Why Vulnerability Matters (In Almost Everything You Do)
It can seem like a paradoxical concept to embrace vulnerability. Why should you willingly disclose fear? Why acknowledge weakness or adversity? And why should you value intimate relationships if you’ve been hurt in the past?
Vulnerability is the stuff of courage. This applies in every context, among all types of populations and people.
At its root, it’s how we connect with people and better our society. In a world where so many of us feel pressured to act perfectly, embracing vulnerability means opening our capacity for growth, change, and feelings.
Why Vulnerability Matters and Why It’s So Important
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage”- Brene Brown
It’s natural to fear and shy away from discomfort. Sometimes these fears are of our own creation. But we live in an imperfect world where life is inherently uncomfortable sometimes.
As Brene Brown suggests, vulnerability is one of our best assets. When you allow yourself to “be real,” you highlight the importance of making room for mistakes. With that, you tend to be more open to growth and change.
Vulnerability Fosters Resilience
Want more grit? There are a number of ways to build it, but you can start by accepting your emotional processes.
Mentally healthy people don’t always come from happy circumstances. Instead, research shows an undeniable link between emotional well-being and resilience.
Resilience refers to your ability to cope with hardship, risk, and the nuances of life. We all face these potential hazards in simply being human. And as much as we may want total protection from pain, that’s an unrealistic goal.
But when you’re vulnerable, you allow yourself to experience your feelings without expectations or judgment. It is through this experience that you access an authentic response rooted in resilience.
Vulnerability Fosters Self-Reflection
Nobody is perfect, but practicing vulnerability allows you to examine yourself introspectively. There’s an immense benefit to this work.
Even just embracing the concept of self-reflection allows you to build a healthier relationship with yourself. It may also help with issues related to self-esteem, confidence, and assertiveness. Over time, this can increase your capacity to withstand difficult moments and interpersonal stress.
Vulnerability Creates Connection
Take a moment to reflect on some of the best relationships in your life. What makes those dynamics so extraordinary?
We are social creatures who rely on one another for resources and community support. With that, our best relationships are our safest relationships. When we feel safe with someone, there is an implicit level of trust. We feel understood. We feel like our needs matter. And we feel like we are allowed to take space.
Achieving that, of course, requires vulnerability. You can’t have a high-quality connection without a real sense of depth.
Vulnerability Makes for Better Management
Do you want to create better systems in your workplace? Do you value cultivating an effective business where people feel safe taking creative risks and asking for what they need?
Research shows the answer lies in vulnerability, and countless successful case studies prove this. Despite the specific circumstances, effective leaders recognize that modeling their own vulnerability is critical when it comes to workplace success. Likewise, how you respond to vulnerability in others can directly impact how your team performs.
Why Vulnerability Matters in the Aftermath of Disaster Risk and Other Traumas
There’s often a pervasive message that we need to “be strong” in the face of real disaster risk. When community disasters occur, people often experience this urge to pretend like they aren’t affected, as if the hazard didn’t faze them whatsoever. This urge is rooted in self-protection.
From a societal standpoint, we also tend to avoid vulnerability, both at the national and international levels. People are encouraged to move on quickly and avoid expressing any feelings related to pain or angst.
So, even in 2022, despite all the progress we’ve made in understanding mental health, we often feel afraid to reveal our true selves. And yet, this concealing exacerbates themes of shame and isolation. It’s no surprise that this damaging mindset can erode mental health.
There’s nothing wrong with exploring the emotions and difficulties associated with trauma. You are allowed to have an authentic response, even if it feels dramatic, weak, or awkward.
What If Vulnerability Feels Too Hard?
You’re not alone- you’re among many other nervous and skeptical people. Furthermore, you may have lots of historical evidence proving that vulnerability is unsafe.
And it’s true- any type of vulnerability entails some inherent risk. Unfortunately, no book or self-help course completely eradicates that risk.
If you struggle to access emotions- or find intimacy overwhelming- it may be a sign that you struggle with vulnerability. Therapy can help! Therapy provides support and guidance in understanding your experiences and changing negative thoughts. Ideally, this process leads to a significant reduction in feeling isolated or afraid.
Together, we can address obstacles impacting vulnerability and explore viable strategies to help you feel safer. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Willow Counseling, PLLC, Nashville, TN
Willow Counseling, PLLC exists to provide quality trauma-informed mental health counseling to the Nashville community, recognizing the interconnectedness of our emotional, spiritual and physical selves. We work together to alleviate symptoms, learn better coping skills, relieve burdens, remove the pain of trauma, and so much more. However, our greatest desire is for you to know what it means to feel purpose and joy again and to recognize the strength and worth you have to offer the world.