Why Vulnerability is Your Greatest Asset on Steemit

in motivation •  last year 

If we want to reap the benefits of authentic relationships, vulnerability is pretty much required.

That’s especially true on steemit, a platform that is all about transparency and candid communication. From my short time here I have learned that integrity, candor, and vulnerability are foundational values within this community.

But what does it mean to be vulnerable?

Art by Phazed

I’ll tell you what it means (to me) to be vulnerable in a moment, but first, here’s what I think most people are looking for:

  1. To have meaning. People want to feel like they are connected to something useful that might make a difference in their lives or the lives of people they know. They want to see how they fit in, and to feel like they have a role to play. Everyone is looking for community! Which brings me to...

  2. Meaningful relationships with others. Everyone craves connection with other people, it’s in our DNA. We especially crave connection with people who have similar values and interests.

  3. To have their voice heard.Everyone has an opinion, and everyone needs a place where they can be heard and engaged. We all need to know that others fully understand the opinions and feelings we are expressing, and even better if they see value in our contributions!

Art by Phazed

Which leads me back to vulnerability. Finally (I know, right?)!

The state of being vulnerable allows you to be open to other people: capable of hearing them, connecting with them, validating their life experience, and fully sharing your own experiences without self judgement or critique. Vulnerability is truly a gift for you and the people you surround yourself with.

Right, but this is steemit. Yea, I know!

On this platform, connection is key. You’re going to read a bajillion articles on this--and I’m here to reinforce it once more--there’s nothing more important than real human connection on this platform. You are your brand. Your brand integrity is your integrity. How you will conduct yourself, and whether you’ll let it all hang out there, is up to you!

To me, being vulnerable is writing about things that might scare me. It’s sharing my art and projects without self-judgement as to whether they’ll be good enough. It’s listening to the opinions and feedback I receive and incorporating it into my work for next time. It’s making friends and stopping back by their sites to see what they’re up to and to support them the same way they support me. Secret: to be clear I’m no expert.

Art by Phazed

Being vulnerable isn’t easy. Maybe I should have said that at the start.

Yesterday I wrote a post about the moment I decided to finally break with a standard day job and go full freelance. It’s been scary! I’ve questioned every day whether I’m ready, or have the skills to build a business on my own without the structure and resources of an organization. I feel...vulnerable. But, I’m pretty good at covering it up and acting profesh.

But I noticed, when I wrote just one sentence in my post about how I was really feeling--that’s what people picked up on in the comments: they responded to my vulnerability! And, the post blew up with votes and payout!

Creating a vulnerable space for creativity and engagement on your blog won’t be easy. It will take personal energy and investment because you’ll be putting you--the real you--out there on the line. But it will be worth it. Give it a shot, and see what happens!

In vulnerability,

Lily (@lilyraabe)

Art by Phazed

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Oh wow your article just blew me away.

i should connect you to my favorite human here @ashleykalila if you haven't seen her work.

Oh snap you have lol never mind then.

Thank you for being such a supportive duderino of me!!!

You gem

Hey! Thank you so very much for those kind words, I appreciate it! :) I’ve definitely seen some of @ashleykalila’s work and its awesome. :)

I find this to be sooo true . It is much harder than coming up with a more surfacy post but also much more satisfying. It also tests my emotional responses, too, and forces me to grow in ways that I hope to grow. For example, I posted an emotional, vulnerable open letter to my son the other day and even though i got amazing support for it, I actually kind of shut down for the past few days, and I havent been able to come up with another post. I think its because I made myself do something that made me very nervous, and after I did it, I had kind of a protection go up, maybe. Or, the other thing I wonder is I am not practiced in being so vulnerable , so i kinda used up my vulnerability strength , and have to recharge before I can do it again. Like anything, it takes practice to build up the powers that it takes to do it. Then theres the weird feeling that if i post another vulnerable thing, will people think i am doing it just for the attention? I have lots of negative messages in my head about being vulnerable!

