Vulnerability, this keeps coming up in conversations with either friends/colleagues or clients. Not only the quest of defining it but also the application. How vulnerable do you need to be, especially in this social media driven world? For some reason, down the road, most of us have defined it as an all or nothing application. We either walk around bering our heart and souls to everyone or we walk around with such a guard up that not even a nuclear bomb can break through. We have become accustomed to the “all or nothing” mindset, when in reality vulnerability has a volume button. We have full say on how much we share and whom we share it with.
Why is walking around with your heart on your sleeve not productive? Because not everyone deserves, or connects to, your entire story. Here is an example of how that goes wrong. Have you ever met someone for the first time, asked them “How are you?” and then get sucked into a world you have no business in being in nor do you want to be in? That is because you aren’t connected with them in the way to truly honor their story. So not only did they waste that on you, but now their story has become null and void because you’ve tuned out halfway through. Are you guilty of doing the same thing? Now this isn't a lesson on how to shield yourself, because you should ALWAYS speak/live your truth, this is a lesson on who is worthy of that truth. Not only that, but the importance of building that connection with small truths to ensure they will be open to the whole enchilada.
What I use to struggle with, was on the opposite side of the spectrum. I had this constant worry that I had to be the ideal picture of leadership and knowledge. Superwoman. I kept my vulnerability so close that I would waste my energy trying to stay on top of it, making sure that whatever picture I painted stayed true. Because of that I wasn’t truly connecting with anyone. So what is the happy medium? To find that you must first find what pieces of you, you can share in order to add value to others. What can you share that shows you are human? That is what people connect to, those moments of fragility, of fear, of sadness, of strife, as well as happiness and success, because we all go through it and need to be reminded that we are not alone. No one has it down, everyone is learning, but most of us don't include others in our failures, only in our successes. Fear and failure are not negative results, they are lessons to be learned, and the more we talk about fear the smaller that monster becomes. Besides, how are we ever going to evolve together if we don't include each other in our process? Those small examples can lead to conversations, conversations can lead to true connections, and with those true connections can become larger pieces of your story
Being vulnerable helps you grow, helps you connect, helps you achieve what you want in life. This lesson continues to grow with me, especially as I do more interviews. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mike Szczerbic at Learn Grow Earn last week and shared pieces of me that aren’t highlighted all the time but definitely important, especially my relationship with fear and what I have learned on my journey so far (to hear more please head on over to the recording http://Learngrowearn.com/EP-048-Melissa-McSherry ) I don't reminisce about every single thing that has happened to me but definitely major events in my life that, though they may have been difficult at the time, have now become milestones in my growth and journey. Where as on daily social media, especially Instagram Stories, I share small parts of vulnerability to continue to build connections.
Don’t’ be afraid to share your journey, remember you don't have to share everything at once, and you shouldn’t. Share to connect and build relationships, then change the volume on your vulnerability as your connections grow.
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” -Criss Jami