Possibly one of the most scary words ever don’t you think?
Possibly even scarier than the prospect of spiders that can fly.
Feeling vulnerable used to completely suck for me. It put me in to such a state of fear I invariably left whatever situation I found myself in a damn sight worse than where I started.
For me, it was mainly social situations that did it. Having social anxiety in college is not fun. There’s no going out and getting drunk, no dancing until the sun comes up, just fear and panic and debilitating thoughts of not knowing what to say…to anyone.
Last year, a strange thing happened to me. I woke up one morning, walked in to work and quit my job. I didn’t think about it much and the prospect didn’t scare me. I embraced feeling vulnerable, and loved it.
I’m not going to lie, I had done a lot of work on myself since college. Yoga, meditation, therapy and coaching all played their part in encouraging me and reminding me that it was OK to be me, but the ramifications hadn’t really sunk in until that moment I told my boss who I really was and what I was all about.
When I look back now, I wonder what I was so scared of. I think it was the fear that who I was, wasn’t good enough. Isn’t that what we all get scared of at times?
Now I wonder what being good enough ever actually meant. It feels like it was some false construct designed to put me in a lose lose situation. Let’s face it, if we compare ourselves to each other we will never be ‘good enough’, because every single one of us has a unique make up and combination of skills and personality traits and life experience and gifts which combine in infinite numbers of possibilities. So how the heck are we supposed to compare ourselves to anyone?!
By consciously forgiving and accepting myself daily, becoming aware of every negative thought I had about myself and correcting it then and there, when it happened, something miraculous happened…I stopped judging myself and coming up wanting.
I faced my fears. I started being more and more honest with myself and people around me about who I was, what I stood for, what my faults and weaknesses were and what I wanted in life.
You know what happened?
I started to embrace those conversations. I no longer felt scared of them and instead started to feel comfortable. I had nothing to hide. Nothing to be scared of. Everything was out on the table. No-one had any power or hold over me. I’d made myself equal.
The other amazing thing that happened was that people started getting honest with me too. I saw my friend’s and family’s fears and strengths in a new light and they showed up for me and got real about who they were and what they wanted too.
I used to be scared of people I knew reading this blog, because it was all too close to home. Now I don’t care. There’s nothing in here I’m ashamed of, it’s just me, and my life and my mission to help as many people as I can get back in touch with their feelings and their authentic selves.
I know it’s scary, but wouldn’t you rather have honest, non-scary interactions with people than live in fear? Try making yourself vulnerable to a loved one today, and see how it feels and how they take it!