Why is it so hard to be vulnerable and what happens when we are?

Brene Brown is the Master when it comes to Vulnerability and if you’ve not seen her TED talk ‘The Power of Vulnerability’, I highly recommend you do.

Being vulnerable is tough. It requires an inner strength to be vulnerable.

To gain that strength, I believe, requires an incredible amount of self esteem and probably, when you have the least amount of it.

By very nature, being vulnerable makes us usually head on a downward spiral of negativity.

So what makes us choose to vulnerable?

Is it even a choice?

People, circumstance and our environment all play a key part in allowing you to be vulnerable.

I know it was a choice on some level to be vulnerable when I dropped out of college at 17. However, not when my world collapsed after the Police told me my mother had died. Now at 40, it is a conscious decision to be vulnerable by putting myself *out there*.

I was an expert at internalising my emotions. I’ve spent many years suppressing feelings, putting on the armour and masks before leaving home ready to face the world in which I lived.

Leaving yourself wide open on an emotional level isn’t easy to do. It can be painful to be your genuine self with your loved ones and strangers, but the more you do it, the easier it feels to just be yourself.

People can choose to accept you for what you are or not - it’s their prerogative.

Vulnerability is about taking the lid off yourself, layer by layer, and revealing your genuine self, and as a result leaving yourself exposed.

Are we afraid of being judged, making ourselves and others feel discomfort, inviting criticism, opinions and arguments? Or because we feel we’re inviting more wounds to our perhaps already bruised and battered soul?

I’m a big believer that if you provoke a reaction from your nearest and dearest or even strangers, it says more about them than you.

Going through the process of counselling many moons ago, I felt it was a safe space to be myself where I could feel vulnerable in that setting.

Finding one supportive environment allows you to find the courage to begin opening up and is a great step towards becoming yourself.

To know you are held in a supportive space is powerful, knowing that you won’t get any of the down sides of being vulnerable meeting you head on.

Investing in myself and getting help and support where I’ve needed it is one of the best things I’ve done in my life.

Hands down a winner.

Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I wouldn’t be pushing boundaries, moving out of my comfort zone and I would still feel like I was living someone else’s life.

I don’t even recognise the person I was then!

The starting point was accepting this is where I am. With kindness and not berating myself for it.

Then giving myself permission that it was ok to feel like this, there was help available and it was a good idea to be open to receiving it!

There are places to go and it is ok to be vulnerable. Nobody is purposely set out to get you. But in order to live your life, you need to step out of your comfort zone and be unafraid.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter your circumstances.

It’s often when we’re at our lowest, it’s the time for breakthroughs and great insights about ourselves and our fellow humans.

The human experience is fragile, yet we are incredibly resilient. Life has highs and lows and its during the low times that vulnerability rears it head.

It pains me to see clients and friends imprisoned by limiting beliefs and feeling afraid to experience life as they want to.

Afraid to be open to the possibility and opportunity that waits on the other side of the uneven path they need to walk on to get there.

We must be prepared to trudge through the muck that has led us to protect ourselves from years of living in societies beliefs and the guidance and influence from our teachers and parents.

That requires us to be vulnerable.

Find the support, and a healthy dollop of love and empathy you need to take one step towards your desired life.

It’s worth it and YOUR LIFE IS WAITING!