What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.”
~ Haruki Murakami
A friend read yesterday’s Visiting Vulnerabilities post. She emailed saying thanks for addressing a, to her, sensitive topic. She also asked, “What can I do to stretch myself” and “What about techniques to become more comfortable with vulnerability?”
Being true to who you are and leaving the mask off is a pretty general explanation for vulnerability. Seeking a more substantive reference, I dug deeper and found a February 1, 2011 post, Gentlemen, be Vulnerable, in which orijinalblend (the author) concluded with this quote:
“This is me, and I am interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more importantly, all that I am not.”
So how do you get to a state where you can be this honest and vulnerable? For starters, you can consider these five actions:
Connect with others. There is something endearing about vulnerability. When you’re vulnerable it’s easier to connect because you’re coming from a place of truth. It also makes asking for help easier.
- Embrace negative emotions. When we numb sadness and pain, we numb joy and happiness. Feeling the depths of our lows enables us to fully feel the soaring of our highs.
- Let go of perfection. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to be perfect all the time? This one is a challenge for me, When you’re vulnerable, it’s okay to be imperfect.
- Increase your emotional intelligence. If you are constantly burying your feelings, then you aren’t going to grow emotionally. By facing your vulnerability head on, you will naturally increase your emotional intelligence.
- Just be yourself. How difficult do you need to make this? Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone’s else’s life. Be authentic! It’s so much easier and the baggage you shed will lighten you and your spirit.
So here’s a challenge, if we’re willing to engage in an uncomfortable space. I am committing to being openly vulnerable. It may not be easy. It may go terribly wrong. I might get damaged like so many others. Yet, I believe if I am to be truly stronger, I think if any of us are, we have to be willing to expose our true selves.
What are you going to do?
If you’ve successfully navigated your way with vulnerability, perhaps you’d be willing to comment and share how it has strengthened you.