It’s Kinda Counter-Intuitive But It Works
There’s a lot of talk these days about vulnerability: what it is, what it isn’t, the value of it, etc. I love that whole conversation and think it has tremendous value! I also think there’s a lot of assumption out there about what it means and it freaks people out – in my mind, that means there’s a missing piece that needs to be highlighted: what vulnerability will do for YOUR LIFE.
What’s In It For Me?
“Capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt, liable or exposed to disaster or attack.”
Ugh. Who wants that in their life?? Sheesh!! No one will naturally go after circumstances that put them at risk like that… the thing is, if you aren’t willing to risk getting hurt or being exposed, you’ll never have the things in your life that you’re yearning for.
If you want a raise or a new job, you have to be willing to risk hearing “No” and the ensuing feeling of rejection. I.E. you have to risk getting hurt if you want the new job.
If you want to start a business, you have to be willing to risk failing. I.E. you have to risk feeling exposed.
If you want to start a new relationship (either building new friendships or starting an intimate relationship) you have to be willing to risk hearing “No thank-you” and again that feeling of rejection. You have to be willing to TRUST someone. You have to be willing to risk getting emotionally hurt or being vulnerable if you want to have new relationships in your life.
If you want to stand up for someone or something, you have to be willing to risk hearing from the nay-sayers and the opposition. You have to be willing to risk being exposed or being vulnerable if you want to do that in your life.
Vulnerability is not just the willingness to cry or feel emotion.
Vulnerability IS ALSO the willingness to risk.
And… as human beings, we’re not designed to do that. We’re designed, from a biological standpoint, to survive; that means staying in the middle of the herd where there’s protection all around you. Being on the outside of the herd, and especially at the front or the back, leaves you at risk of being attacked. You’re exposed. The trouble is, we take that biological design and put it into action in our lives without even realizing that’s what we’re doing! As a result we end up feeling stuck in our lives.
If you want to live a life that looks any different than what you have right now, the only way you’ll get it is to be willing to risk: risk failing, looking foolish, getting your feelings hurt, getting your heart broken, NOT LOOKING OR BEING PERFECT… You have to risk if you want to grow.
Anything that is outside your current experience of life (or your comfort zone as it’s often referred to) will require that you do something you’ve not done before. You have to be willing to step – even if it’s just a baby step – into the uncertain, into a place you’ve not been before.
If you’re not willing to truly do that, you’ll keep ending up with different versions of the results you’ve already experienced.
If your marriage or significant relationship is stagnant or unfulfilling and you want that to change, you have to be willing to risk having the tough conversation, speaking the truth, and dealing with the fallout. If you won’t take that risk, nothing will really change.
If you want to improve your health or your finances, you have to be willing to risk being honest about the current state of things, owning what you did to get yourself there, deal with the not-so-nice or uncomfortable feelings (like shame and embarrassment AND VULNERABILITY) that will immediately show up, and ask for and accept help. You have to risk feeling exposed.
If you want your life to be different than it is, you have to be willing to risk feeling exposed. There’s no way around it. And no one can do it for you. In this context:
VULNERABILITY = COURAGE
I think we often lose sight of what we have to gain when we start looking at the potential risk. We lose sight of the reason we’re contemplating the risk in the first place.
You’re risking rejection not because you’re a masochist and love to feel rejection but because you want something more for yourself; you want the challenge of a new job, the freedom a pay raise would provide, the joy and connection that goes along with falling and being in love!! Those are all worthy pursuits!
When you look at what you have to gain, I mean really get connected to it, can you see that risking feeling momentary rejection would be worth it if you were to succeed? You have to keep your eye on the prize, otherwise you’ll stagnate, fester, and flat-line. Your life is worth more than that. YOU’RE WORTH MORE THAN THAT!!
You were put here to LIVE. I mean really LIVE. If you’re not willing to risk, you’ll never live the life you were meant to.
Until next time ,
PS – Listen… this notion of being vulnerable is great idea in theory however when it’s time for the rubber to hit the road it’s often a different story. Figuring out how to develop your skill and comfort level with vulnerability on your own can be a real challenge; often people struggle to find long-term success. If that sounds like you, maybe it’s time we talked… I have a few spots for new clients opening up during the summer and I’d love to work with you and support you in creating the space for vulnerability and courage in your life! Click here to set up your free 30-min consult call and we’ll – at the very least – get you started down the road to real success!
How’re You Doing?
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