Are you a shop-a-holic?

The phone rang. It was Steve. He wanted to resume his coaching. It had been 6 months since his last session.

“How have things been going?”, I asked.

Steve had been to a chiropractor, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nutritionist, and an energy worker. He was feeling “better”, but still struggling with the things that originally brought him to coaching.

What is my purpose?

What can I do to find clarity in my next career move?

Am I parenting in a developmentally nurturing way?

How can I bring my best self into this marriage.

My observation was that he was bouncing between experts, asking for the answers, doing everything he was told. Why was he still suffering? He was behaving like a shop-a-lohic.

I am not talking about clothing. Or gadgets. Or groceries.

I’m talking about shopping for healthcare services.

They are always looking for what’s trending, the best review, a discounted service.

They would like a magic solution. A quick fit. A guarantee.

They will ask around for recommendations, try a combination of several providers at a time, talk it up with their friends about what their so-in-so guru said, but they never stick it out.

Here’s why…

Just like the thrill of shopping, scheduling with a provider and going to that first appointment where you get to share your complaints feels great. It’s a dopamine rush. Even trying something for a second or third time can give the immediate reward you are looking for be it relief, a connection, a new tool. When it comes to sticking it out, however, there is little to no commitment.

Excuses show up: “I have so much going on. I don’t think it’s working. They didn’t say what I wanted to hear.”

These can all be legit barriers to doing the personal work of optimizing your holistic health. It can also be a way of hiding. Doing the work is the hard part and can trigger resistance. It can feel more rewarding to back off and keep shopping. The problem with that is that there is no long term reward to putting it off.

I understand what Steve was doing. He was looking for answers. But, he was looking in the wrong place. Steve doesn’t have a health condition that needs special medical attention. He is experiencing life! He is asking himself all the right questions about meaning and purpose. Through our continued coaching relationship Steve began to answer his own questions. He began to feel empowered. He participated. He committed. He stopped shopping and really began to grow.

If you identify in any small way with this shop-a-holic profile, I encourage you to try coaching. Coaching places you in the expert chair, while the coach  provides the structure and process needed to move yourself forward. Coaching gives you insight into how your day to day habits create your holistic picture of long term health. Stop shopping. Get started on the path to the healthiest you can be.