Appearing as the perfect professional will earn you all of the admiration and success…right? Today I want to talk about the downfall of this common (yet problematic) mindset and offer an authentic alternative. Trying to appear perfect is exhausting and distracts ourselves AND others from our genuine selves. Instead, let’s talk about getting vulnerable in our lives and businesses! When you’re willing to be vulnerable, others feel comfortable sharing their true selves with you…maximizing connection in meetings, personal relationships, client conversations, and beyond!
Read transcript below:
Steve Napolitan: Welcome to More Business More Life Daily, and this week we’re talking about mindset and today I want to talk about being vulnerable. So you’re probably saying, “Vulnerability. Okay, what are we going to talk about here?” Well, I’ll tell you that the more I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable, the more I’ve connected with other human beings and this is a mindset reshift, whatever that means. To shift, let’s just say that. Well even that. That’s me being vulnerable. I could have said, “Oh, let me restart this video. I’m only 30 seconds into it. Why would I not?” But you know what? It’s because I want you to know I’m human just like you. I make mistakes and there’s nothing wrong with that.
In fact, that’s what I think makes me a better speaker. I know it’s allowed me to connect with my audiences. The more polished you are… I don’t want people to say, “Oh, you’re Steve. You’re some miracle. I can never be like you.” That’s the last thing I want you to do. There is so many of you that can do better videos than I can and that’s awesome. And whatever you want to do, you can do. I want to empower you. And we all are human and in fact when I saw Stan Lee speak once, he was talking about how he created Spider-Man and if you look at any superhero, if they don’t have any weaknesses, then we can’t connect to them. Spider-Man was so successful because here is this superhero, but then he’s having all these high school problems like dating or getting picked on at school. Little do they know, if they knew he was Spider-Man, right?
So these things were happening and that bit of vulnerability. Now, the more we’re willing to allow connection, so the more private we are, the less connected we are. If you look at it as a continuum, you have privacy over here and you have connection over here. And the more connection you have, the more openness there is. And the more that I’ve been open with other people, the more I’ve connected with other people and it’s fabulous. And I’ll tell you, there are times when I have not been vulnerable. Early in my years, I’ve been an entrepreneur since 19, and one thing that I’ve had happen is I’ve been embarrassed. I’m working with people that were elders to me and I looked up to them and I wanted to look good.
So I put all these things in my mind and I remember I lost, I think, a good friend. I mean we still are connected now, but it’s not the same. And what had happened was we had a really good relationship and I hid some big things that were happening in my business that I was not…they were not going well because I was embarrassed. And then when I finally came clean, then he was like, “Wow. So I guess I know where our relationship is that you didn’t feel comfortable enough to tell me.” And he was deeply hurt by that. And then he’s like, “You know I could have helped you and then it wouldn’t have been this bad,” and I realized that was true and I realized how deeply hurt he was that I didn’t feel I could be that transparent with him. And I hoped that he realized that I was also very embarrassed that this was happening and I wanted to…
But it was a facade. I was making a facade to look different than I was when actually letting myself be seen is the best way to see others. It’s a two way. So if I put a wall between me and you, then not only can you not see me wholly, I can’t see you. And I guarantee this, the more vulnerable you are and willing to be, the more vulnerable other people will be with you. So many people I’m around, they’re so transparent with me and they’re like, “I’ve never told other people this,” or, “I can’t believe they told you that.” I’ve known them for years and now they’re telling you, it’s because I opened the door. I was willing to be vulnerable. So if we want other people to be transparent and vulnerable with us, we must be vulnerable and transparent with them.
This is a mirroring universe and this is a mindset reset. I’ve found, and I’m only telling you from what I’ve found in my life and I’m sharing that with you so that you can have more of what I have if you want that. I mean it doesn’t mean this is the only way. You can do as you please. Some people want more privacy and they’re not willing to be vulnerable. You can have that. I’m just telling you what’s occurred for me as I’ve allowed myself to be more vulnerable, share all these stories. There’s so many things that I’ve shared on stage. I’ve even cried on stage. I’ve cried in my mentorship groups and a lot of the men to come up to me and they say, “Wow, thanks for allowing me to see that I can show my feelings.”
And those are things years ago I would never have done. Never. And because of that, I’ve had deeper connections, deeper relationships. I’ve had more healing myself. I’ve had more friendships and people there for me when I need them. And it’s also allowed me to help a lot more people, because when you’re vulnerable, they’re willing to be vulnerable with you. And that allows for deep connection. When you have deep connection, you can truly serve one another. So I hope that this has just shed a little light for you to give it a try. Be a little vulnerable, maybe share something you’ve never shared with anyone before or be a little bit more open at one of the next meetings you’re at or in the next conversation that you’re with and see what happens. I bet you that they will share as well and you will have a deeper connection. As always, remember to choose gratitude and create freedom. We’ll see you on tomorrow’s video.