I once had a private client who was struggling with anxiety because she didn’t feel free to truly be herself. She was very successful. Very well known in her hometown. Her clients loved her! She loved what she did…but she didn’t feel happy.
She felt the need to lie to her clients and say she was doing something she wasn’t doing. She hid certain things from others. She didn’t even feel comfortable being seen on the street anymore for fear that someone would see her doing something that didn’t align with the image she put out on social media and in her business.
And when I sat down with her for the first time she told me that she was tired of playing the character that she thought was best suited to what she did. She was always feeling anxious and down. But she wasn’t able to see a way out. She was stuck.
She was afraid that if people knew that she was just a normal person, with flaws, who made mistakes and was not perfect, they would no longer want to work with her. She would no longer be seen as a role model.
What she didn’t realize is that in fact, the people who, despite their flaws and fears, manage to overcome their obstacles are the ones that inspire others.
Perfection does not inspire. Because perfection is untouchable. And so it is perceived as an impossible goal to achieve.
Vulnerability has to stop being seen as something to be avoided. Our pains, our difficulties, and our small and mundane joys are what make us human. It is what makes us relatable.
As Brené Brown said “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
Are you being courageous?