Updated: Apr 1, 2020
A few months ago, I got a chance to watch the Brené Brown special on Netflix. As someone who still hasn't read any of her books (I know - I need to get on it!), it was a great first-glimpse into her work. Vulnerability, a topic she discusses at length, can take so many forms in our lives. Whether it's stepping outside our comfort zones to try a new hobby or sharing a really sensitive story with a trusted loved one, being vulnerable is not celebrated nearly as much as it should be.
Opening up and saying or doing something scary does not mean that you are weak. Vulnerability takes courage, in fact it's probably the most courageous thing anyone could ever do.
We are so often told that sharing our feelings is something that shouldn't be done because it shows that we are weak. Men, especially, are made to feel that vulnerability is a sign that they are too soft. Why is this the case?
I think it all goes back to biology. Even though our society has evolved since the days of the hunter-gatherers, our biological make up is much the same as it was thousands of years ago. In those days vulnerability did mean weakness, most often leading to disassociation and death.
But now that we know better, we can do better.
It takes work to rewire our thought processes. But the more we do it, the easier it gets. It could be a simple as going out to dinner alone if it makes you feel uncomfortable (I took myself on a weekend getaway in March and it was a great growing experience).
The most important thing you can do when practicing vulnerability is to have patience with yourself. When learning new things, it's common to fall back into comfortable habits from time to time. Whatever you do, just keep moving, even if you have to crawl.