Episode 49: Gaining Trust by Being Vulnerable

Trust is something you earn in years and can be lost in seconds. This is a statement my father taught me many years ago when I was just a very young boy. So what are some areas in your life that need attention to build trust? Are you attempting to be supernatural? Perhaps invincible? To truly be a trusting productive individual the facade must come down and the truth shine through.

I just love this quote by Brene Brown, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Strength comes from the exposure of your innermost thoughts of your life as they become the face you see in the mirror each morning.

This episode we’re going to share with you the best strategies for reaching your potential by appearing as believable, vulnerable and real. When we were children we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable,” – Madeleine L’Engle.

Hey, I’m honored to have with me today my co-host with the most Lori Few! Welcome!

LF: Hey! Good morning, everybody!

JW: Hey, and welcome everyone to Live a Life by Design the Monday morning motivational moments you need to make your week the best it can be. Lori and I have nothing but one goal today, and that’s to help you be a bigger, better and bolder you, as you go throughout your days.

Hey, we’re focusing on being authentic in our words, deeds and actions today, Lori, and I’m a big fan of Brene Brown. I know you are as well.

LF: I love her, I think she has some great words of wisdom.

JW: Oh, I gotta tell ya, another one of her quotes that gives me encouragement is, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing, it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome”.

LF: Isn’t that scary to talk about no control. I mean, I feel like, especially in today’s society we are doers and planners and we focus on what we can control, and not being able to control everything, but still showing up, you know pretending that we’re going to try and have that, you know push to, ok well, I’m going to try anyway, the universe may be against me, but I’m still going to go ahead and try to control everything. So it’s hard to remember that, especially on Monday morning, but we’re going to do our best this week.

JW: Absolutely. And hey, can I confess something Lori?

LF: Yea.

JW: This last month, I have had a physical vulnerability of which I couldn’t control. And many of you may have heard it on the podcast, I put it on our social media and so forth. I’ve had a little bit of called, Bell’s Palsy where the right side of my face didn’t function right. Couldn’t close my right eye. As a matter of fact at night I couldn’t sleep so I had to tape gauze over my right eye so it would close. And then, of course, my lips wouldn’t work, so anything I needed to purse, my ps and my ss and fs didn’t sound right. So I want to thank many of you for baring with us during this last month. But I tell you one thing Lori, and I do, we don’t let any little small invulnerabilities of our bodies hold us back. We’re gonna bring you what we can bring you and we’re gonna do it with our heart, but you know I got a little tired of trying to my pah pah ps when…

LF: I’m sure!

JW: And I tried to do words that weren’t fff ffff. No fs. So.

LF: No fs.

JW: But I did lose weight. Now I’m a positive person.

LF: Oh, really?

JW: Yea, this whole month I lost weight. Think about it. When you drink something half of the liquid drains out the side of your mouth cause you can’t close your lips.

LF: Okay, I get it.

JW: It worked out great for me.

LF: Bonus. Bonus. See, there’s a positive this morning, Jimmy.

JW: Absolutely, that’s what we’re all about here at Live a Life by Design, everyone. Is finding the positive in every situation.

LF: So the first, we’re gonna talk about three types of vulnerability this morning, so everybody, kind of, if you’re a checklist person like I am, just know that we’ve got three points. And so first we’re gonna start with, attitudinal vulnerability, try to say that three times fast on a Monday morning.

JW: That’s a doozy, that’s polysyllabic. I’ve heard that word, polysyllabic.

LF: Attitudinal vulnerability. A person that has a negative attitude towards change and lacks the initiative in life reluctantly becomes more and more dependent on external support. These individuals cannot act independently and they lack variety, entrepreneurship and do not possess the concept of collectivism. And in our society, today, that is collectivism is just imperative because no one is an island. Everybody works collectively in one form or fashion.

JW: You know, and the main thing there, Lori too, is we don’t all have all the strengths we need to accomplish a task anymore. The world is so demanding, right?

