What is vulnerability?
First up…let’s be honest. Vulnerability is starting this blog. Putting ideas out there. Letting myself be seen.
Because holy freaking cow, people…this junk is hard, but it’s necessary. I’ve been through too much, come too far, to keep the goodness I’ve learned both from my training in college and from the school of hard knocks and real life all to myself.
I know I’m not the only unfortunate soul out there who has experienced the hard stuff. I know because over the past decade of transforming my life into something I am really proud of, I’ve spent a great deal of time listening to other people tell their stories. And over and over again, I hear echoes of my own story.
We might not all live the same life, but we often feel the same things. We are interconnected more than we know and we grow and learn faster when we share with each other.
So…here I am. Imperfect and still learning and excited to share all I’m learning with you.
Brene Brown says that “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Sitting from the comfort of this desk chair (well, it’s not THAT comfortable, but you know what I mean)…vulnerability sounds like the truth of pouring my heart onto these digital pages and telling you, a stranger, my story, my struggles, my personal experience… and hoping it’ll be received with the spirit it was intended. And sitting here with my heart open and pounding as I bang away on these keys, it feels like sweaty-handed courage.
In short, vulnerability is what happens when we take ourselves outside of our comfort zones or do something that forces us to let go of a little control.
Why is vulnerability important?
My guess is that if you’re reading this, you are looking for some sort of growth or change. You want to improve your life, create something better, and become a higher version of yourself.
Well, I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that any change you wish to create is absolutely possible. Whether you wish to create deep, meaningful relationships or create a business that makes a difference and a big income, you are the master architect of your life.
The bad news is that ALL change comes from a place of vulnerability. That means that if the thought of showing up and letting yourself risk being seen, heard, or even the risk of making mistakes makes you feel a little like losing your lunch…this is going to take some tough work…and maybe one of those little airplane paper bag thingies.
However, like all things, with practice, vulnerability gets easier.
How do I start?
First: start with small steps. You aren’t going to go from where you are to fully vulnerable overnight. Share a thought with someone you trust. Put a piece of art into the world. And be proud of your bravery when you do.
Second: Let go of pleasing the peanut gallery. We can freeze up when we’re worried that we’re not pleasing everyone. I have news for you, you’re already not pleasing everyone and YOU ARE SURVIVING! People are going to think what they think. You cannot cater to all of them. Instead, focus on a trusted few individuals who have your best interest at heart and who are doing brave things of their own. When you need feedback, turn to them. Ask for their opinions. Let them fill you up. Tune everyone else out.
Third: Don’t worry about being perfect. Spoiler alert: you, my friend, are HUMAN. That means you’re going to make mistakes. The good news about this is that as imperfect humans, we tend to connect best with humans who don’t try to pretend to be perfect. As you go through life as the beautifully imperfect you, you’ll magnetize others who recognize your awesomeness. Before long, you’ll be surrounded with people who all “get” the real you which is going to make it even easier to show up as the authentic, vulnerable you.
Fourth: Deep breaths. If being vulnerable is new, it’s going to be uncomfortable at times. That’s normal. When you feel shaky, nervous, or even a little sick to your stomach, take a few moments to focus on your breathing, listen to your body, and let the emotions crest and pass before you return your attention to the task at hand.
Are you ready to begin this journey with me? This is the beginning of something wonderful…