Harris Fanaroff

Three Things I’ve Learned from Being Vulnerable

I’m on a search to figure out how we become the best versions of ourselves, and through a lot of research I’ve found that vulnerability usually lives at the center. The dictionary definition of vulnerability is “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” That’s an intense definition, but I think the important part to take away is that it’s a possibility of being attacked or harmed and doesn’t necessarily mean we will be harmed or attacked. It has not been easy for me to share a story of “failure,” but I believe it’s helped me become who I am and helped me get on the path to where I want to go. Given this, I wanted to share three things I’ve learned from being vulnerable about my story and being willing to speak up about it.

  1. Everyone can relate

I have had so many people come up to me after I’ve shared my yips story and tell me about a certain failure they’ve experienced in their life. Everyone has something where they’ve failed at, and it’s a huge weight off our shoulders to share that with others. Nobody’s life is perfect, and we often think we’re the only ones experiencing certain things until we open up and share that with others. Whether that be something big or something small, it’s healthy for people to share about their experiences so they can teach others. When you share your vulnerabilities, you provide an open space for other to share theirs. It is often our biggest failures that lead us to our most important lessons that others can truly benefit from.

2. It helps form deeper relationships

So often in life, we live on the surface asking questions like “how was your day?” or “what do you have going on this weekend?” but we never get into how a person is actually doing or what’s important to them. Getting into vulnerabilities opens up new possibilities in relationships and conversations that you never thought were possible. People bring up events/stories and you can connect on a deeper level than you ever have before just by bringing up a failure.

3. We are often our own biggest critic

Our mind is our biggest competitor and we very often think the worst when we share things. Before sharing my story about the yips and dealing with depression like issues, I was worried people would judge me and it would make me uncomfortable to speak about it. It took lots of conversations with myself and with my coach to reframe how I viewed the situation in my mind before I was ready to share it. Now that I’ve shared it, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’ve realized my self-talk was holding me back.