“If I can do it, you are able to do it.”

You’ve heard that health recommendation. Possibly you’ve even mentioned the phrases your self.

(Sheepishly raises hand.)

And it’s time for this cliché to finish.

Particularly on the subject of health, diet, and well being.

As a result of more often than not: 

It’s not true. 

Simply because you can do one thing doesn’t imply another person can do it.

Extra importantly, this phrase backfires, making individuals really feel worse than earlier than.

Right here’s why, and the health recommendation you would possibly wish to supply as an alternative.


Once we use this health recommendation, we normally have the perfect of intentions.

Possibly we’re attempting to narrate to a consumer: “Hey, I’ve been there!”

Or maybe we’ve felt impressed by any variety of information tales. Suppose: Blind man climbs Everest.

However there’s an issue.

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No two individuals are precisely the identical.

We would, as coaches, suppose we’re evaluating apples (our life) to apples (our consumer’s life). However extra possible, our consumer is aware of they’re an orange… and feels misunderstood and alienated—normally for one (or all) of the next causes.

#1: Somebody’s background impacts their well being.

Issues like the place we’re born, how we grew up, and what we do for work form how we eat, transfer, and dwell. In addition they have an effect on our capacity to alter for the higher.

Technically, these elements are known as social determinants of well being. They usually can affect us positively or negatively.

Examples of social determinants embrace:

  • Revenue
  • Schooling
  • Job stability
  • Work situations
  • Meals entry and safety
  • Housing and surroundings
  • Early childhood improvement
  • Social group
  • Neighborhood surroundings
  • Entry to reasonably priced and high-quality well being care

Social determinants could be extra vital than life-style selections in influencing well being, in accordance with the World Health Organization.

Right here’s how this may play out with shoppers.

You inform somebody to hit the health club. In the event you can muster the hassle to get to the health club on a busy schedule, so can your consumer, proper?

Properly no, not essentially.

Particularly in the event that they work lengthy hours and don’t have childcare.

Or possibly you counsel “extra veggies” to a digital consumer.

You don’t like veggies both, you say, but when you can discover a solution to eat them, your consumer can certainly determine it out. Besides, your consumer lives with their mother-in-law who cooks all of their important meals, which have a tendency to incorporate few veggies. In your consumer’s house, everybody thanks the prepare dinner, whether or not they just like the meals or not.

Does your consumer have some choices? Certain—however not as many as somebody who has extra management over their dinner plate.

There are millions of methods social determinants of well being could make what’s doable for you (with some exhausting work) straight up unattainable (or an entire lot tougher) for another person. Some social determinants of well being are actually exhausting to acknowledge—particularly for those who haven’t walked in that particular person’s footwear. So heed this common rule of thumb: Don’t make assumptions.

#2: Each particular person’s physique is exclusive.

Let’s assume you and your consumer have the identical social circumstances.

Is it okay to say “if I can do it, you are able to do it?”

Spoiler alert: Nope.

As a result of genetics additionally play a task. 

Say you’re an individual who places on muscle simply. For you, sustaining a lean, athletic physique means working exhausting within the health club and conserving a detailed eye in your diet.

After all, these two issues require effort. Possibly lots of effort.

However an individual who has a tougher time constructing muscle, and tends to retailer fats round their center because of their genes?

They’re not going to get the identical outcomes as you—even when they eat and train precisely the identical approach. These are the genetic playing cards they’ve been dealt.

So no—they will’t “do it” simply because you possibly can.

#3: Some individuals are luckier than others.

Most individuals who’ve labored exhausting to get the place they’re don’t wish to admit that the universe may need helped them out a bit.

Think about this: You’re an athlete competing on the CrossFit Video games.

The ultimate exercise—the one which decides who’ll win—occurs to be deadlift-focused, one thing you’re particularly nice at. (If it’d been snatches, it’d be a very completely different state of affairs.)

Once you win the CrossFit Video games after that closing exercise, it doesn’t imply you haven’t labored exhausting. However did you additionally profit from the luck of the draw? Yup.

Maybe a extra relatable instance: Possibly you met a coach or pal—simply as you’re able to make a change—who revolutionizes how you consider diet and health. And that units you down the trail to a more healthy life-style.

In an alternate universe, the place you didn’t meet that tremendous coach on the proper time, it’d’ve taken you an entire longer to get the place you’re at this time.

The purpose: Don’t low cost the “proper place, proper time” impact.

3 higher methods to assist your shoppers

Use all three collectively—or choose what works finest in a given dialog.

1. Use restricted relatability.

Say somebody’s going by way of a divorce, and their coach has been by way of one, too. It may very well be tempting to supply recommendation like:

“I do know this can be a exhausting time for you. My divorce was brutal! However I managed to remain on prime of my diet whereas going by way of mine, so I do know you are able to do it.”


There’s a greater approach to make use of the experiences you could have in widespread with a consumer, with out making assumptions about their state of affairs.

It’s known as restricted relatability, which helps you relate, whereas additionally permitting your consumer to really feel heard and perceive.

To grasp the method, use this easy two-step system.

Share your expertise: “I do know what [fill in the blank] seems like for me.”
Get inquisitive about your consumer’s expertise by asking an open-ended query: What does it appear to be for you?”

Translated to a real-life teaching dialog, you would possibly say one thing like:

“That sounds robust. After I was scuffling with binge consuming, I felt so powerless and annoyed. What are you feeling on this second?”

2. Discover and title the brilliant spot.

This technique is all about taking a second to understand and applaud what your consumer has simply shared.

You would possibly say:

“You understand what? It really takes fairly superb self-awareness to determine and acknowledge that this can be a barrier for you proper now. What does it really feel prefer to have such a agency grasp in your state of affairs?”

Or possibly:

“We are able to speak problem-solving in a second, however earlier than we do this, I wish to pause and inform you that it’s superb you’ve pinpointed this as a problem. I don’t know for those who’d have been ready to do this six months in the past!”

This may be actually efficient as a result of the consumer isn’t anticipating to pause. They’re anticipating methods to maneuver ahead. You’re giving them a second to cease, take inventory, and mirror on their awesomeness earlier than taking motion.

3. Encourage them with their very own accomplishments.

Let’s say your consumer’s apprehensive in regards to the concept of shutting down earlier to get extra sleep.

As a substitute of that previous “if I can do it, you are able to do it” recommendation, strive highlighting their previous accomplishments. That would sound like:

“You understand what? You really informed me this very same factor a few months in the past about going to the health club. And now you’re going recurrently! We are able to discuss particular methods to make going to mattress earlier extra doable, but in addition, bear in mind how far you’ve come.”

Mainly, as an alternative of claiming “if I can do it, you are able to do it,” you’re saying, “if you are able to do this one factor, you are able to do this different factor!”

You’re exhibiting them that you just see their exhausting work.

And most significantly, due to that onerous work, you imagine in them.

Once you use the above methods together with your shoppers, you’ll accomplish one thing that the phrase “If I can do it, so are you able to” simply can’t:

You’ll assist them really feel heard, seen, and valued.

That’ll go a great distance in the direction of strengthening your relationship—and finally assist your shoppers get higher outcomes.

In the event you’re a coach, otherwise you wish to be…

Studying methods to coach shoppers, sufferers, mates, or members of the family by way of wholesome consuming and life-style modifications—in a approach that’s customized for his or her distinctive physique, preferences, and circumstances—is each an artwork and a science.

In the event you’d prefer to study extra about each, take into account the Precision Vitamin Degree 1 Certification.