It's empowering to be vulnerable...
It's empowering to be vulnerable...
...because being vulnerable is being authentic.
I was watching a recent episode of the Justin Baldoni web series, We Are Man Enough, and the subject of men discussing vulnerable topics was brought up.
One of the guests on the show, Javier Munoz, brought up an interesting point:
For women, it is seen as empowering to express their feelings, while men give away their power when they express their feelings to other men.
I am very familiar with this type of thinking because it’s how I was taught to think and behave as a young Italian boy growing up in Queens, NY.
To allow yourself to be vulnerable and share those feelings with anyone, let alone another man, was thought of as a sign of weakness and it was frowned upon by most of the male adults in my life.
These lessons led to many years of holding my feelings close to the vest, and consequently, stunting my emotional maturity.
It also fostered much confusion in my mind as to what I should be thinking, and how I should cope with feelings of insecurity and uncertainty.
I would feel shameful when I’d have these moments to myself and I would react by telling myself to man the f**k up or stop your bitching and moaning and get back to doing what you have to do.
This ambivalence to my feelings greatly diminished my overall confidence, as a result.
Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older and discovered a wealth of personal development avenues, I realized the damage I was doing to myself by keeping everything bottled in, and have worked tirelessly at eliminating this very toxic, fixed mindset.
As a result, I now am an advocate for vulnerability and authenticity, as I help other men combat this negative mindset through my work as a branded lifestyle portrait photographer.
Rather than highlight all of the vanity-driven qualities that our culture exhaults as “manly,” I work with my male clients to get out of their heads while on camera, drop their guards in order to create image content that presents them as nothing more or less than who they are, what they believe, who they serve, the value they provide them and why they are passionate about it.
Presenting yourself authentically through your image content and the stories they visually punctuate is extremely powerful - one that endears you to your tribe because vulnerability is a highly relatable quality that builds a strong level of trust with those in which you share.
So, if you’re looking for me to post a ton of portraits of male clients with their shirts off, at the gym, posing in front of some multi-million dollar car, or holding a $10,000 bottle of champagne, you will be disappointed, :)
If you are looking for male thought leaders who lead by example, offer tremendous value to their tribes by presenting a full range of informational and inspirational stories about their businesses, brands and lives - including the missteps and vulnerabilities - then, you’ll feel right at home, :)
I applaud Justin Baldoni for bringing attention to this topic - it’s something that is near and dear to my heart and I hope that it re-calibrates the cultural frequency of this conversation.
Do you struggle with sharing your true, authentic self in front of the camera?
Afraid of how exposed you will feel by sharing your true self to your colleagues and followers alike?
I can help you with that.
Schedule a time to chat with me and let’s see if we’re a fit to kick some ass together.
PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)