I had a realization today. I have a difficult time making (allowing?) myself vulnerable. That’s not the realization though. The reason why I have a hard time with it is because it feels like someone then has power over me. I’m not sure why it feels that way but, it does.
Today, I allowed myself to be vulnerable with someone and, not surprisingly, I was hurt. So, I started thinking about why I was hurt and ended up asking myself a lot of questions. They were questions along the lines of:
- Why does this hurt me?
- Do I care about their opinion and, if so, how much?
- How will I avoid this in the future?
That last question was the tip off there was something up. As a PM I prided myself on mitigating risks. I would think through all the scenarios and mitigate the hell out of them. That’s great for a PM but, it’s not so great as a person. I can’t avoid hurt. It will happen. Previously, I held the belief that I could avoid hurt by shutting out people who hurt me but, that isn’t an effective strategy unless I want to shut a lot of people out and I don’t.
Hurt happens when people you respect or love tell you something you don’t want to hear. It happens when people you know, but may not respect so much, tell you something you don’t want to hear and don’t agree with. That is, you don’t agree with it until you reflect on it some. And that’s where the a-ha moment happened.
I am not comfortable with being vulnerable because of the risk of being hurt through facing something about myself. If I don’t make myself vulnerable, I limit the learning. I don’t have to accept the “gift” the giver is giving. Maybe I should exchange it for something and that may not be what was offered at face value. It could be the gift, the quick hurt, is a gift of reflection time to decide what to accept and what to discard on my journey of becoming a better person.
What does this have to do about being a Scrum Master? It’s about learning and growing so you can help others learn and grow too – even when it’s incredibly uncomfortable and scary.