From Vulnerability to Authenticity | GR110

The belief is that the more vulnerable we are, the easier we can get hurt or be taken advantage of. But the reality is the pain we are causing ourselves by shutting down and keeping our hearts closed can be greater than what other people may be able to do to us. Life may appear safer when we avoid vulnerability – but it doesn’t make it happier. 

So what can we do when we feel vulnerable? Listen to today’s episode where I talk about being vulnerable and take a look at how we can find strength and wisdom in our vulnerability.

Dr Friedemann’s Takeaways

Intro (00:00)

I’m Opening Up (2:54)

Authenticity vs Vulnerability (6:41)

Alone Time (11:11)

Be Curious (16:02)

Meet Dr Friedemann

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Friedemann Schaub, MD, PhD, is the award-winning author of The Fear + Anxiety Solution. Dr. Schaub has helped thousands of people with his Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment program to overcome their fear and anxiety by addressing the deeper, subconscious root causes of these emotional challenges.

Are you looking for more from Dr Friedemann? Check out his “Your Accelerated Breakthrough Program” https://drfriedemann.com/breakthrough-program/.

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Transcript
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A sign told me the other day that she only has

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casual relationships, because she has been hurt a few years

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ago by her boyfriend, and since ever, then she just doesn't want

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to be vulnerable anymore. Another client told me that she

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has a hard time making new friends, because she's much more

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focused on what those friends want her to be, or what

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interests she should share with them, rather than being open and

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being vulnerable. Do you also struggle with vulnerability, and

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that feeling of opening up and letting people see who you are?

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I think vulnerability is something that is in many ways

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an issue, a block that stands between us, and more deeper and

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meaningful relationships. So when you really, look what

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vulnerability is, it is a scary thing in the dictionary, it

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says, exposing yourself to the possibility of being attacked

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either physically or emotionally. Well, yeah, I mean,

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if that's what vulnerability is about, of course, there is

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something that we want to avoid. Because, you know, mainly, we

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want to avoid being judged and rejected. But I do believe that

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we have it backwards, we are looking at vulnerability from

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the wrong end. Because ultimately, we only make it

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about other people. And the potential eyebrow raising and

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negative responses we could get, when we share what's inside of

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us. It's like a little bit skiing, you know, when you I

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don't know, we like skiing, I like skiing, but you would only

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think about while I'm putting myself on these fiberglass, you

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know, thingies, hoping I won't break my leg. Or you would say

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I'm getting married. But ultimately, I'm exposing myself

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to the risk of getting divorced. There was vulnerability. It's

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like, well, I'm opening up. But ultimately, I'm taking the risk

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of getting rejected, criticized, regular, ridiculed, embarrassed,

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olive, we think about all of those things only in regards to

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the danger they pose to us. Naturally, it takes a lot of

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strength and courage to do them anyhow. But what if we actually

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look at vulnerability as not something that's about others?

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But that's really about us. And what if we are not calling it

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vulnerability anymore, but we are calling it authenticity,

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being your authentic self. Because then you would say,

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well, maybe if I can be my authentic self, then I can have

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deeper and more meaningful relationships, because people

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know me better. And they can relate to me more. Maybe when I

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am my authentic self, and I'm sharing the truth within, I can

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also be an inspiration to others, or maybe they can learn

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from my mistakes. Or maybe when I am more authentic, they can be

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more authentic. And then we do also learn from each other, but

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ultimately being authentic. Maybe that's the freedom and

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that sense of peace with yourself. That deep inside, I

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think we all desire breaking away from the illusion that we

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can only be accepted conditionally. And that we have

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to otherwise blend in or be invisible, to survive. I think

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choosing to be authentic, rather than trying to be vulnerable, is

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a much better perspective. Now authenticity is not easy. That's

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like you know, being vulnerable is not easy. But the difference

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is, they often think when people try to be vulnerable. It's like

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inviting people others into their home. But the home they

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don't really know very well. They don't know where to sit

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people that don't know exactly where the powder rooms are or

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anything like that, because they haven't really spent a lot of

