Recently, I revisited Brené Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. It was fascinating to revisit her truth about vulnerability being strength, not weakness. It was interesting to see how I have closed off my own vulnerability in my life when I felt most weak. When I have opened myself to be vulnerable, I have shown the most personal strength and have grown, developed, and changed the most in the ways that I wanted.
In light of the reminder that vulnerability is strength, and that I work hard not to preach what I refuse to practice, I am going to share some of my own vulnerability right now.
Recently, I accepted a full-time position in my community. It is not my permanent stopping place, because I continue to build Profitable Alignment and help people—especially women—to grow into their best selves.
It was hard for me to choose to accept a full-time position in addition to Profitable Alignment. I have needed to work on my own self-perception because my business does not yet completely support my family. In fact, like many others out there, perhaps you, I needed to change what I was doing for the short term in order to completely change my future.
Just like I do with my clients, however, I have leaned on others to help me reframe this opportunity.
In addition to Profitable Alignment working with women to help you see how amazing you are and working with leaders to recognize the strengths in their teams, their own leadership, and how they can improve the synergy, I now get to work on another team from the inside out. I have new opportunities to learn strategies to overcome things that have challenged me for years.
As you likely noticed, I have not sent out a newsletter a long time—nearly three months, in fact. I have been working to balance my new full-time job with a part-time job I had, with Profitable Alignment, with family needs, with farm animal emergencies, and with involvement in two Toastmasters Clubs.
It has been hard.
I had to let go of the part-time job. I’m glad I did. It has helped my peace of mind and other time and emotion management.
Additionally, I have been worried about all who receive my newsletters or read my blog, who follow me on social media, and prospective clients. I have realized, anew, that I cannot do it all right now to the level I want to do it.
I refuse not to practice what I preach, so I have sought ways to learn, grow, reframe, rewrite, and redesign. I have leaned on my own trusted advisors for help when I have felt weak.
At times, we all need help, support, encouragement, and even time to “break down” in order to become stronger, more focused, more capable, and more confident.
Just as I encourage in my clients, I encourage you to take the time to take the break. Listen to your stress and evaluate if it’s honest or blown out of proportion. Your fears are meant to help you recognize that something needs your attention.
I have a coach and mentor who taught me to thank my fears for drawing my attention to something. She taught me to recognize that the flight, fight, or freeze response is healthy, helpful, and CAN be controlled with practice and recognition.
Because of my mentor, I have been able to help others recognize that fear is an opportunity to evaluate. Are you running FROM or running TO something? Are you afraid of what will change if you fail OR are you afraid of what will happen if you succeed? Are you revisiting someone else’s story that you accepted as your own because you heard that person’s story when you were so young that you internalized it?
The stories of your past do not need to be the stories of your present or your future. They are experiences that influenced who you are today AND they do not completely define you. Your continued response to them shapes your present and your future.
When I began to pursue my doctorate degree, I had a friend who was certain I would change to become a snobbish, conceited, demeaning person as soon as I could put “Doctor” in front of my name because others she knew, including family members, had “changed” in that way. She was so certain of it and I cared so much about her opinion, that I frequently considered how having a doctorate would change me. I CHOSE to decide that the title would not change my core. It only shows that I have focused some of my studies and diligently pursued a course that not everyone pursues. This friend of mine has since told me that she’s grateful that I didn’t change like her family members had. It was an opportunity to create myself consciously and meet my expectations instead of buying into anyone else’s.
This brief hiatus I have taken from the newsletter has emphasized to me how much I want to provide this content and create value for anyone I can help. Writing this newsletter is me sharing my vulnerability about the challenges of transition, expectations, and “shoulds.” I frequently tell people they may not “should” on themselves and I have people who stop me from the same.
I share these things with you not so you think I’m more amazing, but so that you understand that those of us who help others also need help and it’s OK to accept help. In fact, it is a sign of strength to reach out for help when you feel like you could be drowning. I needed the reminder and have been grateful to be able to reach out for help.