Inviting Vulnerability Into Your Life

Vulnerability can be hard! There, we said it. Modern society dictates that vulnerability is not useful. Strength & determination are ideals we uphold as the gold standard. Strength is reliable, determination is predictable. Vulnerability on the other hand is associated with weakness. Weakness is seen as unpredictable and therefore deemed undesirable.In a world such as ours, it’s hard to understand, let alone encourage vulnerability within ourselves and others. It is, however, one of the keys to living a more fulfilled and authentic life.

So What Is Vulnerability?

If we’re going to talk about vulnerability, we’d be hard pressed to do so without turning to the famous Brene Brown. Brown defines vulnerability as:

The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.

But vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage.

When the barrier is our belief about vulnerability, the question becomes: ‘Are we willing to show up and be seen when we can’t control the outcome?’

When the barrier to vulnerability is about safety, the question becomes: ‘Are we willing to create courageous spaces so we can be fully seen?”

— Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

As Brown states, it’s not vulnerability which we need to “overcome” – no matter how many times society has told us this, it’s our definition and mindset around vulnerability that needs work. Vulnerability is about authenticity, courage, human connection and bravery & Isn’t that something we all want more of?

So How Can I Be Vulnerable?

Chances are you, like most of us, have some work to do around letting go of your negative assumptions of vulnerability. Re-framing our mindset is half the battle, and it will take time and lots of flexing our (usually) underdeveloped vulnerability muscles.

If you’re ready to take steps to welcome vulnerability into your life, consider these tips:

Slow Down & Become Conscious of Your Behaviour

It can be easy to go through life on autopilot, without questioning the ways in which we react or why we do what we do. The first step to recognizing when you may be feeling vulnerable and understand how you react to that feeling is to become more present. Maybe this means incorporating more mindfulness or meditation into your day or maybe it means identifying in your body how it feels to be vulnerable, so you’re better aware when these feelings arise and what could trigger them. Once you’re aware of your bodily sensations and triggers, you can begin to explore your reactions.

Accept That You’re Worthy

This can be a hard one & it will take time. However, accepting that you’re worthy, as you are without having to change or perform your idea of worthiness is a huge step in becoming more vulnerable. Find ways to become your #1 supporter by congratulating yourself on your steps forward and comforting yourself when you do something that you deem as a step back.

Ask For What You Need

Chances are, when you ask for what you need, you’ll be shocked at the ways in which others will help you get just that. Depending on your experiences, it may feel more natural for you to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get things done yourself or even withdraw from others when you’re struggling, but it’s important to actively make your needs known. By asking for what you need, you allow others to connect authentically with you and by proxy, your actions encourage others to do the same for themselves.

Striving for vulnerability in a world that actively stands against it is a hard journey, however, it can and will lead to deeper connection to self & others, freedom to live authentically and ultimately a better society for everyone.

Looking to explore vulnerability with a trained counsellor or therapist? Contact us today. 

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