Last week, we began some of my favorite juiciness: owning our right to be here, detaching our sense of self-worth from the outcomes of our choices, and understanding that the discomfort that comes from messing up is part of the growth process, no matter how cringey it makes us feel.
Making changes requires vulnerability: an openness to admit we might fail, to say we don’t know what we’re doing, but a willingness to try.
This takes courage.
Like, buttloads of it.
Before we talk about how to cultivate this, I’d like you to take a few seconds and think about your values in life. I’d never really done this before, at least not in dedicated fashion as it relates to my fitness-related goals, but after doing some vulnerability research, I had no idea why I’d never done this with respect to the goals that take up a large portion of my mental space.
Your values are what they are, but after spending some time thinking about it, I realized that much more than success, I value courage. I’d rather give any goal everything I’ve got, forming a relentless pursuit to capitalize on my strengths and try my best and see where I land, than leave anything on the table. Realizing that the outcome isn’t the real goal, but the journey that produces tons of growth and development and strength is, as cheesy as that sounds, was a major key (there goes DJ Khaled again). And one only made real to me by recognizing that I respect the people in my life who try valiantly and fail much more so than the people who succeed without risking anything.
So, step one: what are your core values in your life?
Understanding this allows us to embrace our imperfections. I don’t know many people whose #1 core value is “to be perfect,” because perfect is an illusion. When I came to understand that what’s actually important to me are courage, integrity, joy, authenticity, resilience, love, vulnerability, and service…I realized that none of those things even allow for having everything together every time: the beauty of all of those values is in their cracks. We all love to watch other people’s vulnerability but hate our own. I’d argue that without embracing our own, we can never really get the needle moving on change.
Vulnerability is being all in: it’s not winning or losing, but understanding the necessity of both in order to get to where we want to go. It’s not weakness: it’s acknowledging that life is full of emotional exposure, risk, and uncertainty, and we would do better to embrace it, because it’s unavoidable.
When faced with vulnerability, whether we acknowledge it or not, our goals and our purpose suddenly become very clear. It’s the yardstick of our deepest desires: what’s worth doing even if I fail?
Once we have the answer to that, we get to dive into the depths of our wants and needs, examining how this time we can succeed in our goals, knowing that discomfort is normal, and that our behaviors/thoughts/emotions are often protecting us from the risk associated with the uncertainty (which, as we know, our brains hate). We get to feel the fear, know it’s normal, and do it anyway.