About four years ago, the women in my Mastermind Group decided to read "Daring Greatly" by Brené Brown. It has been a book that has changed my perspective on many things. Since I learned about vulnerability as a sign of strength and not weakness, it has helped me get comfortable with my feelings and emotions.
In this blog post, I will share areas of my life where I am allowing myself and the impact it has had on me.
Starting point: What does being Vulnerable mean?
I like Brené Brown's definition of vulnerability as "the feeling we get during times of uncertainty, risk, or emotional exposure. This includes times when we're showing our feelings, and we're not sure what people will think, and times when we really care about something and people will know that we're sad or disappointed when it doesn't work out."
Being Vulnerable at work
Thinking about being vulnerable at work is something that we are trained not to do. Acknowledging that there are many things that I know and others that I do not know is difficult. I have learned that it is ok to be vocal about it. Another area where I am vulnerable at work is sharing how much I struggled when I started working at a company that many people think is a dream company. I felt a lot of shame about the fact that I was not living the dream. Talking about my experience helped me overcome the sadness I felt and move on.
Being Vulnerable in relationships
It is weird, but even when we love people, sometimes it feels tough to be vulnerable with them. There is always a fear of being taken for granted when you bear it all and share how you feel. As my relationships have matured, I have had to decide to put myself out there and show my true feelings. I had to learn not to hold back when it came to love and not be afraid of disappointment.
Being Vulnerable as a mother
Especially when I talk to other mothers, I am candid about areas where I am not doing things people expect of a "perfect mother." I openly share the challenges I have faced so far on my journey. It is scary to talk about the challenges I had breastfeeding my son in the first three weeks of his life, challenges sleep training, dealing with mum guilt, and much more. Being vulnerable has helped me connect with other amazing women.
Being Vulnerable about my background
For the longest time, I did not feel comfortable sharing about the fact that I grew up poor and was homeless at one point in my life in Germany. I was very self-conscious and thought people might look at me differently if they knew. This was indeed a story I told myself. When I got the courage to share, I learned more about other people's similar experiences. My background contributed a lot to who I am today.
Being Vulnerable about my insecurities
One of the most difficult blog posts I wrote was when I shared about dealing with my insecurities. My weight gain was something I needed to come to terms with over the last few years. I could not believe that I actually wrote and published a blog post when I shared about it. It helped me see how much it mattered to me and the fact that everything was still alright. Talking about my insecurities is still hard, but I am learning to push through the discomfort.
Being Vulnerable about my fears
In my birthday blog post last week, I shared ten things about myself, and for some reason, I wanted to share one of the fears on my mind. I shared about the fact that I am almost worried that no one will show up to events that I organize or read my blog posts. It is something that has held me back from taking big steps. Writing it down reminded me that it is real and I can overcome my fears.
Being Vulnerable about my dreams
Especially in the Nigerian culture, you are told not to share about your dreams. People have different thoughts about why you should not share your dreams. I always wondered, what if the goals and dreams I share never come true? The fact that people know and can see my disappointment makes me not want to share. I am being vulnerable by sharing my yearly goals, the progress I am making, and areas where I still have work to do.
Being vulnerable has helped me be my whole self and connected me with fabulous people. You never know who you are helping by showing up as yourself and accepting that no one is perfect. We all have the opportunity to continue learning and growing.