Yesterday, while working out loud in a community I shared how hard I found it to blog when I started. I didn’t have confidence in my ideas or my writing style. I assumed nobody was interested in what I had to say. My expertise sat mostly silent.
I also shared that my three habits of working out loud was the discipline to make me write each day. As I sat down to my first coffee, as I do now, I write my post. I publish at the end. That discipline helped me to prepare, to learn and to grow in confidence.
Describing my process was interesting to people. Far more valuable was me describing my doubts and concerns, the issues I faced and how I tackled them. That helped people close the gap between their own experience of doubt and mine. That’s far more likely to foster learning and new action. Melanie Hohertz wrote an amazing insightful & vulnerable new post inspired by that exchange.
On Linkedin, Rohan Light described my sharing of the rather difficult process to my #cmidisrupt talk as a hero’s journey. I hadn’t seen the parallels to Joseph Campbell’s work until he said it. I wasn’t trying to be heroic just sharing that good outcomes come from difficult processes. What this reminds me is that there’s a hero’s journey in all our work as we do battle with the underworld, need the help of others, pass points of no return and eventually reach our destination. Sharing that whole journey with others is what makes a work story engaging, encouraging and useful.
There is always a moment of vulnerability when we share our work. It won’t go away no matter how expert we are. Rather than pretend it is not there, wrap that vulnerability into the sharing. Make your vulnerability transparent and it moves from a hidden weakness to authenticity and a strength of your work.