Sunday, 18 January 2015

Daring to be vulnerable

Last week I posted a blog under the title Protection vs. Connection. In this blog I also wrote that 'our readiness to experience, show and share our own vulnerability' is a pre-requisite for creating and experiencing a true, deep and genuine connection with others.

Yes, the theory, is fine but am I practising what I've been preaching? Am I really daring to show my vulnerability where it matters? Am I sharing something important to me with people that are important to me and by doing so exposing a part of myself? Am I daring to stretch my comfort zone beyond what feels emotionally safe?

Before answering above questions let me first give you a bit of context. Writing has not always been easy for me. You could ask me to speak on any subject, at any time, and I could talk the hind legs off a donkey. However, if you were to ask me to write down what I had just spoken about with relative ease, I could end up sitting behind a PC for a long time before anything comprehensible would come up on the screen. Why that was, you might ask. Well, in the past, writing posed such a challenge for me because I used to believe that I was not good at it. I actually believed that there was such a thing as perfection. Of course, when measuring myself against imaginary perfect yard stick I ended up feeling that whatever I wrote was never good enough and therefore not worth sharing.

Luckily some years ago when I learned not only to accept but more importantly to love myself as I was/am. I realised that our perfection lies actually in our imperfections. Our imperfections make us so uniquely who we are. They also teach us to be truly humble and from that point we are much more able to get in touch with our own humanity and that of other people. We learn to give ourselves and others a break!

So yes, I gave myself one of those breaks a few moths ago when I decided to start writing and more importantly posting a blog. I knew that potentially, via my blog, I could reach many people who would benefit from what I was writing about. At the same time I was also aware that through my blog I would be opening the door for critical comments from some readers, which in turn could trigger feelings of insecurity and hurt in me. That was a risk I was willing to take. I made a step in daring to be vulnerable by starting to write a blog on subjects that are dear to my heart and I know something about from my personal and professional experience, subjects relating to inner growth, personal development, compassionate or nonviolent communication, life coaching and similar.

Yes, with writing and publishing a blog I've been practsing what I've preached. I've dared to share publicly what is important to me and therefore to expose myself vulnerably. However there is a but here. Until the last week people reading my blog were mostly unknown to me, strangers around the world. And as majority of us know a disapproving comment from a stranger can never stimulate as much hurt as a comment from a friend or a close colleague. Even though I was daring greatly by writing and sharing my blog with the public there was still some room for more daring and for stretching my comfort zone. The next challenge was to share my blog with people who matter to me, the known public of friends and colleagues.

Hence, last week after publishing my blog Protection vs. Connection, I decided to make another step in daring to be vulnerable and to share the blog via facebook with a group of friends and colleagues from various walks of my life. In my message to them I acknowledged that sharing my writing with them was a daring act for me. I am very happy to say that my daring to share my vulnerability about writing with my friends has opened doors for a deeper connection with several of them.

Apart from experiencing this deeper connection I have also benefited from receiving valuable feedback. One friend pointed towards my tendency to write ''sentences of three line average!'' I am grateful for his comment because I have been aware of this tendency of mine. I've already tried to work on cutting my long sentences into shorter more manageable chunks and his comment is encouraging me to stay even more focused. Next to the feedback, this and several other friends have sent words of support both for my writing, as well as the blog. These messages not only have warmed my heart but have also given me encouragement to keep on writing and to keep daring to be vulnerable and show it. Last but not least, the whole process of writing and sharing it with others, and in so doing challenging my own emotional security boundaries, is contributing to my own inner growth and personal development.

I hope that this post will give you some encouragement and inspiration to dare to be vulnerable and make a move to expose yourself in whichever area of your life your vulnerability might be. I do understand that potentially there is a risk of getting hurt when you open up. However, from my experience the benefits of sharing and deeper connection with others, contribution you are able to give to others and inner growth that come from it are far greater then the risks.

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