Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.Brené Brown
A few weeks ago, while doing website maintenance, I realized that I hadn’t posted on the blog for nearly a year. I have a lot of good reasons – it’s been a busy year with a lot of changes in my life. Then there are the less obvious reasons, like the fact that I am sometimes uncertain about what my voice really is. At times I feel uncertain that the content is what people want to read. Sometimes, I just can’t write something that is “good enough” to share. Underneath all that, blogging feels vulnerable to me. Just thinking about exposing my thoughts out there in the world makes me feel a little anxious!
As I’ve been thinking about this, I realized that I can choose to live while defending myself against the world or I can choose to put myself out there and be vulnerable. Living in defence may look outwardly like I have all the answers and like I never struggle, but it makes it hard for me to connect to other people, and drives me relentlessly to try to put on the outward appearance of “OK-ness”.
In my coaching practice, I see this dance play out for my clients too. We want to be seen a certain way, and we take do everything we can to ensure others to see us that way. In my life and the lives of my clients, there are times when we get so far away from who we really are, that we lose ourselves in the process. Our lives become defined by living in service to the image we want others to see.
I am spending time paying attention to how this is at work in my life. What would I write about if I just wrote about is what is important to me? How would I deal with that conflict at work, if I focus on connection and being true to myself? How would I spend my time differently? Who would I spend my time with? How might I manage my energy to align with what is important to me?
What is true for me today, is that the moments that have felt the most vulnerable and scary have also felt the most real and alive in my life. Moments when I take the risk to be truly vulnerable, are moments that allow growth, connection and love into my life.
Carl Rogers, a famous psychotherapist, talked about “being so real as to be nearly transparent”. As I move into this week, I am focused on living as the real me: fully and vulnerably me.
I wonder what you would do differently today if you were to be fully and vulnerably you? How might you be different if you joined me on this journey?