Writing about vulnerability.

I have to admit, after writing last week's post about commitment and change, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to hit the delete button. I wanted it to all go away. I didn't want to put myself and my thoughts and my commitment out into the world. This was all a bad idea. How can I be so vulnerable so publicly?

But then I saw it all around me.

It's not just me, you feel it too. When you do your best work, when you launch it into the world. When you create hilarious videos, when you try something new. When you write a sales page that's real and true and you.

Suddenly, you're not so sure. You don't want to have it out there. You want to take it all back.

The thing is, we never talk about it, but this is dangerous work.

When you create from your you-ness, and share it with the world, and sell things that were created to hold meaning, it cracks you open.  While you're working and building and improving, your work is shoving a big crowbar into your heart and prying open the door.

It may not happen at all once. It starts slow, with you finding the thing you love to make. You clarify it and improve it and add more and more of you and your vision and your style. And then to sell the thing, you're not just making it, but you're also talking about it, and you, with people who used to be strangers. You're sharing your inspiration, your thoughts, your passion. And suddenly you're sharing real parts of yourself through your art and through the conversations about the art.

When this fact dawns on you, it seems vulnerable and dangerous. If you're not expecting it, it can feel wrong. Like maybe you need to scale back, or sit back down or just shut up for a while. Maybe you're talking too much about yourself? Maybe your people don't really like what you're doing?

I've seen it happen again and again, when you share something really great, really magnificently you and people love it and react to it and you and you start feeling really heard, really understood….and then the weight of it all hits you.
Suddenly, you doubt it viciously.
Doubt that your thing was good or that people loved it or that any of this is worth anything.

And that's ok. That's an internal security system that's trying to keep things safe, and keep you protected.
But you don't have to believe it.
You can choose, instead of retreating, to step forward. To step towards more connection and more vulnerability and more of your best work. You don't have to get tangled up in doubt, you can make yourself safe and  see the truth:
That what you did was brave, and you're feeling a little overwhelmed by it, but that you're on the right path.

It's when you step into more vulnerability, more heart that you create more connection. To your internal reserves and to the external world. To the people who love and appreciate you and your work, and to the inspiration all around you. You touch them (with your work), you let them touch you (and shape your work). As you sing this, of course.

This isn't easy. And I don't have the answers on how to do it (I'm still figuring it out for myself*).
What I know right now is that it happens. If you work through the system of sharing your thing, and you really experiment and find what works for you, you'll also open and unfurl.
So I wanted to let you know that, yeah, this is a thing. And if you're feeling it right now, it's ok.
You're on the right path. You are doing absolutely beautifully.

*I can not recommend this book enough if you're interested in how vulnerability creates connections. 


6 Comments on The dangerous work we do

  1. Kelly Parkinson
    August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am (12 years ago)

    How did you do that? How did you read my brain & write just the post I needed to hear right now? Oh wait. Maybe it has something to do with all of the emails I have been bombarding you with. Well, thank you anyway! Vulnerability = connection seems to be my main life lesson that I need to learn. I think I’ll always have a hard time with it. But I’m getting better!

  2. Tara Swiger
    August 22, 2012 at 11:27 am (12 years ago)

    I’m glad to hear it’s not just me! Vulnerability = Connection needs to be my next tattoo, I think…it’s just too hard to remember.

  3. Heather Hutchinson Ordover
    August 23, 2012 at 12:10 am (12 years ago)

    Hello psychic lady. Nice to know you’re reading my mind.

  4. Guest
    September 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm (10 years ago)

    Oh goodness – I am crying! This is all exactly what has been going on with me! My husband and I invented something, and we believe (and others have told us) that it’s revolutionary. But it is crazy scary and about a million times a day I want to wish that we’d never invented this thing, because of the weight of responsibility that it carries. BUT then I think about all of the good that our invention will do for my tribe, the knitters and crocheters, and I realize that I owe it to them to get past my own fears. Thank you so much for your post and your blog and I’m certain I’ll be signing up for your class and buying your book within the next few weeks. Thank you!!!

  5. Tara Swiger
    October 7, 2014 at 10:47 am (10 years ago)

    I’m so happy to hear it helped! I can’t wait to see what you’re making!!