08 Aug

The Power of Vulnerability

When was the last time you allowed yourself to be vulnerable?

Vulnerability get’s bad press.  So many people think it’s not okay to say how you feel, share a forthright opinion or stand up for what you believe in while others are learning it is through actually exercising the power of vulnerability which gives us strength.

In recent weeks this has been a major theme in my work.

Woman are recognising when they are acting from the frightened child part of themselves, afraid to speak up in case a relationship ends.  Others don’t let their bosses know they are doing all the work while others are filing their nails and gloating.  Many are stressed to the max because they don’t know how to say no to the demands of family requests.  Some feel it’s wrong to ask for help and believe ‘you have to do things by yourself’.  Even in terms of health we might hold back from demanding a second opinion and asking for more care.

Vulnerability begins in childhood where we learn what it’s like to get things wrong, where we say or do something or parents or caregivers don’t like, where we might experience not getting picked for sport at school or included at playtime.  We leave ourselves open and exposed in nearly all our interactions and I agree this sure does leave one feeling unsafe if your believe it’s not okay to be vulnerable based on just a few experiences from the past which have been negative.

Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus offers us the following when we pull vulnerability to pieces:

noun exposure

adjective
1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body.
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.: an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.

3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend: a vulnerable bridge.

Now just because we can and because I love playing with words, let’s re-frame vulnerability!

1. capability to speak up with assertiveness with no harm happening to us emotionally or physically (testing out the limiting beliefs about vulnerability and getting positive reactions in the process)

2. allowing ourselves to be open to help, support, encouragement, guidance, love and acceptance (evidence vulnerability benefits us in many ways)

3. open to sharing our real selves, being true to who we are and sharing our truth with others (building confidence as we learn vulnerability no longer makes us vulnerable because whatever the outcome at least we’ve been true to ourselves) we also help those around us to show up as who they are.  It’s a win/win all round

So I invite you to be open to exploring your vulnerability, this Brene Brown Talk on vulnerability sums it up nicely.

If vulnerabilities been holding you back, it’s time to let it go….What’s the best that can happen!