Lets face it – quite often life can really throw some whoppers our way. At times it seems that when one thing goes wrong, it starts a cycle of many things going wrong. Perhaps most painful is when we’ve opened ourselves up to someone or something only to be let down. In moments like this, we sometimes ask ourselves, should I have made myself that vulnerable? Or should I have forgone the opportunity to avoid chancing a heartbreak or set-back?
Everyone has their own level of risk that they are willing to take. Some of us are great risk takers and are willing to put our heart on the line, knowing sometimes it will be broken. Others of us prefer to play it safe and avoid any potential heartbreak. To minimize the chance of a painful encounter, while some will still take the risk, at the same time they have decided to develop a harder shell. In essence become more invincible to the feeling that come with a potential setback. What’s the pro’s and con’s of doing this?
Developing a Harder Shell
Many prefer to develop a harder shell or “thicker skin.” This allows them to pursue their dreams and desires knowing that if there is a set-back, they are “shielded” from the pain to a greater degree. This can help make them more fearless in the pursuit of their goals. It can also motivate them to push forward in light of challenges.
On the flip side, I believe there is something to be said for feeling the pain of a set-back or heartbreak. While definitely not something any of us wants to experience, when it happens it can really create some great life lessons. If we don’t feel these setbacks, we may miss these lessons.
Keeping a Softer Shell
Many of us prefer to keep a soft shell. To stay vulnerable to the pain that may come with the pursuit of our dreams in hopes of fully experiencing the situation – good or bad. This can be a hard way to go about life – feeling every setback. It can de-motivate us and cause us to think twice before pursuing another dream.
Alternatively, feeling the good, the bad, and the ugly, while not always pretty does have its upside. What we feel, we learn from more deeply and it sticks with us longer. While it’s not fun in the moment, it’s often something we will look back on with favor and as a lesson learned.
Harder Shell? Soft Shell?
How do you prefer to live life? Vulnerable to setbacks? Or protected a bit more from them?