Some of you might have heard of the term Vulnerability before, I have been studying it for quite some time over the past 3 years, this is something I come to know of through Brené Brown even though I have come to see that it parallels with others things I have learnt as well. You see the definition of Vulnerability raises some eyebrows because people believe when something is being vulnerable it means being weak, we often address the word vulnerable to mean being open to being taken advantage of, this kind of vulnerability is not the same. In this definition it means doing something new to overcome fear or transitional anxieties that arise from doing things that they have never done or tried before, the same applies with doing things that generally don’t hide our perceived weaknesses.
The truth is that it is human nature to have our guard up and protect ourselves pretty much all the time, we do this as a way to protect ourselves mainly against potential criticism or a potential damaged self-image that can result from things like ridicule or failure. No one wishes to look silly or foolish in front of others nor do they wish to do something out of their normal routine if it makes them feel uncomfortable, as we already know humans naturally avoid ‘change’ in their lives like the plague because whatever that something NEW is tends to make people feel scared of coming out on the other side with a bad experience then living with it forever.
When it comes to vulnerability the truth is how can you truly see everything in life if you’re not willing to try everything in life? To be vulnerable means you are going to have to open up yourself to new challenges, situations and people. Unless you do that you will always be in wonderment of what your life could have been because fear always controlled you when it came to doing anything different. With vulnerability the point is that you learn to deal with whatever the result is by taking it on the chin.
To overcome that fear one must put the importance of learning and living to the full first before the idea of ridicule or criticism for doing it so the fear of doing it does not control the person doing it. Vulnerability is fun and enjoyable. Challenge yourself to see if you can do something out of your usual comfort zone, do it and most of the time you will be happy you did. Think about how someone would approach life if they didn’t care what others thought of them, surely with that kind of mindset the person wouldn’t fear doing much except maybe something that threatens their life. Ever been on a roller coaster? I have. But for sure the first time I went on one there was that slight feeling of fear along with the thrill of it. If you have then perhaps you know the thrill feeling but you also know the feeling where you to say yourself “wow did I just do that?”. If fear and anxiety existed at first then it took your vulnerability to ride a coaster to beat it down. You then realize the next time you go on a roller coaster its not really scary at all. Can you relate?
A person can be scared of taking up any kind of new hobby, perhaps that hobby is surfing. A person says “I would love to try surfing but what if it’s too cold in the water”? “What if I’m not good at it”? “What if I’m terrible at it and others laugh at me because I fall off and look a mess getting out of the water”? Notice something? Every single one of those thoughts comes up generally for someone who is doing something new because that transitional anxiety exists until it is either put on the back burner or defeated. The truth is people often just don’t realize that you’re going to fall off that surf board few times before you understand that it is in fact all part of the process. Ask yourself, do you do anything risky in your day to day job? Do you take risks everyday that give you anxiety or some kind of fear? What have you done with your life that required you to be vulnerable yet you were glad that the challenge was to you “well worth it”?
~ Jay Rando