Over the years of pursuing my own dreams, I have encountered many friends who are afraid to go after their dreams – or afraid of admitting they’re going after it, or even worse, they do all the work and just before the big day of the attempt of realizing the dream, they give up. This has always surprised me, what could be the reason? Pressure, fear of failure, fear of judgement from others, lack of self-belief, etc. I think all of these reason are true, but more than that, it’s a lack of courage.
Courage can be defined as the ability to do something that frightens one, or showing a great deal of bravery. You might be wondering what has courage to do with vulnerability; well vulnerability can be defined as the state of being exposed to the possibility of attack, harm or pain.
Do you see that courage is what is necessary to face the vulnerable position to go after one’s dreams? Let me elaborate; in sport we tend to put ourselves in very vulnerable positions quite often. For example, the isolation on a big climb, being alone in TT or a pursuit, or even the daily training we do towards our goals. You are exposing yourself and who you are, all the work you’ve done and your potential as an athlete. You are exposing yourself to criticism, judgement and the doubt from others, based on your performance. People love to do that. Do you see how vulnerable you can become? It’s not only that, by merely admitting you are going after your dreams, have a goals and plan in place; you are opening yourself to this judgement – and you are vulnerable.
“Do what you want, people will judge you anyway”
If you truly want to be a champion; you’ve got to put out yourself out there, and take a risk; you have to have no fear of failure or what others think; you’ve got to believe in yourself; and you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to have courage.
You are a champion because you took a risk and put it all out there, you gave yourself a shot at your dreams; you went after it while most are too afraid too! The result is not the issue; the goal is not the issue; but your journey and who you become chasing it, is what matters. From this you will learn lessons only life can teach you, your mental toughness and self-confidence will improve, and if you can do it again, you will have a better shot at achieving it.
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness, it’s the greatest measure of courage” – Brene Brown
Do you see, vulnerability is not weakness, it’s courage, it’s strength, and it’s absolutely necessary to become a champion!
“Don’t give up, you never know who you might be inspiring.”
Matthew de Freitas