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The 8 Gifts You Will Receive From Vulnerability

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Permitting yourself to be vulnerable may imply weakness, a lack of character and an inability to meet life on life’s terms. On the flip side, it forces you to confront aspects of yourself you might otherwise never see. Vulnerability brings forth strength allowing you to face your fears. It is through this process, you discover who you are.

After failing at my first business, I faced my own vulnerability in nearly every aspect of my life, from my self-esteem to my marriage. No part of me was left unscathed. I came through it having learned some valuable lessons.

Here are the 8 gifts I received from vulnerability:

1. Humility

Vulnerability keeps your ego in check as it facilitates humility. Being completely real with yourself and others highlights your needs, so you can focus on meeting them. You see who and where you are from a new perspective. You meet your true self, and in doing so, right-size your ego.  

2. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to share another person’s emotions. Rather than pity or compassion, empathy occurs when you connect with the emotional state of another. This happens most often when a person is vulnerable thus through the experience, you learn how to meet others where they are.

3. Trust

When you express vulnerability, you begin to build trust in yourself and others. You can’t learn inside your safe zone. Developing trust involves giving something you value to someone, then watching what the person does with it.

“Trust each other again and again. When the trust level gets high enough, people transcend apparent limits, discovering new and awesome abilities of which they were previously unaware.” – David Armistead

4. Courage

Vulnerable people are courageous. Each time you allow yourself the freedom to be real, regardless of the cost, you gain a measure of courage, a resource no one can take from you unless you give it away willingly. Courage is starting over after a failure, risking a chance no one else believes in, or taking an unpopular stand rather than compromising your values.  

5. Strength

Vulnerability allows you to find strength through weakness. You are strongest when you allow yourself to be weak because in this state, you are willing to let others in to provide support. You discover what you are made of in doing so.

6. Loyalty

Loyalty occurs when you choose to spend a bit more money or time with a business or person you know is honest rather than spending less with little confidence in who you are supporting. It’s walking into your favorite Starbucks to pay $5.00 for a latte you could have made at home for $2.00. You love the products, are loyal to the brand and the baristas.  Loyalty keeps you coming back.

7. Acceptance

Acceptance of self and others is facilitated through vulnerability. Not only do you meet yourself when you let your walls down, you start to understand and accept this weaker part of you. It is through weakness we find strength.

8. Clarity

When you are vulnerable, you lose your preoccupation with keeping your walls intact. This gives you the opportunity to focus on other things. By bringing it into focus, you see the world around you with greater clarity. With clarity comes the ability to make good decisions from a position of strength and intention. You’ll work faster with more accuracy when your objective is clear, no matter what you are working toward.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller

Giving myself permission to be vulnerable with others has brought nothing but good things.  Have I been hurt in the process? Yes, but far less than I expected. When I find myself pulling inward, I remind myself how many positive experiences I’ve had each time I left my comfort zone.

When my first entrepreneurial venture failed, I had to work through a lot of shame and fear.  I was lost and thought the failure was permanent. Vulnerability was my state of being for months. Out of the loss came new strength and the determination to try again.

Remembering everything I learned the first time around, I took a big risk and created a successful company. My failure was the foundation on which I constructed my dream. I built my brand, developed incredibly loyal customer relationships, had an amazing team of employees and fed my passion.

The willingness to work as long and hard as it takes is over-valued, unless you work on getting to know yourself. Only then will you appreciate the necessity of letting your guard down. The ability to be yourself, to see the need for authenticity, this is the ultimate gift of vulnerability.

Do you struggle being vulnerable? If so, let us know what you’re doing to combat this in the comments below!

My name is Robin Aldrich. Personal development is my passion. Motivating individuals and companies to become better versions of themselves is my mission. Helping organizations design creative solutions in the area of customer and employee relationships, and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, is my job. I've failed and succeeded, lost one company, then started another on a crazy-skinny budget and wound up with $1M annually in sales. You can find me on Facebook and my website.

Life

How to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity

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When I was a kid, it seemed like I felt pain more than anyone else around me. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain. I cried easily, over many things. I had an especially hard time when people were fighting around me, and I didn’t even have to be involved. I could feel the negative energy and felt upset and overwhelmed. I didn’t have a constructive way of handling it. (more…)

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How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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