For all of October, Camp Climb has been focused on Vulnerability (and all its baggage). My last post shared about how to lean into your vulnerability. Even in the smallest, simplest adjustments, like breaking a bad habit, or tackling a difficult dessert recipe, can be a crucial first step toward far-reaching transformation. While that is totally true, I also want to take a moment to talk about how being vulnerable can feel like a hell of a lonely road.
You might remember a few years back, I had the opportunity to shoot an HGTV pilot for my work in the vintage market scene. Producers for the show flew to Iowa from LA to follow me around shooting hours and hours of footage and while it was such an exciting whirlwind that seemed to be taking me into a new and incredible direction, something within me stalled. I was getting more public press and attention than ever, friends and family were showering me with affirmations, and yet, I slipped into one of the darkest periods of loneliness I’ve ever experienced.
I knew if I pursued getting a television spot, my time and energy would be totally consumed. I wouldn’t be able to pursue the passion I had for creating the community I wanted, needed, and believed in whole-heartedly. It seemed like I had no good options. It seemed like everything I’d worked for was imploding. The vulnerability was nauseating…but the pain also gave me a strong sense of clarity.
I didn’t know where to begin or how, but I had faith that the only way I’d be successful is by staying authentic. I couldn’t turn my back on belonging, and that was the smallest, simplest shift that launched what has now become the Camp Climb brand.
Since that personal lowpoint, I’ve met so many incredible creative and entrepreneurial women who have joined me in the Camp Climb community, like Ali Hicks-Wright at Amari Creative, Fern Olivia of Nosara Wellness, and mentor/life coach Morgan Northway. We have unique goals and businesses, but something we all have in common are the feelings of fear and loneliness we experienced starting out.
Ali remembers, “The safe way (at least in my mind) was to ‘follow the rules’.” (She has a great explanation of this on her website, Click here )
“It brings me back to the fear and vulnerability I felt when starting Amari Creative,” she explained. But that’s precisely what gave Ali the edge she needs to guide and equip others to pursue their business goals.
Fern Olivia agrees. “When I worked in a corporate job in NYC, I didn’t even know there was a world outside the walls of my cubicle. Getting over the hurdle of feeling safe outside my comfort zone, safe in my intuition, safe in not always having a consistent income, has been the most soul-nourishing gift I have ever received. Never would I have ever imagined that here I would be living in Costa Rica, founded a holistic travel concierge (www.nosarawellnessguide.com) and empower a massive movement of healing and expression (www.thyroid.yoga).”
Like Ali and Fern, Morgan Northway was successfully working in a corporate career, but couldn’t shake her calling to be a life coach. As she let her dream gain momentum, she suffered the same way the rest of us did, too. “It didn’t take too long until my unworthiness kicked in. “You’re a party girl, who are you to help with someone else’s life?” “Everyone is going to see who you really are, imperfect” “How can you be a life coach, look at your past.” I let these stories keep me small for such a long time. The fear of judgment, the fear of not being enough, the fear of people seeing all of me.”
WOW. Sound familiar? Then be like Morgan: “At some point I said no more, I refused to let these stories define me. Rather than resisting it, and feeling shame or guilt, I shined light on it. I spoke it out, I owned it. I stepped out as a coach and launched my business. That was 5 years ago.”
Recognize the truth yet? You are not alone! We all share the same fears, so let’s face them together!
Although our featured “Vulnerability Month” is coming to a close, the work is ever-changing and never done. Vulnerability is not something we get to check off our list, unfortunately, so start thinking of it as an important relationship to foster in your life. (Because it is!)
Just like any and all relationships, it requires open, honest communication in order to thrive. And the better we are at nurturing and accepting our vulnerability, the more we, in turn, get back from being vulnerable. Instead of being an obstacle to avoid, or fight against, or overcome, vulnerability is actually like a high bar that we’re trying to swing to from wherever we’re at currently. Yes, it feels scary. Maybe you are legitimately doubting that your reach can make it that far (anyone else thinking of the high ropes course at Summer Camp!?)
That jittery feeling is your vulnerability talking to you. Encouraging you…or maybe discouraging you…but either way, it’s giving you an important discomfort that demands you to ACT. Trust yourself. Your intuition is there with you, too, and that basic instinct is an incredible safety net. You’ll know what to do. Sometimes, it’s not the right thing to jump to (like my HGTV opportunity). Other times, the leap where you come up short or lose your footing was still the right leap to take—it gains you experience and informs you of your own capabilities (like back when Ali, Fern and Morgan were corporate “rule followers”). More often than our fears want us to believe, we can absolutely take big leaps and land on safe ground. The exhilaration and warm rush of pride that immediately follows is our vulnerability rewarding us for staying open, staying committed, and for using the discomfort to our advantage, giving us that extra little lift that takes us to the next level.
Ali, Fern, Morgan and I are here, along with ALL of the Camp Climb community, doing this together. Though we do have to take our own individual steps, we are absolutely on the very same path. NONE of us are alone in our vulnerability—don’t let insecurity’s lies tell you otherwise!
Happy Halloween, boos! Now get out there and get scared!