What’s it like to be naked while everybody else is clothed?
A friend text me the other day to tell me they hated my blog post on forgiveness. She said it was patronizing and simplistic and that politics shouldn’t be used as a springboard to discuss forgiveness. Ouch!
It was probably quite a big leap to go from politics to forgiveness and she did have a point with the simplicity thing.
It was a very simple concept I wanted to get across about the tendency for people to hold onto resentment rather than learn from experience and move on.
In truth the post wasn’t really about politics or even Margaret Thatcher, it was about not letting harmful emotions do you damage and instead using them to fuel more productive behaviours and ways of being in the world.
It was a strange feeling though to get that kind of *cough* constructive feedback and it got me thinking about a book I’m reading at the moment. It’s called ‘Dare to be Great’ by Brene Brown.
Her main argument is that anything worth getting or doing in life requires an element of vulnerability.
At some point you’re going to have to put yourself in a place where the quality of what you’re doing is judged or assessed and sometimes that judgement won’t be entirely complimentary.
How true is that?!
She also makes the really interesting statement that ‘vulnerability is the cradle that holds all of our worthwhile emotions’.
At first I thought this was a bit of a sweeping generalisation but as I analysed the things I considered ‘worthwhile’ I struggled to find any examples to the contrary…this idea returned to my thoughts as I read the text.
When you really think about it, any sort of challenge you undertake that’s important to you requires you to be vulnerable.
It requires you to step out of the shadows and risk judgement…possibly even condemnation and consequences. If not then perhaps it’s not really a challenge and not as important as you think?
There’s a wonderful NLP type book called ‘The Heroes Journey’ by Robert Dilts and Stephen Gilligan. It’s based on the work of famous mythologist Joseph Campbell and describes the different stages a hero or heroine has to go through when they embark on a quest.
One of the stages of the journey is called ‘Crossing the threshold’.
This is where the hero or heroine leaves the comfort of their home and sets off into the unknown to explore a new adventure.
One of the things they have to accept when they cross the threshold is that their current skill or knowledge WILL be seriously tested and may even fail them and it’s only at this point that they start to develop and transform.
In other words, if they want to progress through their journey and claim the golden elixir, they have to accept a certain element of vulnerability and there really isn’t any way to avoid it other than trot back home with your tail between your legs.
When you think about the different elements of your life, how is your own level of risk taking?
Could you increase it a little? A lot?
What would happen if you did?
How are you with vulnerability? Does is spook you out or do you see it as inevitable when pursuing the things you want?
Everybody has their own threshold before they start totally freaking out and you don’t have to go all out and do the scariest thing in the world.
It can be something as simple as pushing yourself into the limelight just that little bit more than you have been.
So…what do you think…Do you dare to vulnerable?
There’s a good chance you’ll be judged and assessed and it can sometimes feel like you’re naked while everyone else is clothed but it does provides a huge springboard for you to transform and grow.