|‘There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.’ M. Scott Peck|
A couple of days ago, my acting coach Mark Westbrook published a short blog post about the importance of vulnerability for actors. As Mark says, ‘actors do in public what others do in private’ and for this they have to make themselves vulnerable.
Vulnerability in creating legacy
As I’m always obsessing about creating legacy, I immediately thought about how what Mark was saying also applies to legacy creators. Actors do in public what others do in private, Mark says. Legacy creators take action on what others only dare to dream about.
Even with legacy projects that start in someone’s garage, the legacy creator eventually has to bring their project into the daylight for that project’s potential to be acknowledged and gather momentum. Once this is done, the legacy creator is in a hugely vulnerable position.
Vulnerability when making your legacy project public
Despite years of testing in the comfort and privacy of the garage, there is no guarantee that the project will succeed once it is brought into the public domain. Or the other side of the coin is that the project might be judged as having such huge potential that others will immediately put a huge number of resources into copying and marketing it widely, leaving the legacy creator far behind after years of effort. Either way, the legacy creator is vulnerable to what the outside world will make of their creation.
Of course, some of the biggest fears that make legacy creators feel vulnerable is that others will simply laugh at them for bringing such a pitiful project into the world; that they will see the legacy creators as lacking in the ‘X factor’ necessary to turn their project into a success; that they will judge the legacy creator as lacking in common sense for putting so much effort into something that has no chance of survival. In other words, what legacy creators fear most is that negative judgements will be directed towards them, even more so than towards their project.
In fact, I’d venture to say that it is the feeling of vulnerability arising from the fear of being judged is the biggest reason why some legacy projects are never brought out of the garage, or sometimes are not even brought out of their legacy creators’ heads. They stay inside the mind like braincrack, festering in resentment and unexpressed fears, that often then lead to discouraging others from turning their pipeline dreams into reality.
My own battle with vulnerability
As I’m writing this, I’m realising that I’m writing like an ‘omniescent narrator’ rather than in first person about my own problems with vulnerability. The reason for this is that vulnerability is one of my own biggest hurdles in creating legacy (as well as in acting), and that I’m finding it difficult to write about my own personal experiences about feeling vulnerable in relation to my own legacy projects.
Even writing this blog post about vulnerability is a step forward for me, and making small steps towards accepting vulnerability into my life will eventually make it easier to conquer this particular hurdle.
By the way, going to acting class is another way in which I am gradually becoming more accustomed to feelings of vulnerability. If you are struggling with vulnerability yourself, I’d highly recommend taking acting classes as a way to experience it in a safe environment. This will prepare you for when you will have to deal with vulnerability feelings when they arise as part of making your legacy project public.
What about you?
Do you have any personal experiences of feeling vulnerable you feel brave enough to share here? How are you dealing with feelings of vulnerability in your life? I’d love to read your thoughts, stories, and ideas in the comments section.
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