“Be strong” is something that is often drilled into us from a young age; however, there is also strength in vulnerability. I’m a private person and don’t like to show any weakness or vulnerability. By fundraising to receive a race number for the marathon I had to solicit donations and thus tell others that I was training and running a marathon. I felt very exposed. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I didn’t finish? What if I never got to the starting line? Everyone would know my failure. I was really putting myself out there.
I felt physically and emotionally vulnerable. I thought about what I looked like when I was running, who would see me, what they would think. At the beginning I preferred to run on a bike path a few towns over. I didn’t have to worry about who I would see or cars going by. But I had to drive to the bike path to then run and then drive home.
Once I embraced being vulnerable it was freeing. Instead of running on the bike path, I headed out my door, ran in my neighborhood and throughout my town, from one end to the other. I felt like I ran down every street in town. I was willing to look bad, embarrassed, or stupid, rather than give up moving forward in my journey. I also wanted to show my two children that it is ok to try something new that may be out of your reach. When you stretch yourself is how you gain confidence.
In law school, you may feel vulnerable as you learn to think, write, and speak in a different way as a novice to the legal field. For example, when called in during class, when the professor uses the Socratic method to pose hypotheticals to you, you may feel very exposed. Standing up to give an oral argument in moot court is another example of when you could feel vulnerable.
The times that I have achieved the most were the times I really put myself out there and took a risk. If you let go and take a risk the reward may be great. Do not avoid being vulnerable or you may miss out on something amazing. “[You] cannot discover new oceans unless [you have] the courage to lose sight of the shore.”