I used to believe that power and strength came from an ability to withhold emotions and appear two steps ahead of everything. To always put on an air of confidence. To toughen up, to always have the answers, to be shrewd and to a large emotionless. I used to believe this for a while.
Then I began to work with children through various programs including the Schools Entrepreneurship Camps. Little by little they taught me how much I didn’t know. I was humbled into the realisation that we are all living in the same uncertain world.
No one is immune from feelings of doubt and fear. We are all vulnerable at times.
Yet, traditional schools of thought in business and business schools encourage professionals to bury those feelings. To deny that even the highest ranking professionals feel this uncertainty.
This sense of vulnerability is especially true when you enter into the world of entrepreneurship. You will doubt everything, at times. You will want to quit, at times. You will allow your fears and baggage to weigh you down, at times. So, why not give up the charade? Why not admit and embrace this vulnerability? Why not be honest with how you are feeling?
The truth is there is strength in vulnerability.
The person who can admit to being human and having struggles and barriers is the same person who has the determination and awareness to push through to the next level.
Does this mean breaking down and spilling your fears to a potential client or anyone? No. This means finding a safe community of peers and being true to the journey and struggle of entrepreneurship. It’s incredibly empowering when you release and acknowledge these feelings. It creates comradery, trust and yes, strength — for you and for the people who realise they are not alone in this journey.
Once you discover this strength and power, you will be closer to finding your voice and connecting with your clients, partners and customers in a truly authentic way.
Its okay to be fearful once in a while, to have self doubt and be anxious, all these are human traits that we have. Its advisable to acknowledge them and most importantly to find an outlet to let these feelings out, to release them. When you release them, you create room for more positive feelings. When you bottle them and hoard them, by trying to look “all together,” there is no room or space for positive feelings in you.
Being vulnerable creates the opportunity to release and let go. This is a necessary step to the journey of being an entrepreneur.
Its okay to be scared, fear is not the enemy, paralysis is.
You are confined only by the walls you build yourself. Being vulnerable is to let the walls fall and to let yourself be seen, heal and grow.
Ps: This is partly the reason we have Vuka Advisory Board, so that entrepreneurs can have that safe community of advisors where entrepreneurs can have a safe platform to be vulnerable and not be judged but instead be advised by experienced advisors/entrepreneurs.