You are going to learn that being vulnerable, in any capacity, is actually a superpower. It signifies being strong, brave, and courageous.
And by embracing your vulnerability, you will be able to enjoy a seemingly endless amount of benefits in your personal, social, work and romantic life.
What is Vulnerability?
According to Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and successful author, “vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure”. She too says that “what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful”.
To be vulnerable is the ability to reveal the parts of yourself to others that aren’t perfect. And understandably, people all over the world fear being vulnerable because it could result in being judged, misunderstood, rejected, or labelled.
Oftentimes, our inner voice is our biggest critic too, telling us that we are not good enough.
To give you an example of being vulnerable, imagine telling your partner that you love them for the first time, or asking your boss for a raise or a promotion. It involves taking a risk, which could lead to feelings of failure and unworthiness.
Essentially however, whether your partner does or does not reciprocate your feelings, or your boss does or does not give you that raise or promotion, you either win or you learn. There is no losing if you are able to see any outcome as an opportunity to grow.
But the catch 22 of vulnerability is that we often tend to admire others for embracing it, yet we believe that when we do it, we are weak.
But isn’t it tiring carrying around a suit of armor that we believe protects us from really being seen, flaws and all? Being vulnerable allows us to drop the armor and realize that perfection is not the goal.
In fact, perfection is driven by the need to receive praise and approval. It is the need to be perfect that leads people to believe that they are worth what they achieve. It is a constant monologue of “What will people think?”.
And when you do not meet your standards of perfectionism, a slew of negative consequences can come about, such as anxiety, depression, and even addiction. It is a tiresome journey trying to please everyone all of the time.
Vulnerability, on the other hand, is geared towards “How can I improve?”. It is the ability to show courage. It’s not about winning or losing, but understanding that both of those experiences are meaningful and useful.
How to Embrace Vulnerability
To start being vulnerable, it involves taking an inward journey and truly asking ourselves: what is holding us back? It is by no means an easy and quick process, and it is about learning how to face criticism and rejection and use it to grow and evolve.
It is also about knowing our worth, giving ourselves credit when credit is due, and knowing that we are powerful individuals who can get what we need from the world if we are vulnerable enough to ask for it.
The trick to truly embracing vulnerability is having the ability to stop yourself from escaping situations that may make you feel vulnerable and give yourself permission to let your walls down.
When you are able to trust that you are strong enough to deal with the outcome, slowly but surely, you’ll be able to express vulnerability and ultimately create and navigate a world full of strength and confidence.
The most important thing to remember through this journey, is that—by not being vulnerable at all—you are already hurting yourself with inaction. Inaction can cause a constant feeling of disappointment as opposed to a 50-50 percent chance of happiness.
What Are the Benefits of Being Vulnerable?
When you embrace vulnerability, you will benefit in numerous ways:
- You will have more intimacy, empathy, and compassion in your romantic relationships
- You will see an increase in self-worth and self-confidence
- You will be more creative and expressive
- You will be more accountable for your actions
- You will notice your weaknesses, which will make your strengths even more special
- You will create meaningful connections with various types of people
To elaborate, here’s why being vulnerable is a superpower…
1. Vulnerability Creates More Meaningful Connections
When we embrace vulnerability, we are able to attract people into our lives who are inspired by our openness.
By loving all parts of ourselves, the good and the bad, we begin to connect on a deeper and more relatable level with different types of people.
We can admit that we are not perfect but merely human, and we can increase our capacity to understand, empathize, and forgive others.
2. Vulnerability Boosts Creativity
Think back to a moment in your life where you had an idea which you thought was perhaps crazy. And because you felt that way, you decided to ignore the idea for a fear of being judged?
Now imagine a world where you pushed through that fear, and you expressed your out-of-the-box thinking. This is where true creativity and innovation lies.
By doing this, you are able to create new ideas, see things from different perspectives, and take the risk of it being a success or not.
3. Vulnerability Enhances Closeness in Romantic Relationships
Interestingly, vulnerability has shown to appear differently in men and women. This is largely due to societal pressures and the existence of gender roles.
For men, it is more so about doing everything they can in order to not look weak, whereas women often strive to be perfect and can do any and everything.
And so, when heterosexual couples coexist, both partners should work towards having enough empathy to understand and support one another.
The healthiest way to be vulnerable with your partner is to allow them to express themselves fully without trying to solve their problems. It is also about letting them know that they are loved and “enough” regardless of their fears or vulnerabilities.
It is evident that being vulnerable does indeed require guts, but it is in breaking down these walls and removing all of our protective armor that we can truly achieve what we deserve in life.
In short, embracing vulnerability is a true indication of strength and power! So, go forth and be great!