While Lakhila Tellis, RN, works full-time as a night shift nurse for a skilled nursing facility that serves people with a wide variety of co-morbidities—including mental illness—in her free time, she has a side gig as a mental fitness coach.
Although Tellis is busy—she has a book coming out in April called Excuse Your Excuses, she took time to answer our questions about her additional job.
How did you get interested in being a Mental Fitness Coach? What drew you to it? How long have you been doing it?
A year ago, I took a speaker mastery course. I knew I wanted to be a motivational speaker. I then considered staying in the realm of health care. I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do to help others such as being a nurse consultant or simply being a motivational speaker. Either way, I wanted to utilize my skills and knowledge to make an impact in many lives. Yet I had to narrow down what direction I wanted go with my speaking career. I actually discovered my niche while writing my book and confirmed my destiny with my talk show Activities of Daily Living. While developing content for my show, I was led to help people get mentally fit.
Explain to me briefly what a Mental Fitness Coach is. Did you have to get additional training/education to do it?
Do you know how a physical fitness coach or trainer helps to shape up your body and improve your eating habits? They evaluate the whole you to improve your lifestyle. As a mental fitness coach, I use the same process. I evaluate what the problem is for my client, and we work together to create an action plan and implement what needs to be done to improve their mental habits and mental lifestyle. I did not take any specific class to become a coach, but I use my personal experiences and my 20 years of nursing knowledge.
What types of people do you serve? What are they looking for and what do you provide for them?
Always having a great desire to help women, I decided to use my experience. It was time I helped women overcome past traumas and abuse, to help them live a happier and more fulfilling life. My clients are fed up with feeling sad, depressed, and useless. It is highly likely they may be able to fake happiness, but they are lost, alone, and probably do not understand why they feel the way they do. Their self-esteem is low and they under value themselves because they cannot see or feel their beauty outside or inside their mind and body.
What I do is, I use strategic methods customary to my client to help them release the past hurt and disappointment. I coach clients on shifting their mindset to muscle through their situation. Being aware of many learning needs, I have created a multi-faceted program to serve clients.
Do you find that this is easy to do even while working as a nurse? Do you meet with clients in person (pre-COVID-19)? Do you meet with them virtually now? Or via email? Please explain how it works.
Being a night shift nurse does make it difficult to run my business full force. I have learned how to use time management to make it work. I use multiple platforms to share my information including my podcast and my talk show Activities of Daily Living. I started my business pre-COVID-19. I pivoted to offer online coaching, which was actually great. It expanded the number of people I could reach nationally.
It is very rewarding knowing the most difficult hardships in my life is now used to inspire others to create a magnificent shift in their life if they are willing and ready. I offer personal sessions via the phone or Zoom calls. I have group masterminds to educate on mental health topics to help clients understand what they are experiencing. I do not meet with anyone in person at this time, but I will be happy when I am able to meet face to face.
What do you like most about working as a Mental Fitness Coach?
If you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life. As I embraced my purpose, I realize this is something I was doing for free for friends and coworkers. I did not mind doing it for free, but I realized I could help others make a difference in their life on a larger scale. I love to see the spark that happens in a client when they gain back the power of controlling their mindset and feelings once they understand it is a choice.
What are your biggest challenges as a Mental Fitness Coach? What are your greatest rewards as one?
The greatest challenge for being a Mental Fitness Coach would be becoming so emotionally involved with the client’s situation. You wish you could just snap your fingers and help them. Another difficult part is wanting the healing more than they do. I know it may sound weird, but sometimes clients want to make a change in their life, but they do not always understand they are the leading factor that makes the change.
My greatest reward is when I serve my purpose and help another woman understand the power they hold to make a difference in their life. I give them the tools they need to genuinely love again, smile, and to treat themselves better than ever.
Article By: Michele Wojciechowski