'Make myself vulnerable? What? No. This industry is cruel. Why would I even consider putting myself out to do something that might make me feel bad?'
'Create something online? And open myself up to the critical hoard of dog trainers out there who will pounce and tell everyone how wrong and rubbish I am; nope, not a chance.'
'Go for my first consultation; I don’t know enough yet. I’m not ready.'
Recognise any of the above?
We can easily all feel like this, we live and work in a harsh industry, but it’s an industry that’s genuinely worth pushing through because the rewards are immense.
To be successful, we must also make ourselves vulnerable by being fully authentic, true to ourselves and able to take some risks with our fear and feelings.
I have forgotten more than I remember of the critical comments on my business Facebook pages and posts over the last three months. Over the last few weeks, for the most benign of posts on social media. My comments and posts have even been copied and put onto other people’s pages purely to criticise me – more than once.
I certainly seem to have caught the eye of the storm. But it’s a storm that’s heavily confident – and wrong.
And you know what? They have done me a massive favour.
They have shown me what they do to other people.
And they have made me want to help excellent people become confident enough to move forward, creating positive change in their areas—appropriately educated and ethical people. People like you reading this.
The only way we can help dogs avoid being pushed around and forced to wear ridiculous things like prong collars is by making ourselves vulnerable.
What is vulnerability, and why is it a key to your success?
Vulnerability is being true to yourself no matter what. Authenticity is making yourself visible for just who you are. It’s being true to yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone. Vulnerability is saying, ‘I’m going to push past this fear of being criticised and take my knowledge and belief into the World’.
But how can I do this and stay sane?
It can be easy to forget that Facebook isn’t real. Keyboard warriors are not real; they only get into our minds if we let them. We don’t have to engage with them.
Imagine having to spend a day at a training course or meeting with someone who irritated you, who was loud, opinionated and downright mean. Now imagine having the ability to hide them or block their presence altogether. How cool would that be?
You can do that on Facebook, but even better, you can do it in your mind. Try it; just switch somebody off today, and we can work on making that easier later.
There’s something amazing about being your authentic self, about making yourself vulnerable; people recognise it and are drawn to you. They see your bravery and want to be closer to it. The more times you say, ‘I’m going to do this and stand by myself even if it’s uncomfortable’, the more positive effect you will have over your world and the bolder and braver you will become.
Authenticity makes the critics less critical in your decisions and the easier it will be to step out of your comfort zone next time. Soon you will forget they exist or just laugh at their irony. They won’t affect your life because you will be too busy following your path to remember they exist.
I promise you this.
So I spent the first part of my Monday morning writing this for you today – humour me and give me five minutes back. Tell me what you’re going to do today, that one small thing, which will embrace your authenticity and make you just a bit vulnerable.
Go on – write it below.