Being vulnerable is one of the hardest things people can do. We are scared that if we reveal our true, authentic selves, there is the great possibility that we will be misunderstood, labeled, or worst of all, rejected.
That fear of rejection can be so overwhelming people don’t do the things they want for their entire lives.
Growing up, I was very scared to put myself out there. I knew there were some things about myself that probably wouldn’t be accepted from the people surrounding me. It led to a lot of suffering. To this day, especially after my public breakdown a few years ago, I wrestle with putting myself out there and being vulnerable.
What I’ve learned though, is like anything, being vulnerable is a practice. Just like investors practice risk and being more comfortable with investing, people can practice being vulnerable, and eventually, it doesn’t feel like such a big deal.
Here are a few ways you can practice being vulnerable:
- Giving compliments: This is a low-risk one, but it opens the door. Usually, we feel awkward or uncomfortable giving people a compliment out of the blue. This is a small action that opens you up and luckily, most people do like hearing a compliment.
- Share an unpopular opinion: We are living in a world of consensus, where most people don’t want to say things because they might not be on the right side. But, sharing something you believe that is unpopular differentiates you from others. It also connects you to the people who truly do resonate with you.
- Admit when you don’t know: This is a tough one that a lot of people struggle with (I know I do). Most people don’t want to admit they don’t know the answer. In my own journey, I have seen this backfire countless times. Admit, when you don’t know the answer, which leads to the next one.
- Ask for help: If you don’t know something, ask someone who you think does. It takes a lot to admit you don’t know, and people respect people who are upfront about their lack of knowledge. It also gives you the opportunity to learn from and connect with someone who may be ahead of you.
- Say hi to a stranger: Have you ever tried this? I still get jitters thinking about it. But, especially with my business, it is a necessity to talk to strangers. And, some of the most beautiful moments and connections have come out of this. You will feel vulnerable at the start, but like you, most people are just looking to connect and have a conversation. Obviously, be polite and do it in the right context, but it can make a world of difference for you, your confidence, and your ability to be vulnerable.
How do you get vulnerable? I challenge you to do something this week and let me know what you did!
Have an awesome Easter Sunday!
Originally published at Tyler Scott Bryden.