Giving value to other people requires being open to exposing situations. As it is very hard to do that for some of us, I formed a principle that can align our emotions with the desired course of actions: "Considering that I for sure have things to offer to others (take this as a fact), it is my responsibility to actively try to provide value to others. "
[I will be providing this style of summary in each post from now on for folks to get the main idea without reading the rest]
Yesterday I had the hardest, most adult, and honest conversation in my whole life. It revealed a huge area for not just improvement but radical change.
Why do I always say "radical change"? Because certain patterns of behavior in us become continuously ingrained in our thinking through repetition and in order to change that, we need a disruptive action to redirect our behavior into a new way.
It started with the feedback on me being inconsiderate and Nora and I arrived at the understanding that I am not willing to be vulnerable enough to attempt to give value to others. Like sometimes, it’s safer and easier to write a blog than come up to a person and share my ideas with her. That requires real bravery.
I said bravery but actually we need a principle to go by to help us make sure we behave in the desired way.
Like of course I want to be giving value and consideration to people around me. But I’m also too proud to risk a picture of myself being tarnished by seeming silly(like how silly does this sound!) .This exact unwillingness to be vulnerable is preventing me from my potential to provide value to my friends and the world.
I become inconsiderate by assuming that I cannot provide value.
This relates to everyone in different realms. I admire people like Nora for being considerate enough to identify the needs of family and friends to which she can attend by providing value within her power. For others, it might be easier to "give value" in a work-related setting. All of us are facing this question to some extent.
Almost everyone for sure caught themselves saying "Who am I to dare to do this X?"
"Who am I to think that N will enjoy spending time with me and learning from me?"
"Who am I to open a brand and assume that some group of people will give a fuck?"
"insert a question relevant to your sphere here"
There are two things with this.
Each has some value to give to the world (we might have to find ways to express it, polish it up, find the right form, the right audience). That's kind of the point of life: to find a way to provide value to others in a meaningful and fulfilling way leveraging your givens.
Even assuming your value "is not that great/unique/useful", it is still better to assume that you have it because it makes you a better person. Like whatever the fuck you do, if you sort of assuming that it's your responsibility to find that value point of helping others, you will have a directed and continuous reason to polish yourself up in an intentional way. The process itself brings out the best qualities in you to yourself.
So the bottom line principle is:
In order to overcome the fear of exposure to the world and other people and the market, to foster that intentional vulnerability, I need to internalize the fact that it is my responsibility to provide value by sharing my ideas/insights/brands/time/attention/businesses/whatever you do.
Even if telling someone a compliment or critical feedback might expose me to me seeming silly or to the person rejecting the feedback, if I continuously see it as being my responsibility in certain settings, both I, the world, and the person next to me will benefit.
Times and times again I am shaken by how continuous life and work are. Like, it's the same thing, all being your life. So as I am about to launch my e-commerce brand, I think the same idea of readiness to be vulnerable for the sake of providing value is applicable. I need to start testing various designs which will make me vulnerable because "What if they don't like it??????". The process of testing, however, will pinpoint the areas for improvement which will allow me to make a brand that is actually capable of providing real value, and hey, maybe it will make a couple of people happy even before that.