Image Source: Thrive Instagram
Like many people in this world, I was raised with “tough love” (or “Irish love” as my father would say). While I never doubted my parents’ love for me, it wasn’t exactly communicated through hugs and rainbows. Some of you may be saying “poor girl,” but you’re wrong.
My parents’ “tough love” taught me that when life throws us curveballs, we don’t cry and ask for pity, rather we put a smile on our face, remember how fortunate we are, and we go out into the world with confidence. I attribute this to my success as an adult and can’t imagine who I would be if I was not raised to become this person.
While this upbringing led me to become an independent woman, it also taught me that vulnerability is associated with weakness.
Recently, in an example to encourage her employees to practice vulnerability, our fearless leader (MF) read a heart-breaking story of friendship, loss and the importance of embracing every moment that we have with each other. Choked up, with tears in her eyes, I thought of myself in her shoes and my heart began to race. Why would she put herself in this position? Marlo’s one of the toughest, strongest women that I know. Why would she make herself so….vulnerable?
Halfway through the story my palms stopped sweating, heart beat slowed down, and I finally understood why she let her guard down. Marlo not only shared a story, but also allowed us to connect with her on a deeper level than ever before.
After countless years of half-hearted relationships, I recently met a man who pushed me to let my guard down. Our first few months of dating weren’t like anything I’ve ever experienced. He didn’t just want to know the person that the rest of the world saw, he wanted to know me on a deeper, raw level and that scared the sh#t out of me. While there were countless panic attacks and tears, I was able to share with him things I’ve never shared with anyone. While I often associate my vulnerability in this relationship with fear, it was only after hearing Marlo’s “lesson” that I realized that my vulnerability is actually what makes it such a strong relationship.
I then realized that my fear of vulnerability has held me back from so much. If I can be vulnerable with the person who has the potential to hurt me the most, imagine the relationships that I could build if I was just a little bit more vulnerable with friends, coworkers and family.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Neil Blumenthal. Through being vulnerable, Neil became a co-founder of Warby Parker (you know that super successful eyewear company), but didn’t stop there, he continued to pay it forward and developed a business model where for every pair sold, a pair is donated to someone in need.
It takes a lot of guts to let our guards down, and many times we will get hurt, but that doesn’t mean that we put our guards back up. It means that we grow stronger. We persevere until we are so confident in ourselves that no one can hurt us, and once we start becoming our raw selves, we can knock down walls and build a world where we work together towards common goals, simply by putting ourselves out there.
Posted by Christina B.