Embrace Change: Harnessing Vulnerability for Personal Growth

Shanna Lindinger
May 8, 2024

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Our best opportunities for growth are oftentimes on the other side of an uncomfortable choice.

And it's no doubt I found myself both elated and scared sh*tless at hitting the publish button on this post!

(But if you’re reading this, then I have done!)

The truth is I’ve been dithering on publishing this post - or anyone akin to it.

Mostly because I just haven’t known a) where to start and b) what to say.

It's an age-old feeling that I've discovered many people experience on this journey. This imposter syndrome where one wonders, what do I genuinely have to contribute?

But as time and fate would have it, life would have its way.

And I, dear friends, would have a choice to make and something to add.

And so today’s edition is titled:

Choices: Are Yours Leading You for Bitter or Better?

The reality of living here on this big blue ball of spinning matter is we don’t always have control over what happens to us, but - as cliche as it may continue to sound - we do have control over how we respond.

Yes, there are many stories and onion layers to be peeled away in the coming times. Still, the specifics and pertinence of this particular blog post relate to four guys, a podcast, two LinkedIn posts, and a life choice.

Embracing Vulnerability: The Path to Growth

I listened to a podcast with Tom Youngs and Kieran Drew earlier in July 2023. In that podcast, Kieran spoke about being vulnerable as a gateway to success in his writing career.

I’ve pondered a lot on this. That week more than most.

Kieran wasn’t the first person I’ve heard this from.

In many ways, vulnerability is the gateway to growth of any kind.

Insights from Thought Leaders: Lessons on Fear and Action

A LinkedIn post by Alex Hormozi prior ties in here, where he said (paraphrasing) to feel the fear but act anyway.

Then I came across a LinkedIn post by Simon Squibb earlier that week too.

I had been following Simon for several months at that point.

Simon’s life’s mission is a little unique and beyond inspirational too. See, amongst other things; he helps people start their own businesses.

(And asks nothing in return aside from their success.) 

The guys mentioned here have that all in common.

They have ambitions that are:

- Big.
- Bold.
- Beautiful.

It was THIS post, though, that hit a tender nerve.

And it’s the culmination of all four of these seemingly random individuals and pieces of content and subsequent pondering that would form into a shift in limiting beliefs and taking action and this first article in my personal growth segment here today.

The Crossroads: Staying Safe vs. Embracing Change

As those closest to me will attest, I’ve been wanting to start out something on my own for an age but have been too afraid to really start in any meaningful way.

See, I hold a lot of fear.

(Why is a topic for another day.)

It’s all the fears.

  • Fear of failure.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of attention.
  • Fear of success.

The latter and former are all neatly intertwined.

I’ve also, until not too long ago, been really happy in my current job.

Besides, I’m really good at it?!

The Reality of Current Choices: Bitterness or Betterment?

The catch-22 came home to roost as:

  • My hours and salary gradually decreased to unsustainable.
  • Any sense of security in my role waned with yet another round of layoffs.
  • Realizing (again) thank you’s can only take you so far, a.k.a. don’t pay the bills. And bills can get real, real fast.

There was - no lies - an ever-mounting anxiety as the months, weeks, and days ticked by. I had been postponing any real action and playing out ALL the what-ifs of making life as it is work.

That included all the “valid” reasoning behind NOT giving myself a shot.

I know I had done everything possible to hold myself in the mold I had formed for myself as “safe” and “stable.”

But the reality was that staying safe and stable had left me at a real risk of losing all I’d worked so hard for.

This is not only the roof over our heads and food on the table but also any sense of mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

And sometimes, something has got to give.

Taking the Leap: Embracing Risk and Uncertainty

So I found myself at a crossroads and thinking of that Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

It’s times like these that we need to ask ourselves the hard questions and stay open to the answers that come.

If you find yourself stagnant, unwell, or unfulfilled in any way, ask yourself:

Are my current choices making me, making my life bitter or better?

Remember, the answers that come are likely simple, never easy.

The reality that I came to own was that staying in the role that I’m in and the path that I am on promises me nothing.

Reflecting on Your Choices: Towards a Better Life

I - we - have been given no guarantees in terms of employment security or anything else, for that matter.

Staying put for me at the time meant the very real possibility of losing the very home and livelihood I had managed to help build.  

The choice, then, was whether I was willing to take the risk of putting myself and my words, thoughts, and perspectives into the universe.

It was answering the question:

Am I willing to risk vulnerability and face all my fears?

Am I willing to face my fear of failure, rejection, attention, and success?

Am I - are you - willing to be scared and jump anyway?

I am.

I must.

There was another post that Alex Hormozi put out a little while back that I happened upon at that time and I sneakily added, which I thought would be a great ending to this piece today.

It’s important to keep this idea top of mind.

This is your life.

Make sure the choices you’re making are leading you to a better version of yourself.

In Closing: Embracing Vulnerability, Cultivating Courage

That’s all for now, everyone.

If you felt like this helped you in some way or may help someone you love, please do share it.

I do hope you take some time to reflect on the choices you're making in your own life and whether they're leading you towards a better life.

Think about any changes you can make to improve where you are today for your tomorrow.

If you're open to it, share your story of overcoming fear and taking a risk in an email to me or in the comments section. Let's create a community of support and encouragement to help each other along this journey.

Remember, the answers that come are likely simple, never easy. But with courage and vulnerability (and a little support), we can make a choice to lead ourselves toward a better life.

I am grateful to you for joining me on this journey.

To our better selves.

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