Vulnerability is the birthplace of so much good, learning, and exploration in this world. It is the place that allows us to be loved.
And yet vulnerability is also a place of intense fear.
“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability.”- Brene Brown
We can't have authentic connected relationships without vulnerability, and yet vulnerability is one of the scariest things we can do.
Vulnerability is courage
Scary though it may seem, vulnerability is all about courage. It means facing the fear we feel and bravely acting with authenticity anyway.
Sometimes we can muster this courage, and other times the risks are too high. Maybe we're in unsafe community. Maybe we're feeling especially weak (recovering from illness, lacking sleep, in the midst of emotional turmoil..).
What helps you have the courage to be vulnerable?
There are a lot of factors that impact our ability to access courage. Knowing the factors at play in our life help us get clear about when and where vulnerability and connection are possible.
When we know the factors we can choose vulnerability with intention.
When we know the factors we can make clear requests of the people we love- asking for what we need with confidence.
Consider the times you have been vulnerable with others and it has been a success.
Remember what that felt like. How did your body respond to vulnerability and courage?
Remember who you were with. How did they respond to your vulnerability? How did they support your courage?
What did you do to muster your courage?
What did you do to help yourself be real?
Answering these questions can help you get clear and will help you deepen authentic connection in relationships.