LF: That’s right. And you have to lean on other people to help you accomplish those. And I feel like I’m the world’s worst about that. It’s not that I don’t need the help, it’s that I don’t want to impose or burden on someone else with what I need to accomplish. So I don’t always, right off the bat, ask for that. And so, it’s hard.

JW: You know one of my greatest mentors in terms of entrepreneurship that showed attitudinal vulnerability the most to me was Steve Jobs.

LF: Oh, phenomenal.

JW: He just did not know how to do so many things that he wanted to do, he hired the best, he went out and he set up a team and they all filled in his vulnerabilities. But look at the strength he gained overall by being the leader of an entire team that was so well equipped.

LF: And he was very good about being gracious in the success. Rarely did you ever find a time where he was quoted, or he was giving some type of public address where he would take credit for that success. He was always very good to say that he surrounded himself with the people that helped him make everything to the success that it was.

JW: Yea, absolutely.

LF: And continues to be. Even now that he’s gone. I think he laid the foundation of teaching and learning and experiencing those things to make those people the strongest that they could be to continue on that legacy. And that’s really what it’s about in life is leaving that footprint and that imprint upon people’s lives and their hearts to go on and do the great things that, you know, they want to emulate after that person. I mean I personally have people that have impacted my life that are like that. That I strive to, you know, do and succeed based on what they’ve taught me and what they’ve shared.

JW: You know the big word for me here is attitude is everything. But I now was said all the time. But I will tell you to me, it is everything in how we approach anything.

LF: It is. It’s from the time your feet hit the floor until the time that you brush your teeth and you go to bed. Attitude can change every, it can shift everything. Every moment, every outcome, every productivity. It changes in the blink of an eye based on how, you know what your attitude is and how you relay that attitude onto other people, other experiences. I mean, even the grocery line. You can be checking out and just having a positive attitude and smile to someone who might be grumpy. It may change their whole day. And then you would love, I always love to think that if I smile at someone, or if I you know, open up to someone and have a conversation with them, then that may trigger them to do it with someone else and then someone else, and someone else. And so, it may not happen that way, people may think I’m, ugh, roll their eyes and go on and that may be the end of it. But, you keep trying because you want to believe that once you do it. It’s a chain reaction.

JW: So it goes back to having that good attitude though, Lori, to me is that you’re creating the world that you want to be in.

LF: Yes, and you know, we’re getting outside of that bubble. And I think it definitely has to do with vulnerability that you’re not afraid to go out there and try. You know, what’s that, I think it’s a, I’m terrible with sports, get knocked down 99 times, but you get back up because that 100th time may be the knock out that you need.

JW: Right, there’s a boxer actually that said that. You’re gonna get knocked down 99 times, but I can’t recall which one, I apologize, but at the end of the day it’s that getting up that’s the real strength. Anyone can get knocked down. And I also love this quote too, by I believe it was, Mike Tyson, the great boxer that came out. And he said, You know, “everyone’s a tough person until you get busted in the face with a glove”. And so my point is is that’s where you really prove that intestinal fortitude. That attitude of, I’m so much more than what one hits gonna do for me. Now granted he could knock down a building, the guy was tough. I’m saying, those guys train for that. But at the end of the day, our teams, I so encourage everyone that works on our team, along with Lori, everyone that goes, if you’re not having some sense of failure at something we’ve had in a project. You’re not trying hard enough. And our goal there is the attitude I’m trying to create in the vision of our company is that attitude is everything. I will hire for attitude and lack of skill and train for that skill before I will hire an expert in the skill that has a horrible attitude.

LF: Right, because that feeds into toxicity within your organization within your group, within your club. And I see it on a level where, on a volunteer level. I love volunteering, I will volunteer for just about anything because it doesn’t matter because if there is a need we need to try to meet that need. But I’ve been around it enough circles that it only takes one person to ruin a group of volunteers and what’s sad about that is that the organization or the project that you’re trying to accomplish may not be able to be accomplished without volunteers. And so it’s really important that everybody, you know that, what your mom used to say when you’re a kid. Keep your attitude in check.

