How Being Vulnerable Opens Up Bold New Frontiers of Confidence and Joy
What does it cost you in life to conform to a set of expectations or goals that aren’t your own? To follow and not lead? When you conform to the thinking of others without giving things proper thought, you surrender your choice, wisdom and power. You leave the key decisions in your life to the mercy of others. Isn’t life better when we live on our terms?
It’s easy to wonder about chances we’ve had in our lives, as well as opportunities we’ve passed up. Times where we’ve relinquished control due to lack of willpower. Or to paraphrase Robert Frost: “The roads not taken.” We invite risk when we conform to certain norms, thus sacrificing our own creative and spiritual liberty.
We give up our God-given talents- at least temporarily- in favor of a script that likely wasn’t written for our lives. We should always be the screenwriter of our own script because no one knows us better than ourselves. To do this — we must be vulnerable! We learn from others and model certain behaviors after those who we observe but, we have the innate ability to decipher and act based on our emotions and intuition.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. — Steve Jobs
Since my college days, I’ve lived in Boston, Athens, GA, Washington D.C., New York, Atlanta and now Charleston, South Carolina. I’ve moved to new places to pursue opportunities and to discover more of who I am. While New York will always be home- I’ve tried experiencing new environments to grow as a student, professional and person of the world.
There have been both bright and dark days. Time spent soul-searching and plenty of time spent ruminating on my purpose in life. I’ve learned that I want to help others. I’ve learned that I want to take bold chances, to pursue my dreams and to defy the conventional life. I want to be original and craft a positive message that literally changes lives for the better.
I want to produce art that matters.
My decision to attend graduate school at the University of Georgia did not offer me much of a safety net. I knew no one- I had no family or friends. I struck it out on my own by faith; in essence, believing that I’d find what I was looking for. In less than two years, I found my wife, received my Master’s degree and opened the doors to new employment.
I was as vulnerable as I’ve ever been — and it paid off big time.
The icing on the cake was the growth in my life both spiritually and emotionally. Without family and close friends to rely on, we learn a tremendous amount about ourselves. I made the active choice to grow in faith and learn to trust not only others — but myself more.
As my faith increased, my confidence grew and I began to see a future picture with vivid clarity, one that involved me living out the dreams of my heart. I would not have been able to obtain this clarity and receive these blessings had I stayed where I was. I hungered for more, which little did I realize, was the path toward an unconventional life. It is my own unique path.
You Can Be Bold And Vulnerable
A work colleague once told me, “We grow the most when we’re put in situations that make us uncomfortable- situations that make us vulnerable.”When I look back at events in my life, I find a tremendous amount of truth in that statement. If we’re competitive and demanding of ourselves, we won’t accept or tolerate mediocrity.
We’ll make the most of the situation by learning, logically piecing things together, developing new leadership skills and building confidence. Sometimes, in athletics, the business world and in education, we’re forced into these situations. The logic remains the same whether we find ourselves in a situation because of circumstance or our own volition.
Audaces fortuna iuvat– Fortune favors the bold, is a Latin saying that I try to embrace and live by each day. If we boldly embrace new challenges, we evolve with the ever-changing world around us. We transform our minds to reach new levels of intellect, wisdom and confidence. When we live boldly, we pursue a path that refuses to conform. In fact, a bold life is an inherently, ruggedly independent course.
Respect What Matters To You
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Due to societal influences, our minds are subject to the things that our group of friends, colleagues or fellow students prefer. We have to be mindful of conditioning ourselves to not accept everything we hear or experience at face value. Observe and listen but be an original. Be inventive in thought.
“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.” — Mary Shelley
We need to analyze and question if particular values, beliefs or behaviors are in harmony with our identity- our vision for life. Many of us are fearful of expressing our own opinions or sharing our own thoughts because of scorn or the reaction of others.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t care at all what others think of you in social interactions. If you adopt this attitude, good luck ever dealing with people in life. For one, you won’t want to deal with others. Two, others won’t tolerate your attitude or want to deal with you. Many people will simply tune you out. I encourage you to respect others but, to respect your opinions, as well.
I also encourage you to assert yourself confidently, without worry. What you speak over your life will become your reality. Others in turn will respect you for it and start looking to you as the original voice, rather than someone who just follows the crowd.
Don’t be swayed easily. Strive to see your plans through to completion. Pursue your passions and never give in for lack of effort and attitude. The more that we conform, the less we resemble who we truly are. We are meant to live boldly. In all these things we are more than conquerors!
We are leaders who should never surrender to a life that isn’t our own.
Contact me if you’d like and Join me on your journey. Let’s Go!