Yesterday, I wrote about Brené Brown and her life-changing research into vulnerability.
Today, I just want you to ask yourself these two follow-up questions:
“How can I let myself be more vulnerable?”
“In what ways could I realistically make vulnerability practice a routine part of my life?”
Please note: I should point out here that vulnerability is very different from over-sharing. So don’t start airing your dirty laundry for all of Facebook to see and call it being honest and authentic. That isn’t what this is.
Putting yourself out there and letting yourself really be seen, doesn’t look the same person to person. So what does it look like for you?
Maybe it’s a difficult conversation you’re avoiding with your partner, friend, relative, employer or employee.
Perhaps it’s a new career path you want to pursue, or a new hobby or class that you’d like to take up, but fear of failure, embarrassment, rejection and vulnerability is holding you back.
It could take the form of saying, “No” to something that you feel you should do, but know you’ll only resent later. Or allowing yourself to look goofy and stupid, without beating yourself up afterwards. Or letting yourself have an hour, an afternoon, or a day, where you aren’t productive at all – where you just let yourself be – without the shame of labeling yourself as lazy. Or going outside of the house, without a face hidden in makeup (this is definitely one for me).
One of the earliest blogs that I wrote this year was about the idea that we put off happiness; that we wait until we’re thinner, richer, more skilled, more confident; we wait until we’re more. In doing so, we’re telling ourselves that we’re not worthy of happiness and love, until we’re X, Y or Z.
Practicing vulnerability teaches you that you can strive forward towards goals, without basing your self-worth on the achievement of them.
i.e. I might want to lose weight, but I’m still just as worthy of love whether I weight 140 pounds or 180.
This isn’t a quick-fix folks. You’ll have to experience these uncomfortable feelings again and again, in many different ways. Whatever your version of vulnerability is, try to practice a little more of it in your day or week. Let yourself be seen, with all of your beautiful imperfections, and remember that you are already ‘enough’.