I’m just who I am. Some people will be pleased, and others will not. Some will be exceptionally kind, and others will tell me everything they see wrong, but I decided long ago that I don’t want to attempt to be anything I am not. It’s far too much work keeping up that facade! I’m happy with who I am, and while God is always working to help me be more like Him, He loves me just this way too.
We like our lives to fit comfortably into the right boxes—to make the right statement—but one very important secret I have found hugely beneficial is to grant myself the permission to step completely out of those boxes, to kick off preconceived ideas of who I should be and experience the freedom of authenticity.
Are things like potential embarrassment and vulnerability really so terrible? I am suggesting you allow yourself the luxury of the unexpected, to step out of the ruts we all walk in day after day and see how your life and the lives of people around you will change when you stop attempting to make any statement about who you are and let others decide for themselves.
In the Bible, Paul is another example of someone who was strong-willed and learned the benefits of vulnerability. He explains in 1 Corinthians 2:1–5; "And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."
Paul chose to set aside his own wisdom, which he was known to tout at times, and learned instead to allow God to speak more through his weakness. If you aren’t too afraid to let other people see your weaknesses, God can and will work through them.
Do you ever find yourself saying things like, “I knew that,” “That was my idea,” or “I was just about to say that”? I know I do. We want people to think well of us. There are some pretty deep-rooted attitudes and thoughts I constantly battle:
• A self-protective instinct
• Wanting people to know what I know
• Continuing to explain
• Blame shifting
• Ugly, basic pride
Laying these things down could be just the next step to opening your heart to adventure and wonder like you never imagined possible.
How can you be vulnerable today? Make a plan and then after you finish, write down how it felt to be your honest and real self.