Subscribe To The Personal Growth Newsletter
Get your daily dose of improving yourself for the better in your inbox everyday!

What I Learned The Day I Bared My Soul

Recently I went to a conference designed for business leaders and entrepreneurs. I was mostly hoping to make some new contacts. I got far more than I bargained for.

The conference speakers had a very hands-on, interactive approach. During almost every session, he would get audience feedback and participation. His favorite method was to elicit reactions from individual attendees after certain talks or workshops, and then drill into their true emotions with harder and harder questions.

I can speak to the challenging nature of these questions, because I experienced them personally.

We had just completed a fun and engaging networking activity, possibly the best I’ve ever taken part in. He asked for reactions afterwards, and I raised my hand to speak. All I was going to say was that I enjoyed it, right? How scary could his questions possibly get?

Plenty scary, apparently. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “This was such a fun networking activity! I really enjoyed it.”
Speaker: “Do you not normally enjoy networking?”
Me: “No, I don’t usually like selling myself.”
Speaker: “It sounds like there’s some fear there, like you’re not confident in what you’re offering your clients.”

Boom. Within seconds, he had touched on some of my deepest insecurities. And we weren’t even in a 1-on-1 meeting – I was being interrogated in front of hundreds of people I had never even met before. I wanted to crawl into my skin and hide forever. I found myself sternly muttering “don’t cry, don’t cry” under my breath. I couldn’t let him see how much his words had affected me.

I suppose at this point I should make a few caveats. He was not trying to hurt me. For the most part, he was trying to empower me to push through my fears by bringing them into the light. And the reasons he gave certainly weren’t the only reason I don’t like networking. Mostly, I just don’t think I’m very good at it. Nevertheless, he touched an incredibly sensitive nerve, one that I would much rather have preferred stayed hidden.

The interrogation finally ended. I gave up the mic, sat back down in my seat, and swore to never volunteer another answer while at this particular conference.

However, something amazing and unexpected happened after that session ended.

I started having people come up to me, people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Some of them thanked me for having the courage to be vulnerable. A few confided that they struggled with similar fears. Several asked me for my card, saying that they were interested in my services. Not a single one berated me or put me down.

I learned an important lesson that day.

It’s so easy to convince ourselves that people won’t listen to us if we don’t have everything together. That we have to be perfect before we’re worthy of sharing our experiences and wisdom. But who wants to listen to someone who’s never made a mistake, never struggles with anything? That’s an impossible and intimidating goal to aspire to.

what-i-learned-the-day-i-bared-my-soul-pinA far better role model is someone who has experienced the same struggles as you. Someone who understands your trials and fears, and can help you because they’ve been there.

Being vulnerable has the added benefit of setting you free from your own personal expectations. If I had kept silent at that conference, I would never have experienced the healing release that comes from being honest about who you are – and accepted as you are. I would have stayed locked in my bubble, afraid to be real out of fear of what people would think about me.

It’s true that I didn’t choose to be vulnerable on my own volition. It was kind of forced on me by the conference speaker. But I’m so glad he did.

What secret vulnerability have you been keeping under lock and key? It’s time to let it out. It’s time to let yourself be free to be you, and free to help others.

Table Of Contents

Katherine Hurst
By Lauren Meeks
Lauren Meeks is an avid traveler, writer, and life coach. She believes that everyone has a story and the potential for a life worth living, as she’s passionate about helping people live the best life possible. To put it simply, to help them forge their own significance. Lauren's mission is to help everyone realize the value of their own life and experiences, while at the same time learning to appreciate those of the people around them.

Join the Conversation

Personal Growth logo
Daily personal growth affirmations, words of wisdom and articles sent straight to your inbox every day...
© 2012-2023 | Greater Minds Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Personal Growth is for informational purpose only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content and images found on may not be reproduced or distributed, unless permitted in writing by Greater Minds Ltd.