You may have noticed the “vulnerability series” we started this week over on our Facebook page. We have been highlighting each person on our team and some of their personal stories, their passions and areas of interest.
I asked them to do this because I started thinking about how we ask our clients to come into our offices, have difficult conversations and express themselves honestly. It only makes sense that we do a little bit of that ourselves. When we are honest and open about our feelings, we allow others to feel more comfortable being open and honest, which are key ingredients to healing and feeling better.
This has been a powerful exercise for everyone on the team; each one of them told me they felt uneasy and anxious when I asked that they send me these posts. I could very much relate to those feelings as when I began sharing personal things about myself on social media, I too felt very anxious. If I knew I had a post scheduled to go live early in the morning I would wake up a few times in the night worrying about it, worrying what other people would think about me. But I did it anyway.
Every time we act in a vulnerable way, we open ourselves up to potential criticism, judgement or rejection. I used to think being a professional meant being polished and put together, not open and vulnerable. However, I have learned that behaving in this genuine way makes us happier and more connected to those around us. We create trust among one another. When we are vulnerable, we heal. We open our hearts to feel difficult feelings and we become more comfortable with our emotions, no longer feeling we must hide them.
I encourage you this week to look at ways you can be more vulnerable, ways you can lean into discomfort. I like to say, “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Maybe you are afraid others won’t like you, so you try not to act out of character or act “stupid”. Maybe you try so hard to please others and hide your perceived faults, that you are a shadow of your real self. You don’t need to overcompensate any longer, who you are is enough right in this very moment.
We often see others as braver than us, but bravery comes in many forms. In case you need some inspiration or are wondering how to do this, there are many simple ways you can practice it. It can look like leaving a relationship that is not serving you, admitting when you need help, forgiving others, speaking up for something you believe in knowing others won’t agree, leaving a job you don’t like or taking responsibility instead of blaming others.
Being vulnerable gives you power and puts you in control of the problems in your life. It allows you to step up and take charge. When you expose your weaknesses, they lose their power over you.
Will you accept the challenge?
Have a great week!