What a crazy start to 2021. I thought 2020 was rough, right? But here we are. I’ve been thinking about what to talk about today, because there’s a lot going on in the world. A lot in the news, obviously. Just so many ways to go about it! But really, what I thought about was vulnerability.
The Black Ball
So today, we’re going to talk about vulnerability. Quick story time. I am doing a six to twelve week self-improvement course with a guy named Simon Lovell. Simon is the author who wrote The Black Ball and he was also on the podcast, a handful of episodes ago. I kept in touch with him, ended up joining this course, and reading his book (but not in that specific order). He’s really been helping me a lot with what he’s been teaching.
There are six stages in this course. One of the recent assignments to get out of stage two is you basically have to announce a story that was hard for you to do on public or in public. And I was honestly sitting there for, I want to say two days, or three days at least, saying “This is dumb, I’m not going to do this. What the heck is the point? Yada, yada, yada.”
Then I realized, “Oh, I need to do this realistically to get on to the next stage.” Simon says it’s important. What he’s told me is good so far. So I’m like, what the heck, I’ll just go through the motions and get it done. When I went ahead and went live on Facebook, if you want to go over to my Facebook page, you can see it. It’s a two and a half to three minute video, something like that. I told a story. So I’ll tell the story again, and then I’ll talk to you about the fallout here.
I was in fourth grade then.
So here’s the story. Picture this: I’m in fourth grade, we’re learning long division in class. There’s 20 or so kids in the class, and teachers of course are asking for people to raise their hands. So I did. Being eager and kind of thinking I could do it, I was like, “Oh, yeah, this is an easy one. I can do this one,” is what I said before I started going through the question. I got a step or two in, then I got stuck.
I don’t think it was that I didn’t know how to do it. It’s just took me a second. But that’s not the point. Because of course, there’s one kid in class who needs to be the clown and make fun of somebody to make himself feel better. So he’s like, weIl, “I thought you said this was easy.” The whole class laughs and that was fourth grade.
Until recently, that has been a story that has stuck with me that put me in a place to search for the right answer before I raised my hand. That’s what I learned from that. In my athletic career, in my life, in my personal life, in my business, that has been a guiding thing that has happened.
Finally letting it go.
Now, through some of the meditations and some of the other work that I’ve been doing in this course I have gone full circle on that story and really seriously let it go. But I haven’t talked about it a lot. This is now the second very public place that I’m talking about this story in detail like this. And the first one was that Facebook live that I did a couple of days ago.
So where are we going with this? What I learned wasn’t so much that like there was a release, or that I let it go as part of being vulnerable. Although, it did change it, it did lose a little bit more power. But most of that part happened kind of internally for me.
I did not expect this at all.
However, what I found was, when I went public with this story, I thought not that many people will watch it, or people would be like, “that’s kind of weird.”
But almost everybody I know, people from all different parts of my life, some of whom I haven’t talked to in years, or we just kind of casually stayed in touch, reached out, either privately or publicly in the comments and were like, “That’s awesome, great job for continuing to do this work!”
You know, I had even someone reach out to me and ask, “What courses are you taking? I’m really looking at something like this for myself. Like, can can we talk about what you’re doing?” You know, just positive, positive stuff left, right, and center.
That was really unexpected for me. I say that very sincerely, I was not expecting a reaction out of it. I was I was just trying to do it to go through the motions. But now that I did, I’ve now connected with all these other people in a way that was authentic and real. I think that video, I don’t know, I have 2000 Facebook friends of which I’m sure I know, less than half, or about half, or somewhere in there. You know how it is on Facebook. But I have almost 500 views on that video, which is insane.
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a view of Facebook Live, let alone anything I really post on Facebook get that much reach. But it was because it was vulnerable and authentic. And that was fascinating to me. And so that was very, frankly, very scary.
It’s okay to be vulnerable.
Later on down the line here in the next couple of episodes, you’re going to hear from my buddy Greg Rice, who has the Art of Communication podcast. He’s really big into teaching people how to communicate more effectively. And one of the things that we talked about on the interview I did with him was being vulnerable, and how he had a moment in a sales situation where he got vulnerable with the guy on the other side of the table, and they connected over it. It then kind of broke some barriers down and he ultimately won the deal even though at the time, he was kind of on the verge of getting fired.
He just kind of like, forget it, I’m just going to be authentic and not trying, you know, force an outcome here. And it worked. And in my case, same thing, I wasn’t trying to sell anything in this particular situation, but I got vulnerable, I got authentic. And I’ve now feel like I’ve had a way more genuine connection with a ton of people in my in my circle in my world that I didn’t have before.
Additionally, I hope that a lot of those people also kind of thought through their own lives and, and were like, “Where’s some area where I felt something similar?” And I don’t know, maybe there’s going to be a butterfly effect here that I’m never going to know about. But either way, it’s been incredibly positive.
Vulnerability can make an impact.
So this is Monday motivation. The whole point is for you to have a little nugget, a little thought an anecdote, a story that you can sort of roll around in your mind to think about, and maybe apply to yourself. Or maybe not, it depends on your situation, obviously. But with vulnerability, that’s the one thing where you probably make an impact, with all the crazy stuff that’s going on in the world. You know, where can you bring some vulnerability in to your own life, maybe privately, maybe publicly, and make a positive impact. It can just be on you. It can be on your friends, your significant other your family, name it.
But what I can tell you is especially when there’s all this hate in the news, there’s all this negativity. Everyone is coming off this hangover of 2020 and we all think 2021 is going to be great. But here we are still in it. What kind of vulnerability and authenticity could you bring to your week, to your engagements, to your friendships, that would bring a positive change to somebody even if it’s small? Because that is honestly something that I think, will make a huge difference.
Take that brave first step.
Now, disclaimer, you have to be brave. You have to take that step, first leap, off the edge, of the cliff, and trust that you’re going to fly your parachute open right in. That’s the hard part and that’s maybe the leadership thing and what Simon calls as a leadership activity.
You have to be the first one to go. You have to initiate. For me, I had to press the button to go live on Facebook and start talking. No one else was going to hear that story until I did that. But once I did, they heard it and resonated with it well. So that is an opportunity for you to figure out where you can be a leader in your own life.
Honestly, taking that brave first step is a big part of being a leader– taking a stand, doing something like that, it’s absolutely scary. Frankly, I put it off for three days. Then it turned out so positive. I’m glad I did it. It was just sort of silly that I did, but nonetheless, I did.
And so, you know, this isn’t something that you’re going to do and it’s going to be easy and no big deal. It’s going to be something that is going to be challenging. You’re going to have to like, white knuckle yourself to get going, but that’s the hardest part. Once you started, it’s a lot easier. If you’re genuine and authentic, and you truly open up even just a little bit, it will come back to you tenfold. I can tell you that from experience now.
So how can you bring some vulnerability into your week, into your life, into your friendships, into your engagements? That’s the Monday motivation message. I hope you enjoyed it.
“If you’re genuine and authentic and you’re truly open up just even a little bit, it will come back to you tenfold.” – Hans Struzyna
“I wasn’t trying to sell anything in that particular situation, but I got vulnerable, I got authentic, and I’ve now felt like I had a way more genuine connection with a ton of people in my circle and my world that I didn’t have before.” – Hans Struzyna
“What kind of vulnerability and authenticity could you bring to your week, to your engagements, to your friendships that would bring a positive change to somebody, even if it’s small. Because that is honestly something that I think will make a huge difference.” – Hans Struzyna
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