What is vulnerability?
Most people think that vulnerability is the mushy, daytime TV, heart bleeding story where you share confidential details about your personal life and maybe use yourself as a key example for your teachings. I disagree with that mindset.
There are a set of core beliefs that you have that on some level you believe are dangerous and disruptive and that if you shared them, would compromise your chance at success and acceptance.
Your peers will disagree with you.
Clients may not like you anymore.
You could be publicly challenged or scrutinized.
Or worse yet, fired, ostracized and laughed at!
But here's the thing.
What makes someone listen to my ideas, you ask.
A lot of folks find themselves in a pickle. How can I be compelling without talking about my divorce? Isn't that inappropriate? Or what about my kids or wife or significant other? I don't want to include them either.
To be vulnerable does not mean you need to expose your personal life to the world. We all have different boundaries and you can honor them and still be compelling.
Vulnerable means to lean into the wall you've built around the ideas you think are too dangerous to share with the world.
They are the ones closest to your heart.
The messages you would impart to your children and even grandchildren.
The ideas that make you unique. The vision that is yours and yours alone until you voice it for all (or some) to hear.
The concept of vulnerability only exists as a dichotomy. Just as dark only exists where there is a lack of light, vulnerability only exists where there is a lack of openness.
If you want others to listen, open up to your biggest ideas.
Lean into your edge and adamantly develop and defend your vision for the world.
Be willing to stand for something.
Vulnerability does not exclusively mean to become a sobbing, west coast hippie who uses phrases like "create a safe container" and "hold space" (although we love those guys too, many are my dear friends).
It means to open up to your light, your truth, your solution for the world and be willing to stand toe to toe, eye to eye and hand shake to hand shake even when others disagree with you.