Putting yourself out into the world makes you vulnerable. I think about that every time I go someplace I’ve never been or try something I’ve never done. I think about that every time I meet someone for the first time. And I think about that every week as I hit “publish” on this blog.
I read the most honest and vulnerable blog post on Friday. The author is well-known. She has thousands upon thousands of followers who read everything she writes. She is clever and funny and down to earth. And on Friday she opened herself wide to the world, and she spoke her truth with courage and grace and love. This has been a difficult year for her. She was open about her beliefs, and she was shunned by many in her community. She talked about the pain she felt when others judged her. She talked about feeling hurt by the people who abandoned her during this difficult time. And she was honest about the fact that she may not be as open and transparent with all of us in the future. It just might be too hard.
I do not know her. I only know her through her writing. But I was overwhelmed by her post, and I wanted to jump into my car and go to her and tell her not to stop being vulnerable. Be who you are. Don’t worry so much about what others think of you. We are all far too concerned about what other people think of us. We are all far too concerned about how we look, or how we sound, or how we are being perceived. I am too concerned with all of that.
“Will they like me?” I should stop caring so much about the answer.
I am not advocating treating others disrespectfully. I am not saying we should not listen to other opinions. I believe strongly that we all learn and grow and change over time. When we know better, we do better.
But I am advocating being your authentic self without so much concern for what others might think of you. Be who you are. At the end of the day, nothing else really works anyway.