“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” – Brené Brown
Ever since I could remember, I’ve been an open book. Some people consider that to be a weakness. I’ve come across so many people who are “private”, people who don’t want to speak about who they are or what their experience has been in order to protect themselves from the opinions of others and perhaps even themselves. We live in a world where we desire to “fit in”, we want the people we love to be proud of us and we have so many distractions that we can barely digest our deepest emotions. We become lost in a world that is so distracted by perfection that we lack love and concern for our feelings and soon, we don’t know what it is we feel unless we can speak about it.
So how do we practice vulnerability? How do we learn how to be honest with ourselves instead of being correct? How do we take on the courage to be vulnerable with ourselves in order to feel safe to be open with others?
Have The Courage To Be Honest With Yourself: I am sure you’ve all heard the saying before, “The Truth Shall Set You Free” When you are accepting of your emotions and your fears only then can you truly over come them. If you don’t confront what it is you are feeling, you can’t address it. Try talking about your fears to someone you feel comfortable with, someone who you believe won’t judge you this way you can come to terms with the feelings you are having. This isn’t necessarily because you need advice, but because you want to understand the depth of what you are feeling.
Take Nothing Personally: We live in a world where people judge themselves. It is hard to find a spiritually strong person who loves themselves and are honest with others. It is important to understand that how people may react to your vulnerabilities is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. One of my favorite authors, Don Miguel Ruiz said, “Don’t take anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
Prepare yourself to have the strength to be comfortable with your vulnerabilities. We are human and function the same way. No amount of money or confidence can take away anyones vulnerabilities. As a poet, I find that when I read my poetry to an audience, I am allowing people to relate and in turn they thank me for saying things that they couldn’t say. We are all experiencing different things. All scary and courageous things. Perhaps if we all start to be vulnerable, it may give people the courage to be vulnerable too. But remember, even if they aren’t at that emotional level of maturity, do not take it personally.
Practice Being Vulnerable: The more you practice being your true self, the easier it will become. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone what you have been through, only the things that make you who you are. The things that you fear from time to time, and the things you’d like to discover in life. Be vulnerable in a positive way.
Don’t miss this TED talk by Brené Brown. She is the author of Daring Greatly
What would you like to get out of being vulnerable?