Musings and Snoozes

Have the courage to be vulnerable

on February 5, 2019

I’ve written about vulnerability before and for my love of Brene Brown, but it’s been playing on my mind again recently, making me think about what it means to be vulnerable in certain aspects of our life.

It’s uncomfortable and it’s scary, that much I know. But it makes me realise that it impacts every aspect of my life – work, relationships, friendships, health – and that if I don’t embrace it, I won’t fully give myself the opportunity to get what I want and what I need.

But what does that actually mean?

Well first and foremost, it involves being honest, not just with others but with yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself then you will never be able to identify what you need to move forward. For me, this is the hardest part, I can lie to myself a hundred times over if it makes me feel better. Feeling better isn’t always making the situation better though. It’s a temporary fix, nothing more. Being honest for me usually involves writing as much as possible down – sometimes on here, sometimes in my journal, sometimes just on the nearest bit of scrap paper I can find – but one way or another getting it out of my mind and being able to “see” it in front of me. Then I can start figuring out what I’m feeling and where it’s coming from.

Then comes sharing with others. This is where I have no middle ground – I either share everything or nothing. Boundaries are not my strong point! And I worry sometimes that I share too much. I cross post a lot of my blogs to Facebook, albeit to a limited group of people who get to see it, but it includes people I work with, family, people I don’t see all that often, and I worry that it influences their view of me. But along with vulnerability comes being authentic. I have such a passion for bringing your authentic self to every situation (fueled by listening to the amazing La-Chun Lindsay at a GLTBA conference a couple of years ago!) – I honestly believe you make better and more fulfilling connections by being honest about who you are. But it can be scary to put yourself out there, you have to be vulnerable and you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Nine times out of ten though, the benefits absolutely outweigh that fear. I lose count of how many people I’ve come to know better, to build a connection with, people I’ve learned about, and mutual help and support I’ve given and received with sometimes the most unexpected people.

Finally comes asking for what you need. Quite frankly, I’m terrible at this too, but I do find that having gone through the above process, I can at least identify my needs a little easier. Sometimes it’s help, sometimes it’s reassurance, sometimes it’s someone to listen to me, to help me break things down into manageable chunks. I find it extremely hard to ask for what I need, but almost every single time I’ve managed it, I’ve felt such relief afterwards. I should add that I don’t always get what I want – asking doesn’t always mean getting – but just by articulating my needs and my feelings, it’s like a weight being lifted from my shoulders.

And so that’s where I am today – trying to remind myself that sometimes we have to be vulnerable to be heard, we have to be honest to get what we need, and we have to have the courage to speak out. It, and I, are a work in progress, but we’re getting there.

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One response to “Have the courage to be vulnerable

  1. Love this. 100% agree with authenticity! I like that you’ve posted a few times on support and understanding. Makes me think and I believe your message can carry through to everyone in some form or another.
    I’m here for you, I’ll always cheer you on, hand you tissues, give a hug, tell you off when you’re talking crap and hand you a beer/coffee/cake. Loves ya 💕

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