Embracing Vulnerability and Curiosity: Redefining Personal and Professional Life for Authentic Connections and Balanced Growth
In an effort to be true to my words, I will be more obviously vulnerable. I don’t like showing vulnerability, but I think vulnerability is strength and it makes us human.
Here I am, in this absolutely beautiful cabin, warm and cosy inside facing a snowcapped mountain. At the same time, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness.
Sadness signifies a loss of something or absence of something important.
I don’t know what I’m missing more, friends/social community, or the curiosity of young Lisa.
I think it’s the former, because I could always make friends anywhere in the world when I was younger and travelling. It’s time to reflect on why I lost the courage of curiosity.
I focus all my courageous energy in the companies and professional aspect. To balance this, I reduce curiosity in my social life because it makes me feel safer.
It takes courage to be curious. To step outside of your comfort zone, to embrace vulnerability, to be open to failures. I do all of those, but mainly in the professional setting. I set new directions in the companies, new manifestos of the year, wild plans and strategy to get there. I completely love what I do, I’m totally obsessed, and I’m grateful to do that for a living.
At the same time, because I set my professional environment in an exploratory way, I reduce my courage risk exposure in the social environment. Perhaps it is also to value one’s solitude more than meeting random people. I see value in both thought processes. It’s finding that balance, at the end of the day.
I miss the younger me. I miss the courageous, curious and confident me. If I was at a 100% level then, these days I’m feeling like I’m 20% in my social setting. I return to the same countries, I have routines in place, I limit my social circles significantly to only those that I allow. The wild, carefree and curious me, jumping on rocks and partying with random people took a backseat as I focused those same energy at work.
Law of Conservation of Energy is right, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just moved from one area to another. I moved those curious and courageous energy from my personal and social life to my professional life. And what is left can only sustain me for a conversation or two.
So let me take a moment to grief this fact. I accept that and I am in the midst of updating this system anyway.
I accept that the younger Lisa was a lot more carefree and courageous in social settings
I accept that this happened because those same energy are transferred to the professional setting
I also acknowledge that my personal social life and my professional life need not be so separated
A New System
For the longest time, I am very strict with the divide of my personal and professional life. People go into one of the two buckets. Only 1 person ever has a foot in each bucket. I have a gazillion reasons for that:
Have work-life balance if my life doesn’t talk about work and vice versa
Always be authentic, leaning into various aspects. Like systems and structure in the company or true openness in the personal social life.
Work doesn’t consume me fully and my identity is 90% work
There is some level of reputation in the professional setting, whereas in the social setting, everyone is more equal and I appreciate that
I also read a lot of biographies of great business people, who just focus on work and not personal social life
I have these strict systems in place for the last 5 years, because it allowed me the space and time to process and test the systems out. The cautionary tales of biographies are great as constraints, then I update my system to adjust based on my life.
So I’d say that 5 years is a long time of experimentation. This is a landmark year because this is the year that marks an update in my system thus far. Instead of separating work from social, I will mix them with the intention to build high quality friendships across all environments of my life, whilst always staying authentic with who I am.
I’m really excited for this next adventure. I’ve heard enough cautionary tales to know where my boundaries and constraints lie. And I’ve done enough testing to see them as separate worlds. Time to mix them. I only want to work with people I enjoy working with, and that spans across both professional and personal social environments.
What a beautiful thing, sadness. It gave me a kind reminder to know that the systems I have in place are not working for me anymore.
Everything is good in due time.