Coach Interview Series: Carley Schweet

by Brandon

Carley Schweet

Self-Care Coach

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Carley Schweet. Carley is the self-care coach and author of the book and digital course, Boundaries with Soul™.

After years of people-pleasing in the corporate fashion industry in New York City, she finally realized there was more to life than being a chronic yes-woman. By practicing transformational self-care and discovering her loving No, she gained more confidence and discovered that by making her needs a priority, real happiness would soon follow.

Carley is the host of the You Time™ Podcast, and her work is featured on major media outlets such as FabFitFun, MindBodyGreen, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Elite Daily.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Carley: I really focus on helping, as I say, Yes-Women or those who give too much. Learning how to set boundaries and discover their loving No. They’re mostly women. There are men who fall into this category, too. They’re people-pleasers and have often valued or found their own self-worth through constantly giving to others before addressing their own needs. I help them really harness back their power, take back their time and their energy and get more comfortable with saying No to people.

NCA: Can you just elaborate a bit on what self-care means to you and what are the most common ways that you help your clients care for their own selves?

Carley: I think in today’s world, self-care has become something very commercialized and almost something like you have to spend money on or invest in to have access to and I really like to say that that’s not always the case. Self-care looks like setting boundaries. It looks like saying No. It looks like communicating your needs and stressing what behavior is okay with you and what’s not okay with you. That’s what I really like to help not only my clients with, but also my community–helping them understand and use self-care in a different light.

NCA: What initially got you interested in this career path and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete, if any?

Carley: I used to work in corporate fashion in New York City. It was a lot of fun. I would just go for it, I worked really hard to get there, but I found myself extremely burnt out and anxious and not fun. I wasn’t sleeping well. Had one of those moments where you look around feeling like “I don’t want to be any of these people when I’m older” or “I don’t want to strive for any of these roles.” At the time, I was coming out of a very toxic relationship and really discovered the power of food, like healthy eating and going to the gym. These two foundational things really changed my life.

And through those modalities of self-care, I realized, “Wow, I have a really hard time saying No.” As I began to shift my work I realized people weren’t coming to me for advice. They were coming to me because they couldn’t say No, to even make time for themselves.

I quit my corporate job and began studying at the Institute for Integrated Nutrition in New York. I ended up moving across the country, quit my job, graduated from IIN and was coaching full time pretty much by the end of 2015. It really was a personal struggle of mine that landed me where I am today to really help spread the message to others. It was hard. I went to school for fashion, I went to school for business, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore and it was taking a toll on my physical health that I had never paid attention to prior. I thought, “I’m young, I can do it, the worst thing that can happen is I have to find another job…why not?”

Self-care looks like setting boundaries. It looks like saying No. It looks like communicating your needs and stressing what behavior is okay with you and what’s not okay with you.

NCA: It feels like good health has taken on a level of status and that’s not at all the point, right?

Carley: So true. It’s so funny I said that exact same thing about New York, especially because I live in Seattle now and it’s the most chill, it’s amazing. Not right now [laughing] but it is amazing. New York is definitely this competitive mentality. I mean, the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. That’s just how I felt leaving New York and especially coming out here where people don’t care what you do or what you look like or where you shop. It’s not on people’s radar. It’s fabulous. No income tax too. [laughing]

NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career and on the flip side, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Carley: The most rewarding is definitely watching people learn how to just say No in the smallest ways and instantly see what doors open up for them. It takes a lot for people to get to that point if they are a true people-pleaser because self-worth is involved and the way that they value their time and their energy. There’s a lot more that goes into it for people-pleasers, especially.

On the flip side is getting people to that point where they say, “I am worthy enough to invest in myself. To try to do things the different way. To really see what happens if I take a chance.”

I’d say the biggest challenge I run into is finding those people who are at that pivotal point of, “I know I’m worthy. I know I’m ready.”, rather than trying to convince them that they are. Getting people-pleasers to have that pivotal “Aha!” moment, it takes a while for me. It took me 25 years to realize what pattern I had and how toxic it was. That’s definitely a challenge.

The people that I tend to work with have a lot more foundational self-worth work before they can even begin to start to say no or even begin to invest in themselves. It’s that self-awareness that has to develop on your own at your own speed. Yes, certainly, people can help you discover that and help you tap into it, but really, you have to have this moment or a series of small moments where you’re like, “Oh, wow. This is what’s going on.”, or “That’s what that person was talking about.”, or That’s what that coaching was saying.” You only can learn when you’re ready.

On the outside it’s like, “You’re so great. Look at all these things you’re doing. You’re so helpful. I appreciate you so much.” — that kind of cheap feedback only goes so far and lasts for so long before you burnout and realize, “That’s not enough for me.”

NCA: Can you think of a mentor that you had, maybe before you got started in your coaching career or even currently, who was the most vital to your success as a coach and in what ways that this mentor helped you thrive?

Carley: In my early days, I was a huge Gabby Bernstein fan and she really was my stepping stone into the spiritual world. I did her Spirit Junkie Master Class live in New York and she really helped me to see that there’s so much more to life than just existing. There’s this whole other spiritual side of us and that was completely new to me. She was definitely a pivotal role in that transformation as well.

There’s also this book that I love. I don’t follow her very closely. I’ve been pretty tapped out of social media these days, but Shauna Niequist has a great book that I just recommend to everyone and it’s called Present Over Perfect. And it just sums up what so many people feel: perfection holds us back in so many ways–especially people-pleasers–and learning to be present and okay with fault is so important. And that’s just a book that I recommend to everyone and has really helped me to stay grounded.

NCA: And the advent of social media hasn’t helped much in that regard either, it seems.

Carley: Our fixation on social media–specifically sharing wellness, kind of like that New Yorker mentality–”Here’s what I did, here’s what I ate, here’s where I worked out, here’s my trendy new skin care products”—when it goes too far and we really lose sight of what we’re doing.

On the outside it’s like, “You’re so great. Look at all these things you’re doing. You’re so helpful. I appreciate you so much.” — that kind of cheap feedback only goes so far and lasts for so long before you burnout and realize, “That’s not enough for me.”

I try really hard in my business to not show up on social media all the time which is very different from a lot of coaches, and instead create a community and grow an email list and have free content on my website that people can find and not even know what Instagram is. That is really a big focus of mine over the past, I’d say a year and a half, and it’s how I really try to differentiate from coaches who show everything on social media.

I’m really curious how the coaching industry will shift because I think as coaches, we have a certain responsibility to say you don’t have to show up like this in social media in order to be relevant or to be a leader in the industry. There are other ways to do it. I know it comes back to the scarcity mindset of “If I’m not doing XYZ then I won’t be successful.”, and I don’t think that’s true.

NCA: Finally, what advice would you give someone looking to get started in the career path that you chose?

Carley: The piece of advice I would say is find your own voice. It can feel so easy to emulate another coach or someone else’s message when you’re first starting out, but really find your voice and if you’re having trouble with that, look to who you were five years ago. What were you struggling with? What did you need to hear? What was your main challenge or problem that you needed help solving? And begin to craft your message and your business from there.

When I first started, I saw all of these IIN coaches and they have these gorgeous websites and it’s all about nutrition and it was cool, but I got burned out really fast. I realized something’s off here. I’m passionate about this but there’s something deeper. I think finding that authenticity early on is never a bad thing.

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