Sharing our vulnerability certainly isn’t common. We all know that we are wearing masks in society. We want to share our perfect selves to the world, so we hide who we really are. Afraid of judgement, afraid of being rejected.
But how come? Why all of this judgement? Well, it seems that it all starts in childhood. Innocent, we share our vulnerabilities to our “friends” and then the reaction can go one of two ways: either the listener becomes your best friend or they will judge and reject you. After so many rejections, it’s normal to stop sharing, why risk getting hurt again? Why risk feeling this shame again?
Little do we realize how powerful sharing our vulnerabilities can be, if shared in the right environment. And by right environment, I mean in a safe space of love and acceptance.
As far as working environments go, at Veritas, we, coaches, are lucky to be a small team that embodies such safe environment.
The other day, as part of our internal training, all of us presented our self-introductions. Self-introduction is a practice in our program where we encourage our students to dig deep, find their why, share their goals and show some vulnerability. And this time, we got the opportunity to go through the process of ourselves. And here’s what I realized: by sharing our story, we share our common humanity.
In life, we are surrounded by people. But we don’t see them as fellow humans, we just see them as people. On the train, we don’t think about what the old salary man is going through emotionally, what loss he has endured in his life, we see just another salary man making this train even more crowded by his presence. In most work environments, sure we’re surrounded by diverse people with diverse personalities with their strengths and weaknesses, but that’s it. We don’t dig deep. Every “Good morning, how are you” gets a “fine thank you and you?”. When there is actually a lot going on behind the mask.
By sharing our stories with each other, we notice fellow humans and therefore form a deeper connection. “Wow, this person has struggled with worth as well?” “What a horrible humiliating event you’ve been through! Let me hug you!” “I didn’t imagine you were suffering that much; you always look so happy!” These were the thoughts going through my head as I heard my colleagues’ self-introductions.
We all showed a deeper layer of ourselves and by sharing it, we fostered a stronger environment of acceptance, compassion, and belonging.
This is also the kind of environment we strive to achieve in our classes and overall community. This is what makes us special. Countless students have shared their vulnerabilities and made us cry. And we look forward to discovering more fellow humans as we continue to grow.
I invite you to find your safe space. It could be your family, it could be some of your friends, it could be your colleagues, it could be strangers, or it could just be Veritas. And once you do, share your story, hear others’ stories and experience another level of being alive, a moment with fellow humans, who struggled, as we all have.
Jessica Nagoshi (Bergeault)
Jessica was born and raised in France. Ever since she was a young girl, English has been a passion for her. Along with her personal studies, she went to live in the US for a year as a Rotary exchange student and later moved to the UK, where she spent 5 years. There, she worked in the film industry and on the side built and ran an ice cream business with her former partner. It was during that time in Britain that she started to develop a passion for personal development and coaching. Wanting to follow her passion, she decided to quit her life in the UK and returned to France where she would discover about the rich culture that Japan has to offer thanks to her little brother. She once again decided to follow this new passion and came to Japan on a Working Holiday. There, she discovered Veritas, which not only helped her develop her coaching skills but also share her passion for the English language with Japanese Natives. Now happily settled and married in Japan, and through her career at Veritas, Jessica hopes to grow as a coach and business person while helping to inspire and guide others on their journey to self-development and global leadership.