Someone just asked me a very powerful question:
Q: What is the best advice you could give someone if you only had 5 minutes.
A: Leverage everything vulnerable about yourself!
Vulnerability is the key to success. The ability to be hurt and fail is an actual key to your greatest strengths. In fact, those strengths are hiding behind doors of excuses. If you think you don’t have a door standing in the way of what you want, well that’s your first excuse. This door is used for protection. And because you are human, and humans carry the weight of emotional frailty, you use this door to shelter and protect the Ego.
Stuck, stifled, and swamped. You wonder how your static personality can change themselves from an “always” or “never” type of person, to someone who uses persistence and perseverance to get what they want. The answer lies within a mind shift. Learning to utilize vulnerability within a growth style mindset will help you create the future that you want. I won’t say that this is easy. If it was so simple, we would all be comfortably retired in Boca Raton by now. This identity that you carry is the baggage that holds you back, but it doesn’t have to have the power you give it. Here are some practical foundations so that you can look for opportunities to create change from within.
You are who you are, not who you used to be
Let go of the baggage you have decided to carry with you.
- Every bad experience is a lesson, a history lesson, in fact. It can trigger emotions to come out when you recognize you are in similar situations. Choose how you react and how you decide to feel.
- If you decide to look deeply into past feelings and situations, use critical thinking to determine what you can take from it. Ask yourself, how am I benefiting from this? If it is not useful to you, why are using time on them?
You will move forward faster without the weight of that baggage.
- You never have to be dependent on the traits of your history to determine your future. Although people around you may not expect you to act outside of the box, they put you in, let that be their discomfort and not yours.
- There are things you love about yourself and things you hide from the world. Neither of them has to be there forever. Identify with your moment, not with what you are afraid you are not.
Step into new shoes, see if they fit.
- If you were able to predict your future challenges in the past, you would be truly prepared for this challenge at this moment. The fact is, you can’t predict the future. And anything new will never start off as comfortable. Maybe it’s because you are learning to identify with that new object.
- Learning is always uncomfortable because it requires you to drop the old and accept the new. Whether it is the new you, new job, or new shoes. You never knew new like this before!
Hitch, the dating coach, is helping one of his client’s with a new look.
The shoes are hot. You went to the place I told you?
Yeah, but I don’t think they’re really me.
“You” is a very fluid concept right now.
(Hitch, 2005, Tennant/Smith/James)
It’s ok to be uncomfortable. It’s ok to have faults and it’s definitely okay to process them. That’s why the hug was invented. Whether you admit your secrets to your spouse or develop full transparency to a mentor or boss, vulnerability has a lot of forms.
Vulnerability looks like:
- An open mind and open arms
- Asking for help when you think you don’t deserve it
- Having a 99% reject rate, and trying anyways
- Requesting critical feedback, where you are the most sensitive
- Reviewing every wrong answer on a past test to learn the right answer
- Accepting blame even though you were once defensive on the subject
- Starting a sentence with “I was afraid…” and finishing that statement with the most uncomfortable truth that you see about yourself.
So, in order to be truly successful, leverage failures until they become lessons of wisdom. Use every power and control to learn from a situation despite how uncomfortable that failure was. if you were a scientist, you would depend on the data of failed tests in order to find results that matter. In this life, your unwritten future matters the most.
You are tougher than you ever imagined, and I know this because you will deal with life events that you never prepared for. You will most likely survive them, and you will definitely thrive from the experience if you leverage a lesson out of it.
Own your vulnerabilities!