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I recently worked up the courage to do some things that have been sitting on the shelf for a long time due to fear. Jamie used this phrase called a “Vulnerable 10,” quantifying an action from 1-10 in terms of vulnerability/fear intensity.

It’s since made any kind of fear/action more tangible — and easier to step through.

I had two things I wanted to accomplish last week that were a Vulnerable 8 and 9.

The first: wearing leggings and a new style of cardigan I recently got.

The second: wearing high heeled boots (at Pride).

(And a third: posting this)

The leggings or heels aren’t new to me — within the comfort of home.

In public? That’s another story.

Over the years, the nudges have been consistently increasing to wear them outside of that realm of comfort.

To work up the courage to do these Vulnerable 8/9s last week,
I made an agreement with myself:

// I don’t have to wear those leggings in “public” (YET) if I don’t want, but there is one place I do:
// At one of the WCS events I run.

For these 2 particular reasons:

1) The Fort Wayne Westies is filled with incredibly supportive and accepting people. <3 

It’s one of the safest semi-public places I could think of to “dip my toes in the water” of self-expression.

2) I can’t begin to encourage others to be themselves, express authentically, pursue an ambitious/”weird”/personal goal, try something new, put themselves out there — if I’m not willing to do it in front of them first.

I kept my goal and purpose to myself and “just did it” so that I wouldn’t lessen the growth I could extract from the experience.

Very few people commented on any of it, despite what my fear wanted me to expect.

Those Vulnerable 8s and 9s in those communities?
Are now Vulnerable 1s or 2s.

Wearing them outside of inherently supportive communities (e.g., at the store, restaurants) are still high Vulnerability #s, but even those fears are less intense now.

These experiences help to normalize the authentic parts of ourselves we’re too afraid to let be seen.

Thank you to those who have supported and encouraged me on this ‘weird’ journey from the beginning. ;)

What authentic part of yourself, my friend, are you afraid to let others see — if it would liberate you from that fear?