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time there. Plus, it's not very well decorated, and maybe it's

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even a mess because it never really has been decluttered or

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cleaned up. So being vulnerable often means that you are letting

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people see you in a Maybe more confused or more hurt state and

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you're hoping that it's still going to be okay. Hopefully

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they're going to like you, hopefully they gonna have mercy

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with you or maybe make you feel better. So there's always kind

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of an agenda with that vulnerability. Three of you are

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seeing, again, the invitation to have others comment, and join

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you or share a time with you. If you see this analogy with

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authenticity, your home is something that you own, your

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home is something that you have spent time with that you know,

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the ins and outs, you know, the strength, and maybe the things

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that still need to have a little work done. You know, what you

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can share with the people that come in the things that you

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rather keep private or share with very few. But you invite

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people not because you want to be liked, or you want to get

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approval, you invite people into your home of authenticity,

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because you feel that you want to share and connect with those

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people. And it's a joy for you to share that space. That is a

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difference between authenticity, and vulnerability. And to become

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vulnerable, to become authentic. To become authentic, there is a

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little work that needs to be done. You know, we cannot just

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say well, authentic just means that I gonna broadcast

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everything I'm doing, I gonna do a play by play of all the

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thoughts and feeling I'm having, I am bombarding everyone with my

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deepest inner secrets, and also my judgments, meaning like I

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tell my parents, you know, when the pod roast sucked on Sunday,

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and I gotta tell my boss that, you know, he's really horribly

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dressed or whatever, no, that's not authenticity, that's pretty

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much spilling it all out and being out of control. You know,

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like brandy Brown said, you know, being vulnerable or

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authentic doesn't mean that you're broadcasting your, you

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know, bikini vaccine life. It just means being authentic that

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you first and foremost, take an interest on yourself. When it

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takes courage, for vulnerability, it takes self

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awareness and curiosity, to gain authenticity. So rather than

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running away from yourself, or always looking at what other

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people won from you, or how you think you should be in order to

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please them, just set some time with yourself. Look inside,

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listen to your thoughts. I had a client the other day, write down

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simply three times a day, how she feels, and what thoughts she

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has connected to those feelings. It was eye opening for her, she

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really felt like wow, I finally actually pay attention to myself

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and, and I told her not to judge herself, or shame herself for

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even negative or darker thoughts, she could just be much

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more open and in many ways accepting and even compassionate

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for what was going on inside of her. And, lo and behold, when we

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are more curious, and are not having the expectation,

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everything has to be perfect, and we have to have it all

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figured out. And the only emotion that is really

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acceptable is happiness, or maybe having a little bit of

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contentment with it. If we really let all of those things

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go and just go in with curiosity and saying, Who am I really? Why

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am I responding to certain situations? without emotion? Why

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am I doing certain things habitually? Is that really still

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something that is in alignment with me? Or is it something that

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I'm forcing myself to do? Because that's familiar. And

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maybe that's what's expected from the outside. You're just

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asking yourself some really opening questions to gain a

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deeper understanding. And again, being more you know, the

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anthropologist who is interested in finding out what you're all

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about, rather than the judge who says you're good or bad, then

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you start to get a better relationship with yourself. And

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then you feel also a deeper sense of self responsibility,

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where you're noticing, Hmm, I have these patterns. I'm slave

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driving myself to overwork or I'm never giving myself rest. Or

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I have the pattern of always you know, pleasing others and never

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really asking for help myself. And then you realize that that

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will really feel Right anymore, there's something out of

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alignment, it's not really authentically who I want to be,

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and who I am. And then gradually you change those patterns. And

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that is a form of authenticity that you're sharing with others.

