Well, here is the first TVC Blog post and I thought what better way to start it off than by telling you all how vulnerability has changed my life. I can honestly say learning to be vulnerable has been one of the most impactful things in my growth and development.
Perfectionism/ Judgement/ Anxiety
I used to wear perfectionism like a badge of honor. I thought, of course, being perfect should be the goal. (Who wouldn’t want to be perfect?) The problem is I did not realize the negative impact it had on my life. I quit hobbies and sports because I didn’t feel I was good enough. I never tried many new things for fear of not being good. (How could I be good at something that I never tried?) This fear really closed me up and made my world smaller. I was so hard on myself and, in turn, hard on other people. I was constantly judging and sizing people up, categorizing them in “better than me” or “not as good as me.” As might be expected, I felt other people were doing the same and constantly judging me. This spiraled out of control until I was so fearful of judgement I developed an anxiety disorder. I could write a whole book about how difficult this has been to deal with but that’s not what this is about. This is about vulnerability and how it has helped me let go of perfectionism and judgement. It has helped me realize that we all have weaknesses and our imperfections are what make us unique.
Authenticity/ Truth/ Alignment
I believe vulnerability is the gateway to authenticity. Without being vulnerable we truly can’t be ourselves. Of course, everyone has various degrees of how comfortable they are being vulnerable and what constitutes being vulnerable for them- I personally opened up online for 30 days divulging all of my pain, shame, fears, successes, and proud moments publicly. This may not be for everyone but I was ready to let it all out and it definitely gave me a boost. With that said, we need to have boundaries when we share our story. Vulnerability Researcher and Storyteller, Brene Brown, advises that we do not share our “open wounds” publicly. She says, “I don’t tell stories or share vulnerabilities with the public until I’ve worked them through first.” As for the stories we haven’t worked through, save those for people we trust to hold space and be empathetic. One thing is for sure, once we remove our masks and start talking about some of our demons they have much less power over us. At least this has been true for me. I am feeling much more worthy and connected to my true self all the time. My anxiety and fear is not nearly as debilitating and my life is becoming more in alignment every day.
Connection/ Relationships/ Love
When we remove our masks and share our story a funny thing happens. We start to feel more connected. People relate to us because they too are human and they also have a story. On the other hand, if we are closed off and in our head it’s very difficult to connect with people. That was me. It was really difficult for me to feel close to people (sometimes still is) except when I was partying and had some liquid courage in the system (not a real connection). Once I did find a close connection and found myself in a romantic relationship I hung on to it for dear life. I had a very difficult time letting go even when I knew it wasn’t right. However, now that I am being vulnerable and understanding some of the patterns in my life, I am having a much easier time connecting with people, letting go of them, and only seeking relationships that add to my life. No longer do I feel I need someone or depend on another person for my worth. Because of vulnerability I am part of a community of people that fully love and support me.
Self-acceptance/ Self-love/ Self-worth
The biggest reason vulnerability has changed my life is because it is allowing me to accept myself. I am learning to love myself and feel a sense of worth for simply being a human. I have learned that anxiety is a secondary emotion and the core problem for me was a lack in self-acceptance, self-love, and self-worth. Since I have opened up I no longer feel like I am carrying a 200 lb weight of shame on my shoulders. I have realized that I am not alone and that it is okay not to be perfect. In fact, no one is perfect and everyone has shame. Our differences are what make us unique and our uniqueness is what makes us an individual. And because of vulnerability I am learning to love myself unconditionally. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.
Hola! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!Comment by school education on March 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm
Thank you so much 🙂Comment by Colin Bender on March 27, 2017 at 2:01 am
Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.Comment by medical articles today on March 29, 2017 at 4:06 am
Hello, no I don’t use twitter at this time. I mostly use instagram @thevulnerabilitychallenge. Thank you for the support!Comment by Colin Bender on April 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm