How “My modality helps everyone” Hurts Your Practice

The fact that your modality supposedly can help everyone doesn’t mean you can help everyone.

Or that you should even try.

Is your modality one of the many that boast being able to offer something great for everyone on the planet? Mine is. The problem is that while it’s true in general, in the specific, concrete realm of your daily life, it probably doesn’t quite work like that.

In this article, we’re going to look at how sticking to the mantra that “my modality helps everyone” could be really hurting you, and you’ll find out what you can do about it, starting now.

How "My modality helps everyone" hurts your practice

Not everyone wants it

Okay, we can accept that in the best of all possible worlds, everyone would love your modality and line up to reap its benefits on a regular basis—meaning that Earth would need a trained practitioner of your modality for every few thousand people on the planet in order to satisfy the demand… that means millions, no matter how you divvy it up.

But you know it isn’t like that.

Who wants your modality?
Objects in rear view mirror are smaller than they appear :/

The truth is that no matter how terrific that modality is, people are different and not everyone wants to do what you did to get the transformation that was essential to you.

It’s impossible for people to benefit from it if they don’t want it.

That has nothing to do with the practitioner, skill level or sales ability—it’s about the potential client.

Some people don’t like to be touched. Some people have an adverse reaction to scents. Some people don’t want to slow down or look inside for their own answers or take responsibility for themselves. Whatever the features of your modality are, they will attract some people and repel others.

That means there are people your modality cannot help because they simply will not “go there.”

There’s no need for blame, no need for “Yes, but if they would only… “ and no need for wondering what’s wrong with them. They are simply not candidates for your modality. And that means they are not your potential client.

What to do: 1) Acknowledge reality

  • Make a list of reasons you love your work… all the features that really light your fire.
  • For each thing on your list, find at least one reason that some people may have a different, maybe opposite reaction—one that you would want to be respected if it were your own position.

What to do: 2) Stop focusing on what doesn’t apply and focus instead on what does apply

  • Don’t take it personally—it’s not about you, and it’s not a statement about your modality.
  • Don’t waste time trying to convince people who aren’t interested.
  • Celebrate the fact that the job of finding your clients just got easier, because you don’t have to worry about anyone who simply isn’t interested in your modality!

Your modality is not your work

YOU are your biggest assetIt’s quite possible that you spent a long time training in your modality, and identify with it as “your work.”

Unfortunately, that reduces to a mere commodity the priceless and unique training you’ve spent your entire life acquiring so that you can serve precisely the people you are designed to help. It can turn your incomparable Life Ph.D. into a generic form of bodywork that people think they can get from any and every other practitioner who offers your modality.

It’s even possible that your work is perceived as interchangeable with other touch modalities that are very different from yours.

Your work is different from everyone else’s because only you have the unique constellation of life experience, lessons and skills you’ve learned from your challenges, and the expertise you’ve acquired from your modality training.

Nevertheless, there are many reasons you might discount that—

Maybe you believe that you “are supposed” to advertise your modality so that it will become a household word.

Maybe you are loyal to your modality because you experienced transformation through it… and you want to help others to experience a similar shift.

Maybe the common belief in your community is that your modality is superior to everything else out there… so you think it would be sacrilegious to “mix it up” with anything else you’ve learned.

Maybe you feel too small on your own… and talking about your modality gives you an inner sense of credibility that you don’t feel when you talk about your specific ability to help people.

Sentiments like these are often expressed by those small but incessant voices that keep you and me in check. They have a beautiful goal in mind for us, but their purpose often needs updating.

In reality, the clients you can help the most are the ones who will be attracted to you because of the skills you’ve developed over your lifetime, not simply because you “do” your modality. When you relate to them as a leader who has overcome challenges similar to the ones they face, they know there is something special about you and their desire to work with you goes beyond wanting to enjoy the generic benefits of your modality.

What to do: Embrace your entire self in your practice.

  • Identify challenges you encountered in your life (the ones you think you should hide are probably the most relevant).
  • Mine them to find out what you learned about, from and because of them, including the skills you developed.
  • Think about how those skills are useful to your clients now and how you can use that connection to help people see why they need to work with you.

