Do you believe vulnerability is a strength or a weakness?
I know for me personally I used to think vulnerability was a sign of weakness when I was younger.
You see, there used to be a time in my life where I didn’t feel safe being my true authentic self.
This is because when I was in grade school I used to get teased & ridiculed a lot about my name, my haircut, the clothes I wore & literally everything I did in class, mostly by a small group of kids in my class who would make fun of others & seemed to have a lot of control & influence over how the rest of the class interacted with me.
In fact, I spent most of 1st – 6th grade feeling like there must be something wrong with me OR that I was somehow not as good as everyone else because this group of kids were so successful at making me feel the least liked of everyone in our class!
No matter how hard I tried, I struggled to create significant, meaningful friendships with others & it wasn’t until I entered the 7th grade, hit puberty & blossomed from an ugly duckling into a beautiful young swan that it all changed.
And you know…
You’d think that would be a good thing, would you not?
Because of the way I’d been treated in grades 1-6 it was really disconcerting to go from being one of the least liked kids in class to being one of the most liked kids in junior high for seemingly no other reason than the way I looked having changed.
I didn’t trust them or myself & although I did end up being well liked by others & was included in all the events, sports, & clubs throughout high school, there was always a part of me that didn’t really trust other people’s intentions which made me very cautious & careful about speaking my truth & or sharing who I really was with the world.
In fact, throughout most of my 20’s I kept all of these fears & insecurities to myself so well that you would’ve thought I was the epitome of success with all of my shit together because of how well life was going for me!
I had a kickass, well-paying corporate job, I was making my way through undergrad & grad school with flying colors, & I was well-liked by my friends & co-workers.
That said, there were things I struggled with that no one really knew… feelings of self-doubt, insecurity & timidity around others.
You see, even though I would categorize myself as highly driven & successful throughout all of my 20’s I still had underlying feelings of incompetency & low self-worth that would pop up in the strangest of ways.
I had a hard time making direct eye contact at times, especially around those in positions of authority.
I felt uncomfortable speaking my truth around others for fear of shame, conflict or rejection.
I pretended like I knew what I was doing at times even when I didn’t.
I avoided hard conversations because I didn’t think I was equipped to handle them.
I allowed others to eat up my time & energy because I was afraid to speak up & set boundaries.
I felt shame & guilt over constructive feedback from those at work & in my relationships.
I felt like a failure despite all the success I was experiencing in life.
Can you relate?
If you’re human like me, I imagine you can relate to at least one if not more of the above feelings or behaviors in your own life!
Ultimately, what I really believed throughout these younger formative years was that it wasn’t safe to be open, real, & authentic for fear of conflict, rejection or being seen as weak.
In fact, I was trying so hard to “prove” how far I’d come from that painful childhood that showing up as anything other than the appearance of success is what ultimately caused that vision of success I’d created to crumble & fall.
And you know what?
That vision of success did fall.
All of those insecurities in my body, mind & spirit brought to me a halt in the form of burnout, breakdown & a midlife crisis in my early 30’s!
And it wasn’t until everything I had built in my 20’s actually started to crumble & fall that I finally realized it was time to get real & vulnerable with myself so I could face those insecurities head on & take back control of my life.
I started doing the healing work that was needed to unravel the insecurities & core fears that were causing all of that self-doubt & inauthenticity, I learned about my unique personality blueprint using the Enneagram & I worked with a mentor who helped me explore & identify my deepest core values.
During my self-discovery journey, I learned that the core values that were going to help me turn my life back around the most were truth, authenticity, faith & courage, all of which would require…
You guessed it!
And over the years, after practicing alignment to truth, authenticity, faith & courage as much as I possibly can I’ve learned that it takes a shit ton of strength & vulnerability to be my true authentic self, have faith & stand in my courageous power.
As Brene Brown, an author & researcher on shame & vulnerability, has been quoted to say…
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Now, as a more mature version of that younger me & with all the practice I’ve had over the years with being vulnerable, I would say that I agree wholeheartedly with her that vulnerability is the opposite of weakness & can in fact, help you come home to your true, authentic self.
So with all of this in mind, I have a few questions for YOU to ponder about vulnerability in your own life…
- Are there any areas of your life where you feel uncomfortable being vulnerable?
- If yes, what is that costing you?
- And what are the benefits you’d receive if you could overcome that vulnerability & step into your power in those areas of your life?
Hopefully, asking yourself these questions will help you step out of fear & into the strength, courage & vulnerability that will help you become your true, authentic self!
And, if you feel like you need support in figuring out who your true, authentic self actually is OR in learning how to live a more authentic, courageous & vulnerable life, this is one of my specialties!
To learn more about how I can help you learn how to practice vulnerability as a strength (vs. a weakness) in your own life, I invite you to take advantage of the following forms of self-rescue support I’m offering below:
- Join me live or catch the replay of this week’s self-rescue training that I lead every Wednesday at 11:30 am MT inside of my Brave-Hearted Woman Self-Rescue Community on Facebook where I’ll be sharing additional resources for how to practice vulnerability as a strength (vs. a weakness) in your own life!
- Sign up for a FREE Self-Rescue Toolkit that includes an Enneagram, Saboteur & Self-Care assessment to help you assess any fears, burnout or self-sabotage you might be struggling with & identify the self-rescue road map that will help you become your very own hero!
- Sign up for a FREE 15-minute Self-Rescue Assessment Call where we can assess your self-rescue needs one-on-one & identify any self-sabotage that might be holding you back in your own life.
I hope you find the above resources helpful & here’s to us ALL learning how to live, love, lead & work from a place of happiness, health, wealth & wholeness!
Jess Bonasso, also known as The Self Care Goddess, is a Brave Life Catalyst & Self-Rescue Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker who has been teaching worn out working wonder women how to master the art of self-rescue since 2007.
After unraveling at a cellular level the self-sabotage from her corporate-climbing 20’s & business-building 30’s that led her into burnout, breakdown & a proverbial midlife crisis, she created The Brave-Hearted Way, a self-rescue compass & road map to brave-hearted courage, authenticity & wholeness that empowers worn out working wonder women to live, love, lead & work in a way that leads to happiness, health, wealth & wholeness.
In addition to being the creator of The Brave-Hearted Way & a published co-author of Speaking Your Truth: Courageous Stories from Inspiring Women (Vol.2), Jess is also an accredited practitioner of The Journey Method®, a highly effective form of cellular trauma release therapy that can unravel at a cellular level the core fears, limiting beliefs & unhealthy behaviors that cause us to sacrifice our soul, sanity or health.
Be sure to follow Jess on social media where you’ll receive daily inspiration & support on how to heal & fuel your life so you can embrace your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn! :)