I listen to countless coaches who want to level up.
There’s one fear that unites most if not all of them.
That stomach twisting hesitation you feel when stepping outside your comfort zone.
Whether it’s standing in front of people or creating an intimate social media post. Whatever, there’s something terrifying about putting yourself out there, warts and all.
If you’re nodding your head. Trust me. You’re not alone.
I struggle with this.
It’s a barrier to building deep connections and enjoying more meaningful relationships.
One way to bust this fear is to embrace your ugly.
To lean into your vulnerability and see the beauty within.
Let’s explore why it’s so important.
The struggle is real
The struggle with vulnerability is real. Chances are it’s holding you back from reaching your full potential.
You might believe:
- Vulnerability equals weakness
- Being vulnerable is unprofessional
- It will cost you clients
- Professional boundaries will blur
The reality is without vulnerability your client relationships will suffer.
They’ll remain superficial, limiting the depth of transformation possible.
If you’re not open to embracing your true self, you’re stunting golden opportunities for growth.
Every time you don’t show up authentically is a missed opportunity to connect deeper and grow.
The more you mask, the less you reveal.
The less you reveal, the harder it becomes to create an environment of trust and safety.
The common misconception is vulnerability equals weakness.
I know from my school days, any show of vulnerability and you were toast.
As a professional coach you might take this into account.
Crafting the perfect image, only to worry about being judged.
What if I reveal my flaws and imperfections?
To maintain this façade, you perpetuate an endless cycle of image control. Making it harder for clients to feel safer and see the real you.
Vulnerability requires courage to break this pattern.
To own your shit. Put yourself out there and show your ‘ugly’.
4 Steps to Create Client Safety Through Vulnerability
Here are four actionable steps I took to overcome my fear of vulnerability.
Step 1: Embrace Your Ugly
Instead of peddling perfection, I started acknowledging my imperfections.
Does this mean I share every detail of my life? No. But it does mean I’m honest about my journey. This has been enlightening for people in my circle.
Actionable Tip: Start by sharing a relevant personal story or challenge you’ve overcome. This will not only make you relatable but also inspire your clients to open up.
Step 2: Create Healthy Boundaries
I’ve realised being vulnerable doesn’t mean oversharing or crossing professional boundaries. It’s finding that balance between being open and maintaining a professional relationship.
Actionable Tip: Define what you’re comfortable sharing and what topics are off-limits. Communicate these boundaries and create a safe space for open dialogue.
Step 3: Accept Yourself Completely
Self-acceptance is the cornerstone of vulnerability. If you’re not comfortable with who you are, it will be challenging for your clients to trust you.
Actionable Tip: Practice self-compassion. Remind yourself everyone has flaws and makes mistakes. Self-acceptance extends to your clients, creating a more non-judgmental space.
Step 4: Be Fearless to Show Your Real Self
The final step I took was to let go of any fears and reservations I had about showing my real self. Authenticity is magnetic. My clients and network responded by engaging more. Acknowledging and thanking me for ‘being me.’
Actionable Tip: Be consistent in your authenticity, whatever you’re doing. This will build trust over time, making clients feel safer and more open to sharing.
If you commit to action, you’ll see a shift in your mindset and your coaching practice.
You’ll naturally attract people who resonate with your message and values.
Potential clients will feel a genuine connection, despite not having spoken before.
Existing clients will be more likely to stay when they feel safe and happily refer you to others.
Authenticity will also make you more relatable. Look out for increasing engagement wherever you are. Notice doors opening for partnerships and collaborations.
So next time you’re hesitant to share your real self, take a deep breath, follow these steps and dare to be you.
- Embrace your ugly
- Create healthy boundaries
- Accept yourself completely
- Fearlessly show your real self