In my recent two blogs, I spoke about my experience with my colleague, Rachel.
She and I worked together twice. The first time, I was controlling and wanted everything done my way. The second time, I had learned the destructive impact of micro-management and wanted to reform. I was grateful that Rachel agreed to help me.
It is quite a mindset shift to go from “I know everything” to “I need to learn and grow”. An even bigger shift to extend this to “I need to get better and I need your help to do it.” I felt vulnerable. I could feel it physically, like I was jumping down from a ledge, onto a lower one that seemed a little too low to land comfortably.
Logic tells us that we are imperfect and that to be imperfect is acceptable. However, our inner-self is often overly concerned with how others perceive us, and therefore being imperfect seems unacceptable to us.
In fact, you will find if you ask anyone “Do you have any weaknesses or faults”, the answer is always a big laugh, with the comment “Of course I do!”
That physical sensation I experienced of jumping down from a ledge was my acceptance that I was not perfect. I had to see my imperfections to improve them. Yes, I was uncomfortable looking at anything unfavourable about myself. I was even more uncomfortable at having another person looking and finding stuff as well. But I knew this was too important. I had to take to take action.
The action that would lead me to become a better manager – a better person – required me to look honestly at my behaviour and myself. Vulnerability was the key. The more vulnerable I was, the more honest I could be.
A lack of awareness of our own vulnerability can result in ‘acting out’ behaviours; These are unhelpful reactions that cause problems for us. But if we accept our inadequacies as opportunities to improve how we show up in the world, our vulnerability can play a vital role in our growth.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness.”
Experiencing my vulnerability during my working time with Rachel was one of those points in life, after which nothing has ever been the same. I started getting better quickly because I removed the barriers that were holding me in my insecure space. I released the fear of owning up to my imperfections and jumped in to discover how I could improve and evolve.
I found truth in my vulnerability, and that is how I grow.