I too, just recently jumped into freelance and it is difficult in ways I don't even have words for. Perhaps I should try to write about that. Anyways thanks for this post, I resonated with it! And these gifs are smokin! :)

  ·  last year (edited)

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment! I feel you on needing to recharge your battery--perhaps there should be a follow-up post to this about self-care and knowing when recharging is the best thing you can do for yourself and your business! Ha. I always struggle with finding the balance, myself. I think its awesome you’re putting yourself out there on the line with your writing. :)

its funny you just commented .. i just finished a really hard - for- me post about vulnerability. I should have tagged you in it! But i literally like pulled my soul through my brain cavity and out my eyes to write it and have to go lay down now for the night !! LOL ... yes, self care. Self care in response to baring our souls. I will read that for sure! Anyway thanks for all the food for thought...

Awesome, I’m off to check it out!

yeah I definitely agree that it is better to just be real and raw here than it is to try to present some polished generic cookie cutter crap. There are a million polished generic travel blogs, beauty blogs, food blogs, etc. There is only one you. Much love - Carl

Thanks for stopping by and checking it out! To hell with cookie cutters, they’re not necessary for a great batch of cookies! :) See you around fellow PNW’er!

Love your article and the picture you put with it! I agree with you entirely, though! Sending good vibes because We WILL make it here! Can't wait to read more of your articles in the future! Have a great day, and stay awesome!

Hey there! Thank you so much for stopping by to comment and support! WE WILL make it with elbow grease and good vibes. :)

I could not agree with every word of this brilliant post more. I am completely with you. Hope your day is nothing short of amazing!

Thank you so much for popping over to comment--hope your day is amazing as well! <3

Great work on getting curie yesterday. That's veey exciting. They only upvote great work. I think you have it right too. Vulnerability is a good work for it. Be honest and show your true self and you will be rewarded for it. Be fake and you won't. I love reading your stuff. Keep up the awesome work.

Thank you! Yesss, I’m really excited/encouraged/honored by that attention. :) I know it’s hard to get stuff picked up, and from what I can see a lot of great authors are putting out amazing content with varying degrees of financial success...so I’m also very thankful! I’ll keep on doing my best to keep it real--and really appreciate the folks who are already starting to be regulars on my blog and in my steemit life. :) See you around and thank you for the support!

Lovely post. I think it's going to take me awhile to figure out how to be vulnerable tho. For all my life I never have quite fit in anywhere especially in any given group or anything social. I'm a loner, a drifter, a creep (Radiohead), what the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here. Still I Steem, still I write, still I read. I've been called so many names and given so many titles I'm not even sure who I am anymore. I am root. Planted in the seeds of my own destruction, misunderstood by my inability to choose. But for this posting I will endeavor to be more vulnerable and perhaps find some real meaning to life in general. Blessed be.

Thank you so much for commenting and bringing your own vulnerability here. :) What I’ve noticed is that when you open yourself up and show your imperfections people can relate to that...I think we all have something that makes us feel “other” you know? When we see that other people have those things too it makes us feel a little less alone...or at least that’s my theory. Have a great night and thanks again!

Thank @steampunk-penny for restoring your post or I might have missed it.

Wow I couldn't agree more with your assessment here. I have opened myself more on steemit than any other platform, and I think people can relate to that feeling of being human. Good luck on your break to full freelance, as well! Always nice reading your posts :)

As usual, thank you for stopping by and leaving a thoughtful comment! I’ve really enjoyed the community here above all else--and the fact that it is global makes it even more awesome. So many opportunities to connect with so many kinds of people! See you around. :)

Nice work! I agree with you 100% people crave understanding and acceptance and want others to see value in their work :)

Thanks for coming over to read this! :) Yea, humans are pretty simple...it’s too bad so many things get in the way of us just being able to be real with one another.

Thank you for this beautiful post. I love your list of what it means to be vulnerable. All so true. It's one thing to talk about it... and something else entirely to do it. When you model being vulnerable, it makes this a safer place for us all to be vulnerable and inspires us to match your courage in shedding the masks of our public personas in order to enable real connection.

Thank you for stopping by, reading, and supporting this article. It means the world. Totally agree that being vulnerable yourself is how you get others to open up...it’s pretty hard to "go first", but I think there are plenty of rewards if you do. :) See you around!

could not agree more. Brilliant!

