by • October 12, 2012 • Life As I Know ItComments (0)1758

Leaning Into The Discomfort

When Chris Conzen blogs, I blog. We’ve started an interesting game that keeps us accountable for sharing our thoughts in blog form. Guess it’s my turn.

I asked Chris this time around for a blog topic. He asked me a question that was at once as confronting as it was freeing:

“What are you feeling vulnerable about at the moment?”

Right away, I thought of Brené Brown’s fantastic TED Talk about “The power of vulnerability.” Among many other words of wisdom, Brené’s talk asks us to ‘lean into the discomfort’. Considering I’ve leaned right off the edge of the CN Tower before, I figure I can lean into this.

I’ve been honoured and humbled to receive more opportunities to share ideas that have been percolating for a while with a wider audience. Some have passed. Some are upcoming.

All are utterly terrifying.

When Brené Brown mentioned the “courage to be imperfect”, she articulated what, in the most authentic truth, is my biggest challenge and my greatest goal.

Giving over a thought that you have lovingly shaped and polished in your internal mental workshop to be placed under the harsh spotlight of communal examination can be an attack aiming right for the heart and soul you have poured into your message. Places like Twitter offer an intoxicating platform where each idea can feel the heat of sometimes thousands of these spotlights, immediately and simultaneously.

Scary, isn’t it?

Of course, it’s only scary when you see it as an examination, as a test of some sort, perhaps as a thousand or more spotlights looking to illuminate the darkest, most flawed corners of what you have to say.

I have been learning to be courageous in the face of these inevitable imperfections, not seeing a spotlight placing its harsh glow on a single, small imperfection. Instead, each follower, each new thought or idea, each probing question lovingly shapes my message much like the wind can move, bend and change things in its path. Whether a gentle breeze or a gale force hurricane, I love the wind metaphor because wind can also lift and carry beyond boundaries, much how Twitter and other social media platforms have carried some of my thoughts across several borders and timezones.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward

So I choose to lean into the wind, whether a breeze or a hurricane. I may get swept up, carried aloft or pushed right back, but once you learn to lean into the wind “but for the sky, there are no fences facing.” (Bob Dylan)

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