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  • James Frater

What a time to be vulnerable


source: https://bit.ly/2GAujdC

This has most definitely been a season of continued growth and all I can do is thank God. A lot of things that I will say in this post are things that I have also had to slowly learn myself. I would say that the second and third point are things that I have come to learn more recently ...and I am still learning. This post is less of "you should learn to cry" and more "here are some practical things that will help you". The former is a whole post itself and I will probably speak about that around my birthday (9th March btw).


So what do I mean by ‘being vulnerable’?


1. WHO IS BETTER AT BEING YOU?


One of the things I have discussed is the pressure to succeed when you are surrounded by people with a plethora of accolades and ventures they are involved in. Often we see the LinkedIn posts, the news articles and the job updates, and automatically we feel as if we should also be doing those things. I often hear the phrase “do they have two heads?” when people are discussing and comparing their achievements to others.


However, I also think it’s important to appreciate that behind every job update, every LinkedIn post and every news article there are many failures, many hours of hard work and many sacrifices. Those are the things that people often forget to consider when they are comparing themselves the achievements of others. It is unfortunate because it usually leads individuals devaluing/not appreciating the accomplishments they have and the progress they have made. We need to acknowledge that we all have a different purpose in life. I remember exploring this in my blog post about the importance of accolades (here) - the most important thing you should be focusing on is being the best version of yourself.



You also need to know your limits and how much you can do. Naturally, we all have different capacities and sometimes we fall in the trap of taking on more than we can chew because we feel like we are supposed to be able to manage it all. Draw inspiration from people around you, but you should never use them as a measuring stick for what you should be doing.


2. SHARE YOUR BURDEN.


I think the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved.” Sometimes just by simply airing your thoughts, you find you have much more clarity on the situation or the problem. You may also get a completely new perspective on the situation or you may just get the help you were looking for. More than once, I have been surprised – even overwhelmed – by how willing people are to offer a helping hand.


I think often as young (and older) people, we feel that we have to struggle or we have to do things by ourselves to show that we are strong, capable, competent etc. The truth is it takes a lot more to actually admit when you need help and takes even more to actually ask for help. No one knows everything and no one expects you to be able to do everything either. The smartest and most successful people in the world are the ones that are asking the most questions – fully aware that there is always more for them to know.


On a different note, we also live in a time where everything is airbrushed. Pictures, posts, videos …everything is edited or positioned in a way that makes it look better. I think we have a duty - as authentic people - to let people know that life isn’t perfect and sometimes it can actually be pretty shit. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and he said to me “when we miss out the parts that bring us the most pain, we do our audience a disservice” and I think we also do ourselves a disservice because how are we supposed to truly reflect?


3. BE UNCOMFORTABLE.


Something I am sure we have all heard is “you can only grow when you are uncomfortable” and part of being uncomfortable is being vulnerable. I don’t recommend that you set yourself up for failure, but we have to become more accustomed to failing. You have to put yourself in positions that you aren’t used to and you have to be allow yourself to be held accountable for not stepping out of your comfort zone.


I used to keep my goals to myself – at the time I said it was because I didn’t want to jinx them, but in actual fact it was because if other people didn’t know then it meant that if I didn’t achieve them then I couldn’t be held accountable. Once I started letting other people know the goals I had for myself, I started to become more productive. You need to get ‘uncomfortable’ with an accountability partner/group.


I think it is time to wrap this up …


After reading this you should work on the things that make you unique and wonderful. We all have a different God given purpose and that is what we need to focus on. My aunt always says “if you’re supposed to hang, you won’t drown” it is a saying that means if something is meant for you then you can’t escape it. STOP TRYING TO ESCAPE YOUR PURPOSE.


We need to get in the habit of sharing our authentic truths because it not only benefit those reading it, but it allows us to fully acknowledge our own truth. And finally, we must learn to be uncomfortable. We need to put ourselves in positions where we are able to grow and learn from our mistakes.


That is it. Until next time folks.

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