I’m in the midst of writing a book. More accurately, I’ve written a book and am now in the process of getting ready to launch it and put it out into the world. It is a book about my life, my experiences, vulnerabilities, and growth. A book that shares some of my greatest fears and insecurities; for the whole world to see, read, and judge.
If you think you are a person who lives authentically and is open to putting yourself out there for everyone to see (the true you), as I believed I was, try putting it on paper and prepare to let anyone who is interested read it.
You might just be surprised by your response.
I began writing as a way to process my experiences and had dreams of someday writing a book. As that someday becomes more and more of a reality, it has been interesting to witness my reaction to the idea of peeling back the layers and letting people see the core of who I am and what I think is important.
Yoga teachers often talk of authenticity and how allowing the real you to shine can provide better connections with the people in your life and can help you live with more ease. If you aren’t spending your days trying to hide what you really think and feel, you will likely find greater connection and joy.
Brene Brown talks of courage, vulnerability, and authenticity in her book Daring Greatly. She is a professor and researcher who studies the human condition and our ability to empathize, belong, and love. She defines vulnerability as, “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure”, she continues to say that, “to be human is to be in vulnerability.”
If we experience vulnerability every single day on our human path: Why is it so hard to intentionally be vulnerable?
Because we worry about how people might view us. We wonder what their response to our realness will be. Sometimes that fear is so great that we spend our days hiding behind a protective layer, never allowing the real us to come forward.
I’m surprised at the visceral reaction I’ve had as I approach the stage of this process where it is now time to openly share my manuscript and ask people for their reviews. It is one thing to share it with family and friends, who already know the real me (blemishes and all), but to begin to expand outside of my safe bubble is terrifying.
As yoga teachers we learn to have thick skin. We learn that not everyone is going to “like” us or the way that we share the teachings. We learn - sometimes the hard way - not to take it personally and to stand true in who we are. We learn to risk our desire to be liked for our desire to be vulnerable.
Brene Brown also shares that “vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change.” In other words; in order for growth to occur, we must learn to be vulnerable. Facing our fears is never an easy task but I’ve learned that it lessens the load if I focus on why it’s important.
My “why” is sharing my stories is that I hope it helps others on their path. I hope that my vulnerability helps others find the courage to stand true to who they are and to learn from their life’s challenges.
So today I will take a deep breath and send off my manuscript. I will pray for thick skin and a resilient heart. I will ask for the courage needed to trust that this is all a part of the process and will continue to lead to my unfolding on my path.
How is fear standing in the way of your living a more authentic life?
Does vulnerability scare you? Is it keeping you from putting your true self out there?
Can you find your “why” and let that provide you the courage you need to continue to grow?
Please share your responses in the comments below. Thank you!