“Be confident in your vulnerability.”
I heard this quote on a podcast recently called Maximize Your Strengths. The host, Alissa Daire Nelson, is a brilliant woman who I had the pleasure of meeting in Vegas at a convention and who I adored from the second I met her. It could be because her and I share four of our top five strengths… but, she’s also awesome. The quote above was heard during an interview she was having with Murray Guest during his talk on Individualization and I actually stopped the podcast for a second to ponder. Be confident in your vulnerability…
Let me preface this by saying that I DESPISE appearing vulnerable. Growing up, I was known as the girl who wore her emotions on her sleeve, who was dramatic and moody. While I’ll admit that not a whole lot has changed in the dramatic sense of things, I have made it a point to appear tough, put together and confident. I would tell myself that I was always in control of the situation, that I had the upper hand and that I would never let what happened to another person happen to me. In a way, I refused to accept that I was simply human.
I have always been a student of life. I LOVE talking to people from all over the world, learning about them and seeking advice and wisdom so as to maybe approach situations in my life with a little more awareness. I have become incredibly confident in myself and the person that I am, though almost to a fault in that I confuse confidence and control on an almost daily basis. But nevertheless, I always seek to learn from situations, to walk away with some piece of wisdom that I can pass on to the next person I see who is about to act how I did.
Let’s just say, it had been a while since I had truly “learned my lesson.”
To make a long story short, I let my guard down with a guy which resulted in me falling for him, getting incredibly hurt and reacting at a stage-five clinger/crazy girl level. While I should have accepted that he was a complete douchebag who thrived on playing on girls emotions, I was more upset about how I reacted. I was furious that I let him get to me, to get under my skin and close enough that he could manipulate me. I was livid that instead of being the strong girl and just walking away without a word, I tried so hard to “win him back” and to convince him that I was different from all the other girls. I had lost control of the situation that I had such a firm grasp over at the beginning. The ball was not in my court, I didn’t have the upper hand, and I was vulnerable. I didn’t eat for three days and I cried for five.
This loss of control wasn’t necessarily over this guy alone. He was more of a straw that broke the camel’s back that combined with me not having a strong support system, hating my job, in a less-than-ideal living situation, being single during the holidays, and whatever other self-pity nonsense you want to toss in there that caused me to spiral. But I won’t lie in saying that I was SO hurt.
Why is it that matters of the heart can damage us so much more than any broken bone or harsh word in this world?
But as I said before, I like to walk away from any situation with a learned lesson and I was able to add plenty to my list of lessons learned in life after this whole situation. I was able to start the New Year with a brand new outlook and list of goals and passions that I can only fully focus on if I’m single.
But with all of these new goals comes certain vulnerability… but I think I’m ready. Being a human makes us mortal which automatically makes us vulnerable. We are vulnerable walking across the street, eating by ourselves in a café, talking to a new person and taking on a new task. But if we are confident in that vulnerability, if we accept that we are human and not perfect, then we can approach so many things with such a higher level of confidence. And ultimately, that confidence will lead us to do many great things.
So be confident in your vulnerability and embrace it.