The Time I Walked Across Hot Coals: Vulnerability as Your Super Power

Have you ever felt like you were walking across hot coals in life? Determined to succeed, willing yourself to go onward. All the while saying to yourself, “WHAT AM I DOING?!”

I know the feeling well because I ACTUALLY WALKED ACROSS HOT COALS.

And it didn’t go so well…

A number of years ago I attended a Tony Robbins workshop where, you guessed it, we were presented with the opportunity to test our confidence by walking across a glowing bed of hot coals. A few of us put our hands up and moments later I found myself staring down at what could just be an all around bad idea.

My first tentative steps were encouraging– I was confident! I believed myself! But after a few moments I could hear the soles of my feet hissing like bacon on a hot griddle. At about two thirds of the way through the coals I collapsed onto safe ground with my feet in the air. Poof. Confidence gone.


A good friend of mine came running over and attempted to get me to my feet. When it was clear that wasn’t in the cards he ran into the hotel and retrieved a luggage cart, on which I was ferried (feet in the air) to the hospital.

Some moments we feel powerful, confident, invincible! Other times we have to explain to a nurse that we have been walking over hot coals at a self empowerment workshop. Did the experience leave me feeling vulnerable? Yes! But a number of years ago I had the word “courage” tattooed in Japanese on my hip. The antidote to vulnerability is bucket loads of courage. I had my own workshop to conduct the next day and nothing, not sore feet or a bruised ego, would stop me. I am happy to report that I presented my full program in trainers. (Fashion took a backseat to comfort that day!)

For the longest time I avoided telling this story because it left me feeling silly. Which is silly in itself because one of the things I teach at Women of Worth is that vulnerability is key to self development. How can we grow and learn if we are not vulnerable sometimes? In fact, if you spend most of your time avoiding conditions that make you feel vulnerable, how will you ever enjoy a new class? Take on a challenge at work? Decide to move to a different city?

In my next blog I’ll be talking  about how we can become more comfortable with vulnerability in our day to day lives and use it as a catalyst for personal growth!

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