SEASON 1 – EpiBLOG 18:
I’m sipping on my Matcha Green Tea, and I’m thinking about how vulnerable I have to be in order to be willing to write this blog. If I hold back – even just a bit, the words that I write are almost meaningless.
Sugar coating life isn’t really my strong suit. Sometimes life sucks. And sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I make bad choices. Sometimes I hurt people’s feelings. I don’t mean to hurt others. Mistakes are never intentional. Bad choices I have to take responsibility for. But being vulnerable here is when I’m writing at my best. Vulnerability allows me to impact those who are in need of being impacted. What do I mean by that? Let me explain…
I always tell my fiancé that I share my failures and shortcomings with my students because if I let them think that I’m perfect, I will not be “relatable,” and I will appear to be someone who they can never aspire to be like. I would be this unattainable figure, almost like a robot created within a lab whose sole purpose is to instruct without flaws.
Instead, I shared with my Speech students that I have the worst eye contact in one-on-one situations, despite the fact that my eye contact is so great in group settings, which is what they witnessed about me when I stood in front of them. I explained to them that I still have to work at giving strong eye contact when I’m having a simple conversation with another individual sitting across the table from me. How crazy is that? But it’s true.
I’ve shared with my Screenwriting students that I’ve had 400+ rejections over an 8 year period BEFORE I was actually able to produce the trailer for my feature film Running on Empty Dreams. That was just before the trailer! Even after I produced the trailer from pulling scenes out of the feature length script that I had revised some 43+ times, I still was challenged with the need to prove myself to potential investors. But my students needed to know. They needed to know my obstacles because they needed to know that they were surmountable. That it’s possible to get what you want even when it doesn’t look like you will. My students needed to know that my mentor was the one that gave me the brilliant idea of shooting a trailer. He informed me that no one believed that I could produce a feature film, and that it was my responsibility to SHOW people that I could. And so I did.
All of you need to know that the successes that I’ve experienced are far and few in between. Failure tends to want to hang out on the couch with me and put its arm around my shoulder like we’re “besties” watching a Friends’ rerun for the 8th time. It’s up to me to constantly let him know that he’s not welcomed in my home; more specifically that he’s my enemy and my motivation for moving forward. Sharing these shortcomings, these annoyances, these truths… are the only way for me to help you to understand that success is possible. Of course, this way, my method, comes with a price. And that price is for me to be as vulnerable as I possibly can be.
Today’s LESSON is to be vulnerable when situations call for you to be. Your gut will tell you when and with whom to share this side of yourself.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Do something that you’ve never done before in front of a group of people (always making sure that it’s legal, of course). Feel free to be silly and vulnerable.