I get asked all the time: “Debora is it safe to be vulnerable and share my story? Will it diminish my credibility?” Vulnerability is one of the most potent ways to connect to your audience deeply. I want to make a distinction though. Vulnerability is not about sharing your story only, but about how you share it and how much or little you refer to the emotions and feelings involved in the story.

You could share a story as a series of cold facts or a chronicle that has nothing to do with vulnerability. Vulnerability is a more in-depth way of sharing stories, a combination of challenges and struggles someone has faced in their life. People, especially people in business, believe that sharing vulnerability is weak and can diminish their authority and credibility. The opposite is true. 

Being vulnerable, sharing your stories, struggles, and challenges are genuinely empowering for yourself and the readers and a real act of courage. When you can see someone’s vulnerability, you instantly build a deeper connection to them, first of all, because you start seeing them as real people precisely as you are. 

There is no single person on this planet that does not go through challenges and struggles during their lifetime, from CEO to ministers, from nurses to famous actors. Feeling vulnerable is another emotion that needs to be accepted and deeply honoured.

Everybody has vulnerabilities

I want to bring this to your attention. Imagine connecting to two people who are both confidence coaches. The first one talks about his shiny diploma from the University of confidence coaching. The second person shares a story of how he has overcome the most profound challenges to find the confidence to speak on stage for the first time and now travel the world to motivate people. Which one would be more credible to your eyes, and which one would you feel closer to? I bet the second one. 

Your stories and your vulnerabilities are what will qualify you, your gifts and expertise in the eyes of your audience. Entrepreneurs and business owners often sell tangible results; imagine if they sell these results through their journey. How more credible this would be?

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

How to share your vulnerabilities the right way

We have established that vulnerability is empowering and courageous, so now the question is  “How to share it the right way?” For vulnerability to be empowering and motivating, it must be shared from a victorious point and not from a victim one. 

You would not want to share a vulnerable story to get pity or approval or to offload anger and frustration for something that has negatively impacted you. At first, because we always find gold at a later stage. Gold being the blessings, opportunities and learnings we receive from it. 

You would want to share your story from the victorious side, making sure to deliver the learnings and the lessons and a powerful motivating message at the end for your readers.

Always ask yourself: “Why would I want to share this particularly vulnerable story? What inspiring message do I want to deliver with it? “

The final message is critical in any story or piece of vulnerability you share. The message and its inspiration are why it is paramount to share the story in the first place. What about if you still feel vulnerable and you are not entirely out of the story?  You can still share your vulnerability from the same place as above. You can share the learnings and the awareness you have around it. The actions you are taking to motivate yourself and remain optimistic.

“What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.” – Brené Brown

Sharing my own vulnerabilities

A while back, I organised my first big women conference, and throughout the process, I felt very vulnerable. I doubted myself. I doubted my ability to fill the room, and I questioned whether I was good enough. I could have hidden my fears and vulnerability, but I decided to go public with it and deeply share how I felt from a victorious place. 

I shared my fears. I shared how my mind was trying to play with me every day and convinced me that I was not up for the job. Many people related to this. Who doesn’t struggle with their mind and ego every single day? I acknowledged the fight with my fears and doubts, and I also recognised the massive strength and determination I had to overcome this and do it anyway. 

What I shared was truly empowering for my readers and me, and it brought them closer to me and my conference.

Our stories do not belong to us. Imagine them being the instruments to help you find your life path and purpose. We live our stories for a bigger purpose. Hence sharing them becomes a positive mission, not something to fear.

Read more: addicted2success.com

If you want to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, you’d better start working smart. Work defines the man. For me, work means personal power. The power to change material aspects, to achieve goals, fulfill dreams, and contribute to the greater good. Work is a sacred activity, yet most of us perceive it as hard and often terrifying. In today’s post, I’m sharing several insightful tips that should help you work smarter instead of harder. Don’t get me wrong – both hard and smart are key components for generating impressive results, so don’t try to “skip” your work but rather accept it and adopt it.

