Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear, and out struggle for worthiness. But it appears it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love.” -Brené Brown
I was sitting across from my counselor with tears swelling in my eyes. We had just reviewed the results of a brief status test to see how I was feeling toward different situations. The results showed that I was experiencing high social and academic anxiety. I didn’t want that to be true. I wanted my results to be in the grey area where all my feelings were controlled, and not skyrocketing to the scary red zone.
My counselor asked me why these results caused me to be so emotional, and I honestly couldn’t answer her. The truth is, I was anxious and I didn’t realize that until I saw it with my own eyes. I could feel my heart race because I was fighting the need to be vulnerable with her in that moment.
To be vulnerable is to let someone truly see me, to speak up when someone hurt my feelings instead of laugh it off, and to be honest with myself. That day in the counseling office was the first of many days I became honest with myself.
I feel like vulnerability has this negative aura about it. We are taught in our society to be strong, independent people who shouldn’t get emotional. Yet we have to be willing to emotionally invest in someone to connect with them. Vulnerability gives us inspiration to create something beautiful, to love deeply, and strengthen our sense of self.
Now you might say, “I have trust issues” or “I am not ____ enough.” Please hear me when I say, you are deserving of close friendships. You are worthy of love and to be seen for who you truly are because you are a one-in-a-million treasure. I think there is great strength in guarding your heart while also allowing others see it. The more we practice vulnerability with our close friends and family the easier it becomes too.
I came across this extraordinary TedTalk by Brené Brown called “The Power of Vulnerability.” She is a researcher-storyteller who has studied shame and vulnerability for about a decade. In her research, she learned that vulnerability makes us beautiful and that it requires courage, compassion, and connection.
Courage- Strive to have the courage to be imperfect and tell the story of who you are with your whole heart
Compassion- We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly
Connection- A result of authenticity by letting go of who you think you should be and just be you
Brené encourages us to “let ourselves be deeply seen, love with our whole hearts even when there are no guarantees, practice gratitude and joy, and believe you are enough.”
So grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and check out this incredible 20 minute TedTalk by Brené Brown:
A few questions to reflect on about vulnerability:
- What does vulnerability mean to you?
- How does vulnerability inspire creativity or joy?
- In what ways can you be vulnerable with the people you love?
I’d love to read your opinions or thoughts about vulnerability in the comments below! Thank you so much for taking time out of you day to read this post! This week I am challenging us to be vulnerable because it critical for growing deeper in our friendships. Stay tuned for a follow-up post to this one on Wednesday!
Petit à Petit,