Vulnerability is the Way
I am writing a book.
Okay, phew! I just said it. I feel like I just jumped off the symbolic cliff with you. I just put it out there. And now I feel a bit vulnerable and free all at the same time.
I’ve been “thinking” about writing a book for a long time. People say that it’s good for business, great for credibility, and will open many doors. And while that’s true I assume, that isn’t my driving motivation.
Nearly six months ago I attended a women’s retreat and during a meditation by the ocean I had a divine, sacred experience where I felt called to share what’s in my heart. It’s as if a seed was then planted that has been gestating and it’s now beginning to come forth. It’s about me answering a call from my Divine, my heart and willing to walk in this path, even though it’s scares me and brings up lots of my unpretty stuff.
Last weekend I participated in a virtual workshop retreat to write a book in a weekend – it was awesome – great coaching, collaboration, and passion and I made significant progress. And then I hit the wall.
I’m aware that when we approach change and growth that our stuff or limiting beliefs can come up. I coach that everyday. So I was very logical about going into this weekend, yet then I hit my own wall. I was stuck, I was overwhelmed, feeling like I wanted to just check out and shut down.
As I got curious about what was up for me and gave voice to it, I became aware that my stuff sounded like this, “Who am I to write this book? I’m just a regular girl. What will others think of me?” And then the big one surfaced – “what if I can’t live up to my content (core success principles) all the time? I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be. And I feel incredibly vulnerable putting myself out there.”
I cried. Hot tears cried. And then breathed. And then received some love and support from dear friends who “just happened” to reach out when the meltdown was happening, including my workshop partner & dear friend, Michelle. God is really so cool with how He puts people on our path in the moment we need them. And none of them “fixed” it for me – that’s my work with myself and my Maker. Yet held the love and space to say, “Tiff, it’s okay to be vulnerable. You’re writing this to honor a calling, honoring God. You’re writing this for those who are seeking it.” And then I breathed some more and felt a sense of peaceful calm. And went on to knock it out of the park.
Being vulnerable is the path of the courageous, the path of greatness.
Whether that be in the form of writing a book, taking a stand for a cause or beliefs we have, asking for a sale, communicating our needs to our partner, or any other form where we tell our own truth or take a real or perceived risk.
There are reactions we receive in putting ourselves out there – we could experience judgment, criticism, or rejection. We could also experience love, sales, connection, and fulfillment by willing to risk and be vulnerable.
It often appears that hiding our vulnerability – acting as if we’re tough, know it all, are perfectly put together, and stuffing or distracting our vulnerability – will protect us, yet in reality it limits us from living a more expressed life.
Last Spring I was introduced to a great thought leader, Brene Brown and her TED talk video. It moved me to the core. She now has a best selling book, “Daring Greatly” and has recently been featured on the popular Oprah program, Super Soul Sunday. This topic is trending big time. Take a watch and see why:
So I’m sharing with you what is up for me and creating my own path of vulnerability… so you can get the most out of the time you’ve invested in reading this article, take a breath of courage and consider for yourselves…
- Where in my life or what in my life am I avoiding or putting off?
- What one goal – greater connection, intimacy, writing your book, asking for that sale – do you know in your gut that you need to ask for or go for?
- Are you willing to ask for what you want, to put yourself out there?
Yes, your work may be judged, like mine will be. Yes, your work will be praised, like mine will be. Yes, you may get a no, get turned down, told no, or have to make uncomfortable decisions. Yes, you may get a yes, get accepted, and get exactly what you wanted. We never know unless we’re willing to be vulnerable.
I have learned for myself that the more I am authentic and allow myself to share all of me, especially the vulnerable sides, that I experience life and connections at a fuller expression of living. Vulnerability makes life more beautiful…more real, deep, and alive! And that’s a choice I’m choosing to make.
Cheering you on!
Perfect is Great, DONE is Better
A few years ago as I was working on a new project that I was struggling to complete, my coach at the time said these valuable words, “Perfect is great, done is better.”
It rang a very loud bell for me. To this day that phrase is on a simple 3×5 card in my office that I see every day.
It has served me well over the last few years as a wisdom that helps me to move forward and produce, even when I know (and accept) that it won’t be perfect.
In the quest for achieving our goals – growing a business, starting a project, producing a website/book/event/product, you name it – we want to produce high quality content, right? Which is a great thing! I will always strive for excellence and quality AND I’m also aware that many times there is a trap there wanting to suck you in for life. The trap has a name called “perfectionism” and it can keep you and your goals in a holding pen for months, years, or even a lifetime.
Which the trouble is, no matter what it won’t ever be “perfect.” It can be great and powerful, yet you could always find ways to improve anything. And that vicious cycle stifles our growth, follow through, and expression of the passion that wants to flow through us.
Yesterday I was on a walk in my neighborhood with thoughts about how amazing life is, how much life I want to live, and goals my heart wants to achieve. And for whatever reason I had the awareness that there isn’t an infinite amount of time to get after our goals and creating our best lives. We must take action in the time we have now. Yes, we can always improve and progress as long as we’re living; yet the truth is that our lives and our goals have an expiration date.
We have an expiration date for this life.
Our goals have an expiration date too.
My point in being so dramatic?
If we’re stuck in waiting for life to be perfect to make desired changes – to leave that job or relationship, to write that book or host that event, take that trip or get serious about the bucket list – all in the name of waiting for it to be “perfect”, we will likely have regrets. And that is no way to live.
So ask yourself, what’s something I am putting off doing or completing because I’m waiting for it to be perfect?
Is it writing your book or producing a product?
Is it waiting to market yourself until you have another certification?
Is it staying where you’re waiting for the perfect time to change what’s burning in your heart?
What if we could change that perspective to one of progress versus perfection?
For me, this is your most important goal: PROGRESS, not perfection.
Progress is realistic. Progress can happen every day. Progress is how we tackle an overwhelming, huge, and out-of-our-comfort-zone type of goal.
Consider a goal that you’ve always wanted to go for, but haven’t yet. Write it down.
Identify 3 to 5 simple actions you could begin taking TODAY and do it. Then pick one and do it!
Place the phrase, “Perfect is Great, DONE is Better” somewhere where you will see it often.
Realize that under perfectionism is simply just fear holding you hostage. The fears of “what if I fail? Or is it good enough? What will people think? Who am I to share this?” are all very common culprits creating the perfectionism trap.
Take your power back from the fears of you or your project needing to be perfect and invest it into the path of progress. Your progress is what creates your life and your results, with all its beautiful imperfections along the way.
Isn’t it time?!
I thought so too.
Let me know how it goes.