In order to play a bigger game, we’ve got to learn to be vulnerable.
Now, what does being vulnerable mean?
For me, in this environment, in this context, vulnerability is about living to a level of authenticity that most people probably don’t expect, that allows you to be and express who you are at the core, not who you think you need to be in the moment.
Can I share with you a personal story and hopefully demonstrate vulnerability in the process?
When my wife and I sat down for our first therapy session together, after talking for a while, we touched on something from my childhood.
For those who don’t know, my parents separated when I was six months old. My mum devoted her entire life to us boys, myself in my brother. She never dated until I was eight.
Then she got a boyfriend and I remember being ecstatic, I was so excited, I was over the moon.
He was an American guy, it was a six month whirlwind romance, they got engaged and he went back to the US to sell off his property and move back to Australia. Two weeks into his stay in the US, he was beaten to death in his hotel room.
Until that therapy session I’d completely forgotten about it, and as I started to tell this story and as I started to cry, my wife reached out and she grabbed my hand and she looked at me like she looked at me four years ago.
She looked at me with no judgment and no filter, she just looked at me with genuine love and then Eric, our therapist, said, “Did you just see what happened then?”
I went, “No, what happened?” He said, “You became vulnerable and as soon as you became vulnerable guess what your wife did? Your vulnerability is inviting your wife in”.
It was a huge insight for me because I realised the very person I was trying to be was actually preventing my wife from giving me exactly what I wanted. But then I realised when I walked out of the offices that I was doing the exact same thing in business, that the person that I was being was keeping me where I was, that by me not being more vulnerable, I wasn’t allowing a greater level of connection with you guys, with my team, with prospective clients.Stop trying to be something that you're not. Click To Tweet
We all know the term you just got to fake it till you make it.
If you want to up the stakes, it is not about faking it anymore, it’s about being real, authentic and genuine and wearing your heart on your sleeve because when you spend 30 to 40 years of your life pretending to be something that you’re not, what do you think you end up having at around the 50 to 60 year age mark?
You have a midlife crisis and it isn’t a midlife crisis, it’s an identity crisis.
Who the fuck am I? I don’t have any kids anymore, I’ve sold my… Who the fuck am I?
And I’m going to suggest, if you’re being who you were the whole way through, I don’t know if this is fact just yet, but my theory is, how could you ever get to a point where you ask yourself, ‘Who the fuck am I?’ if you never stopped being who you were.
My belief is, you can only get to that point of asking the question, ‘Who the fuck am I’ if you spend a lifetime being something that you’re not and you become lost.
In my opinion, it’s not mentally healthy to pretend to be something that you’re not.