6. Vulnerability is strength in disguise.

Playing Truth or Dare back in the ‘80s was one of my first recollections of being vulnerable. Gulp. If I just stuck with my more commonplace truths like “I like medium-rare steak” or “I’ve been thrown off a bucking horse,” people would easily guess the half-truth dare I shared. Would people believe me if I told them I’ve been a cemetery caretaker or I’ve eaten alligator?

Being vulnerable in everyday life is not an icebreaker game of I dare you to tell the truth. When you’re pressed thin during trying times, it may be hard to open up to others. Sometimes it feels best to withdraw inward when life caves in from the outward. Other times you may need to ease up on your defenses and just risk the truth being told.

Being authentically honest is part of your bending process. You learn to flex and let things roll off your back. You invite trusted comrades into your story, your secrets, your shortcomings. You share back-and-forth conversations about how you’ll try a different path next time or you exchange kudos for moving forward without dragging around “stuff” that is not meant to be in your travel bags.

Your vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but of courage and steadiness. When you step up in vulnerability, you step out as power-FULL not power-LESS. Vulnerability is your strength in disguise. Is it time to discard your mask and your weapons of self-protection?

I’ll go first. I have flown a Cessna 120 airplane. I have attended “Swan Lake” in the Bolshoi Theatre. I have eaten squirrel and snake meat. Gulp. (Which one of these is a dare half-truth?)