Getting Unstuck or Vulnerability won’t kill you!

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“The greatest act of courage is to be and to own all that you are – without apology, without excuses, without masks …”      Debbie Ford

 

I just opened my emails and to my horror, the talk I presented 12 months ago was featured!

My ego had secretly hoped that the video might have vanished or been buried where no one could see it!

WHY? There I am naked for the entire world to see. Not literally –thankfully! Vulnerability just makes you feel that way.

Let’s go back to the beginning-   January 2015. I received an email from The Slow School of Business –‘’Is there a TED-style talk in you? “

I had been inspired by TED Talks for years, attended TEDX Melbourne and was looking for my latest challenge. YES I can do this!  New Year -new challenge!  The usual conversations battled in my brain before I committed-:

Are you sure about this?

My bold side replied,

  • “You are a coach! Change is your speciality !”.
  • “Don’t be such a wimp.”
  • “It will be good for you.”
  • “About time you found your voice!”

Finally my son said, “Yes mum, you can do it!” This pushed me over the line of doubt.

Bravely, I signed up.

The first night of the program was inspiring and confronting.

Imagine walking in to a group of talented confident people with interesting stories to tell; the presenters were confident, super talented, and impressive.  I did not belong! Vulnerability, fear, insecurity flooded in. WHAT AM I DOING HERE? RUN ….

President Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy”

Well I am here to tell you this is so true. I was soon to discover that others felt just like me. Eventually, our shared stories and experience allowed trust to grow and friendships to flourish.

Reluctantly, I returned for the second session. Forcing myself to finish what I had started. Besides I had already revealed my latest challenge to friends. Some said I was brave, others thought it was no big deal. Was I going to reveal I was a wimp and a quitter? Believe me I was tempted.

A year later, reflecting on my experience I know that it was pivotal. I was so embroiled in my story, my fear and the dread of failure; I didn’t truly celebrate the break through.  I had come face to face with my vulnerability and survived!

It wasn’t so much a fear of speaking, just a fear of speaking about me.

Have you ever been afraid of making a fool of yourself?

Concerned you might bore the pants off your audience?

Worse still, imagined doing a crash and burn in front of everyone?

If you answered YES- You will understand my fear and trepidation – I dedicate this blog to you.

If you answered NO- You probably gave up reading a long time ago!

I did finish the program because I am not someone who gives up easily. I attended the final presentation night and managed to get through 3 minutes of panic – heart stooping moments when my notes went out of sequence and moments when long held emotion sent a tremor through my voice. The other 2 minutes? I actually enjoyed myself.

The audience was wonderful. They wanted me to succeed! I have kept all their notes; their words touched me deeply.

Unfortunately, until yesterday I had never watched the video of my presentation.                                                                                   I tried once- but it was still too raw!

Now having watched the video what have I discovered?

  • Vulnerability doesn’t kill us
  • Perfection is limiting!
  • Courage is in the small steps we take to challenge our imagined limitations
  • Shared stories allow us to connect and discover that we are not alone
  • Being stuck in limiting stories sucks! Getting unstuck is the challenge!
  • Releasing energy- zapping stories is exhilarating!
  • If you must compare – only compare yourself to who you were yesterday

Hiding behind our mask may make us feel safe; the truth is that the fear of exposing our vulnerability limits us-keeping us small.

“Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”       Brene Brown

                         

 

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