You hear a lot about vulnerability these days. It’s the key to getting to an honest and cleansed soul, even though the thought of it is paralyzing to most people. It sounds simple enough. Basically, tell the truth about yourself, even the bad, ugly, embarrassing stuff, and no sugar-coating anything. The idea is to open the door to our own healing, but also help others see us as real people. flawed and relatable, thus opening the door for them to be the same. Once we’ve all been vulnerable, we can have real and meaningful relationships.
There is something to be said for the idea that facing the painful, difficult demons we have pushed down or papered over can be very therapeutic. It does seem to be pretty satisfying to dump everything out on the table and start fresh, cleansed.
It doesn’t sound complicated in the least, but if you’re one of the souls that haven’t quite taken the vulnerability plunge, here are a few reasons why you may be mired in your stuckness.
Sadness and pain are just part of it
This goes without saying, but sometimes it helps to be reminded. Frankly, the whole experience could suck. Badly. When you pull back the curtain on those feelings and insecurities, a lot of things can be pulled into the unraveling process. Some that you may have not expected and therefore are unprepared for. Get on board with the idea that it’s going to be painful, sad, and even unpleasantly surprising. It’s all part of it.
With honesty comes shame
None of us like to feel shame about anything we do. But, in order to be truly vulnerable, total honesty is required. Knowing that being honest can bring up feelings of shame, you should first work on accepting all of the parts of you-the good, bad, shameful, and everything in between. It strengthens you as a person to accept all of it, prepares you for the journey, and in turn helps you help others do the same.
Showing emotion may not be accepted everywhere, but you can’t worry about that
Even though it seems like everyone in the whole world is practicing vulnerability, they’re not. Not every culture, age group or person out there is going to roll out the red carpet for you to dump your stuff out on. Some people may mock you or view it as a sign of weakness, and they won’t be afraid to tell you so in a big way. That may be enough to stop a lot of people, and it likely does, but that can’t be you. Of course, not everyone is ready to be vulnerable, and those people don’t exactly want to see anyone else evolving in that way either. That can’t stop you from doing it.
Not everyone will like you and that has to be ok.
Your true story may rub some people the wrong way, or cause harsh judgment toward you. Not everyone will be happy about your new-found openness, and it may cause some to feel differently about you. You can’t let that bother you. Not everyone is going to like you, and the sooner you get comfy with that, the better off you’ll be, and the easier this vulnerability thing will become.
You have to be brave enough to admit you’re not perfect
Putting yourself out there isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage to take a chance that your openness could lead to some self-destruction. Sometimes the fear of how people will respond to your vulnerability can keep you from revealing yourself. The gig will be up, and you will be revealed as an imperfect being. Acknowledging the fear and deciding that it will be worth it, in the end, is key in taking the first step.
Being vulnerable isn’t a one and done thing. It’s a process, and you need to be emotionally prepared for a roller coaster of feelings. When each revelation is said and done, you’ll be better off. Carrying around old pain, lies, shame, and guilt is no way to live. If the price for a life of truth and a healthy soul is some emotional pain and losing some people that can’t face your truth, you know it’s worth it.