YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A PERFORMANCE PRACTITIONER
As fitness professionals and performance practitioners you give so much of yourself to your clients, athletes and staff. It is often in our nature to give our time, energy and resources to those around us at work and in our personal lives.
The outcome of this is we don’t leave enough time for ourselves, and our well-being becomes an afterthought and suffers. I for one am fed up with this way of living and enough is enough. I am done with the moaning and bitching about what employers and our industry don’t do for us and I am focussing solely on what I CAN DO about my own wellness and supporting you in enhancing yours.
I have created this ‘Performance Practitioners Well-being’ movement to give you the skills and resources to take back control of your work: life balance and steer your life and career towards fulfilment, enjoyment and longevity. This is why I am ‘The Practitioner Wellness Guy’.
In this article, I will discuss well-being from the standpoint of 3 fundamental pillars which I define as…
This is my own interpretation based on my own experiences hitting the wall and burning out at 31 (you can hear all about my story HERE) and hours of reading around wellness & well-being in the psychology literature, corporate and sporting fields.
After a lot of reading, I started to get confused as to the difference between wellness and well-being. So, to simplify things. I use them interchangeably and rightly or wrongly they mean the same thing to me.
In the next sections, I will discuss each pillar individually and give some details on how they relate to you.
Before we start. Your well-being is bespoke to you. This means that what works and resonates with you, may not for the next person. So as with all content I create, read with an open mind, take what you like, challenge your own beliefs on what you may not agree with and then decide to accept or embrace it.
When we think about happy with think about smiling and laughing. As with each of the well-being pillars, it might mean one thing to me and another to you. As a tongue in cheek example, if I put the washing out at my parents’ house my mum has been known to say ‘that’s happy, thank you’. Not really on board with that mum but each to their own! On the other end of the spectrum, I know people who only use the word happy when they have had a (positive) life-changing moment like getting married, the birth of a child, amazing holiday, pay rise. So you may hear it said once a year or so (if that).
But for me, it’s a feeling or, group of feelings which relate to 3 key areas which 100% operate on a sliding scale…
To me, this is a perfect storm of challenge, responsibility, ownership, opportunity, potential, pleasure and care. This can be anything from an exciting work project to looking after my son for the afternoon. It is not just about what I get out of a situation it is about what I put in, and what others get out of the situation. Personally, I can feel like I failed miserably or that I could have done so much better at something and still feel fulfilled if I was challenged and the other parties got what they wanted and needed.
This to me is what I mentioned earlier, smiling, laughter, presence and being engaged/invested in what is happening. Again, this is transferable to an individual interaction or an environment. If I am engaged and present, I can take enjoyment from most things, if it’s a task I dislike (washing up for example), I’ll put some music or a podcast on and find some satisfaction from doing a good job and fulfilment in getting the job done.
If I am satisfied I have done a good job or that the outcome has supported others to achieve something or gives enjoyment then I’m happy with that.
Happiness can’t just be about smiling, laughing and having fun all the time. That just won’t work in the workplace long term. Additionally, you can’t have all these things all the time, and you might not get all of them every time. Think about my washing up example above.
So now it’s your turn.
What does happiness mean to you?
Do you have those things more often than not?
How are you going to go about obtaining it or reframing what happiness is to you?
For me, this is the complete foundation of well-being, and it is the simplest and most complex all rolled into one.
Health is comprised of 3 areas. Yes, that’s right 3.
All three have a profound influence on the other and they essentially have a synergistic relationship. If you read this article as a performance practitioner or fitness professional, you likely have the best grasp of the physical aspects of health, so I am going to give that the least attention.
This is an area that is a bit more definable (by you), we have all sorts of easily accessible metrics such as scales, contents of our fridge, apps, wearables, fitness assessments etc. The tricky bit isn’t always knowing what to do it is creating and sustaining healthy habits.
It is common with us performance practitioners to NOT practice what we preach with regards to our diets, training and lifestyle. To be brutally honest that’s on us and no one else. It’s all about the choices we make.
Come on. This is what we help our clients to overcome. We know this. If you are trying and not succeeding in improving your physical health, it’s time to call in a professional. A professional coach/trainer/physio/nutritionist/dietician.
Far too much stigma exists about mental health, people (especially men) are still very unwilling to talk about it. We are all tough, don’t want to appear weak, don’t want to burden people so we suffer in silence. This has a huge impact on our mood, relationships and happiness.
Mental health isn’t simply about illnesses and diseases which have been diagnosed by doctors, it is about your thoughts, feelings and mindset.
It’s time for a change.
To be clear right out the gate. Wealth is more than just financial. Don’t get me wrong it is a huge part of it, but other elements are important to consider.
When we consider wealth as the abundance of something desirable it takes our blinkers off as to how we can define that. Here are a whole bunch of additional things wealth can represent
- Experience (professional)
- Life experience
- An abundance of happiness, fulfilment, joy, laughter in your life
- Living an enriched life
- Having health, happiness, hobbies and love in your life
- Having a career
- Having your freedom
- Having time
- Having a roof over your head
So there are some alternatives to what wealth can mean. Personally, I think non-monetary wealth is heavily linked to gratitude and presence, if you can be more present at the moment the enjoyment and fulfilment are often higher. Equally, if you’re able to appreciate the small things in life more regularly then you can get positivity from a lot of different places.
There is the monetary side of wealth to consider and discuss as this is what most people think of when it comes to wealth.
As a caveat to this conversation, I am not a financial advisor and therefore have no right to give advice. But what I will do is give some perspectives around the general concept of money as a means of completing the pillars of well-being.
For me, the approach/mindset/relationship with money is important to be content with either having an abundance of it or not. It is very easy for stress and pressure to be associated with money and this affects well-being. Furthermore, a helpful approach is to keep thoughts about finance in line with health and happiness, it doesn’t accumulate overnight. It takes work, consistency and choosing to prioritise some things over others.
As part of the support network for performance practitioners, I will be employing the services of a professional wealth management/financial advisor company to cover off all financial wealth topics. I firmly believe that if there is an area of life that firmly impacts someone’s well-being then it needs to be discussed. So, I am delighted to be able to announce this in the coming weeks.
The goal of this document was to give a perspective on well-being and how I approach it in order to frame the conversations we have in the Facebook community. I will always talk of
As the 3 pillars of well-being for the reasons presented above. But as I have previously said before, one of the best things about being an adult is choice. So please read and engage with content as follows…
-with an open mind
-challenge your popular held beliefs
-take on board what resonates for you
-leave what doesn’t resonate with you
What is Coming Up?
At the time of writing this the big product launch is less than 2 weeks out! This will be the inaugural practitioner well-being product and will be the first resource of it’s kind designed specifically for performance practitioners to put their happiness, health and wealth first.
It is a really simple product created in collaboration with Sam Portland which will give you the skills to take control of your work: life balance.
Really looking forward to launching this one for you guys!
The Practitioner Wellness Guy