At The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA), we learn about the principal of ikigai in our health coaching certification program. The Japanese concept of ikigai (pronounced ick-ee-guy) means “reason for being.” It is the intersection of four main factors: what you love, what you do well, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Everyone has an ikigai, but discovering it can require a deep exploration of yourself. At FMCA, we also refer to it as following your dreams or finding your “why”.
Just as mental, emotional, and spiritual factors influence a patient’s overall health and resiliency, they are also factors in your own decision to become a Functional Medicine Health Coach. Here is how we see ikigai being applied in Functional Medicine Health Coaching:
What You Love:
What brings you joy? What aspects of your life bring you the most happiness? What gives you a sense of personal fulfillment? What is important to you? If you had to choose one thing to do for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If you are doing what you truly love, it often won’t even feel like work. You are focused and capable of living in the moment because you are fulfilled, instead of dreaming of something better. Doing what you love makes you more engaged and dedicated towards your work, making you feel productive and enthusiastic.
As a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC), you will be able to apply your knowledge immediately to helping and serving yourself and your community. Maybe you are a life-long learner, and you love to keep your mind engaged and body active. You thrive off of new knowledge-based perspectives on the world around you. You enjoy gaining new experiences, and training your brain to handle a wide range of challenges. Or perhaps you enjoy helping people in health and wellness, and giving back to others and the community. It boosts your happiness, health, and sense of well-being knowing that you have impacted someone’s life for the better.
What You Do Well:
What are your best qualities, talents, and skills? What are your areas of expertise? What have you done well in the past? What unique services and experiences can you offer your future clients? When your friends or colleagues ask you for advice or help, what are they most often asking for?
Many times, the things we’re good at ARE our passions. By identifying what you’re good at, and doing the things that come naturally to you, your brain and body get to do what they love. If you feel that you are naturally good at listening and understanding without judgement, guiding those around you, educating others on the latest health trends, and supporting them when they need it most—then you already on your way to becoming a great health coach!
What You Can Be Paid For:
What professional activities are within your scope of practice? Which of those activities generates income? Are there professional trainings or certificate programs that could increase your knowledge and skills, or expand the services you are able to offer?
Are you ready to take the leap and become a Functional Medicine Health Coach full-time? Now is the time! Health coaching is one of the jobs on the rise for 2021, according to LinkedIn. There are many ways you can work full-time as a health coach, such as in a medical practice, in a corporate wellness setting, starting your own business, the list goes on! Maybe you want to add health coaching to your current job or just do it on the side? The sky is the limit when it comes to the ways you can work as a Functional Medicine Health Coach.
What The World Needs:
What is your global vision for the future? What would you like to see change, and how do you think that change can be achieved? What changes would you like to see in your professional field? How can you create positive change within your community?
With the rise in chronic disease, the world needs health coaches now more than ever, and people are recognizing that health coaches can bridge the gap in traditional health care. Health coaches are now “trendy providers,” per a recent Health.com article; coaches can address root-cause issues within our current medical system, and hiring a personal health coach could change a client’s life for the better.
Did the connection between ikigai and Functional Medicine Heath Coaching resonate with you? If you answered, “Yes, this is me!” to any of our ikigai in health coaching, then we have one question for you: Are YOU ready to follow your ikigai as a Functional Medicine Health Coach?