August 14, 2021
What comes to your mind when you think of the word “vulnerability”?
Fear, being hurt or betrayed, or sign of weakness ?
For a long time, I used to think that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness. Therefore, if I made a mistake, I would refuse to acknowledge it.
“Why must I be the only one to admit that I made a mistake when everyone else doesn’t do so?” If I open up my true feelings, I will be hurt or betrayed- This was my thinking.
But, over time, this viewpoint shifted. I realized that vulnerability is the very essence of courage, and once I realized that it is a sign of strength, it became easy for me to embrace it.
But First, What Is Vulnerability?
I define vulnerability as the emotional willingness, to be honest to yourself and with people you trust about how you feel.
Brené Brown puts it differently. “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”
The opposite of vulnerability is false pride, where you erect emotional walls around you to prevent others from getting to know your true nature. You engage with people around you through a façade, a mask to create a false impression of being in control.
Listen To Your Heart
Vulnerability comes from listening to your heart more than your mind. Your mind will say you will get hurt if you accept your mistake, while your heart will tell you, “you will be free and liberated because there will be nothing more to fear.”
If you wish to live a wholesome, happy life, you have no choice but to accept your vulnerability. When you listen to your heart, lower your guard, and open yourself to engage with the world authentically, you accelerate your personal growth.
What Does Vulnerability Look Like?
Vulnerability shows up in our daily lives in many ways. You are vulnerable when you
- Admit you don’t know something or don’t understand something.
- Accept and acknowledge a mistake you may have made.
- Take responsibility for the decisions you make without blaming anyone else.
- Speak up and share how you feel when someone hurts you.
- Tell people in your life that you care about them and love them.
- Show up and take risks even if you worry about rejection.
- Ask for help instead of pretending that you can manage on your own.
Vulnerability Is Courage
Being courageous is not the absence of fear, but it is the strength to go ahead and do something despite the fear. When you are vulnerable, it means that you have the willingness and strength to show up and do something despite the fear of being hurt. In essence, if courage is one side of the coin, vulnerability is the other side of the same coin. An act of courage is an act of vulnerability and vice versa.
Trust your heart’s wisdom and ignore the voice in your head. Show up and be seen for who you truly are.