You may not have the skill to help everyone

This is not a revolutionary idea: skill develops over time. It’s how we learn most things, and your practice is no different.Grow Your Comfort Zone Organically

As a new graduate from a training program, you can help some people, but it would be ridiculous to think that you can get great results with the wide variety of clients your trainers work with.

It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work with clients yet, or that you shouldn’t charge the people you see. It simply means that you need to find the people who need the skills you have at the present moment—not the ones you will develop in another 5 or 10 years.

When you focus on the people you are currently able to help, you’ll find that working with them offers a natural way to embed everything you’ve learned. What you know in your head and in your own body begins to come through your hands during your sessions. As you reach the limits of your knowledge at any given level of development, it’s easy to identify which advanced work is going to move you forward. That, in turn, expands your comfort zone in the easiest and most natural way possible.

On the other hand, increasing the pressure you may feel to produce results with clients you don’t feel prepared to help is just one of the ways that emphasizing your modality instead of your own work is ineffective in building your practice. In addition, it can increase competition, foster the feeling that you are “less than,” and even stop you from looking for clients.

What to do: Avoid the double bind created when your modality “helps everyone,” but you don’t feel confident to help everyone right now.

  • Identify the people you CAN help NOW.
  • Focus your efforts on finding those people. You’ll feel that your comfort zone gets bigger, and you’ll start to see clearly what you want to learn next as a logical expansion of what you are currently doing.

Building your practice without relying on helping the entire world may seem like a daunting task, but in fact, it works better and faster than trying to appeal to everyone!

Next time: Clients you are not designed to serve… subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it!

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4 thoughts on “How “My modality helps everyone” Hurts Your Practice”

  1. What a relief it has been to let go of the “my modality can help everyone” and therefore “I should be able to help everyone” mentality! Relief and a sense of clarity. Now I can focus on who my ideal clients are. And Allison’s H2H and HJ courses have helped me identify who those clients are. Deeper work has helped me understand that the challenges I’ve overcome–which I tended to hide or think as negatives–are the very lifeblood of my practice. Those challenges I’ve overcome have given me unique and specific skills that can help unique and specific clients. Embracing this has enabled me to get clearer and clearer in how I talk about what I do. And, this has helped my potential clients be able to know how I can help them. Focusing on who I can help now frees up such a huge amount of time and energy. This has made my practice stronger and to grow authentically.

    1. Hi, Maggie… thanks for commenting about your experience. It’s really clear to me that anyone who has taken a training to practice any touch modality can help people, but it’s not easy to find them when you don’t know who you’re looking for. When you can focus on the people who are a good fit with you, you have the opportunity to help so may more people! It’s been an honor helping you get to that place!

  2. I appreciate this reminder that I’m not an ambassador for the method. Your emphasis that clients come to my practice because they want to work with ME has been an essential tool in allowing me to build my practice. I’m getting clearer about the kind of people who enjoy working and learning with me and vice versa. And they let me know. They say, “I enjoy it.” Or “I appreciate your sense of humor.” They invest in multiple lesson packages and are clear about the benefit they’re receiving. We look forward to seeing each other.

    I recently had a conversation with a prospective client over the phone who was asking me about the method I’m trained in, the requirements for certification, etc. I answered a few of her questions. And then I said that, in the end, regardless of my qualifications, at least 50% of our success in working together would be about communication, whether it was easy for us to understand each other. And whether we enjoyed it. She and her husband are coming to to meet with me next week for consultations. We’ll see how it goes. If I feel that I’m not the right practitioner for them, I can refer them to someone who’s a better fit.

    It’s largely because of your training in having a Heart to Heart conversation, Allison, that I have the confidence and tools to conduct a phone conversation so clearly and guide it successfully to booking a consultation. Thanks!

    1. Angela,
      Thanks for taking the time to write. What you are describing is so true… people make a relationship with practitioners, not with a modality. Maybe in a training program, it’s with the modality as well, but I can’t think of an instance where I learned without a relationship of some sort with the teacher. And I can think of several where I chose NOT to learn because it wasn’t a fit with the person offering the guidance. I’m so glad to have been on the same tour bus with you!

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