JW: Absolutely.

LF: But going back to attitudinal vulnerability, the lack, we talked about the lack of variety and entrepreneurship in the end, this type of individual becomes a victim of conflict. And we kind of touched on that. Hopelessness and pessimism, which reduces their capacity to deal with disaster. This podcast this morning, has at its core mission to spread positivity in a negative world. And we hope that our subscribers develop the muscle of self worth and implement these strategies of each episode to build a bigger, better, and bolder person. Just as Jimmy mentioned, attitude is everything. And I have often stated that, you know, he mentioned that he would hire attitude over skill. But your organization can’t handle a negativity. And that’s really what it goes back to.

JW: You know, I hate to say this, very few times in my career have I had to have a surgical removal of someone in our office, or business because of the fact their attitude just wouldn’t change. And you know, sometimes folks, don’t take this wrong, as a leader, I’m often setting out making decisions with very little data. And I go a lot by my gut, and you know, we have systems in place and I let everybody on the team talk to em. But I got to be honest with you. Once or twice in our career we’ve actually ran across someone that could fake that and overrun the system like anything else. And I will tell you we knew immediately that there was going to be a problem.

LF: And you want to think that people don’t hide their true self. But we all know that that’s not realistic. When people are trying to reach a goal, or they’re trying to better themselves. But ultimately in the end it’s going to come out and it’s going to be extremely detrimental to them. And you hope that when that experience happens to somebody that they really take a step back and reevaluate and really change their behavior and their mindset. Because if it doesn’t, it’s just going to continue to perpetuate itself and they’re never going to be able to find that inner happiness or peace. But to be able to focus on positivity in their own life.

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JW: Our second type of vulnerability, Lori, is emotional vulnerability. Now this may sound silly coming from a male, but I will tell you, we men have emotional issues just like, well, maybe not just like, let me rephrase. We have emotional issues. You know, when our self esteem is lacking we take it hard to the heart. You know when someone says something, our ability is dimmed. We don’t see the hope there, you know and we become vulnerable.

LF: Well, and I think as women we tend to think of men in societal roles. Oh well, men, they’re tough, they don’t cry, they don’t show emotion. And I don’t necessarily think that’s true with me. My dad is a very, he’s gonna, sorry dad. I know he listens and he’s totally gonna say this, but touchy feely. He’s a hugger. He likes to make sure, pat on the shoulder, how are you doing, that sort of thing. And so, I have seen him cry, and it’s ok. I don’t think that it’s never a good thing to hide those emotions because it just, it makes it awkward. Because you know in certain situations people are having the same emotion that you’re having or they’re feeling the same way that you are and as women we tend to, I mean, I’m a crier. I can’t watch commercials without crying, so, people ask me all the time, why are you crying? Oh, it’s just this commercial, I can’t remember now. I think it was a dog commercial. But we can’t be afraid to tap each other on the shoulder and say, you know it’s ok. You know. Be glad. Be happy, be sad. Show those emotions because we’re all human.

JW: You know, I will say this too, my dad is one of these guys that does exhibit the entire spectrum of emotional male qualities in my opinion. You know, I’m 55 years old. My dad’s 80 years of age. And I still hug and give my dad a kiss on the cheek, man. You know, you just at times when young boys, I’m gonna say this, I know you have a son. And your husband is so good with him. But when boys need it the most, they get it the least. And what I’m talking about is that father figure showing strength through vulnerability. In other words, you can be strong as a person, as a male, but still have that emotion that you can share with your son.

LF: Yea.

JW: And my dad did that with us, you know. The only times he ever really cried, I do remember wrecking the truck. That was one time. And maybe the time that I caught the pasture on fire and after it’s all said and done and we’re all covered in soot and everything. And you just can’t shoot fireworks off during the drought of July in pastures. But hey, I was only like 8. And you learn these things. But no, the real point I’m making of this though is emotional vulnerability in a simple phrase is just intended for support to find out that you know this negativity that surrounds you doesn’t have to be in you.

