It is not like I didn’t know this. I mean, I took a semester long course with Brené Brown and stepped into the world of Daring Greatly and succeeded on many levels. And it’s not like I have not practiced being vulnerable—I left a toxic relationship, quit my job to pursue my passion, bought a house knowing it is all on me and more. I nailed it and became super empowered in the process.
Vulnerability seemed to be a thing I thrive at. Give me a life altering challenge and I will without a doubt do well. But is that really all vulnerability is?
According to Brené vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.
For the last couple months I have been listening to these little soul taps to look under vulnerability. To take a closer look that isn’t about becoming a badass and destroying a challenge. There was a whispering of something softer and different.
And also incredibly scary. I denied those little whispers and wanted desperately to choose a word that was easier and likely something I am already good at.
Seems to me I am able to easily handle uncertainty and risk on some levels but emotional exposure—never.
Maybe it’s my tendency to lean towards Capricorn strength and tenacity while also being a fiery redhead that gives me an unstoppable approach to life’s challenges. I don’t think raising three kids successfully alone could have been achieved any other way, but this is deeper than action. This is way deeper.
Control has always been something that brings me safety. Controlling my environment and the people I let in. Controlling my business and finances with a sharp eye. Controlling my physical health despite lots of pain by working my body to its best health. Controlling my emotions by not putting myself into situations where I might cry (or laugh). Controlling what I need by never asking for help. Exhausting maybe?
That all sounds like emotional exposure. Doing something anyway not knowing what the response or outcome might be. Sticking my neck out and hoping for the best.
This is about not just being seen for what I have overcome or what I do. It will require me to being willing to reveal parts of myself that are tucked safely deep down and to do what is uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone.
I did a little exercise in my journal over the last week and here is how I see it:
Vulnerability feels like—
Vulnerability looks like—
Vulnerability is —failing, making a mistake, exposing myself publicly, crying, screwing up, feeling scolded, asking for help, not perfecting something, feeling needy or dependent on others, asking for what I need or want and feeling out of control.
Vulnerability feels like—crushing sensation in chest, upset stomach, short breath, panic to flee, racing heart, avoidance.
Vulnerability looks like— finishing and publishing the book that has been written, asking for help, receiving help, communicating openly with others, asking to be on more podcasts, letting go of some of my high self standards (not failing), finding resolution and peace with pain, being okay with my emotions and letting my emotions be seen.
For 2023 I give myself permission to fail or to succeed. I give myself permission to not do it all alone. I give myself permission to reveal and unfold in a way that stays in alignment with my soul but also welcomes risk. I give myself permission to be seen.
Emotionally exposed with risk and uncertainty.
Follow me fore more goodness!