6 Inquiries to Ask in Your Teaching Session That Can Assist Shoppers Overcome Self-Doubt

Motivational interviewing is a robust instrument to assist shoppers in being energetic leaders of their very own well being and wellness journey. 

Whereas asking your shoppers questions, not solely are you studying extra about them, you’re making a secure house the place they will take into consideration previous experiences and present well being behaviors

Some of the highly effective and efficient outcomes of motivational interviewing is the ability it has to assist shoppers overcome doubt. Doubt is a standard expertise amongst individuals who have a need to undertake a brand new well being habits or modify an present one however are conscious of private and environmental challenges that will are available in the best way of doing so. 

On this article, we offer you six query prompts that can be utilized to interact your consumer in a dialogue that can assist them to beat self-doubt.


Access Free Training: 5 Steps to Landing Your First Coaching Client

What Is Motivational Interviewing? 

Motivational interviewing is a way the place you construct a secure house for shoppers to inform you about their experiences, opinions, information, and wishes. Within the course of, not solely does the coach turn out to be extra conscious of the distinctive experiences and challenges of their shoppers, the shoppers are given house to extra concretely categorical their priorities and objectives and hook up with deep motivating components behind present behaviors and desired ones. 

In motivational interviewing, you ask your consumer open questions on what their present well being behaviors are; why they’ve constructed these behaviors; if, how, and why they’ve thought of altering them; and a number of different matters. Once you don’t maintain judgment as they reply, they really feel validated and heard, and this builds a way of belief within the coach-client relationship. 

When applicable, you may ask shoppers in the event that they want to hear in regards to the info you may have earlier than providing it freely. When coaches ask for permission and encourage reflection, it could enormously affect the openness of shoppers to listen to info which may be helpful to them. 

You may study extra about motivational interviewing, together with the basic rules and core abilities, right here. 

The Function of Doubt in Some Well being Habits Change Frameworks

Well being habits change frameworks are extraordinarily helpful for serving to to know how individuals undertake and maintain wholesome behaviors which are conducive to wellbeing. They’re additionally helpful for serving to us to consider components that impede individuals in shifting from one stage of habits change to a different that will get them nearer to adopting a brand new well being follow sustainably. 

Take into account that, identical to alternative is just one issue that influences well being behaviors, self-doubt is only one sort of doubt that will impede people from making well being habits modifications after recognizing a need to take action. Different sorts of doubt might embrace a insecurity in a healthcare supplier and/or whether or not environmental components will enable the person to make well being habits modifications. 

The Function of Doubt within the Transtheoretical Mannequin of Habits Change

The transtheoretical mannequin was developed by Prochaska and DiClemente with the aim of summarizing the unifying components of a number of habits change theories. The transtheoretical levels of change mannequin, which is pictured under and described intimately within the full weblog about well being habits change theories, is summarized in 5 important levels: 

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Motion
  • Upkeep

The motion of a person alongside the 5 levels is taken into account progress towards desired change. At any stage, a person can relapse to a earlier stage. 


Why may an individual relapse or not progress to the subsequent stage of well being habits change? There are a number of causes, together with:

  • A scarcity of social assist
  • A scarcity of entry to healthcare companies
  • Modifications in priorities
  • Modifications in well being objectives  
  • Change in well being standing
  • Modifications in or an underestimation of the ability of social, environmental, and psychological determinants of well being

Self-doubt is taken into account one of many psychological or cognitive determinants of well being. Well being coaches have an essential position in understanding and supporting shoppers in modifying their mindset which may be impeding their progress from one stage to a different. 

The Function of Doubt within the Well being Perception Mannequin of Habits Change

The Well being Perception Mannequin is likely one of the most generally used well being habits change frameworks. Additionally it is one of many oldest in Western society, which is why it has ample research that assist its use. 

The Well being Perception Mannequin focuses on the psychological determinants of well being habits change. The psychological determinants embrace:

  • Perceived susceptibility to growing a well being situation 
  • Perceived severity of the well being situation 
  • Perceived advantages of taking motion to forestall or cut back the chance of the present situation 
  • Perceived limitations to taking motion 
  • Cues to motion or occasions that happen that inspire an individual to do one thing otherwise 
  • Self-efficacy or the boldness in an individual’s potential to take motion 

The psychological determinants are interconnected, and they’re knowledgeable by trauma. Under is the diagram that explains how the totally different psychological components come into play with one another in keeping with the Well being Perception Mannequin. 



Self-efficacy is the other of self-doubt. So, when well being coaches need to assist shoppers overcome self-doubt, what they need to be aiming to do is enhance the shoppers’ sense of self-efficacy. 

Traits of Self-Doubt

Beata Souders, a candidate for a doctorate in psychology, identifies a number of traits that folks with self-doubt or a scarcity of self-efficacy might have. 

These embrace: 

  • Avoiding accepting challenges in concern of failing
  • Believing that they’re incapable of change or of performing difficult duties
  • Specializing in adversities and previous failures as character traits or private shortcomings
  • A scarcity of sense of dedication

6 Motivational Interviewing Query Prompts to Assist Shoppers Overcome Self-Doubt 

Notice: Keep in mind to comply with the rules of motivational interviewing when utilizing these query prompts in your follow. 

Are you able to inform me a few time the place you made a change you wished to make in your life? 

