Is vulnerability the secret weapon of success?
Once upon a time I was really afraid. Afraid of putting myself out there. Afraid of how people would react. Afraid of vulnerability.
As soon as things got uncomfortable or scary my first reaction was to run away. Could I have been running away from what I was supposed to be running towards? Is vulnerability the secret weapon of success?
There’s a few things I know to be true. Being vulnerable is hard for everyone. So for an artist to completely bare their soul and influence their work based on who they are is actually an amazing accomplishment.
Overcoming fear takes courage and all courage means is to do it afraid. So I decided to change and start doing everything afraid.
For the first time I was working towards goals and my fears stopped controlling my decisions. I felt it, learned from it and moved on with new awareness. It took practice, but eventually walking through the fear became a learned habit.
My Vulnerability Story
In the November/December issue of ACS Magazine I wanted to use my story to connect with others. I wanted to use vulnerability to bring people together to share my life in order to reclaim my life — so I shared my story in writing for the first time.
“I was about 28 years old when I started having flashbacks of being sexually abused as a child. I didn’t know if it was true or a dream. I suffered from not knowing what to accept, so I started the process of trauma recovery.”
This is the story that’s been the most difficult to tell. It’s also been the greatest source of connection to others. When I am vulnerable with people our hearts open up, walls break down and real connection happens. Real connection is what I’m after and I believe it’s what we’re starving for.
Vulnerability in Art
I’ve found multiple ways to channel my vulnerability and express the emotions within, but painting art is what I’m called to create.
“Beth uses an intuitive painting process to create expressive work inspired by the energy that is resonated by her inner light. She describes her process as, “painting energy and expressing freedom”, because as a survivor of trauma Beth has found her voice through the process of painting. She uses line and color to paint a story of hope.” – ACS Magazine
In my paintings I want the audience to see that even in our struggle there is always hope. I do this with line in color in particular to show transition between the two with the point of tension representing choice.
For example in Fear Not the black paint represents darkness and the various levels of the gray represent the various levels of struggle. The color which is engulfing the gray tones represents how hope and love can overcome the hurt. For me the work acts as a daily reminder to feel empowered to believe we have the ability to exist in love even when we feel darkness.
Vulnerability in Business
Vulnerability is critical to my business because I coach people to do what I have done — embrace vulnerability, identify the story and connect it to people.
The value of vulnerability is connection — that’s how you grow a network and create momentum. That’s how you create an audience of advocates and make a lasting impact.