We care what people think about us. We all do in one way or another. I’ll be one of the first to tell you that, I don’t care what people think about me. That is generally true. What you have to say about my clothes, my taste in music or my decision-making, is usually of little consequence to me. I tend to look for what I can learn from your words. If I can’t find anything, I disregard. That may not be the best way to do things but it’s me. I’m still growing.
I, however, like most, would prefer keep my vulnerabilities under wraps. No one, not even Superman, wants his or her vulnerabilities to be common knowledge. People would use that against you. Only a gullible dork would start outing their weaknesses like that. So I decided to do just that! I mean, I’m not a dork (I think) or anything but, sometimes, you just have to take one for the team! Heck, I guess I decided to do that when I started writing for etinspires.com. You can always go back and check them out when you’re ready.
I recently decided to be open with a friend of mine about some discouragement she was feeling. I told her about my failings and where my hope and determination came from. I told her about the people I was hanging out with to change my situation. I told her about how painful it was to try and try just to fail twice over. Then I told her about the encouragement I got from the people I had placed in my life. I told her about how it changed me and made me want to strive for more.
When we finished speaking and I left, I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do or if it had made much of a difference. I saw her again today. She had a bright smile on her face and told me that she had spoken to someone and made moves to begin her change.
I know I’m not giving too much in the way of details. I don’t mind spreading my business, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
Anyway, I’m not the first person to think like this. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been exposed on numerous occasions to Eric Thomas. He has been vocal enough about his past shortcomings (unless you think he was bragging when he told the world about being a high school drop out and taking 12 years to finish undergrad). And what was the result? He was and is able to inspire millions of people. Not only has he been an inspiration to the high school dropouts, but also to the college dropouts, the habitual students, the employees, the executives, and the successful athletes!
People, the world over, identify with him and unite with him in their shared cause. When he finished his PhD in Education, those same people celebrated with him and could finally see the limitations on their lives disappear!
I am by no means Eric Thomas…or should I say, “Dr. Eric Thomas” but, I have my own story with my own pains, my own failures, and my own triumphs. I can’t speak to the high school dropouts, but I can speak to someone; and so can you.
Never underestimate the power of your story to change the lives of others. You may find that many people have the same problems you’ve had and they need your words. You may be just the person to change their future.
And here’s the hardest (and the best) part: Don’t wait until you’ve overcome your issues to share them. If you can share your failures before you’ve broken through, you share them in the midst of your vulnerability and humanness. You share the complete truth of the experience. And when you finally get your breakthrough, your testimony will be so much more real. It will touch the deepest recesses of the soul in a way you could never imagine. It will let in the light of hope and strength for everyone who shared in your pain and, inspire them for a lifetime.
I’m excited about the time when you guys can share my triumph with me. I’ll see you at the top.