Have you ever found yourself uttering these words…\”it is a sign of strength to ask for help.” Perhaps you have encouraged another this way as part of your professional role and within your personal relationships. I believe this statement to be true and I imagine you do as well. So, why can it be so hard sometimes to personally ingest these words of wisdom? Let’s break it down.
Courageous vulnerability. This might sound like a paradox at first. It’s all in the definition and interpretation of the words. Language is so powerful and we tend to interpret the meaning of our words from a subjective perspective.
Vulnerability. At first glance, to be vulnerable can be interpreted as being weak; being open to harm; being without safety, security or protection; at the mercy of the actions of others.
To be vulnerable actually requires a great deal of strength and courage. To be vulnerable means to stand in the authenticity of your personal truth; your personal experience and allow yourself to be seen without the desire to armour yourself.
To be strong does not mean to be hardened and impenetrable. To be strong requires an openness and acceptance that can only be mustered through a steadfast sense of self and personal power. To be strong is to stand in the fire with your head held high firm in the commitment of your convictions…and to remain willing to be wrong should that occur. And it will.
Courage does not mean to be without fear. Courage involves an awareness of your fear while at the same time following through with the actions you know you must take. Courage doesn’t suddenly take away the discomfort, the what-ifs, the shaky ground. Courage simply provides you with the energy you need to walk through your experience. Courage allows you to step outside of your comfort zone.
Courageous Vulnerability as Your Anchor
In your role as a helping professional, you will be blessed with many opportunities to practice courageous vulnerability. It is only from this place that you can bring your authentic nature to what you do. From this anchor within, you can learn what it means to care about others as a human being without assuming responsibility for their outcomes. You can only say what you really mean if you can step into this place of courageous vulnerability.
Personal life is also an amazing teacher. How often do you bite your tongue; hold back a piece of your core truth because you are afraid of the reaction you may get from someone you love? Let me tell you that the people you love in your life deserve to know the truth of who you are and you deserve to tell it. It is the decision to go against this urge – to shrink instead of rise – that leads to regrets.
Real strength is what you will gain when you allow yourself to be vulnerable – to be fully seen – to honour your truth. Courage is the muscle you will build each time you make the choice to live authentically. The more you dig into your reserves within your personal relationships, the greater capacity you will have to do the same in your professional relationships.
The Courage To Care
Wanna be genuine and authentic, warm and connected to the people you provide service to? Show up as you are at the core of your being. Be you fully with the highest degree of personal responsibility. Have the courage to care.
At this point in my life, I am digging deep to find the courage it will take to make myself truly vulnerable within a close personal relationship. I have been scared in ways that I haven’t felt in a very long time – on a truly deep level, I know that I am getting to a core issue in my being that requires healing regardless of the outcome in this relationship and I am willing to go there. I know instinctively that facing myself in this way will result in the explosion of courage and personal power that I wish to experience in other parts of my life and will move me closer to fulfilling my purpose at this time.
We are not always learning what we might think we are learning. Sometimes the lesson runs much deeper and has several layers and applications.
It may hurt. It may not go the way I think I want it to. I may be left with empty hands. And I can trust that I will have the courage it will take to face that if I need to face it. Or it may be the single most courageous act I have engaged in that changes my whole life forever.
Risk is growth. Vulnerability is strength. Courage is built.
Let’s get started!
What do you need courage for right now?