A to Z 2014: Vulnerability

(An A to Z Challenge entry)


I talked about Shame, but it is really hard to talk about shame without Vulnerability. I briefly talk about my struggles with vulnerability in Loyalty and Vulnerability, but my hopes for this post is to share a bit more of what vulnerability means to me.

Again, no one explains it better than Brene Brown:

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” – Brene Brown

Like Brene Brown says in her video (at 15:49) those that struggle with vulnerability, we try to numb it. But we cannot selectively numb emotions. When we choose to numb the bad emotions, we also numb the good.

And I notice I do this a lot. In order to avoid disappointment, I TRY SO HARD to hide fear and disappointment and thus I avoid the emotions related to possibility — getting excited, having hope, and most importantly feeling proud to be who I am.

At 18:40, Brene talks about how we pretend that what we do doesn’t have an effect on people. And this one is a hard one for me to stomach, because I would like to believe I am thoughtful in my actions. But really, I struggle with this. And I have realized, more so over the past year, just how much my actions affect those around me. And oftentimes, I don’t realize I am doing it. I do not mean to negatively affect others, but by being caught up in my own head, I do. And I have started to notice it in two key areas.

  • Every time I interrupt someone as they speak. When this happens to me, I feel sidelined and unimportant to that person. And I have realized, when I do it to others, they are likely feeling the same emotions. I don’t want to do that anymore. But this doesn’t come easy for me. I need to practice on being a better active listener.
  • How hard it is for me to speak the truth out loud, and the courage to do so. I have gotten a ton better at this, but it takes a lot of courage. It’s not that I have anything to hide, it is just the acting of admitting I made a mistake is so hard for me to accept.  It could be a little mistake, and maybe even an unintentional mistake. It could even just be me being open and honest about my emotions and how I feel. I am a perfectionist — and as I talked about with Shame, shame lives off of perfectionism. It eats us up and tears us apart.

If I have negatively affected you in any of the two ways. Know I know, and that I am sorry. I am working to be better. I want to be better, and I want you to know that you are important to me.

At 19:06, Brene tells us another way:“To let ourselves be seen. Deeply seen. Vulnerably seen. To love with our whole hearts, even though there is no guarantee.”

And most importantly, to believe: “I am enough.”

Have you ever heard about or familiar with Brene Brown’s vulnerability work? What does vulnerability mean to you?


Posted in A to Z Challenge, Learning, Struggles
2 comments on “A to Z 2014: Vulnerability
  1. I admire and relate to your self-examination. And so much this: “[I] hide fear and disappointment and thus I avoid the emotions related to possibility — getting excited, having hope…”

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