When you’re sitting at your desk, head down, despairing about your work because nothing is going right
When you’re in tears because a tragedy has happened in the family
When you feel raw, exposed, naked to the world because something didn’t go quite how you expected it to
This is when you’re vulnerable.
It does feel like you’re open to being easily hurt, doesn’t it? It’s easy to feel child-like, small and tiny, to want to speak in a very soft voice, if at all.
How on earth can there be any strength in that?
When I started to think about publishing my forthcoming book recently, and realized I was probably going to do a crowdfunding campaign for it, I began to feel a bit queasy. Writing it had been the easy part, apparently! Now I was going to have to go out there to the world and tell them all about it, and because it’s a very personal story, that made it doubly alarming.
It doesn’t feel like I have an option, though. I’d be letting myself down if I didn’t put it out there as much as I can. So I’ll be doing that in the near future, and I will probably be feeling vulnerable – even more than I already am!
So where is the strength in this? How can something that makes me feel teeny weeny inside, a bit wobbly sometimes, and even tearful, possibly have any strength in it?
It’s because that’s what’s going on and I’m willing to feel it.
Not push it away. Not bury it. Not pretend I’m anything other than I am. Rather, I’m willing to feel the fear associated with being exposed, willing to say what I think and have others disagree, and willing to be seen in all my glory. Gulp.
You might know that when people tell you you’re courageous, or brave, mostly you don’t feel courageous or brave, do you? You actually feel terrified, anxious, apprehensive!
And it’s the same with being vulnerable. Others see your authenticity, your lack of guile, your being open. They like it, generally speaking. Why?
Because we don’t have enough of authenticity and vulnerability in our world today!
Instead what we have is people pretending. Pretending through their looks to be something they aren’t (how many magazine photos are not photoshopped these days? I’m willing to bet not many).
Pretending to be confident, safe, secure when actually they feel shaky, scared and trembling. Pretending to have a brilliant business when the truth is there’s lots of debt and the possibility of having to lay people off.
And aren’t you fed up with that? That’s why it’s great to see others taking risks, saying what they really think (it doesn’t have to be done in a hurtful way) and willing to put themselves out there, warts and all.
This doesn’t mean not dressing up for an interview or a presentation; it doesn’t mean not presenting yourself or your business in the best light possible. It just means you’re willing to say what’s really going on instead of trying to do a cover-up job.
The strength comes because it’s already there when you are being who you really are.
Pretending saps strength. Being vulnerable increases it.
So yes, I’m being vulnerable putting my book out there. And yes, the strength will come from that being a stretch for me, but also from being willing to shine my light more fully, and by doing that, helping others to see more clearly where and who they are too.
Which for someone whose purpose is about inspiring and awakening others is very compelling indeed!
So where are you vulnerable in your life and/or business? Are you comfortable with the kinds of feelings that go along with vulnerability? If not, why not? Could you change that? Could you practice being tearful for instance, without judging it as being ‘bad’ or ‘weak’? I once spent several weeks in my twenties practicing crying in front of sad movies, cos I thought I needed to get better at it! (It worked).
What do you think about strength and vulnerability? Is there a relationship for you? Do you like it when you see less pretence and more authenticity? Let me know by commenting on the blog or hitting reply to this email.
And remember, I can help you find your way again, recover your strength and identify your next steps. Just contact me and ask for a complimentary Wild Wisdom Discovery Session – just three now available this month, so email me now!