No Longer Toughing It Out

aaron-burden-XxvXRmsH860-unsplash.jpg

So, when people come to work with me they are almost always in crisis.  Why is that? First, let me start with letting you know that it is not necessary to be in crisis in order to seek help.  So how come us humans wait until it gets to that point?  I believe it is because we have been taught to not express our emotions from a young age.  We have been taught to "be tough", "strong", or "resilient". 

Now, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with being strong, tough, or resilient, if that is what you are being.  However, I believe that what most of us were taught was not how to be those things, it was to cover up our feelings by pretending that what was hurting us was not.  Whoa, that sounded pretty harsh, but I assure you that these lessons we learn as children are not modeled to us intentionally.  It is likely that the adults in your life were doing the best they could with what they knew.  

I distinctly remember sitting in a counselors office and her telling me that vulnerability was actually a strength.  I didn't get what she was saying back then, but I do now. If we aren't taught that it is okay for us to have our feelings.  If we are taught that we must slap a happy spin on things, that we aren't allowed to act out, to express ourselves because it is not tough, strong, or resilient, or more likely uncomfortable for the adults around us, that would seem to say that vulnerability is not ok or even weak .  Knowing that, however, makes me see that if we can allow ourselves to express our emotions, even when it is uncomfortable, be vulnerable, then that would be a strength!

I mention all this because I think that sometimes what stops people from reaching out for help when they are struggling with things like: anxiety, stress, worry and overwhelm is they think they have to tough this life out.  They think that navigating their emotions and being vulnerable sounds like a lot of work and painful.  Fear of the unknown.  I'm here to say that it need not be this way.  You can be both vulnerable and strong, you can be a leader, busy and not be stressed out and overwhelmed. And, most importantly, you can enjoy this journey to self discovery through humor (which is definitely my M.O.), compassion, and wonder.  Let's connect next week.  I would love to have a chat and a laugh.  What works for you?
Peace, 
Erin "vulnerable and proud" Mac