How to Become a Confident Practitioner

Hey there wellness entrepreneur.

Today we’re going to talk about how to be a confident practitioner. This is really a skill and it doesn’t mean that once you become confident, you will be confident forever. It’s an ongoing thing. Especially as you learn more practitioner skills. 

You need to be grounded in those skills. It’s being confident that whoever comes into your world, that you have the skills to help them. And if you don’t, it’s not a problem. You refer out. You also believe more clients are coming who you CAN help today. 

And even if you aren’t there yet and you’re still learning, I’m still learning myself, what you have right now is enough to help someone. And you can continue to learn. It doesn’t have to be either or, it can be and.

What Does Embodying Confidence as a Practitioner Mean?

So for me, embodying confidence means I show up and I can hold the space for my people. 

I still get surprised sometimes by what people bring to the table or the results that they get. I still have to research things. It doesn’t mean that I know everything. What it means is that I’m certain I can help them. And I believe this in my body. And that opens up the space for me to be able to listen to them more, to help them trust themselves more.

So it’s not me just dictating them. It’s actually yes, there is an essence of teaching them, but it’s also coaching them. It’s a blend. When I am confident, I know I get people results. They tell their friends they want to work with me again and again and again. So I end up helping more people. I fill my practice, I fill my programs, and I continue to learn and cycle through it every time I do learn new skills.

What Happened To Me When I Did Not Embody Confidence

So what am I talking about here? I’ve been in the wellness field for 20-plus years. And I remember when I first started as a personal trainer, I was so nervous to be on the gym floor, to be training in front of all these people. And I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I just had a lot of doubts. I had doubt in the sequence of the training exercise. I would guide them through the queuing I was doing with people. And essentially, I allowed all of that to override myself. And I left being a personal trainer.

Looking back, I could have stayed on that gym floor a lot longer and really helped more people there if that was something I wanted to do. The key thing is, if I had the confidence and the belief in my work, I could have had a choice. Instead of feeling like I only could do massage because that was the only thing that I could excel at, because I was hidden away in my massage cave. But still, when I learned how to massage, I remember when I first worked in a chiropractor’s office, that was one of my first jobs before I got my spa job. I remember thinking, I don’t know what the heck I’m feeling under my fingers, and I just had to work with a lot of people to begin to understand and visualize.

Like for me personally, I visualize the Netter Anatomy Book under my fingers as I work with people and I bring in the energetic components, which is a whole other blog, possibly. But it became this blend that created art for myself that led me to believe in my practitioner skills and gain confidence over time. 

What I’ve realized personally as a wellness practitioner and someone with a doctorate is that, helping others is based upon science. Yes, but even labs are made up. They’re fabricated situations that just don’t happen in the real world. And a lot of lab tests are focused on the white male. It is not diversified to all of the human race and population. So you should take science and evidence with a grain of salt and utilize it as well.

 Again, this is another thing that you don’t have to be, and I’m saying this with a grain of salt here, 100% evidence-based. I just don’t think that’s realistic because labs aren’t what happens in your clinic, in your office, or on Zoom.

And sometimes, what I see happen is a practitioner may lack confidence in themselves, and to overcompensate with that, they start to gaslight. They overtalk and override what the client or the patient or the student is saying in front of them because they lack confidence in themselves. Then they outsource that confidence to science and they say, “Well, science says this, so this must be true.” And that doesn’t serve and help anyone because you want to utilize science with the experience and expertise that you develop working with a lot of people.

It’s the way to grow your confidence. Ways that lack confidence or doubt in your practitioner skills can show up by overspending or spending too much time in trainings and certifications.

If you want more success as a wellness entrepreneur then be sure to read this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/belief/

Where Lack of Confidence Show Up In Your Business and What It Can Do To You

How do you know this is true? Well, if you’re having trouble managing your finances or you can’t invest in other skills that are required, you might be lacking confidence. 

Yes, trainings and certifications are required to grow a business. Like business skills and having your own coach for your business or personal coach that may be needed to help you organize your life and grow, you yourself will become more confident in your practitioner skills if you’re evolving as a human being, I promise.

So if you’re overspending and spending too much time in practitioner skills, you won’t have time or money to do these other things. You crowdsource all the time. 

Let’s take for example low back pain or sciatica. You have a hypothesis and a process that you have been working with people that pulls from your expertise, your knowledge base, and certifications that you have done. However, you’ve never seen it taught anywhere else. You then begin to doubt that the sequence that you use or the process that you created is reliable. And instead of trusting the patients and the clients that are seeing results from this, you start crowdsourcing and asking around. This begins to poke holes in your confidence and poke holes in your process.