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So it's not about sharing all that's going on in sight. By

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sharing things that are more in alignment with you, you know,

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maybe you can share authentically, that, you know,

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you want to also be someone who is not telling the person that

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you usually only listen to

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what's going on what is happening in your life, or maybe

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you feel like authentically, it's important for you to not

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always be available to, you know, go on the weekends out and

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you know, have parties or all those things that you may have

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felt you need to do, but that you need some quiet time, and

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that you sometimes also need some alone time. That showing

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the world more your preferences more, what really is feeling

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right to you, that is a form of authenticity, that you know, for

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some may feel like, Oh, that's vulnerable, because somebody may

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not like it. But if you own it, and if you feel that this is

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your relationship to yourself, that counts your opinion of what

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is right for you, that matters more than the opinions of

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others, being authentic, is ultimately being free. And then

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you're allowing also others to be free with you. Because I

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noticed this all the time, how often we are worried about

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getting judged, because in our mind, we are judging others all

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the time. So it's almost as if we are setting ourselves up to

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live in a world where judgment, criticism, good and bad is

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normal. And we judge ourselves as much as we judge others. And

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so we are assuming naturally Well, everyone probably does

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that. But is that really true, and Is it really necessary. So

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if we are becoming more authentic, allowing people just

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to be themself, whether they are pretending to be this way,

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whether they have still a fear of opening up exposing

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themselves, whether they have now also found a way to express

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what's going on inside of them from an authentic place. And it

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may not really what we used to hear from them, having that

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decision of not judging them. And just also embracing their

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authenticity as a win. That allows hopefully, in all of your

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relationships, a ripple effect to go through, where we can all

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root for each other's realness and authenticity, where we no

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longer creating these threats and dangers for others because

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they are afraid of being themselves and where we are

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leading by example, and showing the joy of just being authentic

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and real. Now that takes a little work. being authentic,

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instead of being vulnerable is like learning a new language.

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You know, when you are vulnerable, and you're afraid

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you're speaking a different language, and you just say the

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bare minimum because you're afraid of being ridiculed. When

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you're feeling more and more authentic, that doesn't mean

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that you are broadcasting on TV, a big speech because you may not

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really know your authenticity, yet so clearly. So being

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authentic, as the analogy of a language may mean that you're

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sharing this also just gradually, maybe with a person

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that you feel the closest with or the most comfortable with.

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And then you are gradually venturing out and having more

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experiences and conversations in that authentic way. The point

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is, take your time. Don't worry that well I need to be now

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authentic, right in this moment and all the time. Just see it as

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a longer journey, a journey home to yourself a journey where

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you're creating a space within you that is so solid and so

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safe. And where you know so much who you are and what you're

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about that nothing from the outside can shake you up. You

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may be open to hear, you know other people's input and

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consider suggestions or feedback, but it doesn't feel

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like an earthquake. Like it often fails. When We are

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vulnerable. And then we are feeling shaken up. As soon as we

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don't get the response we want. And you feel that authenticity

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and you're sharing this authenticity. You know, whatever

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your share is something you stand behind. And whatever

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people feel about them, is usually seeing way more about

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them, then about yourself. So next time you're afraid of being

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vulnerable,

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just realize, well, maybe I'm afraid because I don't really

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know and appreciate myself enough. Maybe it's not about yet

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feeling okay, I have to be more vulnerable. It's apparently

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really something that society ones and social media, people

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always talk about how vulnerable they are. But ultimately, it's

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kind of a pretended vulnerability, because it has an

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agenda, the agenda to get some positive affirmation, some legs,

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some nice comments. And it's really not necessarily a self

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contained sense of, I'm just sharing this, because this is my

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truth. And it doesn't really matter what you think about it,

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I hope it's inspiring you, I hope it's making you you know,

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think about something deeper. But it is not something that I

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need to feel either I have to apologize or need to get some

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approval for. So when you really next time going to this place

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off, I'm afraid of my vulnerability of being

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vulnerable. Just change your thoughts to I am curious about

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how to know myself better, how to embrace myself more how to

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find out more, what it is that home within that home of

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authenticity and truth. And then when I'm feeling comfortable, I

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am ready and open to invite others into join me in that

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space. So no rush, no need to force yourself to be vulnerable.

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But maybe that feeling of vulnerability is just a reminder

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that it's time to spend a little bit more with yourself and be a

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little bit more open to figure out how amazing you truly are.

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