When your shoppers stroll right into a well being teaching session with you, they might assume that you’ll solely be speaking about progress updates towards their well being objectives. When an individual is experiencing self-doubt of their potential to make well being habits modifications, they may have hassle remembering that they’re able to change. 

Shifting the main target from well being behaviors, which can be a topic of rivalry, to optimistic experiences up to now, might not solely lighten the temper but additionally creates a possibility to your shoppers to replicate on conditions the place they have been in a position to overcome adversity.  

Some follow-up questions you may need to ask embrace:

  • What do you assume made that scenario totally different from different moments the place you confronted adversity?
  • Are you able to recall one other scenario the place you wished to make a change and did it?
  • Are you able to recall a scenario the place a change was surprising, however you loved the result? 

What private strengths do you may have that will assist you to obtain your well being objectives? 

It’s potential that your consumer might reply that they don’t have any of the abilities they should obtain their well being objectives. On this case, you may need to migrate away from talking about well being objectives for a couple of minutes since they may really feel notably weak or uncertain at that second. As a substitute, you may ask them to consider an expert aim or private aim they’ve achieved up to now. If they’re having hassle pondering of something, you may present some examples, equivalent to graduating from highschool or school, getting a certificates, touchdown a job, shopping for a home, or getting taxes so as. 

Then, ask them to establish private strengths they’ve that allowed them to attain that aim. If they’re nonetheless having hassle vocalizing their strengths, you may ask permission to share what you understand are your consumer’s strengths based mostly on the data they shared with you. Some adjectives chances are you’ll need to think about using, when relevant, embrace:

  • Assured
  • Dedicated
  • Hardworking
  • Organized
  • Centered
  • Robust 
  • Resilient
  • Reliable
  • Resolute
  • Sure
  • Assured
  • Convicted
  • Daring
  • Composed
  • Assertive

You may ask in the event that they agree with these descriptors and clarify how their previous actions reveal these traits. Subsequent, you may discover whether or not these traits might be utilized to reaching their well being objectives and even visualize what it could seem like in the event that they did so. 

What encourages and conjures up you? 

You may focus this query on their well being objectives however not essentially. For those who select to use it to your consumer’s well being objectives, it would assist to focus on perceived advantages and cues to motion of the Well being Perception Mannequin. 

At first, for some shoppers, it may be useful to talk extra typically about what encourages and conjures up them and discover these components. Then, you may ask them in the event that they really feel these individuals, emotions, or components they talked about are related of their well being behaviors and well being objectives. 

You may also need to ask about whether or not they’re fascinated with modifying their well being objectives in order that they lean on what encourages and conjures up them extra clearly. 

What are you able to acquire by making a change? 

This query helps shoppers replicate on the perceived advantages of fixing their well being habits. One of many benefits of this query is that shoppers typically see the advantages as solely coming about as soon as the ultimate aim is reached. The place related, you may supply details about how incremental modifications can supply advantages. 

For instance, in case your consumer needs to satisfy the minimal bodily exercise pointers (half-hour of average train a day, 5 days every week) as a part of a method to decrease their hypertension, you may inform them, with their permission, that even a couple of minutes of motion through the day is useful to their coronary heart well being.

Not solely do these conversations supply a secure house to debate progress and setbacks, however additionally they assist shoppers to put aside an all-or-nothing mentality and be proud and forgiving of themselves.  

Who might give you assist in making this transformation? 

The position of social assist in overcoming self-doubt is commonly neglected. People are naturally social beings that thrive in tight-knit teams. Social assist might embrace members of the family however not essentially. They might be associates, colleagues, or individuals from assist teams. 

Your consumer might even particularly look to you as somebody whose assist they’re looking for with a view to make a well being change. If that’s the case, or in case your consumer is struggling to establish individuals who they will rely on, supply your full assist and ask them what they want that to seem like. 

Keep in mind, nevertheless, to bolster your skilled boundaries so that you don’t expertise burnout

What can we work on collectively to make you’re feeling the progress I’ve seen? 

Earlier than asking this query, ask your consumer in the event that they really feel okay with you making an statement about their progress. 

With their permission, lead with a concrete statement or instance of the progress you’ve perceived and recall traits associated to self-efficacy. 

Right here is an instance of the way you may need to use this query: 

Since we first began assembly, I’ve seen that you’ve got [make a positive observation about their progress]. This reveals nice [mention traits or characteristics]. How can we work collectively to change your objectives and assist you to recognize the progress I’ve seen?

The aim of this query is to reevaluate the teaching plan or your consumer’s well being objectives. You may discover they felt that the objectives they’d initially set with you have been unrealistic, so opening the door to revising these objectives to permit them to really feel like they’re extra attainable can characterize a major aid to them within the quick run and larger self-efficacy to attain well being habits objectives and maintain optimistic well being behaviors in the long term. 

Fundamental Takeaways

Self-doubt is a standard problem when individuals need to make a change in any facet of their lives. In terms of well being behaviors, the well being coach is the first professional in tips on how to assist shoppers in overcoming self-doubt and different cognitive limitations to optimistic well being habits change. 

Motivational interviewing methods are one strategy to discover the totally different elements that affect well being beliefs that affect how people are making progress towards well being habits change. When the query prompts on this article are built-in into a bigger teaching technique, your shoppers can start to really feel extra self-efficacious whereas additionally understanding that the well being teaching house is a secure house

New call-to-action


  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/document/2008-17602-004
  2. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/element/physical-activity 
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0272989X08327068
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/109019817400200405

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart