One change many missionaries are able to experience during their missions is overcoming social fears or barriers they may have had before. We have the opportunity to talk to dozens of people every day, and are completely forced out of our comfort zones in a million ways. I can say from experience that the process is HARD. It’s scary. It’s uncomfortable.
I had to remind myself often that I represented Jesus Christ, and not myself. I had to pray for strength to talk to everyone, and I had to completely forget myself and my fears. At the beginning of my mission, I had to stop worrying about my super broken Spanish and focus on loving everyone and quaking and trembling for them.
Why was this so hard? We were making ourselves completely vulnerable. As missionaries, we put everything on the altar of sacrifice and focus entirely on our purpose. That is not natural for anyone, and as I said, it’s really scary. However, eventually missionaries get to a point where we really can talk to everyone without fear. It’s cool.
Why am I writing about this? I’m doing my best to retain the skills I developed on my mission, one of which is embracing vulnerability. It was easier as a missionary, because I really didn’t represent myself. Now I’m Amber Blair again, and it’s just not the same as it was with the badge and the power and authority. Being vulnerable is scary again.
I wanted to share this TED talk about vulnerability, because it put it all into a new light for me. I invite you to watch it and think about what you can do to allow yourself to be vulnerable. I know it will be hard. I’m working on it.