Lately, I’ve been putting myself out there more. Playing outside my comfort zone. I started working on a book, and through the experience, I have found myself facing some deep fears – fear of vulnerability and failure.
I have always been willing to share my story. Energetically expressing my thoughts on life and hopes for the future. And because others tell me that this is me putting myself out there, being honest and raw, I’ve developed, as I see it, a false sense of vulnerability. But I’ve not yet shared all the stories that I believe are important to tell or taken such a risk as publishing them. Rather, I have avoided this goal of mine to avoid the fear that comes with it. Writing a book is a huge unknown. Will anybody read it? What if I share my most intimate secrets and people use them to mock me, to look down on me? These doubts repeat themselves to me over and over.
Brene Brown has shed great light on the feelings of shame and vulnerability. She writes that if we choose to live a life of courage and vulnerability, we will fail. Not we may fail. We will fail.
I think this perspective is quite empowering. When we accept failure as a known outcome, as a certainty in a bold and courageous life, we can start to work with it. Not around it. Success and growth stem from curiosity and allowing ourselves to take risks. Despite the potential for failure. We unearth our greatest potential if, and only when, we grant ourselves the freedom to fail. Not every journey will end in an amazing success. And that’s OK. We’re better positioned to take that next great adventure knowing that we’re capable of daring to try.
I will not lie to you. As I said, I’ve been sitting with my biggest fears while working on this book. But, I have found that when I’m not being courageous or truly vulnerable, I’m not growing or living authentically. I was stuck in a pattern of being comfortable with the discomfort I knew rather than testing my unknown potential. And that’s the fastest route to a life unfulfilled. What a shame it would be for any of us to live a life void of growth and exploration, ignoring our greatest ambitions! We owe ourselves a daring life.
This week, I urge you to peek outside your own comfort zone. Take on a challenging project at work, sign up for that class you’ve always been interested in, reach out to someone you’d like to be friends with, do something new and find out what you’re capable of. The old me would tell you not to be afraid, but I’ll modify that to say – fear is an OK feeling. Acknowledge your fears, maybe sit with them for a bit, and then choose to go for it anyway. You’re capable of taking the risk and these many journeys may just lead you to your greatest life yet.
Unconditional Love, Accountability, Community
-Asher Gottesman, CEO & Founder of Transcend Recovery Community