LF: Right, and I think emotions help us deal with that. You don’t have to contain it. Or bottle it. Or bury it. And I know, I mean, I’ve had friends of mine that grew up in their households and tell stories about, you know, we were never allowed to cry. We were never allowed to have, you know, we weren’t sad, we weren’t able, we weren’t even allowed to be excited about things. And I can’t imagine living in that type of environment. But the reality is is that people do. But, there’s something to be said for that tough exterior. That those people. It doesn’t mean that those people aren’t positive or have meaning to their life or not that they’re not motivated. You know. I laugh all the time because people say that I’m dramatic. I like to say that I’m passionate. So take it however. It’s good, bad, whatever. It’s just a word. But, I’m the type of person that, you will know immediately if I’m happy, if I’m sad, if I’m discouraged. And you’ll know when I haven’t had my morning coffee.

JW: I have seen that Lori. You do not want to see that Lori before 7 am. It is not good. Just kidding.

LF: It is not pretty. But, I’ve never been one to kind of hold back my emotions. As I’ve gotten older I feel it’s ok to be a little bit more vulnerable. I laugh with my mom friends that we’re all struggling. We laugh and see each other and we nod, and go, in the drop off and pick up line and say yea we’re on the struggle bus today. And it’s ok. It’s really ok to say, you know I am, I’m struggling today. I think that’s important. I think that the more we talk about it and the more we put it out there the more people don’t feel like they have to have this guard up of picture of perfect. No one is perfect, and I think that…

JW: It makes you authentic though, Lori, so it makes you, what I want to bring to this emotional vulnerability is that people know you’re gonna experience these negativities in life. You can’t be a rock all the time, right. And I will tell you, so, the biggest part that I show of my hand, is when I come home and I don’t talk. My wife will go hmmm, you know 32 and a half years of marriage, and she kinda knows…

LF: You learn a thing or two.

JW: You do. And she’s kinda like, hmmm, something’s on his mind cause he’s not talking. Now for those of you that understand, this is an audio podcast, so I love to talk. So you can only imagine that’s my tell sign. If I’m not talking, and I’ve always told people that, you know, when I get alone by myself. I’m still smiling and I’m not talking, there’s probably kind of a hint that I probably need some space. I’m working through something. And that’s just me though. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m not emotional, it just means that I do discharge that emotion or that maybe that thought in a different way then others. I don’t hit walls. You know, I had a brother in law one time that put a fist through the wall and broke his wrist because he was angry. And you know, I am not that guy. I am not a violence solves anything person. To me I’d just rather think about it. I do journal a lot. You know I’ve talked about this on previous podcasts, and I get those emotions down on paper. I look at them, I set back, and I go now I feel better because I’ve gotten it out of my head.

LF: We all have to have a way of release. We do!

JW: And I didn’t kick the cat, you know, anything like that.

LF: Gidget was not harmed in the recording of this podcast.

JW: There are no animals harmed in the, yes, recording of this podcast. But you know the big difference between what we’ve talked about now, emotional and attitudinal vulnerability is that emotional allows the outside factors of life to create negativity. While attitudinal is your inward mental state about life, Lori. So am I going to take those things I can’t control and allow them to control me. No. I can’t do anything about that, right?

You know, someone was saying something the other day, well, gosh, you know, on your podcast why don’t you talk about politics. And I go, look man, I can’t do one thing about that and it’s not what we’re about here. We’re about bigger, better, bolder you from the inside out, so we’re wanting to really build the person that is that person’s capability versus what they can’t control, right?

LF: Well, and I absolutely agree, and I think that this topic alone is pushing the envelope a little bit, because people don’t talk about vulnerability, people don’t talk about emotions. They don’t talk about how they perceive themselves, and I think that that’s where we come to a common ground and we’re able to connect on a different level with people because this podcast talks about the inner things that you can work on and acknowledge and be ok with and know that it’s ok to talk about it and you can talk about it in a positive way so that it benefits you if you, if you know that someone else is struggling with the same issue or the idea how good does it feel that you’re not alone? It’s just, it’s the best No one wants to be alone. But it brings us to the third type of vulnerability and that’s physical vulnerability.

