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September 9, 2019
Word of the Week: Vulnerability
On December 2, 2017, my first piece was published. The piece was called “5 Not-So-Obvious Tips for Staying Present On Your Wedding Day” and it was published on Thought Catalog. I remember I cried I was so excited. Me?? A writer?!
As someone with a learning disability, I assumed for most of my life that I was “bad” at reading and writing. I was a terrible speller, I read at a snail’s pace, and I could never remember big words. It took me twice as long to process information that seemed to come so easily to other kids. I hated feeling stupid. So I decided early on that I was more of a “numbers” person. I focused on math, majored in Quantitative Economics in college, and pursued a career in business that utilized my “people” skills. I never used to read for fun and I never ever journaled. Why waste my time on sh*t I wasn’t good at?
It wasn’t until I began my personal growth journey in my mid-20s that I realized I actually liked reading when I could learn about things that could help me live a happier life. I started to find comfort in writing my feelings down in a journal and I enjoyed sharing what I was learning with friends and family. I became the go-to person for self-help book recommendations, empowering quotes, and the latest knowledge on chakra healing. It felt freeing to let myself live a more non-linear, magical life.
When I started my first business in early 2017 as a wedding doula, helping brides and couples create mindful and authentic wedding experiences, I began to write more publicly. At first, I was terrified.
What if I spell something wrong?
What if someone doesn’t agree with me?
What if I embarrass myself? Or Andrew?
What if I say something stupid?
What if I get fired from my job?
What if my friends make fun of me?
If I’m being honest, I used to run every single social media post by Andrew to make sure I wasn’t writing something dumb or something that could be misinterpreted. I can’t remember when I stopped asking for his advice but at some point, I said f*ck it. I didn’t want to censor myself anymore. I decided I was entitled to my own thoughts and opinions, and if I was going to get anywhere as an entrepreneur, I needed to share my truth and be okay if it pissed some people off.
It has not been easy. Writing publicly has been one of the hardest tests of my people-pleasing. I still get waves of anxiety every time I press “send” on this newsletter, post something on social media, or publish an article. Every unsubscribe stings. The nasty comments still hurt. And I haven’t been able to tune out the internet trolls yet. While I still have the desire to people-please, my desire to share my message is stronger.
As of today, I have published and been quoted in over sixty articles (which can all be found here). Being able to share what’s on my heart and mind through my writing has become, hands down, one my favorite parts of my business. By sharing every raw, vulnerable, and imperfect part of myself (spelling mistakes included), I hope to remind others that none of us have this figured out.
Ask Yourself: How do you deal with vulnerability? Do you wear protective armor hoping nobody finds your mess or do you put yourself out there even though it’s scary?
Weekly Mantra: I can be brave and scared at the same time.