A couple of years ago, I did a course with Brené Brown via Oprah’s website called The Gifts of Imperfection. If you’re familiar with Brené Brown’s work, you’ll know that she was a “shame” researcher for many years.
Vulnerability is a conduit for connection.
Throughout my life, I have presented an image of myself as confident and competent. And while I am both of these things, there were many times when I was truly broken.
As a teenager, I was so sad and alone after the death of my beloved grandmother, Minnie, but I appeared to be the opposite when I was with my school friends.
Later, as a mother of a new born baby, I chose to leave a difficult relationship and become a single parent. I was miserable and I really needed support, but it never occurred to me at the time to ask my family for help (in fact, it was only years later that I realised that I could have asked for help).
After leaving that relationship, I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). I would be fine for a while but could easily be triggered by situations or a particular person in my life. I went to a psychologist to help me recover from PTSD and to regain my confidence in myself.
The relationship I had been in made me really doubt who I was and the value I had to offer the world. It took me more than six years to recover.
In the last two years, my marriage ended and I went through a divorce. So much happened during that time that left me feeling broken again. I couldn’t share myself publicly (for six months, I barely posted on my private Facebook profile and didn’t post once on my public page). I even stopped writing.
I had been about to publish my book on Breast Reduction Surgery at around that time and it has taken me year a half since I finished the book to actually commit to publishing it.
My professional speaking coach, Sam Crawthorn, talks about bouncing forward, rather than bouncing back. (If you don’t know Sam, he had a serious car accident where he lost his right arm and the use of his right leg.)
Though I will never been the person I once was, I have bounced forward each time something has rocked the foundations of my life.
I am now finding my feet again. Solidifying the the foundations of my life. At this exact moment, I am not as confident in myself as I used to be. I’m scared to do a Facebook live. I am scared to put share myself with the world again.
But I am taking action. I am putting myself out there.
Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction!
PS Here are some resources you may be interested in...
Brené’s Ted Talk on Vulnerability
With over 18 million views, this is the most viewed Ted talk ever! It is well worth investing the time to watch it.
Brene’s Ted Talk on Shame
This is also a powerful Ted talk. It’s had nearly 5 million views.