I feel the topic of vulnerability has really come on leaps and bounds recently, and perhaps without us realising it. You sit down with family, meet a friend or group of friends for a good old fashioned chin wag. Have you ever noticed this is the time when you’re speaking with probably the most amount of truth? You find yourself honestly opening up more and more each time, and you feel a darn site better for it, am I right?
Without realising it or putting another word on it, you were allowing yourself to be vulnerable. This is why I personally think theirs is so much benefit in allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You may or may not agree but let me give you my take based on personal experience.
Since my operation back in 2016, I’ve always been open and honest with friends, family and even those I’ve only just met. I’ve always prided myself on being open about my condition and the physical and mental struggles it forced me to overcome. That it may inspire others to try it. Personally, for me, opening up or being ‘vulnerable’ has been easy. Mainly, as this gave me a new mindset to stop letting the negative or judgemental opinions others bother me. In kind I have been able to freely listen to others without judgement. My friends can hopefully vouch for that. As some folks say. The most important opinion should be what you think of yourself. This attitude is what’s allowed me to really open myself up to the world.
The Ridiculous Myth!
Thankfully we now seem to be moving into a generation or time certainly, where people are becoming more open and honest, for the benefits of their own wellbeing.
It’s just a shame it’s taken so long to break through the myths about vulnerability. You read or hear of the typical:
Being vulnerable is weakness
Gender stereotypes that men need to be ‘Strong’ to maintain some kind of alpha male status
Gives ammunition or gossip for others to spread
I can sort out my issues alone
I’m sure there are more, but these are the most common for me.
Now, I completely understand people want to be private or consider themselves a private person. There is comfort to be had there. However, there’s a huge difference between being private and being vulnerable. I probably don’t need to know about your love life per say and what you get up to on date night. Your morning or night time routines. I digress but the point is there. Opening up is where you learn more about yourself than you can ever realise. This may sound a little harsh but I have more respect and love for those who decide to open up to me than those who bottle things up but still complain about life. No one but YOU can start a process to change. You open up to the right people, then all you should see in return is an admiration and respect for your strength and courage to let it all hang out there for all to see.
Evolving Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Without realising it you’re getting out of your comfort zone. Perhaps this is a big reason some choose to remain internal, withdraw inward. We all love a good comfort zone. It feels safe and warm. Why would we want to leave?
All I can say from personal experience is getting out of my comfort zone has made me grow stronger, reaching new levels of inner strength I didn’t know existed. I’ll post a proper blog on the topic of the ‘comfort zone’, but ask yourself. How many times have you been scared to try something new, but when you do, you feel amazing afterwards? A ton, right? Each time you pull yourself out of a comfort zone, you’re evolving into someone stronger and more courageous. You start to change your world for the better, in my opinion.
I also find because I’m allowing myself to be open, I’m not storing as much anxious or negative energy and emotions. In return, this has emptied so much space in my heart and mind for personal growth and development. Leading to feelings of greater happiness, joy and certainly a calmer mind on a daily basis.
The Truth Can Set You Free!
I remember having a conversation with a close friend of mine on this subject. About the stereotypes it has on genders in society, how some see it as a weakness, and how it’s a shame people feel they can’t be vulnerable for various reasons. Then he said “That’s because being vulnerable is speaking your truth”. A brilliant line, which hit the nail on the head.
This is the final point I’d like to make really. Maybe this is what puts the fear in people about being vulnerable. It doesn’t have to be about past traumas for example, as was my case. Sometimes we’re maybe scared because for some, that truth hurts. Truth forces out emotions and answers we perhaps don’t feel we’re ready for, which should be the absolute opposite. These are the answers you really need to overcome, to set yourself free from what’s holding you back and reaching your true potential.
On more than one occasion now I’ve had people say to me they’ve never opened up to anyone else like they have to me. Not even to loved ones. I’m flattered, but I don’t say it in this way to sound arrogant. I use this example more so, because it shows the affect it can have. The fact I’m being open and honest with people, is in turn, providing comfort and a safe space for others to do the same.
Even if it’s in small steps. Please don’t be afraid to open yourself up to people. Allow yourself to have deep and honest discussions. ‘Big talk’ as some call it. I think you’ll also be pleasantly surprised at the amazing conversations you can have. Your strength and courage to open up will inspire others to follow.
This is why I encourage you to do the same with people around you. Provide encouragement, without judgement. Sometimes it may be down to you to be the start of that chain for an honest conversation.