Encouragementology

Vulnerability, Showing Your Softer Side

February 12, 2019

Do you associate hard and tough as being in control? When you feel vulnerable do you feel weak? Perhaps it’s fear, hurt or betrayal. Our ideas of these terms could have evolved and morphed throughout our lifetime. Through childhood, adolescence, or adult experiences.

Vulnerability in the technical term means the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

But consider this: “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage,” affirms research professor and author Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong.

Vulnerability is an act of courage because you merge with your authentic self, instead of hiding behind a facade to appease others. But it can be uncomfortable to ask questions, express your opinion, or talk about your emotions with people. You expose yourself to their criticism and judgment, but you also expose yourself to answers and opposing views.

How many times do you hang back in a conversation because you’re afraid that what you have to offer will be silly or irrelevant or even stupid? How much are you missing because you worry about what other people think vs how you feel? The fear of vulnerability may even stunt your growth, staying in your cocoon because you’re afraid to express yourself.

Our outer shell was developed to protect us, to be more assertive, mingle and mix with anyone we come in contact with. Sometimes we let this outer shell lead like a protective piece of armor. Sometimes we get to a place where we are carrying two distinctively different people in one.

I am an assertive businesswoman who isn’t afraid to insert her opinion or fight for what is right. Personally, I’m a pushover who can become consumed with people pleasing and worrying about everyone else's comfort level vs my own.

How can we blend the best qualities of each to find our true selves? The more we embrace our softer side, the easier it becomes to connect with who we are and express ourselves from an authentic place. So be gentle. Just like I asked you to think about what you really value about yourself - your true self, let’s think about what you like about your persona. This is the person you send out to fight your battles so you must respect and trust their strength. Maybe it’s their work ethic, their ability to stand up for what they believe in or ask for what they want. If that persona was going to be gone tomorrow, what would you want to keep and adopt for yourself?

CHALLENGE: Take a quiet moment and be gentle with yourself. If you’re sad, nurture your feelings. If you’re mad, take some deep breaths and help yourself relax. If you’re happy, celebrate with yourself, well done you! In all you do, be there for yourself today and tomorrow, we want to meet YOU.

I know YOU can do it!

Musical Feature: Jenn Bostic www.jennbostic.com