Vulnerability: The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
What risks have you recently taken that have put you in a position to be tested and challenged? How have you pushed yourself to the edge of your comfort zone?
When something matters to us, we have to be willing to put ourselves out there, even in the face of fear. There has been a lot written about the theme of vulnerability over the last few years. Best selling author and presenter, Brene Brown, often speaks and writes about the power of vulnerability and that doing hard work in life requires us to live authentically. And living with genuine authenticity is impossible if we are not willing to BE vulnerable, especially in higher stakes moments in life.
Being in the arena is where that hard works often gets done. Brene likes to use the idea of being ‘in the arena’ as a metaphor for putting ourselves out there. She says that people will often take shots at us from outside the arena, but it takes a tremendous act of courage and bravery to put ourselves in the arena in the first place to get done whatever work we need to get done to live with more authenticity and purpose in our life.
There is a person I know who put themselves in the arena this past week. This person is a genuine inspiration and chose to put them-self in the arena in order to pursue their dreams. With all eyes watching, this person failed to deliver in the manner that they are capable of delivering. Having experienced this failure, they were gutted and filled with disappointment.
I reminded this person about why they had chosen to put themselves in the arena in the first place and that being in the arena is THE only way that they can do the work that they are meant to do. Living with courage and bravery means that we must face both the good and the bad and to understand that we need to put ourselves out there, despite the fear, the uncertainty, and doubt that we may experience.
There have been times in the past that I have experienced just this in the talks that I have given. It’s easy to think that I have nothing interesting to say or that what I have to share is unimportant. It’s easy to think that nobody will care about my message and judge me harshly. If I gave into this voice, I would never have been able to even take the stage at all. In knowing that what I have to say does matter, I have given myself the permission needed to share my story and my learning with the world. Just as the person I know chose to put themselves in the arena last week and experienced failure, they are ready to dust themselves off and get back at it, just as a true champion would.
If you have a message to share with the world or a talent that needs to be seen, I hope you put yourself in the arena. I hope that you live with the authenticity needed to shine and to never doubt your purpose. Thanks for reading.
Neila Steele & Andy Vasily