• Sarah Rossmiller LPC

Vulnerability & Coaching vs Therapy

I was recently a guest on a podcast, which was totally nerve-wracking for me, and therefore inspired me to take a moment here to talk about one of my favorite v-words.... VULNERABILITY. I can talk a good game with my clients about the power of vulnerability, but hot-damn it's tough to experience!  

I would normally never do such a thing - I am not a verbal performer at all (I prefer writing when it comes to preparing specific information for presentation)but I did do it, because I believe in taking risks and practicing courage, and I'll be damned if I don't practice what I preach. 

Practicing vulnerability (with boundaries) by taking personal risks from time to time is the only way to grow and create inner-power. We need to take risks within all realms of life - social, emotional, physical, spiritual.

As an INFJ, I am not only introverted, but I also struggle to put my ideas, opinions, and general thoughts into actual coherent speech. It's frustrating at times because honestly my mind is constantly running, and it can feel like a jumbled mess - I have tons of ideas brewing at any given moment, often with 5 thoughts overlapping each other and competing for first place all at once. And these thoughts often exist in the form of intuitive feelings or images rather than intelligible and concrete language.

I have to really work at getting what's in my head into language and out of me so that it may somehow be useful to someone else. This is manageable enough when I'm in an individual therapy session with a client or talking casually with a friend, but when I feel like I'm "presenting" or "performing" I struggle to focus. (I'm often told this doesn't show outwardly, which is great to hear because inside my brain turns into a circus with all the animals set loose, monkeys flinging feces, and the big top has caught on fire while all the clowns are filing out of a tiny car to ineffectually squirt their boutonnières onto it. Ok... I mean that is clearly an exaggeration and obviously I've learned some coping mechanisms, or I probably wouldn't have survived to this point, but still... it doesn't usually come easy is all I'm saying.) 

Each time you take a risk and step outside of your comfort zone, you inevitably learn something about yourself and grow, and this not only benefits you but positively impacts your relationships - with family, friends, coworkers...

I find it definitely allows me to bring more to my client sessions, which is really important to me.

It's important to keep the blood flowing and not get too stagnant in our daily living. Even when an endeavor results in a "failure" it is a lesson and a part of our journey. It's not a bad thing to fail, to struggle, to wobble and fall. There is still achievement in a failure, and in that way you can argue it's not a failure at all - it just didn't go the way you wanted or expected.

Anyway, I am talking like I totally bombed this podcast thing, and I didn't. Rachel and Kristen, the career coaches who created the podcast "Clarity on Fire", invited me to join them for an episode. They seem to have really found their niche helping young adults form clear visions for their career paths - I've heard great things about the work they do and really enjoyed speaking with them! 

"My" episode centered a lot around the topic of Therapy vs Coaching, so if you're interested in learning more and being a part of the discussion, here's a link to the show!

Practicing vulnerability in an emotionally repressed, perfectionistic culture is a form of rebellion.

When our wellness depends on rebellion...

I say, rebel on! 

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