I’m blessed. It’s so true, I truly am.
I’m blessed, and…
I’m blessed, and there’s a lot of hard life stuff I’ve navigated the past couple of years.
How do you answer when someone asks, how are you doing? Do you feel pressure to present a version of yourself and your life that paints a rosy, polished image? I know I do.
That’s why I’m focusing on I’m blessed…and.
I gave a speech to start the year 2022 on gratitude. I used quotes from Will Arnett, John F. Kennedy, and Corrie ten Boom, a holocaust survivor who thanked God for the fleas in her concentration camp tent because they kept the guards out of the tent so they could have a Bible study.
This post in no way negates the power of gratitude. Instead, I aim to emphasize the importance of holding both in balance; gratitude and vulnerability: being real about the pain and challenges we are dealing with.
We all know pretending a problem isn’t there doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t make the pain stop.
In the midst of this onslaught of growing social media perception pressure these past 15+ years we’ve had leaders step up. Brene Brown is one of the most widely known and celebrated for her focus on vulnerability.
Brown said, “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
We can all recognize that our setting and the people we are with often impact how we answer the question, how are you doing? In church it’s often, “oh, I’m blessed. God is so good.” It’s true God is good, but you also may have just lost a loved one to suicide (the recent story of a Christian mentor of mine).
I would argue the brutally hard stuff doesn’t negate God’s goodness. After all, Jesus asked God if there’s any way other than crucifixion…only to then say “Thy will be done.”
In a business setting it’s often: “Oh, I’m just grinding away.” When I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills next month. That’s a story I’ve had as an entrepreneur many times these past few years.
In a social media setting it’s often: “I’ve got the best life, the best family, and everything is GREEAAAAAT!” In actuality…It’s just not.
What I’ve learned over the past 4+ years through a major career change, marriage challenges, and tremendous uncertainty, I had better be real about this shit with people or I’m going to choose very unhealthy self-medication.
And I learned it from courageous people who opened up about challenges and struggles in their life with me. It empowered me and emboldened me to open up about my own struggles. It’s not a comparison game. Your pain isn’t diminished because someone else has gone through something that seems more challenging.
Brene Brown also said, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
This also isn’t about being a Debbie Downer, we all have the Eor’s in our lives who turn everything into a negative.
Simon Sinek wrote “There is a difference between vulnerability and telling people everything about yourself. Vulnerability is a feeling. Telling everyone about yourself is just facts and details.”
To be clear, it is through an approach of authentic gratitude that helps me get through the tough moments that I need to be authentically vulnerable about.
How am I doing? I’m blessed, and…