VULNERABILITY: THE LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN
I just wrote an entire blog post about vulnerability and how the scariest part of life is putting yourself out there, with no guarantee of the outcome... Right after I organized some of my deepest feelings and spilled my heart out- I accidentally hit the delete button.
I sat there for a few seconds in the irony.
It was a post written from the heart and within a few seconds, there was nothing. It was gone.
Could there be a better example of vulnerability?! Putting yourself out there: thoughts, emotions and soul only to have it literally "deleted."
Talk about no guarantees in life.
Vulnerability means showing up and allowing yourself to be seen, speaking your truth and putting yourself at risk for rejection.
It's saying "I love you" and not knowing how the other person feels. It's hearing that you have cancer. It's walking into an interview for your dream job. It's becoming a parent for the first time. It's facing someone that you have hurt. It's admitting that you struggle with an addiction or that your relationship isn't working anymore.
Yet, it's our worst fear. Humans do not like pain or discomfort. We avoid it and numb it whenever we can- because what is worse then the "unknown" that comes with putting ourselves out there?
Numbing seems so much easier: drinking, meaningless sex, shopping, dieting or mindlessly internet stalking. All of these things are just temporary aids that take us out of our discomfort. However as Brene Brown says, "you can't selectively numb." When you avoid the bad feelings- you also end up missing out on the good.
There is nothing more terrifying or beautiful in life then our vulnerability. I am lucky enough too get the privileged of witnessing it every single day in my work.
Being alive means being vulnerable.
It brings us face-to-face with life's most difficult truths, while at the same time creating the space for meaningful moments and experiences, which can truly transform and bring meaning too our lives.
So...Why is it so hard?!
Because people hate not having "control."
When you allow yourself too be vulnerable- you risk being hurt, rejected and dismissed and there is NOTHING more painful or uncomfortable then that. You literally take a leap of faith and surrender yourself and without being able to control the outcome.
Control is our society's remedy for the fear we feel when we know that we are vulnerable. It's a false sense of power, which distracts us from the hard truth that nothing can fully be controlled... Other then how we choose to react in any given moment.
Nothing else in life is guaranteed.
It's my theory that as a society we have rebelled against that truth. We have repressed our vulnerability and labeled it as "bad," because of fear and discomfort.
That fear has limited so many of us, and created a culture of people who run away from their feelings, struggle and meaning.
We have been socialized to believe that being "seen" in our humanity is sign of weakness. When it actually is one of the few things that we all have in-common with each other.
I would go as far as too say it is the most beautiful part of being human.
Here are some tips on how to be more vulnerable in your everyday life:
- John Mayer said it best: "It's better to say too much. Than to never to say what you need to say again." Speaking your truth can be intimidating, whether it's letting someone down or telling someone you are in love with them, it's better to be honest and risk the momentary discomfort, rather then living a life of regret.
- Stop pretending: You are not perfect nor are you immune to going through difficult shit. If you aren't ok- ask for help from those that love you. It's ok to fall down sometimes in life, getting back up only makes you stronger.
- Sit with the unknown: The moment we feel discomfort, most of us tend to run to distract ourselves from it. Instead, sit with it and try your best to tolerate it. I promise you there is an important message hidden in those feelings.
- Be humble: No one has all the answers too life, we are not always right. Admit that too yourself and listen to others opinions and perspectives. Even if you do not agree- it will expand your view on this world. Listen with the intent to understand, not too argue.
- Own your flaws: Our weaknesses are often the most beautiful parts of us. Stop trying to hide your shortcomings from everyone! The people who matter in life, love you FOR all of your flaws and quirks.
- Accept others: It starts with you, if you want to be more authentic in your life... You have to model that for the people around you. Be opened, don't judge, listen and be empathetic. Give what you want to receive from others and suddenly the right people and relationship will begin to flourish in your life.
- Love: This is probably the most important one. Love is one of the most vulnerable experiences and feelings that we have. If we have been hurt in the past, it is terrifying to open up again and let someone in. It's so easy to "shut off" when we feel those feelings again. But what is a life without love?!
Love is passion, friendship, family, experiences and hobbies. Love is what life is about at the end- and if we avoid it, we avoid our deepest purpose.
So stop hiding... Show up and be seen and know that you will not be valued any less for being vulnerable. You will always be enough.