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  • Katherine Pham

What it takes to create a life you love

Updated: Feb 11, 2019


So, the last three years of my life has been nothing short of a profound transformation. Let me paint the picture for you… A short three years ago, I was broke, a functioning addict, the biggest procrastinator I knew and a phony (wanting to give others the impression that I had it together but actually I was in Struggletown). My friends were progressing their careers all around me, and then there’s me, plodding along, again, just making it out like I had it together, but the truth was, I was far from it. I felt lost, without purpose, I hated the environment I was in.


Fast forward to me today, I’ve launched a business doing what I love. I’m really locked onto my course, with a vision of what I am going to create in my lifetime, no matter what.


And, if I could really pinpoint it to a one thing, while there’s many things that’s changed, there’s one aspect in particular I’d like to draw on in this blog piece and that is the ability to be vulnerable. Not an unfamiliar concept to anyone who has watched Brené Brown's TED talk: The Power of Vulnerability, but one that I'd like to reflect on, as the experience of it has been far more insightful than just the intellectual knowledge of it.


Allow me to explain…


For the last year or so, I’ve been writing a novel. It is by no means a masterpiece. It’s far from it, actually. It starts with promise, the middle is quite contained (read boring)…and the end, just lacking. It’s quite lame to be honest and needs loads of improvement.


My story is a tale of a fairy community in hiding

However, the experience of writing has been a great learning experience for me, and has provided me with important lessons. Throughout my writing experience, I am aware of the thoughts that cross my mind, and then how that is reflected onto the paper. I can't do it. I'm not imaginative enough to do this. I can't tell an epic tale....I tell myself.


And so, I don’t. I sell myself short, as they say. I keep it contained within the safe realms of boring and non-adventurous story telling, because I really don’t believe I’m capable of it. And that’s exactly what happens in the story. It’s quite boring and contained. My belief that I can't write well, reflected to me right there onto the pages, in black and white *hehe*


A friend of mine recently posted a video by Lisa Nichols, a captivating storyteller. She spoke of her time on the Steve Harvey show, where she spoke for 15 minutes giving lots of advice and reflection, but the part that captured the viewers and ended up getting shared millions of times on social media, was a story that she shared about hitting rock bottom. Why only those 2 minutes when there were so much great advice throughout? It's because she told her story as it was, willing to be vulnerable and sharing the truth about her darkest days, and it moved people.


Lisa explains that most storytellers are afraid to go to that level of captivating description because they’re afraid to take risks, and so they have a limit to how high or how deep they will go.


Bottomline: we are afraid of being vulnerable.


The penny dropped.


I am always staying within the safe realms of story telling, because I’m afraid of the criticism and rejection I’ll get if I were to fully bare myself and tell the story that needs to be told, and hence, I play it safe. Or, I’m fearing that it will terrible and so I just never really try, saving myself from the embarrassment.


My story will never become an epic tale if I can’t allow myself to be vulnerable. Of course, it can’t.


And so, I reflect on the rest of my life - where I am being vulnerable, and where I am playing safe?


In the business that I am creating, in being a business and personal coach and trainer, I am being vulnerable. Putting myself out there, despite the fear of judgment and rejection is the most vulnerable thing I’ve done. Putting myself out there, knowing (or believing) that there are people judging me for it is hard. But it is absolutely necessary, if I want to do what it is that I would love.


Being vulnerable means that despite the fear of criticism, judgement and the self-doubt, you still take those necessary steps forward to do what it is you gotta do. And let me tell you, that feeling of vulnerability is real. It feels like anxiety, like wanting to retreat into a hole, like defending myself, like backing out of things I said I would do.


While working with a friend of mine on her goals and vision, she said to me, ‘yeah, but I’m afraid to do that because I’m afraid it will fail.’ I laughed at the remark. Rude, I know. But it was what was seemingly a small thing to me and to her, the fear of it failing was enough for her to never do it. What will her life be then, never attempting anything that she enjoys...for fear of failure?


And what can she do to get herself out of that? Is to be vulnerable. Yes, it might fail. Yes, people might not want to come to her event. Yes, some people are going to reject the idea. Should she still do it?


Yes, because some of those fears and thoughts are going to be unwarranted. Yes, because it’s the only way that she’s going to be able to start creating the things that she would love.


It’s a common ailment among us, and one I still struggle with daily. But the good news is, you can practice vulnerability. Start small (or don’t) and get used to it, because it’s not going away. The more you apply it, the more you’ll feel comfortable being vulnerable, it’ll just be there, but the show still goes on, and I promise you, that it is the act of being vulnerable that will allow you take those necessary steps to start achieving the things you want to achieve.


Your life is the going to be your best creation of all. Live your life like it is your art.


#lifeasart #vulnerability #storytellers #success

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