Sunday, January 13, 2019

2eros Swimwear

"There has to be an element of danger and risk to putting yourself out there and being vulnerable, whether its: in business, in art, in friendships or relationships" - Stefani Germanotta

We've all been here: you know that watershed moment when you're about to say something you really want to, or you're really wanting to introduce yourself to someone - but you shy away. At these times, we are used to looking down at our phone or any other way to seem distracted and indifferent.

Thereafter, its just you, alone in your head, basking in the unpleasant and sad solitude of what could have been, which for now has slipped away. And why do we do this to ourselves?

Well, our brains are computing what may be gained and what may be lost. I know you are scared of having your thoughts and ideas shut down or you think you might garner a bad reaction from someone - and I have the same fear - but is that really a tangible loss for us?

Think about it, if you were to share an idea or reach out to someone, and they were to shut that idea or you down, then that idea or connection for that moment was never meant to be anyway, right? Yes, you get that bad feeling for a moment, but there is no material loss to your life. You don't lose anything in giving for a moment.

I was so conditioned to hating even the thought of this feeling of failure or rejection that I never tried to speak up or reach out to people. That is why for 22 out of the 25 years of my life, absolutely nothing happened. And I would think my life to that point would have been an absolute waste of time, if not for the lesson it taught me to dare to be hurt.

So how do we work against this internalised form of anxiety? Well if you look at how they clinically treat anxiety, therapists subject patients to what they call exposure therapy - which is the exposure of the patient in a controlled environment to what gives them the anxiety in the first place. Over time, they are conditioned to believe that their imagined fear is actually less of a real danger to them in reality - to the point that it becomes bearable and hopefully in the long run is no longer a danger at all.

For me, I took baby steps and first started to just make friends with people online, then I slowly moved on to growing friendships and being vocal with just the closest friends that I really really trusted. I'm still working on it now, and sometimes still have a hard time, but over time I developed the ability to push through the fear - and dare to be hurt.

And I say dare to be hurt, moreso than dare to be vulnerable, because is includes the recognition that you truly expect that it's going to hurt sometimes - people are always going to hurt and reject you no matter who you are - I get it all the time. So for that moment when we feel rejected, we don't let that be a surprise because we were prepared for it and we let it build our emotional callous so we are even more vulnerable and powerful for the next time.

2eros Swimwear

So if we have nothing to lose, so what is to be gained? Well what can be gained can be tangible, life-changing and has no limits. I am so grateful for the amount of lifelong friends I have connected with, that started from a really small moment of pushing myself to be vulnerable before them, and I want people in my life that respond lovingly to other's vulnerabilities - so these friendships for me feel like a match made in heaven. 

I actually had a really good friend on the scene, who I always thought was a bit uncool for being so open and free with people, but one day I looked at him, and he had so many more friends and was so much happier than I, and I thought, I would rather be this way too, even though it might not feel cool and exclusive.

At times, I thought I was the strong one by building up a hard and bitchy exterior to those around me. In hindsight though, it was actually a lot easier and weaker to look cool and indifferent to others, as opposed to now being strong enough to open myself up to others, and put my heart on my sleeve in the hope of connection.

For myself, unrequited love, is just as valid as mutual love. It's like before I wouldn't follow and like someone's photos, if they didn't do that back. Now, I will follow and like what you do because I want to, and I don't need you reciprocating this love to be a prerequisite for me giving you my love. 

I also cannot count the number of times, I have mentioned an idea, and someone around has the answers or knows someone that has the answer - true story, one time I said I was interested in some type of men's fashion pursuit and the person I was speaking to casually said, "Hey, I know the editor of GQ Australia, let me know if you need an intro."

My quick tips:
1. If you want to speak to someone, and you're in that precipice moment between moving on and backing out, dare to do it, it may change your life - you might even meet a lifelong friend or partner. 

2. Don't be scared to look others (even passersby) in the eye (though this might be rude in the UK!)

3. If you have a great idea, tell people about it, and start working on it within two weeks.

4. If you are unconfident, try making friends online or with people you really really trust first

Your life will change in the most exciting ways - I promise. And if for a moment you are hurt, know that I hurt too, and we relish and enjoy in our spirit that has so many ideas and so much love to give - because ultimately for our lives, we know regret hurts more than rejection.

Will you dare to be hurt?

And if you're really interested, I want to share my inspiration. First is a TedTalk that details isolation being the biggest dream killer, not your attitude - other people will open your life up to achieving your dreams. Also check out Tudor x Gaga's Born To Dare campaign.

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  1. ty for sharing and love seeing that the bottom where the inspiration comes from. good to see the way you tick

    1. Thanks for the nice comment, and for reading the extra bit too!

  2. I needed this. Thank you. You're such an eloquent writer.

  3. Sounds like someone is love struck?

    1. Noooo, that's not what this is about! Haha

  4. This speaks to me. I'm working on allowing myself to be more vulnerable and allow myself to be hurt. It is difficult and something I have programmed myself to avoid. Even yesterday I saw a cute guy at the bar and I couldn't bring myself to go up to him and say hello, even with my friends edging me on. Baby steps. Thanks for sharing, Jono.


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