The Story We Are Most Afraid Of Sharing Is The Story We Need To Share The Most

by Michael Simmons on Apr 4, 2013

I’ve had the fortune of building deep relationships with many of the country’s top young entrepreneurs. At the same time, I’ve consumed thousands of hours of entrepreneurship content.

What I see is a huge gap.

The gap is between the reality of people’s human experience and the distillation of that experience into polished lessons learned.

What’s removed is vulnerability.

What’s left is the entrepreneurs carrying a heavy burden they think they need to carry, but actually don’t. What’s left is an audience who thinks entrepreneurship is unachievable, because the people successful at it seem to have everything put together on the inside and outside.

More than ever, I have seen what I’ve been holding back, and I’ve been learning to share it. These past few months have been some of the most liberating in my life. For the first time, I feel like I have my own unique voice that I can own.

A lot of fears come up when we’re vulnerable.

We fear what other people will think of us. Will they stop doing business with us? Will they lose respect? Will we lose friendships?

What I’ve clearly seen is that these fears are more about our own judgements of ourselves than what other people actually will think.

“I fear that others will judge me if they know xyz about me.” is really, “I judge myself about xyz.”

The only way to understand the emotional weights we carry is to be free of them. In letting go of these weights, we not only liberate ourselves, we liberate others. We gain a new perspective on the world that allows us to forgive and accept those we judged. People gain a new perspective on us that allows us to deeply connect with them.

There is a line though. By being more open, we risk going beyond it as we find our voice. However, the risks of going too far are minuscule compared to not going far enough.

People value authenticity. What we think is our unique insecurity is a core human experience that every single person alive can relate to. While they may not be able to relate to the exact story, they will always be able to relate to the feelings underlying the story if the story is told well.

The value of being able to deeply connect with other people in our personal and professional lives is profound. It is a core part of what we’re wired for as human beings, and if we don’t allow ourselves to experience this, we’ll never know what we missed.


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…