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Hey Fabulous Health Professionals.

I’ve been thinking lately on the difference between what it means to show up with vulnerability versus being vulnerable.

Brene Brown talks about this a lot – of the importance of showing vulnerability in order to make meaningful connections with others, of getting rid of pretense and saving face in order to avoid shame.  I’m sure we have all heard of Brene Brown talking about this and I’m pretty sure most of us would acknowledge that she has a really good point.

This is such a powerful message, and it rings true in my own experience as well – real connections are not built on facades of perfection. As people, we just want to connect with other people who seem real, not perfect. Yet as health professionals there is so much at stake if we are NOT perfect.

People rely on us to use our knowledge and skill to help them. They want confidence and certainty that we will deliver on what we say we can help them achieve. This isn’t just true for individual clients we see, this is also true for the customers we serve.

I think we all know that we would not put our clients in a position where we would colour their work with ourselves through a lack of self awareness around our own feelings & experiences. I know for me personally when my mum was killed in a motor vechile accident I had to work really hard to remove myself from my clients who had experienced MVA’s – I just didn’t trust myself that I wouldn’t resent them for being alive when Mum wasn’t.

This impact of being vulnerable on our clients seems so obvious that we shouldn’t have to talk about it, right? It’s a boundary that we take a lot of pride in, and its one we respect for the sake of our clients and for our own sake.

It’s here we demonstrate the self awareness and self respect to not cross that line when we’re being vulnerable with a client in a way that isn’t helpful.

But…. 

What happens when you’ve had what feels like a week of complaints; or when your team are just not delivering on their work; or where the hire you thought you had successfully made turns down the job; when the cash flow is so tight, and you don’t know where the next paying client is coming from; when the tender isn’t accepted or the proposal is put off until the next board meeting –

How does being vulnerable turn up to work with us then?

This requires a whole new learning around self awareness and self respect. Who do you share your stuff with; who helps you to see where you lack of self awareness is causing a problem?

Chances are when we become vulnerable in this type of circumstance then we will be reverting to long-held patterns of behavior that aren’t entirely helpful.

This is where I personally jump back on the old hamster wheel of thinking I am the only person who can do anything properly and I over commit myself to a whole heap of new clients. This then makes me anxious, and I start to lose sleep and become a poor role model for not only my team but also my family.

Its here we are most vulnerable to self sabotage…… These old habits of avoidance, procrastination, work-a-holism, poor planning, over spending, dishonesty, personal compromises……

Are you paying attention to the difference between showing vulnerability (realness, openness) and being vulnerable (and at risk), and how either of these present themselves in your life and work?

Is being vulnerable in some area of your life or work right now affecting your decision making, or your commitment to your goals?

Is your “stuff” getting in the way?

What might you need to work through first?

Here’s to your success,

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