The biggest risk a leader can take is telling the story of who they are with their whole heart. Also known as vulnerability. When you reveal the junk in your life to others, there is a substantial risk involved.
- Others may disconnect from you. That’s rejection.
- Others may tell others about your situation. That’s painful.
- Others may lecture you. That’s humiliating.
So why take the risk? Answer, So you can experience freedom!
I used several strategies when I didn’t want to open up and talk about the hidden hurts or hang-ups in my life and I got pretty good at it. The most basic and most used tactic was to simply ignore and avoid.
Opening up your life and telling those around you something other than the standard answer to the question “How are you?” isn’t easy, but it is necessary to connect on a deeper level relationally and maintain a healthy level soul-care.
To open up and be authentic, to share your life with a close inner circle of friends, is no doubt difficult. If you have been burned by what you have shared with others, Satan will do what he can to leverage that pain in his unhealthy favor. “Hold it in,” he will whisper. “Don’t share your difficulty with someone else. They will burn you like the last person did.” Lies, lies and more lies. James 5:16 is a far cry from holding it in. This verse tells us, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results."
It’s fairly easy to talk about the weather, sports or today’s headlines; but it’s incredibly difficult to say to someone, “Uh . . . yeah, ummm, I have a problem with lying,” or “I am extremely arrogant and self-centered.” It’s always a possibility that if we open up and share our stuff, the other person or people might say or think, “Geez, you are really messed up. I can’t believe how dysfunctional you are.”
I have never had anyone say that to me, well, not to my face anyway. Sometimes, however, I have seen it in their eyes and body language. But just remember that the secrets you are hiding are most likely equal in number to the secrets of the person sitting next to you. So, if we could all say a collective, “I’ll share my stuff if you share your stuff,” life would be so much richer. Wouldn’t it?
Actually, let me rephrase that, Why don’t we all say, “I’ll share my stuff even if you don’t share your stuff.” Sharing what’s going on inside each of us is a first step to living an abundant life of freedom. So, what’s going on inside you today?
Do you wrestle with the fear of sharing what’s really going on inside?
What step will you take this week that will help you ease out of your comfort zone?
Photo Credit:shutterstock.com Image ID: 62447674 © Vitalii Nesterchuk