Do you know what’s scary? Giving up a 6 figure income for a project that’s currently offering me $0. I’m not going to lie; this is frickin’ terrifying. But do you want to know what’s scarier? Not taking the chance to do something that you’re passionate about. Currently, I’m transitioning out of real estate, where I’ve built an award-winning business within the last six years, for projects that I believe in so passionately and have been waiting to launch but never had the time to. Now, I know I said award-winning business, but to further the honesty, you should know that these accolades have never brought me much personal value because it’s for a career that I didn’t enjoy.
There’s not one thing I love about the industry, not even the amount of money it brings in. Coming home with the negative energy that I had from being unhappy on the job impacted my emotional health and my family relationship. However, I’m a believer in seeing the good within a bad situation. So I won’t deny that the 6 years in the industry had made me aware of many aspects of myself, especially when I could truthfully answer the question, “why am I really doing this?”. The answer is – I carry-out the job well, despite not wanting to wake up in the morning for it, because of anything other than the mentality that my name is on the line. To further that, I now know that when my name is on the line and others are dependent on me, I’ll put in my best efforts, and thus I can reach my goals.
My attitude has always been if I’m going to do something, I might as well do it right, and I carry this attitude with everything I do, including cleaning the bathrooms. Knowing this about myself is empowering. It shows that as long as I put my mind to something, I can succeed. I mean, I put my mind to a job that I hated for six years and made it very successful. Could you imagine what I could accomplish if I carried this attitude with something that I was passionate about? This thought is a ginormous motivation. Crazy awesome, am I right?
Trading in financial security for growth, self-love, and happiness was not an easy decision to make. It makes me feel very vulnerable to put myself in this position of possible rejection and failure, and I’m a person who loves stability and predictability. There have been many sleepless nights of feeling stuck. I f-ugly cried, drowned my emotions in pints of ice cream, and I spiralled down a dark path with my conflicting emotions because I felt like I didn’t have control over my life. I used to think that being vulnerable was a sign of weakness. I now understand that being vulnerable is actually the key to connecting all aspects of my life to everyone around me, and it’s the best thing I can do for myself. The truth is, even putting my life, my internal thoughts, and deep-seated emotions out there in the world wide web, to you, my readers, gives me loads of anxiety. I feel naked almost! But I realize that this scare only puts me in the constant lingering thought of ‘what if’ and doesn’t serve me anything more than that. If I’m unable to be authentically me, then who am I? Being in this unknown vulnerable place, although nerve-wracking, is where my greatest potential lies.
I believe that human nature is imperfect, but yet we constantly seek perfection and appeasement. It’s exhausting. The paradox is that every one of us is whole and perfect within this sphere of imperfection – should we allow ourselves to be authentic and vulnerable, we can do the great things we were made to do. I will warn you that vulnerability is a double-edged sword. When I protect myself and avoid getting hurt, I fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships. I fail to allow others to understand me, give empathy and compassion. More importantly, I fail to provide myself with opportunities to do something extraordinary. We all have flaws, embarrassing stories, and past mistakes we wish we could forget. We are insecure, awkward, and desperately hoping we could change certain things about ourselves. That’s human nature. But here’s the inside scoop… everyone feels this way. No matter how perfect someone appears, we all have the same awkwardness, insecurity, and self-doubt. How amazing is it to connect with someone through our ‘flaws’ rather than keeping up a facade?
I’m a believer in having a strong sense of self-worth, and within this strong self-worth, I no longer need others to define it or prop it up for me. Being vulnerable with the understanding that I can’t be everything to everyone is truly liberating. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to watch Dr. Brené Brown’s 2010 TEDx talk below called The Power of Vulnerability. In the clip, she says, “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think — or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?”. Choosing to own me before anyone else is the most loyal act I can do for myself because if I don’t believe in myself, who will? Plus, this is my life, and my story shouldn’t be influenced by all the voices and opinions from others that I gave rental space to in my head.
Every time my two boys get into a fight with each other, one of the two feels the need to play up the “I’m the tough guy” role or assume that his brother should already know his deep-rooted emotions without having to say it out loud. Being aware of them and how others interact with each one another, I recognize that all humans want to be understood, not necessarily agreed with all the time, but to be really understood. However, we tend to hold ourselves back for fear of being emotionally or physically attacked. Yet, the choice of opening up to others allows for empathy and understanding so that the other person can respond appropriately to the situation. Seeing and coaching my kids through this allowed me to have insight into my relationship with others and myself. I really wished I had someone tell me a long time ago that it’s empowering to open up and let others into my psyche and heart. It would have saved me from a lot of headaches and heartaches.
So, I encourage you to be courageous and vulnerable. You will find that there’s kindness, love, and space to breathe and grow within the fear of uncertainty and judgment. It’s one of the building blocks to significant social interactions and personal growth. And here’s to me, putting on my brave face, hoping you won’t be so appalled from the amount of nakedness I’m about the display. *smirk*
As the famously poetic reggae star once said, “You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing that you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end.” — Bob Marley.
Sending you good vibes, friend.
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