Vulnerable Thoughts

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” 

— Brené Brown

So, today I’ve decided to touch on the topic of vulnerability. Considering that I think one of the main reasons I and all of us hold back or fail to follow through on those big dreams we really want so much… might just be because we sense the risk in the commitment. And of course, you can barely think about vulnerability without considering the deeply relatable work of shame researcher, story-teller, beautiful funny Brené Brown.

Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

— Brené Brown (again)

I managed to read her book Daring Greatly last year…. Yeah, you heard that … My ADHD butt pulled off reading a whole book! More than one actually. Which is still a complete shocker to me. I’ll post on that in further detail another day though. Back to the book: Brené asks the reader questions in back of the book … and I thought I’d share a couple of my answers just for kicks and giggles. 

Q1: How do you define vulnerability?

I would say vulnerability is to be seen intimately, in the raw — with no veils, no shields, no pretenses.  It means the ooey gooey deepest most important parts laid bare for witness — exposed to risk.

Q2: What are the beliefs you hold around vulnerability?

In terms of considering the people I trust with my vulnerability the most, that amount of trust pretty much lines up in direct correlation with how vulnerable I can be around them.

When it comes to my closest relationships, the only way I can truly know I can trust those closest or rather the amount I can trust is directly correlated to the amount I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable with them. I’m not 100% on chicken or the egg here, but I know they measure out the same. 

I also know though, in other sectors of my life, I find it harder to let myself be vulnerable and I’m not sure why. The things that are the most important to me in life I have been able to be the most vulnerable about (namely close relationships and creating art). You would think it would be easier to be more vulnerable in low stakes areas rather than in the high stakes zones. So, I find that really curious.

Curious Indeed

Which brings me to think about Elizabeth Gilbert. She wrote one of the other books I managed to read last year, Big Magic. Both of these books dealt with our big fears, our big chances for exposure and big reveals. Liz’s book focused on creativity and how challenging and vulnerable you are when living creatively… but how most often the answer is to stay curious.

 “People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.”

— Brené Brown (and one more time, for good measure)

So I relate to these things, these topics, they feel very close to home and close to where I am. I look forward to sharing a great deal of what I’ve learned from these 2 marvelous women and others I’ve learned from over the past couple years. 

I’m curious, do you relate?

How would you define vulnerability?

And what beliefs do you hold around that vulnerability? 

What are your thoughts?