Here are 9 ways you can work smarter today:
1. Mind, Body, Spirit

Most individuals will choose to believe that their poor results come as a result of one or two causes. In fact, you can never blame just two or three causes for an event because there are usually much more. I believe that in order to reach success, you must cultivate a mind-body-spirit balance.

What does this mean? It means that you don’t focus only on healthy eating but you also focus on constructive reading and learning. You also meditate, focus, and reflect upon life from a “higher perspective”. Simply put, you don’t neglect your physical needs, your intellectual needs, and your spiritual needs as they are all critically important!

2. Pay Close Attention to Distractions

What are distractions? Well, to me, a distraction is the end of my productivity. Whenever I sit focused for an hour without allowing anything to disturb me, my attention constantly increases. The moment I let my mind wander, I immediately start to feel like there is a struggle to get back on track. To deliver awesome results, you must completely eliminate distractions while you work. Be smart and learn to say “no.”

3. Introspections are Key

Introspections are definitely great “tools” for everyone who’s struggling with their schedule, calendar, or with the control of the actions they must handle. Every week, I’d suggest you sit in silence for 30 minutes and simply do nothing. Once your mind is clear and ready for action, start assessing your last week and observe what happened. Note the good causal factors and the bad ones. Repeat the good and eliminate the bad next week!

“The key to happiness is really progress and growth and constantly working on yourself and developing something.” – Lewis Howes

4. Planning Will Make You Successful

If you know how to plan your life, the unexpected will mostly bring pleasure. We often feel stressed, angry, or frustrated because things have managed to get out of our control. Therefore, instead of seeking the solution, we often focus on the problem. Planning is your best way to build a stable roadmap that you can hold on to. Whenever you slip, your notes will bring you back where “you must be.”

5. Find Out Your “Best Working Hours”

Every professional works differently. If you expect to get the same results as your neighbor following his own formula, you shouldn’t be surprised if the result is totally different. In order to find out your “best working hours,” meaning the hours that are most favorable to your working habits, you must start studying yourself. Your body has its habits, and you must be very careful when reading its signals.

Start experimenting. Try 5AM one week, 6AM the next one, try a different sleeping schedule the next week and keep doing it until you’re satisfied with your energy, results, and quality of focus. Obviously, don’t forget that it’s not just the hour that makes work smart, it’s mostly you!

6. Be Sovereign

Being sovereign means to be in control of your internal kingdom. If your thoughts, emotions, and actions are synchronized and aligned, the world you will experience will be a “heaven on earth.” In fact, there is a theory that “heaven” is simply the state of joy, bliss, and love that one manages to develop throughout life. When you feel at peace, your work will not feel like an obligation but rather like a moral responsibility that you genuinely and quickly want to approach.

7. Be Consistent

Success doesn’t come easy, so if you’re not ready to stay consistent throughout your journey, you should develop no expectations. When you look at a successful person on TV, you’re only observing the surface. Step back for a second and consider this: how many hours of hustle, work, frustrations, disappointments, and pain did that person go through? You must have heard of Thomas Edison’s story with the lightbulb – failing hundreds of times before actually succeeding. Take his behavior as an example and apply it in your work.

8. Be Confident

Confidence will take you far in life but only if you balance it with humbleness. Being confident and humble at the same time isn’t rocket science. If you want to prove something, a skill, an idea, or anything you believe is worth mentioning, be confident and take your chances immediately.

9. Consistently Improve Your Skills

Do you want to be a more valuable employee or a better-skilled entrepreneur? Imagine this: how can a football player become better if not through consistent practice? How could he become the best player in the world if not through practice, consistency, and continuous growth? The answer is simple – unless he truly works and cares for it, he will never reach that goal. Although some talent is needed too, talent can be surpassed by both hard and smart work.

“You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting.” – John Addison

If you’re looking for a lasting change in your life, you’d better point your attention to what sits “within.” Your internal world shapes your external world no matter what. Start educating yourself and you’ll see that work becomes play and play will become art. Anything that’s holding you back is simply present because you must overcome it. We all create challenges in our lives, and we can all decide to remove them when we truly care enough!

Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to get more work done in less time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read more: addicted2success.com