Vulnerability takes Courage.
I recently found out that a close friend of mine lost most of his life savings. He thought he could time the stock market and banked on some obscure shares to increase multiple folds. Unfortunately, it went the other way around and he lost everything. When we finally met, he told me that he was on the verge of suicide and didn’t know what to do. This was more than a year ago and luckily, he managed to pull himself together.
I asked him why he didn’t reach out to anyone, including me. He said that it has been so long that he did not reach out for help to others that he has “lost the ability to ask for help”.
Upon further reflection, I realize that opening up to others requires courage too. Many people – especially alpha men like me who are used to leading – hate the idea of being needy. They think that they do not want to burden others with their problems, knowing that everyone has their own issues to deal with in their lives, especially in these tumultuous times.
Courage is demonstrated not only when you step up and lead in times of difficulty. It is also shown when you fail and acknowledge your frailty. It is an even stronger sign of courage when you show your vulnerability and openly admit that you also need assistance to overcome the difficulties of life.
In my mental toughness workshop, I tell my students to identify the 4 levels of their Circle of Support. They are 1) Family & Friends 2) People in Your Community 3) Paid Support 4) Wider Society. It is vital to identify them beforehand because when a challenge comes, it can hit you like a brick and derail your ability to seek support.
Spend a little bit of time thinking about this, and you will be much more prepared to face the challenge, however big it may be.