How Being Vulnerable Provides Opportunity

At the beginning of the week, I was invited on the podcast, The Way It Is with Luca Andolfatto, to discuss the purpose of the Davis Daily blog and my journey to self-improvement. 

One of the topics we touched on was the benefit of being vulnerable. 

Before embarking on this journey to change, I had reached a point of uncertainty in my career. I was uninspired and struggling to connect purpose to my daily work. I knew the time for change was at hand, but I was afraid to make the switch. 

I was comfortable where I was. 

The owners of the business were (and still are) fantastic people, my colleagues were fun to be around, and the customers were easy to serve. But I had pigeonholed myself into a role that I was coming to resent, and I wasn’t following the path of a writer. 

As I said, fear was stopping me from making change. 

The fear of failure was big and bold and staring me straight in the face. I was afraid to step outside of my comfort zone, and I was worried others would judge me if I did. 

I was also scared of making mistakes – and I have made plenty of those over the years. 

But after a series of fortunate events, I made the leap and took a chance. I finally started putting myself out there, with the first step being the Davis Daily blog and filming Your Daily Dose of D. I touched on how the videos came about here if you’re keen to learn more. 

I allowed myself to become vulnerable by trying new things and personal growth quickly followed suit.

I’m still amazed at how fast things happened. In fact, it’s a helpful practice when imposter syndrome creeps up; looking back at how far I’ve come in such a short period of time. I suggest you give it a try. 

Early on (and even now to a degree), the fear of being judged was at the forefront, especially when I discussed personal issues. But more often than not, quite the opposite happened. 

First off, most people don’t care, so the worry of judgement was silly, while the ones who did care applauded my effort and rewarded my potential. Also, the more vulnerable I allowed myself to be, the clearer I saw opportunity and the smoother the road to self-improvement became. 

Not to mention, by building in public, I started to inspire others as well. 

It also made me realize how inspired I am by those willing to take risks and be vulnerable themselves. One such case is Tim Stoddart, entrepreneur and recovering addict. Tim wrote a very personal blog post about how being a drug addict has made him a better entrepreneur. 

His story is incredible and his commitment is undeniable, but it’s his willingness to put himself out there that resonates the most with me. In fact, Tim inspired me to film the video below – he was also the inspiration for this article. 

And his vulnerability encouraged me to share what I’m about to tell you…

My own road to recovery 

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read the thread I posted last week. If not, I opened up about my struggles with smoking weed.

I’ve been a chronic weed smoker for years. It was a big problem.

This pales in comparison to Tim’s battle with addiction or those fighting alcoholism, but I’m not going to shy away from how challenging it’s been for me. I’m also not going to deny how proud I am of myself for kicking the habit

As I write this, I’ve been weed-free for 38 days. 

I know, weed isn’t a hard substance (I can’t help but think of that scene in Half Baked with Bob Saget), so this might not be a big deal to some. Some might even think it’s a bit of a joke.

But it’s a huge accomplishment for me. Because I was an addict – plain and simple.

For 15+ years, I basically smoked everyday, multiple times a day. Like a functioning alcoholic, I got through life well enough. I graduated college on the Dean’s List; I showed up to work and busted my ass off; and I paid my bills on time (for the most part).

But during the pandemic, things started to get out of hand. 

Yes, I kept up with my responsibilities, but my physical health was failing; so was my mental health. Smoking weed and getting high was an escape – it’s how I avoided reality. It was the first thing I did in the morning; the last thing before bed.

You see, I have an addictive personality

This means there is no in between with me. Moderation is next to impossible. If I like something, I dive in head first and will allow myself to drown before getting out. And with weed, I was definitely all in and gasping for air. 

What to learn more about addictive personality traits? Check out this useful resource from Safe Sound Treatment.

That’s no longer the case, and words cannot express how happy I am about being sober. 

I’m clear headed, I have much more energy, and I’m more in tune with the people I love. I’m learning to deal with my emotions, too – I used weed to self-medicate, there’s no doubt. 

Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m officially in recovery now. That’s why I’m sharing this with you: to hold myself accountable and remain on the straight and narrow.

I also hope it inspires you to take control of your life and allow yourself to be vulnerable, too. There are plenty of benefits to doing so.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to preach the straight-edge lifestyle. This is just a reminder that you are in control of your future. Always. 

If you think you can, you can – end of story. 

Thanks for reading, folks.

The Diary of Davis Newsletter.
Photo by Aaron Burden

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