Too often we place far too much of our personal value on our body type. And when I say this, for those of you that watch television commercials, I know everyone has streaming services now, and a lot of people skip the commercials, but, one of the ad campaigns that I thought was just absolutely brilliant was the Dove company. And so they do women’s, what’s it called, for a lack of a better word, it’s Monday and I need more coffee. Beauty products, and so there was a recent campaign where the television commercial had two doorways. One doorway, above the doorway it said you’re beautiful. The other doorway, above it said you’re not beautiful. And they asked a sampling of women to walk through the doorway that they felt that they were. And the majority of the women walked through the doorway that they thought they weren’t beautiful. And it was interesting to me that people perceive themselves not beautiful. And whether it’s physical beauty or inner beauty, we all have something to gain. I thought it was a brilliant campaign because it just shed a light to me that we need to spend more time building each other up. You know, not based on what we look like, but what we bring to the table and what we have to offer and so I really thought that was a powerful statement.

We’ve seen in magazines and billboards and television that you’re not going to be good enough based on how you look. If you aren’t the same body type as a 22 year old swimsuit model or an Italian stallion wearing the $5,000 custom tailored suit, it doesn’t mean that you’re a less value to the world. Your mindset must always to be to maintain the body you have been given in the best shape possible, for you to maintain a sense of clarity and purpose.

JW: You know, Lori too, let’s talk a little bit about that. So we’re talking about physical vulnerability. I’ve got a friend of mine that does body building competitions. And I’ve got to tell you, he is serious about them.

LF: Commitment.

JW: Yea, he looks really good in those, maybe a week, but then you see him after he’s gone through that week he has wreaked his body. It takes months to get the body back in shape where it could be what I call a state of normalcy. Now for those of you listening that are body builders, I’m not slamming this, I’m just saying here’s what they change is. And they know it, if they’re true body builders. That they’re basically taking such a restricted diet, or limiting themself to water that last couple of days, cause they don’t want any fat, no water weight. They just want to look cut, you know muscle, torso. The arms gotta look cut. And then at the end of the day, what they really don’t know or they do know but say it’s worth the risk, is that their liver, their kidneys, and these things are really negatively impacted. They’re in shock because of the change from what they’ve had accustomed to in the diet.

And so you know, we can lessen physical vulnerability in my opinion by simply maintaining a sensible diet. Now folks, I’m not saying go out and get on a diet, or go out and spend money on a diet. That is not what I’m saying, I’m just saying eat reasonably. Right? And exercise. And I’m not saying you’ve got to go join a gym, Lori, or go buy the latest fad on TV. Although I will tell you, those Peloton bikes really look cool.

LF: Really?

JW: But Peloton did not pay for this to advertise. So no advertising.

LF: No advertising.

JW: But a friend of mine got one and it is really neat. But the other thing, too is, yes, a positive attitude is critical.

LF: It’s a, definitely, and I definitely think women struggle with this. We struggle with a positive attitude about how we look and how we feel, because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. We all know that age old quote that comparison is the thief of joy, so you know, I tell all my mom friends, own it. Be you. Do you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sweatpants ponytail type of day, or if you’re rocking a three piece suit going to go nail a presentation. Own it, and just be who you are. And be proud of that and be willing to say to someone else, hey, it’s ok. I get it. I didn’t work out today and I’m gonna eat cake. Tomorrow I’m gonna get back on that Peloton bike and I’m going to try to look like Cindy Crawford when I’m, I hope I look like Cindy Crawford when I’m that age. But either way, if it doesn’t work out it’s ok. At the end of the day you’ve still made some positive contribution to society and you’re gonna get up and try again tomorrow. And that’s the thing about being vulnerable. You’ve got to keep trying and getting up and keep fighting the fight everyday because that’s what’s important. That’s what makes change.

