One of the biggest moments of breakthrough in coaching and counselling comes when the person you are working with shares something that they absolutely do not want to share. It is a beautiful and wonderful paradox.
You see, often what holds us back is fear. And often that fear is not of something real -but is of something perceived as real.
So when someone speaks out something that scares them, and the reaction is not what they had envisaged, it breaks that fear, lifts that burden and in doing so releases you from the anxiety and shame that had held you in.
But getting to that place of honesty and vulnerability can be hard. And it is hard because every day we are told to be strong, to fix our problems, to not show weakness, to get on with it. But what is ‘it’?
It can often look like one of these scenarios:
- Keeping quiet and not asking for help at a time when you actually need it the most -because you don’t want to be seen as incapable.
- Lying to cover up a mistake you made – because you don’t want to be seen as a disappointment, letting people down.
- Swallowing your words when you see something is wrong – because you don’t want to be seen as causing a fuss or difficult.
- Buying the expensive, branded item – because people will think you are unsuccessful if you don’t.
- Nodding along and going with the flow when you can see a better alternative solution -because everyone else thinks the same way – so what if you’re wrong.
These are just a few examples. But they are all examples of one thing – us building a wall of safety, security and protection around ourselves. We keep quiet and blend in because every day we are given an ideal of what success looks like, and guess what – that success all looks the same. So when we don’t look, sound or think the same as the other people in the meeting, standing at the school gates, ????
Each day we build a wall to hide ourselves – to hide our differences, our flaws and our weaknesses. To keep intruders away so that they can’t see your imperfections. The wall makes us feel secure. But in reality the wall tells you that need to hide who you are – and it is actually keeping you a prisoner.
When you can allow yourself to be imperfect and flawed, to make choices about your life, your family, your work and your circumstances from a place of nonchalance as to what other people’s perceptions of you might be – you will suddenly find that you feel more secure and more certain than ever before.
Walls will inevitably crumble and erode, that is life. But when you live each day as unapologetically you – you won’t need any walls to create your security – you will make and shape your own confidence and no-one can take that away from you.