Vulnerability may look like a sign of weakness, but the truth is, it actually takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable.
A few weeks ago I met with a business coach to seek assistance with my marketing and sales. She offered some straight-up critiques about my website, brand messaging and the need for me to clarify who my niche is. With each comment, the knot in my stomach twisted a little tighter. I felt uneasy and extremely uncomfortable. It was hard to hear her opinions without feeling like running away.
Has this ever happened to you? You know intellectually that what you are hearing is true, but it still makes you very uncomfortable.
Even though I had asked for the business coach’s honest opinion—and even though I know there is some truth in what she said—I realize now that I wasn’t quite ready to handle her comments. Before I went any further in processing or acting on her recommendations, I stopped myself. I took some time to accept the emotions I was feeling and asked myself:
What are my emotions telling me?
What is behind this strong reaction I have every time this subject comes up?
When we have strong reactions and feelings to something or someone, it is important to stop and pay attention to what our body is telling us.
For me, I realized several things: I am passionate about many areas of practice and I don’t want to miss out on different opportunities. Subsequently, I have avoided being too specific about my scope of practice. But really, at the heart of it all was fear. I am scared of putting myself out there. I’m afraid of being vulnerable. (It is even a feeling I get when I push “send” on posting this blog for you!)
It takes a lot of courage to push through our fears and show our imperfections. It takes strength to be open and vulnerable, admitting that we are afraid. We must be brave to admit that something “isn’t right yet,” and we must be confident to believe “it is getting better each time.”
So today I choose to put a few things out into the world that are imperfect, even if this makes me feel vulnerable. I give myself permission to say yes to some of the recommendations I received and, at the same time, listen to my own voice what the best timing is for me. I still have some work to do and that’s okay.
As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
What are your emotions telling you? Will you give yourself permission to be more vulnerable in a part of your life? What might being more vulnerable offer you?
I wish you much courage as you explore your emotions and allow yourself to be open to vulnerability. And, as always, if you are open to sharing, I’d love to hear what you think.
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