You don’t always have it together. Nobody does. So it’s fine to feel vulnerable at times, to seek help when required, to lean on a shoulder when you are exhausted. See, even the pope needs some words of encouragement for himself. No one has it all figured out. So, stop hiding your vulnerabilities so others don’t judge you. The truly successful men of our days have mastered the act of calling for help when they are clueless. The truth is that those friends you feel very obliged to hide your vulnerabilities around are probably friends you shouldn’t be around. If your friends intimidate you, put you down, lose respect for you because they see your nakedness, then it’s a true litmus test of whether they should remain friends in the first place.
What nobody told us is that there is actually a deep inner strength in vulnerability. This may sound contradictory at first – but vulnerability is actually strength in disguise. You know why? Because to be vulnerable you have to be honest; you have to be the real you. At times it may feel like the safer option is to hide your inner feelings in favor of an inauthentic, more confident exterior, but the truth is; people respect vulnerability so much more than faux-confidence. Plus, let’s face it – playing pretend doesn’t ever really make you feel that great on the inside; it only leaves you feeling like a fraud. As the visionary Apple founder, Steve Jobs once said: ‘It’s true: whether we like it or not, we are already naked and the sooner we learn to accept who we are and give ourselves permission to be vulnerable; the sooner we free ourselves from the chains of pretend-perfectionism.’
If you take anything from this point, let it be this: you don’t have to have your life together, in one piece of exquisite state. That is, at least for right now. Being a functioning adult is no joke, and it takes some work. Keep trying your best, and the rest will fall into place.
Penultimately, we are not perfect people. Most of us are a mess most of the times, but I believe that the best people are. I believe that the most successful people are the ones that make their fair share of mistakes. Every mistake we make is a learning experience, and there’s no better time than right now to be “figuring it out.” So, for now, embrace the struggle. The reality is that if you don’t allow yourself a chance at “figuring it out” now, when will you figure it out eventually? Own the fact that you probably haven’t brushed your hair in a week and that there’s a ginormous coffee stain on your t-shirt. Keep on telling yourself that you’ll get your life together eventually, because one day you will. Be unapologetically messy and remember that it’s okay to not have it all together. The point is that no one is going to have it all figured out right away; it takes experiences and plenty of mistakes along the way.
In summary, Life wants you to remember that you are not perfect and so is your life. You’re going to make thousands of mistakes in the span of your lifetime and that’s normal. You’ve done a lot of mistakes in the past and guess what? You’re going to make more mistakes tomorrow! But never lose yourself and make mistakes all the time. You have to learn from them and teach yourself not to make the same mistakes again. Always remember that your life should not be measured by the number of mistakes you’ve done but by the number of lessons you learn from these.
Culled from my book, The Path Less Travelled (Can be found on Amazon).