Why Sharing Your Struggles Actually Makes You Stronger: A Lesson From Terry Crews

I encourage everyone to embrace who you are. We don't need to feel guilt or shame from our failures, we need to embrace them, share them and move on from them. Celebrate the good stuff and don't be afraid to share your struggles. You will be amazed at the doors it opens and the support it brings.
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I was coming home after dropping off my daughter at school and heard Terry Crews being interviewed on the radio. I knew he was an actor on Brooklyn Nine Nine, (I have never watched but my hubby and son love it). I knew he was a comedian and the cool Old Spice guy. Other than that I didn't know much about him.The DJ introduced Terry by listing all of the projects Terry is involved with these days. The DJ asked how he had time to be involved with so many projects.

Terry said, "I am going to be completely honest, I used to be addicted to porn. Addiction takes a lot of time." He explained that now that he's not addicted to porn, he has time to do productive and fulfilling things. He went on to talk about all of his failures. He said no one had failed more than him, and that is why he succeeds now. Terry said that people are living way to safe and you can't be scared of being you. Take risks.

He was so authentic and real. He talked about his addiction to porn almost cost him his marriage. All of this at 8:00 0.a.m on a morning radio station! They kept trying to make jokes about porn addiction and he kept being real. He did not let them make light of it, regardless how hard they tried.

One minute into his interview, I wanted to know everything about him.I was not expecting to hear this kind of raw truth during a morning radio show interview, with a comedian of all people. It was so refreshing! I was instantly drawn to him. I felt better about myself. I have been feeling like a bit of a failure lately. Somehow his truth let me know I was going to be OK, because he was.

You don't hear many celebrities being honest about their failures, daily challenges or addictions. Reality is a bit skewed these days. Facebook and social media have become a place of posting about your kids amazing accomplishments, your perfectly cooked risotto at the hottest restaurant in town or your latest vacation to a tropical island. It focuses on mostly our accomplishments and how great our lives are. Those things are all great, and there is another side of real life that is not always so shiny and glittery.

On the other hand we can have really hard days, most of us struggle with something. Yet we don't talk about our struggles or challenges. We don't share our hardships. That would make us weak. That might push people away. We question -- would my friends still love me if they new my inner struggles and weaknesses? You generally don't see people post, "Just got back from marriage counseling, it was a hard but productive session". You don't see mom post a picture of her baby screaming it's head off a with the caption, "Today I hate being a mom". We don't tell the mom at the park, "I screamed at my 3 year old today and I scared myself".

Even though these are realities, people prefer to only show the happy shiny facade.
We are afraid to share our failures. Why? It seems like we feel if we post about our amazing lives people will be drawn to us and like us more. We will feel validated that we are important and people will love us. Ironically I have found the exact opposite to be true. We need to be real, raw, authentic. People want to connect and we all have baggage, struggles, weaknesses.

I have made a conscious decision over the past year to live and share my authentic life, warts, failures and all. Maybe that feels gutsy but the payoff is worth it to me. I am who I am. Sure I can glamorize the good stuff and brush the bad stuff under the rug, but that's not real life. Ironically, I have found that when I share my hardships with raising a daughter with bipolar disorder, or how I have been in marriage counseling for 1 ½ years, people lean in. They open up to me about their lives.

I am blown away by how many friends/clients I have that also have bipolar disorder and have never told anyone. They talk to me about their original struggles with it and how they are living awesome productive lives now. They tell me not give up and it will get better. They check in on me. If I didn't share, I would feel so alone, so isolated. I am supported because I share. I am not alone because I share. It is so freeing when you share your truth and your friends and family still love you. You don't have to feel like a liar or a failure. You can't fail when you are you.

I encourage everyone to embrace who you are. Learn from Terry Crews. We don't need to feel guilt or shame from our failures, we need to embrace them, share them and move on from them. Celebrate the good stuff and don't be afraid to share your struggles. You will be amazed at the doors it opens and the support it brings.

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