For the absolute longest time, I thought that vulnerability was “bad”. I thought it meant weakness, fear, awful risks, and embarrassment. But, as I’m figuring out little bits and pieces of life, I’ve began realizing that vulnerability is synonymous with authenticity and approachability. Say what?!
Small Town Talk
I grew up in a relatively small town where word gets around fast, whether it’s true or not. Whatever you share with one person, will be shared with the rest of your peers- be it classmates or members of the community. That’s not always inherently bad, because it has taught me to carefully choose my words. But, it’s also ingrained a little bit of fear in me when it comes to talking about myself. I know that not only will people spread my words, they’ll also fully analyze, and then decipher them amongst themselves.
I also know how fast people can turn on you. As an example of this, I watched a classmate of mine make his way onto the news for a stupid decision he made. In response, my hometown absolutely ran with the news like modern day Paul Reveres, ecstatic to feel relevant. Several of the boy’s friends, who had been hanging out with him just days before, made sure to join in. They proclaimed completely untrue gossip about him on Facebook and Twitter. They shared his mugshots. They made memes of him. And they made sure to completely alienate him for his petty, laughable mistake that hurt no one. Instances like these, are some of the reasons why I have such a difficult time opening up.
Just as there is negative publicity and gossip though, there sure is a lot of good. On three different instances now, I’ve been approached by people who knew me, but I didn’t recognize them. They knew who I was because of my social media and this website, and they were so quick to tell me that they appreciated my content and what I was doing. One was a little girl who was still in middle school, and she’s now a main reason why I keep this blog going, even on days when I don’t feel like it. Having someone to look up to you like that, with so much excitement and admiration, it’s something you never forget.
Probably two-ish weeks or so after my encounter with that sweet, wonderful girl, I started to put the pieces together about vulnerability. Being vulnerable does make you more susceptible to ridicule when you fail. But it also makes you more authentic, and more approachable- which really makes that risk worthwhile.
So my Challenge for myself, and for you, is this:
- Don’t wait to “Put yourself out there” until you’re ____ (skinnier, richer, less awkward, more beautiful, more collected, more talented, etc). Do that now, and don’t be afraid of letting others see your path. Your path isn’t a straight and easy one, but don’t forget that no one else’s is either. You have no idea who is quietly watching and looking up to you from afar. And you don’t need an online presence to be someone’s role model. You just need to be you. The real, genuine you.
- While you’re being vulnerable and letting others see your story, get yourself in the mindset of “testing something new”. If you love the new thing, then keep doing it. If you don’t love the new thing, if it’s not working for you, say that you tested it, didn’t like it, and moved on. Quitting is not a bad thing, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you failed. You just tested it, and moved on.
- Don’t be afraid to change or reinvent yourself. You are not going to continue being the same person you were in high school. Don’t let your fear of what your classmates will think of you, hold you back from becoming the person you want to be. You are you. If anything, let your personal change inspire and push them to make the changes they’ve been secretly longing for.
- Think of each interaction with someone in a more positive sense, because it is. When you have a vulnerable, real conversation with someone, it’s not an opportunity for them to judge you; its something worthwhile that’s going to leave a positive impact on the both of you. Don’t rob yourself of that precious experience because of a fear of judgment or failure.
My Vulnerable Move
So starting last week, I’ve began getting really personal (vulnerable!) with my nearest and dearest online friends: my email subscribers. I’m now putting out a newsletter every Friday morning. This newsletter contains my my deeper thoughts, aspirations, and goals. I get to honestly share what’s going on in my life, inside deals, and secret updates. If that’s a conversation you’d like to join in on, make sure you subscribe to my mailing list. You can do that by my side bar (if you’re on a tablet or computer) or down at the bottom of this page (if you’re on a smartphone). If you’ve subscribed to get my free 15 Page Financial Freedom Workbook- which I’ve got a lot of happy feedback on- you’ll also be subscribed to the newsletter.
– What does vulnerability and authenticity mean to you?
– Do you have as much anxiety as I do when it comes to being transparent and being real in conversations? What tactics do you use to overcome that?
– And finally, if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, what do you think about getting all posts in one email every Friday, rather than getting several of the course of the week? Let me know!
Like this post?
If this is something that inspires, helps, or just plain entertains you, please don’t hesitate to share it! The goal of Diamonds N’ Denim is to reach as many people as possible, so be sure to talk about it to your friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors, share it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter, or pin it on Pinterest- I even made a pretty pin for you below! Just click the image once, in the upper left corner there will be a red P, click that, and get to pinning! 🙂
As always, thank you for stopping by!