I learned a very valuable lesson when I was in Seminary, and that’s this…
People connect WAY more with our weakness than with our strength.
Up until that point, I was one who tended to share from my strength, always wanting to project confidence and competence. But when I risked it, and began sharing my mess, my struggle, my vulnerability, my fears – WOW, real connection began.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we process our “stuff” with our clients or our audience, but rather that we recognize that in order to truly connect with the people we have the privilege of serving, we share the struggle, the mess, the weakness AS WELL AS the strengths, the lessons learned and the way through.
One more caveat – this probably goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway. We never want to share our ‘mess’ for the “shock and awe factor” – i.e. look how terrible it was, or how bad I had it – this actually serves to disconnect people as they end up not being able to relate to your experience because it is so over the top (I’m guessing we’ve all heard speakers like this before.) One honest question to ask yourself is – Is there any part of me that is still “fascinated” with my mess or that still feels the need for others to know just how bad it was? If so, I would steer clear until you are able to lose your fascination with it.
These suggestions hold true for our writing, our videos, our coaching, our teaching, our speaking – wherever we deliver our message.
Just to be clear… our mess is not ALL of our message. In order to lead and offer hope, we need to also show the way through the mess and show what’s possible on the other side. But our willingness to share the struggle creates the connection and credibility required for our message of transformation and hope to be heard.
What has been your experience in creating connection by sharing your ‘mess’, your struggle, your weakness or vulnerability? And on the flip side – what is the strength that you have gained that has been able to offer hope to others?
I’m so grateful for each of you and for the message you have chosen to bring forth into the world.