Stop that. Just trust yourself.

Become more confident in selling with this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/energetics-of-selling/

Why You Need To Trust The Results Your Clients and Patients Are Getting

Trust the results that your clients and patients are getting. That is a key thing that what you’re doing as a practitioner is excellent. If your people are getting results, keep going and keep learning. As I said, you can do both even now at this stage. Where I am as a wellness practitioner for 20 plus years, I’m going through another certification myself, and I’m showing up, and I’m practicing every week because I have to regain confidence.

Again, not in the entirety of my skill set, but these new skills that I’m learning. I’m practicing, I’m failing, I’m accepting feedback. I get it slightly wrong in some of our practice sessions, but in the end, what it comes down to is I’m noticing that even if I get it wrong, I don’t do the process exactly right, the person on the other end is still getting results. They’re still feeling a shift. They’re still feeling a transformation, a mini-transformation. And that is what is most important. In whatever way you can, that’s always what you want to seek, to work towards that mini transformation.

Because, again, this is why I teach to offer longer programs such as six, eight weeks, three months, six months, a year, it doesn’t matter, but avoid only selling one-off sessions. Someone may get a mini-transformation in that one-off session, but they might not come back because they were really seeking that big transformation, which is really hard to do. 

And maybe as a practitioner, that’s also what’s feeding into your lack of confidence, is that you’re thinking that people should go from zero to 100, maybe eight out of ten low back pain to two out of ten in one session. Yes, that does happen, but it’s not realistic most of the time. What leads to 10 out of 10 low back pain, for example, is the mini-transformations through each session compiling and compounding upon themselves.

Get success as a wellness entrepreneur with this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/steps-to-success/

Lack Of Confidence In Yourself as a Practitioner Shows Up When You Try To Control Your Client

Okay, another sneaky way when there is a lack of confidence or doubt can show up as a practitioner is you try to control the client. There’s no room for flexibility. You’re rigid, maybe unconsciously, you gaslight them. You don’t believe what they’re saying. Or there’s a doubt in the client as well. That doubt within yourself shows up in doubt in the client, like doubt in the client that the client is really doing their exercises, that their client is really invested. You can also doubt that the client believes in you, or doubt that the client believes in your program, or doubt that the client has the ability to get the results that they seek.

So because of this, you create a very rigid framework, and each session must follow the framework exactly. And if a client deviates or brings up a situation outside that framework, you either freeze or ignore them, or you just divert them back to that framework. 

You need to listen to your clients. And yes, it’s important to have a process and a framework that develops over time the more people you work with. But it has to have room for the client to be the leader instead of you. Yes, you are the teacher, but the framework should be client-led, meaning that the client is the one who’s going to bring up the issue that’s most important to them. And even though you might not think that it’s the most important issue, they do. And so you need to believe their world, what they’re thinking and feeling.

And when you have confidence in your practitioner skills, it leaves room for flexibility. Because when you have that grounded certainty that you have enough skills right now to help anyone who comes into your world who has paid you, then you can deviate from your framework, you can go out of order, you can pull in tools and resources, you can create things and trust your intuition on the fly, things that come out of your mouth, questions you may ask, new processes you may create at the moment. That is all possible when you believe and have confidence in your skills.

Lack Of Confidence In Yourself as a Wellness Practitioner Shows Up When You Take No Shows And Cancellations Personally 

Another way of lack of confidence might be showing up in your business is that you take no-shows and cancellations personally. You start to beat yourself up and then you go and immediately enroll in another training. 

Or maybe you cancel your program, or you change your offer, or you change your niche, or you change something about your business because of that.

When you’ve been a practitioner long enough, you will have no-shows, you will have cancels, you will have people who don’t finish your program, and you will have people that ask for a refund. It happens to everyone and it doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with you as a practitioner. 

Again, hear me. Continue to learn. But don’t switch everything in your business and don’t make continuing to learn practitioner skills the only thing you invest your time and money in.

Lack Of Confidence In Yourself as a Wellness Practitioner May Sometime Mean Overworking

Sometimes when you lack confidence and you have doubt in your practitioner skills, you overwork in compensation to try to outrace that feeling of doubt. And it might not mean overworking with clients, patients, and students because you might be actually seeking more clients, patients, and students. You want more people in your classes, in your one-to-one session, and in your programs, but you overwork in other ways by maybe perfecting your website or perfecting a social media post that never sees the light of day or going to networking events. But you are not really clearly describing what you do, avoiding telling people what you do.

