I’m feeling sooo much better than I was last week when I was…well…a little broken (mental note: the challenging days are typically just that..a “day”..you just have to hang in there until the ride starts going down again).
Infact, I’m feeling so much better, that I was starting to regret writing that blog post. It is not that I’m embarrassed that I had a meltdown (OK…I kinda am), but more I was embarrassed that everyone was suddenly offering me help. Even though I wrote about needing to let people help me…I still felt incredibly uncomfortable.
I guess that needing help, and accepting that help, made me feel very vulnerable.
I talk a lot about being “authentic” when I’m coaching employees on finding their social voice. In this social age, people want to know more about you, some insights into who you truly are… what makes you tick.
But being authentic also sometimes means allowing yourself to be vulnerable and that can be hard. Really hard.
Recently someone showed me this great Ted Talk on the Power of Being Vulnerable by Brene Brown which I totally recommend ( clearly I am late to this party because there have already been over 19m views of this particular talk but if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now).
So, now, as I contemplate why I am feeling vulnerable, it does come from a place of shame and fear. I am scared that people will judge me differently, I won’t seem as strong…as worthy. But that is so not true. It has made me realise that actually, starting this blog in the first place was my first step in making myself vulnerable. And it hasn’t made me weaker, infact, laying myself on the line has made me feel stronger.
Quite obviously, I am not perfect. None of us are. But so often we try to hide the pieces of ourselves we think that others might judge or may not like…to fit into the mould of the ideal people that we feel we “should” be like in order to be worthy.
“Nothing to prove, nothing to hide”
I can’t remember where I first read this but it has stuck in my head for years. Something I tell my children when they are grappling with fitting in at school.
When you have nothing to prove:- there is no need to boast, no need to argue your point, no need to be “right”
When you have nothing to hide:- there is no need to tell stories, to be something you are not, you can be vulnerable.
This is what being authentic looks like.
You don’t have to share all your inner dark secrets to be authentic, but sometimes allowing yourself to be a little bit vulnerable, by expressing an opinion, sharing your “weaknesses” and your challenges…helps others to connect with you. It builds trust and confidence.
So I’m going to keep practicing being OK with that. It may take some time, but I’m working on it.