Article written by Lindie Malan (ActionCOACH Business Coach)
Recently, in a business coaching session with a client, I asked him about some limiting self-beliefs he has been internalising. While thinking about an answer for me, he paused, started smiling, and said: “This feels like a visit to a beauty salon. Stripped down to my undies, lying exposed, worried about the following treatment that will probably be on the rather painful side!”
While a business coaching session and a visit to a beauty salon might seem like vastly different experiences, there are some obvious parallels around feelings of vulnerability and exposure.
Let’s explore the comparisons between the two scenarios
Mindset and results vs. physical appearance
In a business coaching session, a focus is often a review of one’s mindset, identity and motivation concerning recent results achieved in their professional endeavours. This process involves introspection, self-reflection, and potentially uncovering areas for improvement. Similarly, a visit to a beauty salon involves addressing one’s physical appearance, often focusing on enhancing or altering certain aspects through treatments like haircuts, waxing, or facials. Both situations involve self-assessment and an examination of personal growth or physical enhancement.
Feeling exposed and vulnerable
In both scenarios, there can be a sense of vulnerability and exposure. During a coaching session, individuals may need to open up about their struggles, challenges and personal barriers. It can be uncomfortable to confront these issues and expose them to another person. Similarly, in a beauty salon, clients often find themselves in vulnerable positions, physically exposed while undergoing treatments. This can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and vulnerability.
No hiding or escaping
Nowhere to hide! In a coaching session, individuals are encouraged to be honest and transparent about their experiences and thought processes. There is no room for masking or avoiding difficult conversations. Similarly, in a beauty salon, clients are in a literal state of undress, with their appearance under scrutiny.
Potential for discomfort
While the discomfort experienced in each scenario may be different, it exists nonetheless. In a coaching session, individuals may face challenging questions, confront their limiting beliefs or receive constructive criticism, which can be mentally and emotionally uncomfortable. Similarly, some beauty salon treatments can be physically painful or uncomfortable, such as waxing, laser hair removal, or deep tissue massages. The discomfort in both cases is temporary but can contribute to a sense of vulnerability during the experience.
Despite these parallels, it is important to recognise that the focus of any coaching session is primarily on personal and professional growth. Both scenarios can elicit feelings of vulnerability, however, the intentions and processes differ significantly.
The fact remains that there can never be growth without some discomfort, vulnerability, self-reflection, and honesty. However, the outcome of any ‘painful’ process of growth, is victory over self and a feeling of liberation from previous glass ceilings on self-development and potential.