You overwork in sneaky ways by trying to perfect your process behind the scenes and never really trying it on people, so you have no way to know or gauge if it really works. You just try to perfect it on a piece of paper or in your Google Drive. Maybe you say yes to a lot of subbing classes or events where the people that you are in front of or exposed to are not really your ideal client. You just do it to grab money and hustle because you think it’s the best thing to do.

In reality, you can be doing other things, having more impact without this extra time of hustling and overworking in compensation for your doubt and lack of confidence in yourself, in your practitioner skills, and even in your business skills. This leads you to feel exhausted and get burnout. And that doesn’t serve anyone, because you can’t serve your clients, your patients, your students to the highest, if you’re dragging, if you’re tired, if you can’t think straight, and it leads to a higher likelihood of you giving up on your business. Which again, doesn’t serve anyone because then your work doesn’t see the light of day, which leads to the next one.

Heal from burnout with this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/how-to-heal-from-burnout/

Lack Of Confidence In Yourself Show Up When You Treat Your Wellness Business as a Hobby

Sometimes when you lack confidence and you feel more doubt in your practitioner skills, is that you treat your business like a hobby. You don’t think of it as a business. 

Now, I’m not saying some of you just don’t resonate with the word business and consider yourselves a solopreneur or just doing your own thing. That’s totally fine. But what I’m saying is when you lack confidence in your practitioner skills, it will be easy to say no to your business and yes to other things.

Like maybe picking up your children at a time that you hadn’t planned on and instead in your calendar, you had planned to work or had planned to do something of a business nature that could bring in clients. Or you look at your house and realize what a mess it is and you decide to do that instead of really diving into where there might be a lack of belief and where you are feeling doubt in your program, thinking that that internal mindset work won’t matter, for example.

Or you don’t block off time in your schedule and commit to it and stick to yourself. You don’t believe that you have the ability to fill a practice, whatever thoughts come into your head, whatever feelings that you have that just make you treat your business more like a hobby than a real business, where you’re fully committed and believed that it can work. Again, if you doubt and lack confidence in your practitioner skills, then you won’t clearly and confidently tell others what you do. For example, at a networking event, you just allow the other person to talk about their business and ramble on and you never speak up and clearly explain what it is that you do.

Now, there is a balance here because there are benefits to listening to what another person is saying and what they do. Because then you might have the potential or possibility to learn more about them and help them. But you never get to that point where you talk about how you can specifically help them or around family and friends.

You never talk about what you do. You never tell others about the program that you created. You never announce the great work that you do with clients and the benefits that clients get when they’re working with you. They don’t even realize what you do in your business. Maybe they only realize the job that you have.

Or if you’re home with your children, that’s what you do. They might not even know that you have a business. And it comes from lack of confidence. 

Lack Of Confidence in Yourself as a Practitioner May Result In Your Clients Not Getting The Results They Desire

And lastly, because of all of this, a lot of the time the result is that your clients don’t get results. That’s the sad thing, is that no matter how much you really want to help your people and that’s the whole reason why you’re in the wellness industry in the first place.

However, when you allow your doubt and lack of confidence to be the driver of the car, then it will steer you off course from really helping them get the results that they desire. And in reality, it can be so easy, it can be so simple to help people get the results.

How To Develop Confidence: Track Your Clients’ Wins

One way to start to develop confidence in yourself is by just tracking evidence of success. I teach my clients this in the Awakened Business Coaching for a lot of business skills, but you can do it for your practitioner skills. It is all about tracking all the wins that your clients have, no matter how small, start to build on them. Because again, those small wins lead to bigger wins in a program where it compounds upon itself

In fact, each session you can start tracking what is the client complaining about when they first come to the session and track a small win. Have them even mention takeaways, insights, shifts that they feel, and transformations that they’ve gotten in that one session. You might be avoiding that part of a session because you’re afraid they’ll say nothing and they’ll be silenced. But I promise you, just start practicing it now. People will start noticing and seeing wins and changes in one session.

And over time, all of those will lead to bigger transformations. Plus, when a client is noticing those small shifts, those small changes, they will begin to feel more confident that the program is working, that it can work for them. They start to believe in the possibility of change for themselves. 

So it ends up fueling the beast or the wolf that you want to feed, that you are a successful practitioner, that you can help someone, that your business is viable, that you can create reliable income and pay your expenses and pay the bills for your family instead of going down the dark tunnel of despair about all the doubt and everything.

