I gained my certification to practice in the health and fitness industry from University. That does not mean I discriminate against those who went to TAFE or a private education company- Rather, I believe that no matter how you got qualified, you are only at the embrionic stage of your education in this fantastic profession.
I was fortunate to learn this very early. As I was finishing my degree I landed a job with iNform Health and Fitness Solutions- an Exercise Physiology and Personal Training studio with a reputation for being leaders in the field in staff continued education. I quickly learnt that relative to my new colleagues, I knew very little!
Close to six years later there is a truth that I am comfortable in saying. I know I am a better trainer than I was six months ago. I know that I am a much better trainer than I was 12 months ago; much much better than I was 18months ago and so on. I also know that in six months time……you get the picture.
During this time, along with the factual information and skills I have gained I have also acquired some philosophies that I think hold true. I will, with all humility call them, The 6 Principles Held by Great Health Professionals. In no particular order, they are:
- Accept that you don’t know everything. How could you? Our collective understanding of the human animal is evolving every moment, so how could anyone ever know all there is to know. Our learning is a continuous journey with direction but no destination
- Have an appreciation for just how much you don’t know! I know there are areas of my professional knowledge where enormous gulfs exist and I am cool with that (specifics are too numerous to name!). These obvious gaps exist in areas that are not my particular areas of passionate interest. I am however like an information sponge when I encounter good resources, and when time permits I go seeking them out.
- Know that you operate within a set collection of paradigms. A paradigm is essentially a way that we see and operate within our world. Our paradigms are formed from the knowledge we have acquired, the experiences we’ve had and our interpretation of those. It is essential you know what your paradigms are as only then can we question them and be open to new ways of seeing things. Do not covet your paradigms, let them evolve.
- Let your clients be your teachers. Much of what I know I have my clients to thank for. Ask them questions, respect their answers. Putting yourself on the pedestal of ‘knowledge giver’ serves only your ego, not your client’s needs. I know this as I used to live on that pedestal! I thank some great Health Practitioners for subtly bringing this to my attention.
- Critique what you learn! Don’t swallow information before you have thoroughly chewed it. Just because an ‘expert’ says it is true, doesn’t mean it is. Perhaps they are just spouting their own beliefs based on their world-view. Perhaps the science they covet is flawed? Listen to people, absorb it, evaluate it, then make your own judgement.
- Have strong convictions about what you do. What you do right now should be based on a sound bedrock of current information. If it is you can convey your message passionately. This may sound contradictory to some of the above points but it isn’t if you are always learning and can be humble enough to openly update your convictions. By the way, a foundation of ‘I do this because this is the way it has always been done’ is very shaky ground in which to build your beliefs!
I am sure there are more, and in the spirit of the principles, I will add to them as I grow and learn.Share this with others