and concisely with your clients. By hearing your coach’s cues — whether a physical exercise cue or a career exercise direction — you quickly learn what words/phrases/cues help you understand. You can use that knowledge to help communicate better with your clients.
- Being on the receiving end of direction and learning helps you be more compassionate with your clientele or mentee. In the process of learning under your coach’s guidance, you will inevitably have good and bad days, enjoyable and not so enjoyable sessions, and you will also see successes in your goals that are easy to attain and some that are more difficult. This allows you to be empathetic and understanding when your clients have those ups and downtimes. More importantly, you learn how to encourage and motivate them and possibly even change the trajectory of their session or class.
- Taking advantage of opportunities to learn and grow in your field from your coaches, peers and mentors will keep you pertinent, educated, excited and able to pass this knowledge onto your clientele. Even learning a different skill set that is not in your ‘wheelhouse’ can significantly benefit you as a leader.