In January I went quite a way out of my comfort zone by holding two events for the first time outside of Dublin. One was on the West coast in Sligo, the other on the East coast, in Greystones. New venues + new content + new audience = big risk of a flop = extreme vulnerability!
Anytime we try something new; something that stretches us, we put ourselves in a vulnerable position. To do this we need courage. Vulnerability and courage are a pair; one doesn’t come without the other.
When discussing the challenges of setting up a business, there was consensus on the panel of Startup Salon Sligo that the most difficult thing was the vulnerability that you feel in the beginning. When chatting to a member of the audience after Rocket into 2019, she expressed fear of leaving her job to start a business. She looked to me for answers but as a coach all that I could do was ask the right questions and support her answer them through various tools and frameworks that help to identify the why and the what of change, and develop the strength and courage to not just define the how but to act on it.
The fact is, anything that’s difficult to achieve and is out of the ordinary demands a lot from us. There is a process we need to go through before we build up the courage we need to jump off the ledge of certainty and security into the vulnerable place of the unknown, beyond which awaits our transformed selves.
Below you’ll find three scenarios that cause us to feel vulnerable. I’ve provided some tips on how to boast your courage and jump towards, not away, from vulnerability:
Tip: Be realistic when setting your goals and flexible in how your pursue them.
A goal should always express your values and character strengths and be achievable in the context of your reality. A professional life coach can help you analyse your values and character strengths but here are some reality-check-questions you can ask yourself:
Is your life supportive of this goal? Do you need to change something before you pursue a particular goal?
If it’s not possible to change your reality than can you change how you view the aspect of your life you’d like to change?
Sometimes it is our thoughts and attitudes that need to change – the frame we use to view the contents of our life; not the content inside it.
Tip 2: Know that no matter what the outcome is, you will experience growth and transformation in ways you might not expect!
Be comfortable with uncertainty and do not judge yourself if things don’t turn out the way you expected. Adjust or pivot the goal if you need to – ensuring it is anchored to your values & strengths. View the process of change as an adventure. Know that you have succeeded in trying and that is more than most people can say.
Judgement from others in our social circle
Tip: Protect yourself by having boundaries.
You don’t need to let everyone in on the changes you want to make in your life. The reality is that for various reasons, those in your social circle just may not understand or want to understand that you aspire to more and believe that you deserve more and have the courage to go after more! This can make some people uncomfortable — they don’t have you to moan with them anymore! Set boundaries for yourself when it comes to sharing your plans for transformation.
What you can do is join a network by attending events or an organised group or meet-up of people who share your ambitions. Confide in those you meet at these events. Use them as your support group and advisors. Many networking events talk about how to use and find a mentor and this is definitely something worth looking into.
Doubt and uncertainly that the goal is right for us and will make our lives better
Tip: Assess your life now by keeping a journal for one month. Every evening record in a notebook the emotions you felt that day and what was happening at the time. After a month look back over the emotions you recorded; were they mostly negative or positive? What was happening to cause the negative emotions? Would this particular goal solve the challenge that’s causing the negative emotion? If you did solve it, would that alter how you felt? Is there another, underlying reason for the negative emotions that you need to focus on before you change something on the outside? Is it how you frame the parts of your life – how you think about them – that needs to change, rather than the parts themselves?
A life coach can assist you further by going deep into your life using various tools like the PERMA wheel that will support you to identify exactly what you need to change and how you can change it!
Now it’s time for you to prepare yourself to take on vulnerability! You can do it!! Just trust in the process and take it one step at a time!
***If you need help to cultivate the courage you need to jump into vulnerabilty I now offer 1 to 1 life coaching especially focused on big transformations like changing career, re-entering the workforce, starting a business or a not-for-profit side project etc, sessions can be done via Skype or in person for those living in the Wicklow or South County Dublin area****