Whether you are about to put yourself ‘out there’ and follow your dreams or want to open up and let someone into your heart. Whether you are about to share your fears and insecurities with another person, or realize that you need to ask for help. The one hurdle you will most likely face is the fear of being vulnerable.
Most of us equate vulnerability with weakness and a greater risk of getting hurt and rejected. We avoid letting our guard down and expressing our more sensitive nature, because it seems too uncomfortable and exposing. To be safe and fit in, we hide our authentic selves and pretend to be someone else.
However, while being open and vulnerable can make us feel powerless, the truth is, we drain most of our personal power by keeping ourselves guarded and closed. While we are denying ourselves to be true and genuine, we lose touch with our center and our inner resources, which is one of the major reasons why more and more people feel anxious and insecure.
When we are willing to let our guards down and become vulnerable, we are able to access three of our most precious inner resources: courage, acceptance and compassion. Courage to stand out and share our authentic truth with others. Acceptance of ourselves and those, who might judge us. Compassion for ourselves and all who struggle with fears and insecurities like we have. Vulnerability is the bridge to deeper connections with ourselves and the world around us and allows us to enjoy life more fully.
Being open and vulnerable cannot only help us to lead a more authentic and fulfilling life, it can also save lives.
Earlier this summer, Jon Meis, a quiet 22 year-old electro-engineering student acted bravely to halt a shooting at Seattle Pacific University. Witnesses described Meis pepper-spraying and tackling the shooter as he was reloading a shotgun, which had already fatally injured one student and left two others wounded. I don’t know about you, but it is hard for me to imagine how much courage it must take to risk one’s own life to save others. How could Jon Meis overcome his own fear of dying to act in such a heroic way? Well, here is what he said: “I would encourage that hate be met with love. When I came face to face with the attacker, God gave me the eyes to see that he was not a faceless monster, but a very sad and troubled young man.” I believe that it was this young man’s ability to stay open and vulnerable, which allowed him to see the vulnerability in the attacker. And once he was able to recognize the pain of the shooter, his fear was greatly diminished.
Learn more about how the strength of vulnerability can make your life more meaningful and fulfilled.