Embracing Vulnerability and Growth

In the wise words of Alan Cohen, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” So, from time to time, I make it a point to disconnect from the demands of work and simply let my hair down to relax.

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing just that with friends from my book club. We embarked on a delightful picnic, and amidst the planned activities, the prospect of painting emerged. Watercolors, brushes, and canvases beckoned our creative impulses.

At first, I hesitated, gripped by the fear of my own inexperience. Questions swirled: Where do I even begin? How does the brush feel on the canvas? What if my painting isn’t “good enough”?

While my friends eagerly dipped their brushes into vibrant hues, I found myself seeking refuge in the role of coordinator and discussion anchor, secretly avoiding the challenge of painting.

But then, a realization struck me. How could I, who encourages others to face their fears and reach their full potential, be cowering before a mere brush, paint, and a blank canvas? It was time to hold myself accountable, face my own fears, and embrace the unknown.

I seized the brush and confronted my self-doubt, as symbolized by the blank canvas before me.

From this experience, a valuable lesson emerged: the fear of being perceived as inadequate or unsuccessful often becomes a barrier to realizing our full potential. Imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and the pursuit of perfection can paralyze us, preventing us from taking that crucial step forward. The attachment to outcomes, whether success or failure, can become a suffocating constraint.

I decided to paint, knowing that even if the result was far from perfect, it wouldn’t define me. And so, I took the plunge and created my artwork. To my surprise, my fellow picnickers appreciated my effort, oblivious to the internal struggle I had faced. Their encouragement served as a poignant reminder that sometimes, the greatest obstacle is our own self-doubt.

Ultimately, this experience taught me that it’s better to try and potentially fail than to never try at all. It was a valuable lesson in embracing vulnerability and allowing oneself to grow.

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