One of life’s greatest dangers is:
Not walking your talk.
Talking is easy.
Walking your talk can be quite hard.
Particularly when we’re talking about ever-present practices like how to relate to one’s own thoughts and feelings, or how to communicate with other human beings, or how to navigate fears and inadequacies.
If you have any aspirations whatsoever of growing a successful private practice, learning to walk your talk and actually apply the things you preach to your clients is one of the most powerful things you can possibly do.
Alignment is Profitable
Alignment in your practice takes many forms.
Do you actually live the principles of your chosen modalities?
Do you put the wisdom of your education into practice in the way you relate to your family members, colleagues, random social contacts?
Do you live in accordance with the good actions you regularly encourage your clients to follow?
When you’re aligned (to the extent possible) with what you’re telling your clients, you’ll receive several benefits:
- First off, you’ll be a better therapist. Your words will carry more certainty and authority, which will translate into the impact those words have on your clients who hear them.
- Great work has a way of spreading. Your clients will rave about what it’s like to be your client. Enthusiasm is inspiring and leads people to take action and actually give you a call for therapy.
- When you walk your talk and live in accordance with the principles you espouse, you’ll be a better salesperson. When prospective clients call into your practice, your certainty will add extra oomph to how you conduct initial calls with people exploring whether or not to become your client.
- If the ways of living you espouse are actually effective, then you yourself will grow and evolve as a human being – thereby becoming more capable, more integrated, and more conscious. You’ll have better ideas, you’ll take better actions, and you’ll be more grateful for the opportunities presented to you in the course of your days.
Walking Your Talk Feels Good; Being a Hypocrite Feels Awful
I’ve had a front row seat to watch how much (or how little) various therapists walk their talk.
There’s a serious danger in becoming a therapist and then not actually applying the teachings of your training.
When you’re out of alignment, a sinking sense of being a fraud will creep into your mind and your emotions.
A successful practice grows from a coherent center. Success, which is fundamentally a long-term phenomenon, emerges from alignment and follow-through over an extended period.
You can fake something for a time…but eventually, the bill comes due.
I have seen anxiety “experts” who are riddled through with anxiety.
I have seen depression “specialists” sapped by their own untreated depression.
I have seen couples counseling “whizzes” whose relationship lives are in disarray. One couples counselor with a fairly successful practice was one of the rudest people I’ve interacted with in the past couple years. Their practice rests on a foundation of sand.
Remember our mantra around here: 80% is perfect.
You don’t have to be perfect to be in alignment with the teachings you espouse to your clients.
You just have to be putting in the best effort you can.
Even the most expert practitioner can slip back into old habits of anxiety or depression when things get particularly rough. This is normal, and it’s important to extend a very forgiving hand to yourself in these moments.
However, it’s also important to be honest with yourself. Are you doing your best to walk your talk? Or are you mailing it in?
Everyone Wants Success; Not Everyone Wants to Do the Work
It’s (usually) fun to talk.
It’s (usually) less fun to do the work.
Rare things are more valuable.
Walking your talk is rare…and therefore far more valuable than being one of the legions of people who talk big but barely follow through.
If you want a successful practice – and if you want your practice to stay successful for the long-term – then you MUST get into as full alignment as possible with the teachings and practices you share with your clients.
All the online marketing strategies in the world will do you worse than no good if you don’t first focus on walking your talk.
You Don’t Have to Walk Alone
When I worked with the first therapist who found me about a decade ago, I had no idea where this work would lead.
Now, I’ve helped over 1,000 therapists and naturopaths and acupuncturists and bodyworkers and speech language pathologists and professionals from all sorts of wellness professions.
Inside Therapy Practice Accelerator, we’ve built a community that strives to walk its talk – and supports everyone to do the work required to truly embody the good practices the wellness professions offer the world.
If you’d like as much support as possible to help you walk your talk – along with strategies, tactics, and technology that will help you grow your practice like never before – then the next step is easy.
Book a strategy call with one of our practice-building experts so we can learn more about you and show you how we can help you walk your talk, build the practice of your dreams, and help more and more people feel better and do better each day.