The Courage to Be Vulnerable
Being vulnerable is a risky thing. You’re taking a chance every time you share your heart with the world and say what you really want to say without holding back. Being vulnerable is sharing your tender self, your true self, and connecting with your tribe through your transparency.
Vulnerability is risky, but it’s also empowering. It frees you to finally be who you are and enjoy the space of that freedom. It lets you tell your story in a powerful way that urges others to do the same.
As humans, we’re drawn to stories we resonate with. Our whole lives are determined by the stories we tell and accept to be true, so it’s imperative we absorb and focus on the right stories.
What does it take for you to be vulnerable? What are you accepting to be true for you, and how’s that affecting the way you show up in the world? Who are you being, and does it feel true to you?
Mustering the courage to be vulnerable is taking a stand for bolder self-expression and the privilege of being who you are. Being vulnerable is about sharing yourself, warts and all, and knowing that your experience is valuable. Instead of being ashamed for your flaws, you see the power in voicing them, knowing that they don’t reduce your self-worth & self-esteem unless you let them.
I talk about being vulnerable because that’s the only way we can get to know the real you. Your polished persona is nowhere near as powerful as the raw fierceness of your truth and the strength of your story. When you summon the courage to be vulnerable, you give your Soul permission to truly express Herself and change your world through that expression.
There’s a difference between being vulnerable and having no boundaries or seeking attention for your story. One is a selfless, mindful act that teaches something to those who witness it, and the other is a mindless outpouring that doesn’t add anything useful to the conversation.
When you’re being vulnerable, you’re sharing something powerful to uplift, enlighten, or educate the people who hear your story. You recognize a universal thread in the specifics of your situation, and so you share those specifics so other people can see that they’re not alone and they don’t have to be afraid. This is what makes vulnerability selfless−you risk criticism & backlash to reach the souls who’re hungry for the solace and wisdom you offer.
By its very nature, being vulnerable means being real. There’s no space for pretending, minimizing, or downplaying the truth of your words because truth is your driving force. You’re interested in telling the truth because you know it’s the next step in your evolution of who you really came here to be.
And because vulnerability is so real, you have to feel safe enough to share your story with us. You have to make peace with the words, to accept them, to prep yourself before you make them public. You’re the best judge of what feels good to you, so you’ll know when it’s time to share or wait for another time.
When you’re ready to be vulnerable, start in small doses that gradually open you up to sharing your story. Confide in a girlfriend or 2. Write a journal entry that becomes a blog post or a Facebook status update. Pace yourself so you’re not overwhelmed or frozen in fear. Even if sharing is a big step, you also want to feel like it’s a natural next step in your journey, not something you’re forcing or being pressured into.
If you’re not sure what to say or how to say it, ask yourself why it’s important to be vulnerable. Are you telling your story to stop other people from making your mistakes? Are you trying to comfort those who’re suffering what you’ve been through? Are you teaching people how to learn a new skill or navigate a turbulent life transition?
When you can answer those questions, you’re one step closer to clarity and focused action. Knowing the answers means you can decide if you’re driven by truth, love, and a desire to heal, and you can also decide not to move forward unless they’re present.
When you have your parameters in place, you’re able to tell the difference between a genuine urge to be vulnerable and the mindless crossing of boundaries just to get a reaction or sliver of attention. This discernment gives you the strength to stand by your story even if it’s unpopular or controversial−you are grounded in your truth and unmoved by others’ reactions to that truth.
This is not to say you won’t be bothered if other people discredit or try to diminish your vulnerability, because you will, but you won’t be torn down by it. Your truths won’t suddenly morph into falsehoods, and your strength won’t suddenly crumble like dominoes. Your ego might take a hit, but your spirit will be calm and robust.
This is what it means to be vulnerable−to be grounded in your truth and bolstered by your strength. When you summon the courage to live this way, you start to reap the benefits and bond with those who resonate with you.
How have you been vulnerable lately?
Talk to me in the comments below.