For the last three years, I’ve been vulnerable and put myself out there. For some strange reason I have warmed to the idea and it’s become one of my habits. Each week I’ve published an average of three blog posts in an effort to share my life and business experience.
I’ve had to write these blog posts with an immense amount of vulnerability in order to affect people’s lives for the better. It’s been hard work. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. It’s all been worth it though and I wouldn’t change a thing. These stories I’ve told have been me – warts and all.
As I evaluate what I’ve learned, the art of putting myself out there has become apparent to me. I do it because I want to inspire people.
I took some time to write all the things I learned by being vulnerable and putting myself out there.
1. Vulnerability is more powerful than giving up
You can be vulnerable and put yourself out there, or hide from your story and give up on life. Many choose to give up because vulnerability takes guts. Sharing your innermost fears and failures can be a daunting task.
You have to own your weaknesses to come out of your shell. By being vulnerable, you get to increase your certainty levels because you can stop hiding from the truth. The truth will set you free, so don’t be afraid of it any longer.
Instead of giving up, try being vulnerable first. Explore the uncharted lands through your vulnerability. The worst that can happen is that you fail, but that’s still better than giving up. In fact, anything is better than giving up.
2. It helps me conquer fear
Fear is all around us. We sleep with fear every night. We live with fear for breakfast. Fear comes over for dinner. Fear is with us on holidays.
We can’t avoid fear altogether. I believe we can use vulnerability to conquer it though. As I’ve become more vulnerable, I’ve noticed that when fear shows up at the door of my mind, I have more strength not to let it take over.
Each vulnerable act has shown me what it’s like to have fear build up and then dissipate when I take charge. Like vulnerability, fear is also a habit.
“Fear and vulnerability are a dance that goes together beautifully. Try that dance once in a while. Maybe even do the tango”
3. Shows I don’t care about opinions
Being vulnerable for three years has taught me to treat opinions differently. I value the opinions that push me forward, and I ignore the one’s that don’t serve any purpose. Being vulnerable makes me better at filtering what I choose to take notice of and what I chose to ignore.
Getting caught up in how others perceive you can ruin your perspective and make you doubt yourself. Choose vulnerability despite the fact you may be judged. You’ll thank me for it.
4. Tells me I’m comfortable with who I am (warts and all)
All of your success starts with you. It begins and ends with you. Vulnerability teaches us to be comfortable with who we are. We all have horrible, ugly warts in the form of weaknesses, failures, addictions, etc.
Once you are comfortable with your own warts and realize that we all have them, your mindset changes forever. You become one of those individuals who is unstoppable in the face of adversity.
5. It takes practice
Probably the biggest lesson for me is that vulnerability takes practice.
“At first, being vulnerable is like jumping into the freezing cold waters of the Antarctic seas in your underwear”
With practice, those cold seas begin to feel like a warm bath after a day at the snow. The first time I shared a vulnerable story online I was literally terrified. I looked at that blog post for hours wondering how it would be perceived. After many years, now I just publish posts that hopefully inspire, without caring how it may make me look.
As my habit of vulnerability has increased, so too has my success.
6. It’s infectious
It’s no surprise that true vulnerability is so rare. When you do it, you separate yourself into a league of extraordinary people. You’ll find that people gravitate towards you because you’re doing something they wish they had the courage to do themselves.
Rather than indulging in your own glory, teach people how they can have their very own glory. Stories that are vulnerable have a habit of being infectious. I believe these stories are infectious because vulnerability breeds truth.
Without vulnerability, many of the key truths of a story are hidden. This means we only get the advice and not the full journey of transformation that has occurred.
Next time you’re asked for your opinion, try being more vulnerable. Let us see below the icebergs deep blue waters. Let us peer into the window of your life. Now that’s infectious baby!
7. It demonstrates leadership
Leaders are the one’s who inspire by example. Leaders use vulnerability to show adversity and how it can be overcome. The purpose of this vulnerability is to help people take action. Taking action is hard work and most of us avoid it.
It’s easier to sip a glass of wine or overload on carbs than it is to work towards our goals. We can always achieve our goals tomorrow.
“The trouble is tomorrow never comes. Then one day you’re old, hairy, have gray hair, a pot belly and no energy to do anything other than complain about the news and how life is unfair”
Leaders use vulnerability to help break us out of our own paradigm. Vulnerability gets us out of our own head and helps us connect on a human level with each other. Once we interrupt the pattern of our previous habits, we then have the power to take action.
Leaders know this simple idea and that’s how they get us to do what we never thought was possible. I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of those leaders.
8. It’s inspiring
Want to know what inspires us? I’ve learned it’s vulnerability. People want to hear about your inner, most difficult moments in your life. Not for the personal secrets, but for the strategy on how you went from a challenging obstacle to winning the race. We’re addicted to the hero’s journey and that always requires vulnerability.
9. Vulnerability is courage
The reality is that being vulnerable can blow up in your face. There’s a chance of pain and we all do anything we can to avoid pain. By confronting danger, uncertainty, and intimidation, you develop a warrior-like strength.
I’ve had moments over the last three years where I thought I went too far. Each time I learned that I was wrong. Each moment made me more courageous and allowed me to be even more vulnerable. Your courage compounds like interest on your savings account, when you practice vulnerability.
Vulnerability is at the heart of being courageous. With courage, you can achieve anything. It’s like the sword you take into battle with you that is sharper than any other warriors. Nothing can overpower courage. You need vulnerability first though.
10. Numbing the pain doesn’t work
When you numb the pain and choose not to be vulnerable, you also numb the positive emotions as well. Unfortunately, our human mind can’t selectively numb only negative emotions. It needs to numb the positive and the negative emotions.
11. Without vulnerability, we fall for perfectionism
So if you choose not to be vulnerable, then you’ll most likely fall for perfectionism. Perfectionism is showing the world that nothing goes wrong and you have no flaws. The trouble with perfectionism that author Brene Brown points out is that it’s proven to lead to depression, anxiety, addiction and paralysis.
No wonder I was no messed up five years ago. I was trying to be perfect rather than be me. In my case, I discovered vulnerability by accident. Had I have known what I know now, I would have seen that I was trying to hide my flaws. I was trying to show everybody, someone I wasn’t.
Three years have passed since I took on the vulnerability challenge. I don’t regret it one bit and it’s shaped the person I’ve become. I’ve had so many opportunities because of it and I definitely believe that people respect me more because of it.
It’s not easy to do in the beginning, so you’ll need plenty of references like this article to make you understand why it’s so critical to your success. I’ve found that by only trying to impress myself, I’m able to be more vulnerable. The worst case when you are vulnerable is people don’t get it.
As long as you get it, the rest will happen naturally. Take off the mask. Live life to the fullest. Be vulnerable and put yourself out there.
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