JW: Absolutely. And I’m gonna give you, if you’re driving, don’t take down these notes. But I want you to write this down. Scientists have proven a positive link between your attitude and your physical wellness and your body’s ability to avoid illnesses around you, the immune system be much higher. If you’ll notice somebody that’s down in the dumps, Lori, you know negative, stinking thinking I call it. If they’re in that attitude, those people get sick more often. And it’s usually in a more severe case then otherwise, and you know, I almost kind of will myself to never get sick and then I got this thing called Bell’s Palsy of which I love this, I went to three different doctors, and all three of them very, very smart people, and all three of them said, we have no idea why you get it. We don’t know how long it will last. We don’t even know what causes it. And so at the end of the left there going, hmmm, I’ll go somewhere and do my own research, where’d I go? Mr. Google.

LF: No! No, no, no!

JW: Yea, and Mr. Google proved exactly what they were saying. We just don’t know. And so I just had my attitude. You know what I’m still going every Monday, I’m gonna get up, we’re gonna put this podcast on because the people demand it and they deserve it. And we want to spread some joy and positivity for their week and we’re just not going to succumb to this one little thing of half my face doesn’t work. And so, you know the real weird thing about it is, I thought about letting that side of my beard grow. Cause wouldn’t that be kind of like that Two-Faced guy that was Batman’s villain, I kind of like that.

LF: You could be, that, oh, we’re gonna come up with a name for that. Two-Faced Jimmy villain.

JW: Something like that. I will say this, people though, when the right side of my face didn’t work well I had to learn to talk how to talk out of the left side of my lips, but not to be a political slander or joke, but I told them I’m the only guy campaigning right now that’s talking from the one side of his face. But anyway, that’s terrible.

LF: But it goes back to, but Jimmy, it goes back to vulnerability. And thank you for sharing your story about having Bell’s Palsy. Because I think that that, as difficult as that was and not being able to control it, you have absolutely turned it into a positive, and again there’s probably somebody out there listening that has experienced a diagnosis of some sort that they absolutely did not see coming and they do not know how or why it’s caused. But just know that there are other people out there and sharing that and being vulnerable may give someone else the confidence to, you know, say it to someone else. And again it goes back to that thing when I said earlier about, when you try to smile at people, hope that it’s a chain and maybe it’s not, but I’m the type of positive Polly that just wants to believe that it’s still going.

JW: Love that. Love that.

LF: But to maintain and build trust with others support yourself with a great attitude emotionally, positive and good physical conditioning. You will attract others to see that the glow on your face and the demeanor is one of authenticity.

JW: You know, that’s the whole key from this today. If you take nothing from this episode today from Lori and me, take this. Be the best you you can be. Because you’re the only you that can do you. You know, you hear this phrase all the time. Lori’s got to be Lori, there’s no other Lori Few that can play her role. And you know, I’ve always really took pride in myself that I’m just me. And I’m going to be me, and I’m going to be authentic so that people that want to be my friend, or want to be in my team at work. Are gonna see this is me, this is how I work and hope that’s good enough. If not, we’re probably not a good fit, let’s go do something else that we can control, you know. And the challenge this week is this. Strengthen your trustworthiness, not only in what others see in you, but yourself. To me this is so important for self-esteem and self-worth to strengthen yourself. So have you exhibited a bad attitude about something lately? And if you have, go to our Facebook page at Live a Life by Design. Leave us a post describing that situation. Have you ever been in a situation you felt totally vulnerable because you had no control? You’re not alone. What we want you to do today is take away these three types, attitudinal, your emotional vulnerability, and your physical vulnerability and let’s work on one of those this week Lori, and I got to ask which one would you work on, Lori, of those three?

LF: I definitely think I have to work on the physical. That would be my one.

JW: That’s a tough one too. And I will tell you that is a good one to work with. So after this podcast, we’ll get out and run a half marathon.

LF: Oh, how about, how about one mile?

JW: I love that, we can do one mile.

LF: We’ll start.

JW: Increments, right, increments. Yea. With that said, let’s call this a magnificent Monday.

JW/LF: Live a life by design!

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