We live in a society that praises and rewards those with courage and bravery. We are taught from an early age that it’s good to face our fears, and that it is often the catalyst for powerful and lasting change. Bravery is to be encouraged, but what about vulnerability? Is this trait also encouraged? Often it is not, and maybe this is why many of us do not allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Think of the amount of courage it takes to allow yourself to be in a position where your heart might get broken. Really sit and think about this! For instance, what about saying, “I love you” first in a new relationship. How much courage does it take to put yourself out there and make new friends? Go for that promotion? Rely on others instead of only ourselves? These situations can bring up real feelings of rejection, and humans go to great lengths to avoid this.
The Benefits of Vulnerability
We know the obvious benefits of courage. People are often saved from dangerous situations and our world is safer. But how can we benefit from being vulnerable?
Opening up to another human being and sharing your deepest emotions is what ultimately builds healthy and lasting relationships. When we expose our authentic and true selves, we of course do set ourselves up for potential heartbreak. On the opposite side of the coin, we also pave the way for strong and healthy connections with others.
Increased Sense of Self-Worth
Being vulnerable also allows us to accept ourselves as we are, even our flaws. This helps us to stop comparing ourselves to others and experience a tremendous boost in our self-esteem and self-worth.
Getting comfortable with our own vulnerability means we can also be comfortable with others’ own vulnerability. This allows us to, in those times when the people in our lives show their vulnerability to us, we can respond with compassion. Being vulnerable can foster and enhance vulnerability in others.
Start the Journey
As they say, every journey starts with that first step. Your journey toward embracing your own vulnerabilities can also begin this way. This may mean spending more quiet time alone. It may mean the next time trusted friends or family asks, “How are you?”, you tell them the truth.
It may also mean digging deep and uncovering some old wounds and darkness that you have been ignoring. And for this part of the journey, you may want to consider seeking guidance from a trained therapist who can offer tools and advice. We would be grateful to help you begin your journey.