If you’ve been keeping up with us on social media, then you already know that this month we’re all about VULNERABILITY.
Generally, it’s easy to hate —or fear—being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means we are susceptible to something, and we don’t talk about people being “susceptible” to good things. We don’t describe ourselves as “susceptible to happiness” or “vulnerable to success.” (More like susceptible to violence, or vulnerable to disease. Ahh!) But being vulnerable or susceptible simply means that we are open to an outcome. And we define ourselves as “open” in very good ways. “Open to success,” “open to love,” and let’s not forget one of my favorites, “Open for Business!”
See the connection? We have to be open in order to do business and opening takes vulnerability.
Now, before you throw caution to the wind and go streaking through your neighborhood at midnight to combat your inner insecurities, keep in mind that healthy risk doesn’t put you at risk. The key is to start small. Choose something you can do today. Right now. Immediately. The slightest shifts we make can reverberate in major ways toward our large scale success.
Vulnerability takes practice and patience. And I actually have a perfect real-life example that happened just a few weeks ago that re-inspired my commitment to the practice….
My younger daughter, Kahler, bites her nails to the nubbins. It’s a nervous habit that she hasn’t been able to shake, no matter how many reminders I give or bad-tasting solutions we’ve slathered on to help retrain her mind. Her nails were chewed so far down, I resorted to bribery and told her that if she made it an entire week without biting her nails, I’d make her homemade cinnamon rolls. (I have no idea why that was my offer—I never make cinnamon rolls!)
And guess what??
She didn’t bite her nails! She would catch herself and forcefully stop herself from biting down. And obviously it was HARD! Her coping mechanism had been taken away and I could see that it was uncomfortable! But despite the temptation, she stayed dedicated to her goal.
I swear, she grew 10 feet tall right in front of me. I realized she was instantly stronger and better focused on tackling whatever was in front of her because she was pushing past the anxiety. And since she was no longer nurturing and soothing that subconscious fear or need by biting her nails, she was able to nurture her action, her creative thinking and her follow through. She was killing it!
I was so inspired by my sweet girl and instantly felt recommitted to making the same kind of shift in myself—which, it dawned on me, was something I’d already agreed to! I had cinnamon rolls to make. From SCRATCH. But I don’t know HOW—and not in the “I’ve never done this before,” way of not knowing, in the, “I have tried and failed more than once and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!”
It was a perfect opportunity to “prove” myself, to myself, that I could do this hard thing.
Going through this process, I had to reopen myself to the possibility of failure. I had to be vulnerable. I decided that I’d tried baking these before, kneading all my doubts in to the dough and letting them rise with the rolls (which didn’t seem right-were they getting bigger? or were they shrinking? Wait, how big was it to start!?)
This time, I was going to follow the recipe exactly as before—only without the second guessing or the mental gymnastics of estimating an average of all my best guesses.
This time I was going to powder my palms with flour and it would be like a parallel with a gymnast stepping up to the vault in slow mo…. A powder cloud hanging in the air after we clap our hands together and set our sights in front of us. Then pound, pound, pound, pound and lift, twist, roll and BAM! I did it!!
Remember, small wins are big wins when it comes to mind shifts. So this week, think about the small changes you can incorporate into each day. Then, get vulnerable. Run full steam ahead towards that transformation. I know you’ll stick the landing.