We get so many messages in our culture about looking good, doing it right, and having it together, that there is a tendency in our society to blame others, try to fix every flaw, act out of fear, and avoid pain. We see it playing out in technicolor in the news these days.
The truth is, we can’t avoid vulnerability, emotional pain, and heartbreak. To be alive, to love, to be a parent, to navigate in the world in our mortal bodies is vulnerable and at times painful. It’s part of life.
If you’re familiar with Brene Brown, you’ll know that she has done some fantastic work on vulnerability. She says, “Vulnerability is not weakness: it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
What became even more apparent to Brene is that when we numb our vulnerability to protect ourselves, we are also numbing ourselves to joy, gratitude, and happiness.
Intimacy, possibility, and transformation can only occur when we are willing to bring our whole heart to life. It is a risk, it takes courage when we are vulnerable, because it’s an entry into the unknown. We don’t have control of the outcome. Things may not work out the way we want, and yet if we want a fulfilling life filled with joy, gratitude and happiness, the willingness to be vulnerable is essential.
There are many ways we experience vulnerability on a daily basis. We can build our capacity for it by exercising discernment, setting healthy boundaries, and practicing intentionally. A few examples are saying no to someone we love risking anger or rejection; trying a new experience we’re not good at; admitting a mistake; allowing ourselves to feel shame, grief, fear, and disappointment.
Living into vulnerability doesn’t happen without practice. You don’t have to start with the big thing.
What is one thing you can begin to do or say differently to create more space for vulnerability to live and grow in your life?
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC, a former executive and co-founder of Life Reinspired, is happily enjoying her best chapter of life. She now helps others do the same. Schedule a free Life Reinspired Strategy Session or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.