When I was growing up there was more than one time where I fell down, hurt myself, started to cry, and my dad or someone else in the neighborhood said, “Get up and brush yourself off, and stop crying. Big boys don’t cry.” Ultimately, if you hear that enough as a child, you get that ingrained enough and you’re taught not to be vulnerable. being vulnerable is a loss art in our society. Being able to admit when you’re wrong. Being able let somebody help you.
There’s this whole other side of vulnerability that we’re never taught, and that so many people sadly never learn. That is the ability to admit when you’re wrong. What leads up to that, being willing to make a mistake, to take chances, to fail at something. All of that takes vulnerability. Also on the front end of that thing, being able to ask for help. Being able to admit that you don’t know everything, and knowing that you can’t do it alone. That it’s going to take coaches, mentors, advisors, experts in their field, going out and getting training. Bringing people onto your team, or hiring people that know things better than you do.
Take a look at the sports world. Tiger Woods didn’t become Tiger Woods by going out and playing golf everyday on his own. Tiger Woods became Tiger Woods by seeking out the best coaches that he could find, and learning from those coaches. Dedicating himself to doing everything the coaches said everyday, and doing it without question. That’s huge. That model of the world is not just Tiger Woods thing. Serena Williams did it that way. Beyonce did it that way. Michael Jordan did it that way. Joe Namath did it that way. Being able to listen to what you’re told, listen to somebody that knows it better than you do, and execute on that without questioning what they’re telling you to do.
If somebody’s done it before, or they’re doing it better than you are, and you’re not listening to that person, you’re doing yourself and the world a huge disservice. That’s all part of being vulnerable, it’s all being able to admit to yourself that you don’t know it all. If you want to grow and become more than you are today, it’s one of the first human drives, to make progress, become more, and grow. To do that, you gotta learn to be vulnerable. When you learn to be vulnerable you can take that to so many different places. Your workspace is going to grow, your relationships are going to grow because your other half is going to feel more connected to you. If all’s you do is go in, and you’re the alpha in the relationship, kicking up dust and all, your relationship’s going to stagnate.
A relationship needs an alpha, but there can be times when the alpha can step down and let the other person in the relationship step up. That’s what a true leader does, allow somebody else to shine and have their moment in the sun. A true leader is a servant leader. That takes vulnerability. Being vulnerable enough to let other people do what they do, let them shine knowing that other people may perceive you as being weak, less than and not in control. Take that to heart. Try it on. Learn to be vulnerable, you will find so many more gifts in your world.