“What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful.”
We avoid being vulnerable. We distance ourselves from certain thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make us feel uncomfortable.
We’re taught that being open and vulnerable is a weakness, and that we can control what we feel. We quickly learn we cannot and it becomes easier to numb ourselves. This emotional numbing produces a lifestyle of anxiety that caters to our need for certainty, risk aversion, and control.
We pretend that everything is fine, or hide under a facade of pride, independence, or strength. We play it cool or adopt behaviors that don’t align with whom we want to be.
We wear a fear of rejection as self-protective armor, afraid that if someone really saw us, we’d be labeled, rejected, or excluded.
Needless to say, being vulnerable doesn’t place high on our to-do lists.
So why allow vulnerability in? Why open yourself up to the possibility of being hurt?
1) You’ll see that you are enough. You’ll let go of whom you think you should be and accept who you are. You’ll let go of what other people think and smile at your imperfections. You’ll feel worthy of others love and appreciation. You’ll truly love yourself.
2) You’ll show who you really are. To be comfortable with vulnerability, you have to be secure with everything about yourself. You can’t hide the bad stuff; you have to show your entire hand.
3) You’ll realize who your true friends are. True friends don’t leave or judge when you show them who you really are. True friends make it clear that you’re not alone with your struggles.
4) You’ll draw people in. We are drawn to people that are honest and self-aware and believe they are worthy of love and belonging. We connect with them as a result of their authenticity. Openness has a chain reaction. When we witness true vulnerability, it is difficult to stay closed off.
5) You’ll find true strength. It is much more difficult to be vulnerable than it is to be strong. Constantly keeping your guard up causes far more suffering than being open. Let go of the need to self-protect and just be. You may be surprised at the support you receive.
6) You’ll gain trust in yourself. Accepting vulnerability is giving yourself permission to make mistakes, to have flaws, and to fail. In time, you’ll trust yourself to get back up again.
7) You’ll experience true intimacy. You won’t be afraid to say I love you first and you’ll be more willing to put effort into a relationship that may not work out. You can’t love without being vulnerable.
8) You’ll internalize less. You won’t view vulnerability as a liability or weakness. You won’t be worried about looking weak. Those that look like they’re falling apart are usually the most resilient.
9) You’ll be less defensive and fearful. We admire those that can tell us the uncut story of who they are. You won’t be terrified of what you might share with someone. You’ll slowly lower the defenses you’ve built and allow others in.
Why this matters.
We are all uncomfortable with something in our life or about ourselves.
Letting your guard down is a big step towards happiness and well-being.
When you suppress your emotions, you suppress them all. You can’t only block out the bad. Keeping a mental wall up actually blocks you from loving yourself.
Where to go from here.
Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is challenging. There are no short cuts or magic tricks.
Start working on things today that you want to be better at tomorrow. Ask for help if you need it. Confide in someone that isn’t quick to judge.
You don’t need to be strong all the time. Let yourself be seen. Really, it’s ok.
Please comment with the ways you choose to embrace vulnerability.
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