Three things vulnerability has taught me about connecting.


If you have been following along recently on Instagram and this here blog, you know that I’ve been embarking on the #77DaysOfReal project.

It’s a quest for more vulnerability and honesty. It’s a celebration of imperfection. And it’s an opportunity to talk about some of the stuff that may feel a little scary otherwise.

I’ve been playing with the concept daily (mainly on Instagram) and it’s changing the way I observe my surroundings and observe myself.


Here are three things I have discovered:

1. Scared of something? You’re not alone.

I know this is quite common for many people, but I often get nervous before public speaking. Even now that I’m speaking several times a month, I still get butterflies.

As someone who wants to do more speaking engagements and corporate trainings, I was afraid to admit this but decided to put it out there regardless. I’m glad I did because I learned that I am not alone in this, and I found out some of my favorite speakers get the pre-talk jitters as well.

It just goes to show that if you have a fear, most likely someone else has experienced something similar. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it anyway.

2. There’s a whole lot of humor to be found when things get real.

Believe it or not the post that I had more people aske about/mention was the one where I confessed that I wear socks to bed. (Yes. I wear socks to bed.)

It’s ridiculous but true. I guess this one is NOT so common as it seemed to baffle several other friends.

We all have quirks and embarassing moments. They get a lot easier to handle when laughter is involved.

3. It’s worth it to wax imperfect.

There were several times where it was hard for me to press the share button. It wasn’t easy to admit some of these things sbout myself. (Specifically this and this.)

But just putting it out there feels great. And people relate. And things don’t feel so heavy in your heart if you can share them.

I also found that accepting imperfection in myself has made it easier to accept imperfections of others. And somehow, this project helped me to find the courage to have some difficult and uncomfortable conversations that I have been avoiding for years.


What’s the bottom line? When you decide to open up, connections get stronger.

And what you perceive as a weakness usually makes you more relatable and likeable. (It can even be your superpower as Alexandra Franzen describes it.)

That’s a huge relief. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed these mini lessons in vulnerability. There is still plenty of time to play along, and I challenge you to share something real today or join me in sharing something every day as we count down to 2014. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #77DaysOfReal if you are sharing on social media.

Peace and Love,


P.S. I wasn’t aware how vulnerability has become such a “thing.” I love it! I believe it’s mostly thanks to Brene Brown. After my last email, several people recommended that I check out her Ted Talks (they rock!) and I’m looking forward to reading her book, Daring Greatly.

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Kate Stoltzfus
Kate Stoltzfus
Editor/founder of, CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh host, co-pilot at Propelle, and digital strategist at Plumb media.

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Kate Stoltzfus

Editor/founder of, CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh host, co-pilot at Propelle, and digital strategist at Plumb media.

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