01 Apr Why are we so scared to be vulnerable?
I am very grateful to say that I have had a great start to 2015, a lot of which has been shared through social media. If you are connected with me or my business, you may think that my life has been a constant stream of wins, exciting achievements and fun experiences. And you would be right…to a point.
Over the past few weeks I have received special notes of congratulations in the mail and emails and texts thanking me for being an inspiration. This has been extremely surprising for me and also amazingly humbling. To think that by working hard to achieve my personal dreams I can have a positive impact and motivate others to achieve their goals and dreams is a truly wonderful feeling.
But it’s not all a bed of roses. The reason for sharing my experiences has not been to receive acknowledgement or to feed my ego. I just get excited about the wonderful opportunities I get and like to share with those that care about me. But this past 6 months has also been one of the most challenging times for me personally, living a silent, lonely and painful struggle to achieve my dreams.
What people see on social media or when they catch up with you at a party or business function, is rarely a true reflection of the whole picture. I recently saw a quote that said “may your life be as awesome as it looks on facebook”. I have also had conversations with some of my business peers about the impact social media has on our confidence when we see others lives looking so perfect whilst ours may feel quite dull or lacking achievement.
I absolutely love seeing people achieve their goals and sharing the fun times they are having with friends and family. Most of us are very comfortable to show the ‘good bits’ of our lives. However we are not so keen to share the bad bits! Why would we be? We don’t want to air our dirty laundry for all of the world to see. It is much safer to keep our struggles and stresses to ourselves. If we don’t, people may judge us and lose confidence in our ability, right? We definitley cannot be seen as weak or not having everything together, especially when in business.
Well I challenge that! What I am learning this year, is that the more vulnerable we can be with each other, the more we actually connect, earn respect and grow as individuals. In fact the stronger we become.
I have just spent 4 days deeply connecting with a group of extremely successful and inspiring business owners through Entrepreneurs Organisation. In the past this experience could have been quite intimidating, with me feeling that I am out of my league. An important time to put the barrier up and look good! Well not this time. My intention for my time away was to be vulnerable, share the bad bits (and the good bits), be totally authentic, open myself up to truly grow as a person, connect and see what happens.
So what happened? Was I laughed at or mocked out of Queenstown, or judged and disrespected? No!
I was totally supported. In fact I’ve never felt more accepted and supported. I made deep lifelong friendships, I made a positive impact on others, I let go of some stuff, I grew emotionally, I learnt I wasn’t alone, and that I am enough, in fact I am more than enough! I actually showed that I was strong by showing my weaknesses.
I am not an advocate for airing our dirty laundry on social media but what I am challenging you all to do, is next time you are having a direct conversation with someone, let your guard down, show your true you, say what you really feel and be vulnerable. I promise that you will only earn respect and will feel totally energised as a result! Be brave, be you!
Please let me know how you go. I would love to hear your stories of being vulnerable.