Being vulnerable is being human, and it’s an invitation to others to connect with you.
I want to tell you a story of a time when I tried to hide my vulnerability. I was invited to give a talk at the University of Toronto about a subject I knew a lot about. I’d prepared for it and all was great, until 2 minutes or less before I was going to stand up and talk.
At that moment, I felt a wave of dizziness. For me that signaled I was about to experience an episode of vertigo from the Menieres I suffer from. At that time, this condition was new and unfamiliar to me; I still didn’t know how to deal with. It was scary because it left me helplessly unable to move, sometimes for hours.
I could have let everyone know what was going on with me, but I didn’t, because I was afraid to show my vulnerable side. It wasn’t ‘professional’, I automatically told myself. As a result, I delivered that presentation in a monotone that was devoid of all energy. When I left, I knew I’d never be asked back.
Besides, I was embarrassed – if I moved, there was a good chance I’d throw up, and I couldn’t let that happen! So instead, I protected myself and hid my vulnerability.
When I hid that, I wasn’t present for anyone there, and as a result there was no connection between me and my audience.
What might have happened if I’d said something instead, had I opened up to my own fears and insecurities to those with me? Worst case – I would have connected in a human way.
Quote of the Week
“What happens when people open their hearts?
They get better
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
The little risks you can take to increase your luck
Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .