We distance ourselves from certain thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make us feel uncomfortable. We fear that if someone really saw us, that weíd be rejected. We hide under a facade of perfection, strength, likeability or selflessness. We play it cool and adopt behaviors that donít align with whom we want to be. This charade is an illusion and typically has the opposite outcome on our relationships.
We grow up thinking that in one way or another, we can control what we feel. We quickly learn that we cannot and it becomes easier to numb ourselves. This emotional numbing produces a lifestyle of anxiety that conforms to our need for certainty, risk aversion and control.
We see vulnerability as a weakness, but admire someone that can tell us the uncut story of who they are. We are drawn to people that are honest and self aware and believe they are worthy of love and belonging. We connect with them as a result of their authenticity. In contrast, we all know the feeling when interacting with someone ďfakeĒ.
The building block of connection is vulnerability from authenticity. To let go of whom you think you should be and accept who you are. To let go of what other people think and smile at your imperfections. Friendship and love are based on vulnerability and these connections are how we all got here.
Accepting vulnerability is giving yourself permission to make mistakes, to have flaws and to fail. These mistakes are only proof that youíre trying and failure is a necessary part of improvement. We are all uncomfortable with something in our lives or about ourselves. Face what is making you uncomfortable and confront the unknown. Let go of the pride and shame and see that youíre enough.
It is much more difficult to be vulnerable than it is to be strong. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is challenging. There are no short cuts or magic tricks. Start working on things today that you want to be better at tomorrow. Ask for help if you need it. Confide in someone that isnít quick to judge. Open yourself up little by little, take interest, and relate with people. Share the nice things that you have to say, but also get comfortable communicating what youíre really thinking, instead of telling people what they want to hear.
Vulnerability is awareness. Youíre not adding anything new to your life that wasnít already there. Avoiding exposure, rejection, loss, defeat, or failure eventually rears its ugly head as unfulfilled potential. You can alter your entire perception of what is possible from a single experience.