I remember watching the first Superman movie. Lois lane is interviewing the hero and he shares the truth that kryptonite is his weakness. It did not dawn on me at that moment how foolish that was. Maybe it was because I had read the comic books and was already aware of his weakness.
Because of this vulnerability Lex Luther was able to take him down for a season, Lois Lane was nearly killed and the world was in danger. Though it would have been a boring movie without that little plot twist I walked away with an important lesson.
Never let anyone know where you are vulnerable. That worked for a season or at least seemed to work. Ultimately though as I have grown up I have come to realize that for real success to take place I must be willing to show where I am vulnerable. Here are 3 reasons why.
Why you should show your vulnerable side
People already know that you are not perfect but they don’t know if you know that or not
Almost all of us suffer with insecurities and fears that people will think that we don’t know how to do our job. Sometimes these are actually based on facts. You cannot know everything and have a ready plan for every situation. All of the people around you don’t even expect that you do. But we spend countless hours afraid that they might find out that we have flaws and that we are not perfect. NEWSFLASH: They already know that you are not perfect.
The person that hired you knew that you were not perfect, the person that married you knew that you were not perfect and even your children know that you are not perfect. What they don’t know though is whether you know it.
When you are vulnerable you get to let people know that you do bleed. You are not a god. You have flaws. Make sure your people know that you know what your flaws are. If you are daring, ask them and see if they match.
Being vulnerable is not about being weak. In fact it takes a courageous person to admit to flaws and imperfections. When we refuse to show our vulnerability we are forced to lie and hide our failures. There is no quarter given to imperfections at any stage of the game. You must hide them and deny them which will require you to lie.
When you want to get honest you will get results. When you get honest you will be able to start seeking help with your weak spots and be encouraged by that growth. Secrets make us sick. Athletes who want to be portrayed as invulnerable will take performance enhancing drugs. Contractors who want to be seen as perfect and on time with every project will cut corners. It is impossible to be honest and not show vulnerability from time to time.
Invite other strengths to offset your weaknesses
When others become aware of your weaknesses; it is amazing how you will be able to see their strengths come to the forefront. Life will take on new meanings and teams will form. Your strengths are needed and will offset someone else’s weaknesses. If we never show all of the cards in our hand we will never have a team that can really come together.
We need each other if we are to accelerate our progress. Additionally when you show your vulnerability you might be able to finally get to the right seat on the right bus within your family or organization. When you show your true self those in charge can more freely see where you are needed and soon you will be in a position that fits your heart better.
My guess is that you are not Superman but pretty close. If you stay in your cape and keep the secret from Lois Lane that you have vulnerabilities you will live a boring life and will never have the degree of success that you were meant to have. Choose to show your weaknesses to a few trusted friends and I am betting that they will trust you even more.