The Value in Being Vulnerable

January 15, 2020      Motivation, Self Care

Once upon a time, there was a wise Zen master. People traveled from far away to seek his help. In return, he would teach them and show them the way to enlightenment. On this particular day, a scholar came to visit the master for advice. “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen,” the scholar said.

Soon, it became obvious that the scholar was full of his own opinions and knowledge. He interrupted the master repeatedly with his own stories and failed to listen to what the master had to say. The master calmly suggested that they should have tea.

So the master poured his guest a cup. The cup was filled, yet he kept pouring until the cup overflowed onto the table, onto the floor, and finally onto the scholar’s robes. The scholar cried “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see?”

“Exactly,” the Zen master replied with a smile. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”

When we feel like we know it all, or have it all together, or are an expert at something, we miss out. We miss the opportunity to grow. To learn. To experience.

I have found that to grow and learn, I must not only empty my cup but also allow myself to be vulnerable. This feels uncomfortable at first. It feels like I’m exposed, weak and suspectable to getting hurt. But looking back, that was all fear getting in my way. It was a false fear of letting my guard down. But when I have been able to open myself up and empty my cup and let down my guard and let go of the stories I already have, those are the moments I gain the most. The most experience and growth. And those are the times I have been able to be myself fully. It feels good. So scary, but real.

There is so much value in being vulnerable.

Our ego tells us we already know. And if we don’t, we are threatened.

But why are we threatened?

Because we fear that if we don’t know, we are subpar. Not whole. Inferior to other that do know.

I challenge you to let go of that fear. Because that is not you that is afraid. That is your ego.

What happens if you take off your “expert hat” and you step into the beginner mindset?

For me, I am able to see perspectives I haven’t in the past. And that just opens me up to another whole world of possibilities. And it feels good! That feels whole! And exciting! And ALIVE!

To be able to learn more! It’s refreshing. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn. Even if it means I was wrong before.

Coaching is much the same. In order to receive coaching and have it be effective, we must consider the possibility that we know nothing. We must be open enough to receive. Be vulnerable enough to accept help. And aware enough to see where we want to go.

And we open ourselves up.

And we GROW.

And we feel GOOD about it!

And instead of feeling less than, we feel EMPOWERED.

And when we step back, we realize the growth and empowerment came from inside us. We knew the answers the whole time. We were just covering them up with our narrow mindsets and being stuck in our thinking habits.

It takes an outside perspective to allow us to uncover what we already know.

And that means being VULNERABLE in the best way we can. Let GO.

Let yourself GROW.