Vulnerability or being truly open and honest about the things we are going through, isn’t easy and it’s not something we have been programmed to do in our world of Pinterest perfection and #nofilter.
As a consultant and coach, I have a ‘professional image’ to uphold – just like we all do, in the workplace. I think we all have numerous versions of ourselves that we show to the world at different times.
We have been programmed and socialized to do this from a young age. We present a much more polished facade to the world at work and we are often a very different person amongst our friends and family.
This doesn’t mean we lack authenticity necessarily. I think it’s more about adapting to the circumstances – much like changing communication style depending on the audience.
One thing I have learned unequivocally to be true this past year, is that when I am authentic and show some vulnerability, it really resonates deeply with people.
If you follow my work, you will know that I write for numerous publications, many of which are targeted specifically to women in business and leadership.
I was surprised to learn that the articles that have the highest engagement levels in terms of comments, shares and ‘likes’, are the more personal, heartfelt pieces where I have written about my personal experiences and the lessons I have learned.
Pouring my heart out on a page and speaking openly about my own lessons or trials and tribulations, requires a certain level of vulnerability – not to mention trust in my readers.
Opening up about stuff I have been through, is giving thousands of strangers a glimpse of what is ‘behind the curtain’ and who I truly am underneath it all. It’s a gamble, that’s for sure!
But it is such a rewarding gamble though.
It is a major part of the reason why I publish my personal, innermost thoughts and learnings right here on my website. I have the option of turning the Blog page on this site into a very polished, very ‘professional’ space where I write content for marketing purposes.
What am I selling, though? What is my core message? What is my ‘brand’?
Sure, I am a coach and consultant, so a big part of what I am ‘selling’ is professional services to corporates and individuals. But what I am always about, is authenticity. I encourage people to be their most authentic self and live in integrity with who they truly are.
In order for me to do that in my most authentic way, I show my own vulnerability and my own authentic self, right here in these blog posts on my website.
I don’t care that marketing experts would advise against it. It’s important for me to give people a glimpse into who I truly am, as opposed to who I am perceived to be. And some very interesting learnings have emerged from writing these highly personal posts here or from writing pieces like this one for Lionesses of Africa.
I have learned that showing vulnerability and being authentic is truly a superpower!
When we show vulnerability, we give others permission to do the same.
We change the world and make it a lot more ‘human’ through sharing our stories and talking about the things we have been through or the challenges we are facing and the lessons we have learned.
Everyone has a story. Everyone is hurting in some way. More often than not, they aren’t talking about it out of fear that it shows weakness or that it would somehow be used against them.
When we share our stories, we elevate humanity and we create a global support structure that tells people that they are not alone.
We create warmth and human connection which is slowly eroding as a result of our reliance on technology.
The world needs more real. The world needs more human and more heart.
So, my advice to you, if you’re still reading this, is to try this out for yourself.
Try showing up and just being more vulnerable and letting the cracks show, just a little.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how warmly your authentic vulnerability is received by others and moreover, by how many people you help and how you help yourself to learn and grow.
Much love and light to you, as always. Namaste