How To Develop Confidence: Have a Way for Your Clients To Measure Their Own Success

Another way to gain confidence is to have a way for your clients to objectively measure their own success. So, for me, for example, every month I have my clients fill out a form where they’re rating certain areas of their business and their mindset. And I personally go through each of those forms and I track their wins and I also track what maybe they measure low so then we can work on that. 

And over time, I see those number changes. Those numbers change over a six month program. If they’re not changing, which I really haven’t had happened, then it might be a reason to really have a talk with your client and say, “Okay, what’s really going on here?” It might be a very uncomfortable conversation, but there can be so much to learn for both you and the client on how to help them get those results.

Get your clients more results by reading this blog: https://igniteurwellness.com/get-client-results/

How To Develop Confidence: Evaluate Everything

Another way to help build confidence is to evaluate, I want to say everything, but not from a place of judgment and criticism or going into an evaluation thinking that you’re doing it wrong. You must learn and you must change. 

Evaluate also from the place where you’re also noticing the wins and having compassion with yourself and flexibility and grace to get it wrong. That is the only way that you will prove and develop that confidence is to evaluate it all. 

There is that saying you’re either winning so you’re tracking those successes and those wins, or you’re learning. In business, you never lose unless you really just give up and stop. 

So, have a way to objectively measure your client’s success for both you and them and continuously. Consistently check in with your own belief about your program and your skills and your work and notice why is it

Maybe you can do a scale. In fact, I teach it in the Awakened Business Coaching Program, a belief scale, where you can track your belief day to day. If ten is an amazing belief and zero is none, where are you seeing both sides of the scale. I also have specific questions to help them get into that. And if they are on the lower side, I have a process to be able to shift your energy at the moment and shift your belief. And know that you don’t have to be in 100% belief to help people get results. You don’t have to be in 100% belief to have people say yes to working with you. 

But the more that you are in a stronger belief or in the energy of belief, then in a session, you’ll be more curious, you’ll be less likely to hold on to that rigid framework, you will trust yourself more, and you’ll be open to more flexibility.

The same is true when you go to sell. When you’re confident and in the energy of belief, you will be not attached, and you won’t be graspy. 

Give Yourself Room To Play and Be Creative

This may be the part that’s really difficult, especially if you’re a perfectionist or a people pleaser or you went through a higher degree program such as a master’s and master’s or doctorate, where they really hone and teach certain research and science-based skills, is giving yourself room to play, to get it wrong and try again. Try to really tap into your own creativity, art, and passion in your work, whatever word you want to use to describe it.

I used to think that I wasn’t a creative person or I wasn’t a person who was good in the arts at all. I was a very science-math, that type of brain. But then I realized, as I got more confident in my massage skills that what I was doing was an art. I even used to have people tell me, “I’ve never experienced anything like what you do. It’s so different than any other massage I’ve received in a good way.”They would feel the results in a different way. And that really allows you to differentiate your work, which then fuels the marketing and selling portion of your business.

I started to believe that I was an artist. Just not an artist that maybe is a singer or paints or draws, but an artist in my craft. And that really allows you to paint a picture that is different each session. So you can really listen to the person in front of you and what their needs are and what they’re saying and meet their energy where they’re at and be flexible. And that will be part of the reason why they come back to you again and again and again.

Because many people in their life, in their world, don’t listen to them when they go to Western medicine, for example, as the visits are very short. Many practitioners in western medicine unintentionally gaslight because they’re following a rigid cookbook or a patient might not check all the boxes in a certain way or they just don’t have time to get into what’s really going on in the world.

So be a person who really listens to them and honors what they feel and honors what they think, even if it’s wrong in the beginning. Sometimes they just need someone to listen to them and they need to vent and they need to vent about what they’re thinking and feeling. And over time, you can educate and you can teach and you can create this process that meets them where they’re at, where they understand the root of what they’re thinking and feeling and why they may be thinking and feeling a certain way and how it can be different, or how that thinking and feeling is actually diverting them off the course in the direction that they truly want to go.

And that can be true for the physical body. For example, I have many people who when I was in my brick-and-mortar practice they would come into my clinic thinking they only needed one session and they just needed to learn one magical stretch or core strengthening that would help to heal their low back. Now I knew that was not true and that there was a lot typically going on under the surface. However, I validated the person, yes, I will teach you core strengthening, which is for sure needed. I will teach you that stretch, which is for sure needed. Yes, I see how your body is different, your right versus your left, or whatever they may say. I would validate it and I would bring that into the program and I will tell them here’s what else is going on and here’s what else we need to do and we are going to do this because of this.

