There seems to be a myth that we all have to wear masks and have our shields raised at all times. We are not supposed to share our losses, our weaknesses, or our failures.
This is causing pain.
The two things that have hurt me the most in life are post natal depression, and a miscarriage. Both of which are very common, but were in no way on my radar. I was caught by surprise and overwhelmed. Until I experienced them myself, I had no idea just how common they are.
Because people don’t talk.
This is contributing to the mental health epidemic, low self esteem, and also less opportunities to connect with people on a deeper level.
What are you afraid of sharing?
In Matt Haig’s book How To Stop Time, this quote was one of many that stood out to me.
“You are not the only one with sorrows in this world. Don’t hoard them like they are precious. There is always plenty of them to go around.”
Think about the friends you have that you care about the most, they know your darkest secrets right? The people whose shoulders you cried on? The late nights drinking wine and ranting about life? You know their scars, and they know yours. The heroes we love the most, are those with a weakness.
We love Indiana Jones because he is afraid of snakes.
Chief Brody because he is afraid of the water.
The first Die Hard is the best because John McClane cries in a toilet, thinks he is going to die, and wants his wife to know he loves her.
Practically perfect people do not inspire us. We cannot relate or connect.
It’s why Superman is boring. He is too overpowered. (An “allergy” to Kryptonite doesn’t count)
Give me the psychotic mess of Batman, or the alcoholic PTSD-suffering Iron Man. Even Captain America’s moral crisis makes me love him even more.
Good leaders do not fear being vulnerable. They know that doing so actually inspires those that they influence, and can act as a beacon to draw like-minded people. As Dov Baron said on a podcast:-
“That is what leadership has to be today. It has to be that part of you that goes, ‘I can’t say that.’”
You have been helped, supported, inspired, or guided by someone sharing their story. You can have that same impact.
Lets drag those weaknesses out in to the open, and let them fry in the sunlight.