Thanks for saying so and stopping by again! <3

Great article, thank you for sharing. I couldn't agree more and i think that is part of why i feel like steem is special. I find the relationship between vulnerability and inspiration fascinating. In my experience, the more vulnerable and open, the more inspiration available. I think our ultimate natural condition is unbounded openness and absolute vulnerability through mutual interdependence. Isn't it amazing how despite all loss something always remains? 😀

You’re so right that there’s a direct correlation between creativity and vulnerability. Specifically, a lot of my arts training was focused on being open as a way of channeling inspiration, so I really feel this. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

Since becoming a mother I feel like I'm constantly facing my vulnerability, something that terrified me before. It still scares me sometimes, but I also realize it's a gift. Honesty is a gift, and if you're honest, at some points you will also be vulnerable. Great post!

Thank you so much for stopping by to read and respond. :) I don’t know what it is to be a mother, but I’ve heard something similar from other mothers I know..what a gift to have that open channel to vulnerability in your life. :)

Well said. Vulnerability is what makes a post genuine. That's why original content does so well here, because you share personal moments that can't be found anywhere else. It's a good choice of a word as it takes a certain tearing down of walls to reveal a personality that can form connections with people. I also love your choice of gifs. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Thank you so much for stopping by to comment! Yea, I keep reading articles on here about “connecting” and “engaging” and being “authentic”--and I believe it just all boils down to vulnerability...you can’t do those things unless you’re being open first. :) Followed, looking forward to checking out your blog.

"To me, being vulnerable is writing about things that might scare me. It’s sharing my art and projects without self-judgement as to whether they’ll be good enough. " This is just what I needed to hear. Thanks a lot for the advice and the well done and colorful article. Also, I think it is awesome how you reply to practically all of your comments. That's some dedication right there. Best wishes.

I’m so glad this resonated with you. :) Thank you for stopping by, supporting, and commenting, it’s appreciated. I love responding to comments from folks who enjoyed what they read--it’s part of the fun! See you around the steemosphere (I’m already following you!). :)

@lilyraabe this is amazing, i could not just stop but to read it to the end....indeed i k ow feel so vulnerable and needs the support of others.

Thanks for stopping by! :) Glad it was a good read for you.


Thank you so much! <3

Wow greate article!
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Integrity, connection and vulnerability...something to live by.

Thank you for stopping by...and yea...I try to live by those...don’t always succeed, but doing what I can. :)

Without expectations...it's difficult not to.

This post has received a 17.39 % upvote, thanks to: @lilyraabe.

what you have written is so true, it is something that we can all relate to and it allows us to connect with one another on here. We are all vulnerable, we are all human.

Thank you for commenting and adding this similar, beautiful sentiment to the thread!

This is wonderful, and you seem like a wonderfully honest person.

I love that, the thought of being a creative, but admitting, "I'm no expert". You're learning. You're sharing. You're being yourself, and that's what really works best if you truly care about making authentic connections.

I find this encouraging, since I do struggle with a lot of self-doubt and negative thoughts that would stop me from trying. Maybe instead of thinking to present what I'm the most "good" at to show my strengths, I'll think to just express whatever feels the most right. Maybe others will find benefit in that too.

This is a really good post and I like your pretty rainbow .gifs.

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting on this post! I really appreciate it. :) Being vulnerable is hard, depending on the day, sometimes almost impossible. :) I think that’s just life. But if we’re actively trying to work against that and grow that’s really all we can do. I think for the most part, people are really happy to support people who are making an effort, I find that I always get a great response for opening up (it just takes a lot of personal energy). See you around!

Thank you for posting this! It was 6 days ago that I wrote my very first blog and the whole reason I wanted to start writing is because I wanted to share with others that it's ok to be vulnerable. That we are all on our own journey, but we do not have to do it alone. There are so many of us that crave to be understood but yet we think that there's no one out there that would understand. So if I can even let just one person know that they aren't alone, then putting myself out there is worth it... So thank you for being that person for me.

Wow, that really means a lot. High praise indeed, as I say above, I’m no expert but this is really encouraging to hear. If you’re posting with that in mind I’m sure you’re going to do great here! :)

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