I spent a lot of time educating in that way, but also many sessions after, were a lot of coaching. I ask questions like, “Okay, what’s going on in your world? What are you doing day-to-day?” Especially if things went off track, I didn’t make it mean something about me and my practitioner skills. It always came back to the client, as you see. It’s always client-driven for good and if they’re going off the rails because yes, we can always fine-tune our processes and learn new skills, but ultimately, you might be only seeing them once or twice a week for an hour for example, on average. And they have 23 hours for the rest of their day. How are they sleeping? How are they not sleeping? How are they lifting all these things? What else is going on in their world? You need to find out about that before you just blame it on your practitioner skills.

Confidence In Yourself As A Practitioner Will Not Always Mean Success In Your Business Instantly

Now here is something to be aware of. Even if you’re a great practitioner and have a lot of confidence in your practitioner skills, it does not guarantee or entitle you to full practice. It does not mean that you’re going to create an online program and it’s magically going to sell out quickly. It might, but it doesn’t guarantee or entitle you to any of that.

Most of us still have to spend time and energy. Learning how to market and sell still have to learn and spend time on how to get your clients results, even if you’re a great practitioner, because there are so many different layers and complexity as to what goes on there. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be complicated. It just means that you don’t want to make it mean that you’re not capable of being a good CEO or business person or a wellness practitioner.It just means you have to fine-tune things. 

And again, you’re always winning or you’re learning. It’s a process. No matter what level of your business you’re in, you will hear stories of practitioners, especially of maybe a generation or two ahead of you, who don’t need to market, who don’t need to sell, who get all these referrals, and people coming to them all the time. Yes, they’ve built their business of consistently showing up for years and now they’re reaping the benefits of that. But initially, at some point, they had to start somewhere. And even though maybe it didn’t look exactly like it does these days, posting a lot on social media or writing e-mails or going to networking events or teaching workshops and teaching a lot of public classes, they did do something to grow that business.

If you have good confidence in your practitioner skills but you’re still working to fill your practice and work with more clients, students, and patients, nothing has gone wrong. Business skills are just another skill set.


Now, here are a few questions to really begin to embody your confidence as a practitioner. Think of your future self with that full practice. You have a waitlist or maybe you’re launching an online group program or on-demand program. Imagine a bunch of students wanting to get into that program and getting success in that program. 

The questions you need to ask while imagining:

  • What does this “successful” think and feel? Maybe it’s a year down the road, three years down the road, or five years down into the road. Just take a moment, close your eyes. Feel that successful you in your body and just inquire as you feel that success. 
  • What might you be thinking at that time? 
  • What might you be feeling? 
  • How will you show up being fully booked and successful with a waitlist? 
  • How would you show up to your day-to-day? 
  • How would you treat your business? 
  • What would you say to your family who needs you to do something at 01:00 p.m. when you already have a client call scheduled? 
  • How will you treat your business?

And here’s the question. How can you start being that person today? Maybe it is that you need to put your personal things in your calendar first and really commit to starting and stopping time for work. Like eight to 03:00 p.m., for example. Or during certain days, you will work, and on certain days you’re going to take care of your family. For me, I don’t work evenings, I don’t work weekends. Those are hard stop times. Unless it’s something I have my reasons where I might choose to say yes to working weekends, but it’s very few and sparse these days. 

So how can you commit to yourself, to your working times in your business, and to your personal times outside of your business? How can you start being that person today? What stands in the way of you feeling confident? What stands in the way of you being successful or implementing those things that successful you do? What is the resistance? What are your thoughts? 

Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough time. Or maybe there are some uncomfortable feelings and emotions that you have to get through. For example, people pleasing. Maybe you want to say yes to all the things even though they’re not appropriate or helpful for your business and you avoid the discomfort of saying no at the moment. That would be a great time to work with a coach.

Or maybe you’re overworking and it feels uncomfortable to turn off your brain and put your phone and your laptop away and just be present with your family. Another reason to get a coach. 

Or you can begin to solve these right now. The quicker you start solving for these and really spend time answering the questions to bring up what’s holding you back, then the faster you will have more confidence, which will help more people. 

All of that will lead you to generate more consistent and reliable income, become fully booked with a waitlist, and scale your business with more ease.

So there you have it. Some things to be aware of that might show up in sneaky ways. If you’re lacking confidence and feeling a lot of doubt in your practitioner skills and how to shift it to start embodying and becoming a confident practitioner today, start the work today and it’ll lead to a better tomorrow. It’ll lead to a better next week and then in a few months from now, how you feel about your practitioner skills will be very different in a very positive way.

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Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."