Written by Tabitha Hembree, Florida Atlantic '08
Have you ever been challenged to explain your sorority experience? I say challenge because sometimes it’s difficult to explain the tremendous impact of your sorority experience. Whether you are discussing your volunteer role with the Fraternity, our national philanthropy partnership, or celebrating the benefits of belonging to a fraternal organization, it can be hard to put into words. Often, the difficulty in sharing your experience is not due to a lack of natural eloquence or the absence of an elevator speech ready to go at a moment’s notice. It is the ability to connect with others and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
For me, I struggled with this until I was an undergrad learning about recruitment at The Workout in 2009. At The Workout, I was introduced to an idea called “Social Excellence.” It changed the way I lived my life, sparked my curiosity, and led me to look into Phired Up, an organization that focuses on growing Greek life. Phired Up believes social excellence stands on four pillars - Curiosity, Generosity, Authenticity, and Vulnerability. These pillars are behaviors of excellence. They serve as core values to live a socially excellent life, one that is full of human connection and meaning. This blog will be focusing on authenticity and vulnerability.
In a world where social media creates an illusion of perfection, it’s scary to be your authentic self. We may fear that we are not smart enough, or pretty enough, or good enough, or even worse, just enough? It can be scary, but what is even more terrifying is giving out your inauthentic self, having that be accepted, and then having to keep that up; to live a life where there are maybe only a few people have gotten to know the true YOU. Dolly Parton once said, “Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.” If you haven’t figured out who the real YOU is, I encourage you to do some soul searching. On your search, be intentional. Reflect on core values and Alpha Xi Delta’s core values and use them as a road map to discover your authentic self.
A couple of different things may come to mind when you hear the word vulnerability, and not all of them are great. When I say, “be vulnerable” what I’m actually saying is to let your guard down a little bit, to let your authentic-self show. When you are comfortable enough to do that you allow the person you’re talking to do the same. As socially excellent people we have to be the first person to be vulnerable because that gives everybody in the room permission to be their true, authentic self as well.
So my challenge to you, Sisters, is to be socially excellent. Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.