The window into next week has opened, but last week’s closing thought is still very much with me. I came across the term, ‘Johari window’ some years ago, and I was amazed to know my blind spots. Vulnerabilities that are not weaknesses. But back then, I had not acknowledged them because I didn’t know they exist. Not to talk of understanding them.
Those considered to be at risk to get a COVID-19 infection are those that are vulnerable or in the high risk group. These are people who are older than 60 years. Or those who have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system.
Medical advise is that if you’re at high risk (vulnerable), know what to do, and take the right actions to protect yourself.
“Jump and take a leap of faith, even if it feels like being pushed off an edge. Be vulnerable, crack open the mask, let a different shade of light into your world.”
The same approach, with a tweak, can be applied to emotional or relational vulnerability. Know what to do, and take the right actions to protect (expose) yourself.
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Vulnerability is suppose to give freedom if we allow ourselves to be open. Else, we shut down opportunity, creativity, innovation and pleasant personal/self discovery.
Many times I have asked myself these two questions. Do I have the courage to crack open the mask? How much of a different shade of light can I allow into my world? A tool once helped me to take some positive steps.
Vulnerabilities Are Not Weaknesses Wherever They Are Boxed
The Johari model was created in 1955 by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. It is a simple tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness. The model is used to help individuals better understand themselves and how they are perceived by others. It can also greatly help mutual understanding between individuals within a group.
Open/Free Area: what is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others.
Blind Spot/ Area: what is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know. Aspects of ourselves we aren’t fully conscious of – our traits, values, actions, idiosyncrasies, habits, feelings, thoughts, etc.
Hidden Area/ avoided self or ‘façade’: what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know.
Unknown Self/ Area: what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others.
The Johari Window Model has questionnaires that can be used on the self discovery journey.
Vulnerabilities Are Not Weaknesses, Imperfections Are Not Dead Ends, Do Not Hide Them
Though there’s a lot of power in vulnerability, the tendency for some is to hide their imperfections. But unless we open up ourselves, we may not likely be opened up to opportunities.
In a Charlotte Weekly interview with Nicole Peternel the CEO of Rein, she said, “People will tell me that they think I have it all together. I’m like ‘oh my gosh if you only knew,’” Peternel continues, “I have all of these things that I also struggle with. I think it’s important that, particularly as women, we know it’s ok that we share those things (that makes us vulnerable). Even if we don’t do it for ourselves, but to allow other women to be able to be comfortable doing (great things) as well.“
Not All Pains Give Gain, But No Pain, No Gain
We’ve all heard the term “No pain, No gain!”, but how true is this statement? Chiropractor’s constantly tell athletes that pain is their body’s way of telling them that something is wrong. It’s like the “check engine” light for the body. The more we ignore it, the worse the injury and dysfunction can become.
When we believe that we are worthy of connection, we are more likely to move towards others. When we lose opportunities, suffer relationship pains and constantly get group’s wrong end of the stick, it’s time to take a pause. The ‘body pain’ is saying something is wrong somewhere, and we have to fix it.
Athletes with a competitive mindset, despite their muscle sprain/strain and pain, may push on since having an injury may result in not being able to play a sport. However, most of the time it’s better to stop playing all together. Time may have come to seek proper care and treatment, than to cause more damage or aggravation of the injury.
Time has come for you to seek proper care and treatment of you. Don’t cause more damage or aggregation to your broken relationships and the weakened you.
Try and dare to connect, vulnerability is a key to close relationships.
Live with a tough heart, live with courage, try out a new ‘what if’. Discover a real you. Make what is unknown to you about yourself, known. Open up the ‘façade’. Let others know the beautiful and wonderful things only you know about yourself. Release, fly and soar!