Coaching tip: help clients who self-sabotage

How to Help Clients Who Self-Sabotage

all or nothing bad habits behavior change breaking habits coaching fixed mindset growth mindset habits mindset coach psychology self sabotage Jul 22, 2022


Client check-in days *can* be a good time. 

Your clients share their wins with you and talk about how excited they are that they’ve been consistent with their nutrition and training, and they’re eager to keep going and making progress. 

It would be fantastic if every client check-in was like this, but, unfortunately, it is not. 

We also often deal with check-ins with clients who struggle with self-sabotage. 

Helping clients who struggle with self-sabotage can be challenging, but it is possible to help them when you understand the psychology of the behaviors leading them to this struggle.


Clients Who Self-Sabotage


Truth time: as a coach, learning how to program for progressive overload and how to set macros for fat loss didn’t prepare you for this.

I’m going to guess that one of the struggles you’ve faced as a fitness coach is dreading certain check-ins because you know your client didn’t stick to the plan this week, and you’re out of ideas for how to help.⁣

You’re probably exhausted after a week of check-ins with clients who say they’re motivated and ready to go just to see them fail to follow through again.⁣

It’s normal to be frustrated by your lack of strategies to help clients who struggle with self-control, all-or-nothing thinking, and negative thought patterns.⁣

You’re also likely losing confidence in yourself as a coach because you have clients who continue to sabotage their own progress, no matter how you adjust the plan.⁣

It’s draining.⁣

 And your nutrition and training certifications didn’t prepare you for this problem.⁣

 That’s okay! Because you’ve got me!

 I can’t teach you everything about how to help your clients in a single blog post, but I can do a LOT if you spend 13 weeks with me inside the Health Mindset Coaching Certification.⁣


How to Help Clients Who Self-Sabotage


I’m not here to just reel you into this post and tell you to enroll in HMCC⁣.

 Here’s a quick tip you can implement right now to help your clients get out of their way:⁣

 Ask your clients questions instead of telling them what to do.

 You should be enrolling your clients in the “hunt for the solution” rather than coming up with solutions that you think will stop their self-sabotage.⁣

 Here are some examples of how this could sound:⁣

What do you think is causing the self-sabotage? What’s triggering it?⁣

Can you describe a time that you were able to overcome self-sabotage? Even once?⁣

Do you have any ideas for how we can tackle this?⁣

What makes the difference between times you do self-sabotage and times you don’t?⁣

Remember, you’re the nutrition and fitness expert, not the expert on your client’s life, preferences, strengths, etc.

Check out this post if you want more guidance on the types of questions you should ask your clients to help them achieve their goals.⁣

Once you see the coaching relationship as that, a RELATIONSHIP, and something that requires collaboration (a core tenant at KJO Coaching!), you’ll be better at addressing self-sabotage (P.S., I have a 5-day free workshop series on all aspects of self-sabotage, too!).⁣

And the more often your clients feel like they’re helping create a plan and make decisions, the more likely they are to be successful.


Become a Better Fitness Coach


You’re already a great coach who wants to help your clients become the best versions of themselves, so why not become the best version of yourself. 

The Health Mindset Coaching Certification is perfect for fitness professionals who are constantly struggling with non-adherent clients and feel unable to help those with self-sabotaging behaviors, all-or-nothing thinking, and/or mindset barriers.

Through this 13-week program, I can help you become more confident in your abilities to help your clients with the psychological aspects of health and fitness. You’ll be able to help your clients with mindset, habits, goal setting, willpower, self-efficacy, confidence, negative thought patterns, and more!

Click here to join the waitlist for the next round of the Health Mindset Coaching Certification and get 5 FREE primer lessons to get you started!

Check out my original Instagram post here.


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Email: [email protected]

IG: @coachkaseyjo @kjocoaching

Hi, I'm Kasey!

I coach, mentor, write, and teach with one main focus: Build strong bodies and healthy lifestyles, starting with your mindset.


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