More on Vul-ner-a-bil-i-ty: The Willingness to be Wrong

If you were paying attention to my message yesterday you will have noticed that the title, your first point of contact with that message, incorrectly listed vulnerability as having five syllables. In actual fact, it has six syllables. I was wrong; publicly wrong. That’s vulnerability in action!

As risky as it was to do that, I was willing to see what happened as a result. I didn’t panic, my world didn’t end. In fact, work and life continue to thrive just as before. I survived, so did everyone else.

There’s an important lesson here about vulnerability.

You can’t be vulnerable if you’re not willing to be wrong, to make a “bad” decision, or sometimes look like you don’t know what you’re doing. But so many of us, especially when it comes to our careers and jobs, are reluctant, unwilling, or paralyzed by the very notion of that kind of exposure. So we stay in companies, roles, relationships, and habits that either aren’t serving us in a meaningful way, or worse, that drain and deplete us of the very life we think we’re maintaining.

We keep on keeping on with what is, with what we’ve always done. We claim it’s because we value security and stability. We lose sight of the possibility and potential for enhanced success that might come from even a little foray into the uncertain and slightly unstable.

Being unwilling to be truly vulnerable, to take a real risk (not a false one), to really untether your boat and row into the waters of uncertainty will keep you stuck in the status quo and ensure that any change you might wish or hope for will remain just that. Nothing’s going to happen.

Letting go is necessary to open up your view, your perception and your awareness. And that opens up the opportunity for action toward change and improvement. Yes, letting go may suck at first. You may hurt, you may feel defenseless, you may feel stupid and lost, and you WILL be scared.

Remember though, this doesn’t have to be a large scale letting go. It could be something small. Start by being willing to be wrong, to not be perfect, to not have it all figured out. I know personally how hard that can be, and I also know personally about the growth and expansion of success and fulfillment that comes as a result.

Taking risks like this, being vulnerable even in small ways lets us rediscover our true capacity and capability. We see how resourceful we are. We become more resilient. Taking risks that expose us builds and strengthens relationships, connecting us as human beings. When we’re even a bit vulnerable and step into uncertainty we get feedback and “data” that helps define our paths forward and refine our vision and direction. Being vulnerable could be the initial move that builds into real momentum toward your next big decision, your next success.

The space we create when we are vulnerable is where learn happens. That’s where we confidence, grow and expand our possibility.

What small ways might you open up, be vulnerable, and take a risk this week? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you do? What do you gain by not doing so?

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