How Authentic Vulnerability Helps Drive Your Best

Do you remember the time when you were a kid and you would just be very blunt, fearless and try all kind of stuff that you may now call crazy? Such as thinking you could become superman or wonderwoman to save the world? Or perhaps, just being really open to literally anyone talking about your supposed imaginery friend? Well, I thought I could become the next Mother Theresa or even run for presidential elections without Borders, called myself the President of the humanitarian world, or even thought I had the super power in me to save humanity etc etc.(haha 😀 )

Now as you grow up you might think that those things were naive, crazy, immature or even just don´t make sense anymore. It is exactly the opposite. We were just being awesome at being our true selves. Although we were exposed to getting emotionally or phyically hurt, it enabled us to experience new avenues of creativity, thoughts and ideas.

This is the very core that helps us become what we truly are inclined to, free from fear of what might happen.Therefore, the first prerequiste to finding your real purpose and natural gifts is to be at the peak of vulnerability. In this blog I am going to tell you what you can do to start doing it right away.

Understanding Vulnerability

Vulnerability is simply, as I mentioned before, the state of being in a position of maximum exposure of getting emotionally or physically hurt. It instantly drives a sense of fear and perhaps even anxiety in us. Our brain activates its ´Fight or Flight` mode, which means it almost involuntarily puts up a wall to protect your brain from any trespassing of “supposed“ emotional trauma it can receive. When your brain activates that response mode, it basically signals your body to make sure that you react to the situation in a defensive manner. As a result, fear forms as our natural defense mechanism. When you are in fear of feeling pain or hurt, you simply try to shut it off. It is a warning that helps our body to safeguard itself.

Scientifically, your brain consists of three parts and your true self and potential is at the outer most core. In fight or flight mode situations , or the fear response situation, the part in your brain called the amygdala hijacks the other higher brain where your IQ and EQ rest. 

Basically the part where our superpowers, our natural gifts and our true self is hidden , is being blocked off by any feeling of fear your body is experiencing including the fear of being vulnerable. This is mostly because we like to believe that if we put our hearts on our sleeve we allow our selves to be exposed and anyone can come and hurt us, reject us or shame us. Often, we do not realize that we also block off our ownself in that process.


If vulnerability risks being hurt, then why should I be vulnerable?

Now, this is the question that came to me a while back. After going through a heap of phyiscal and emotional trauma for a vast amount of my life, I just did not want to be feeling the pain anymore. I tried every possible way of blocking it off, dodging every opportunity to grow and come out of it because of the planted fear of my dear beloved brain telling me: The hurt is not worth it. I feared, that if I let my guard down , I will face rejections, I will feel embarassed and hurt. So I started telling myself another version of what was because it made me feel uncomfortable.

More to the supposed hurt, I thought, that being vulnerable is actually a weakness. And just like actual weakness is an absence of energy to move any or all parts of your body, when we see an emotional weakness, we place our brain in a state of limbo. We try to hide or even surpress any and everything associated with that weakness.  We tend to end up in denial and block off emotions that actually connect us with our true self.

Do I really need to share my intimate, private personal failures with the world?

Nobody is asking you to be vulnerable to let people harm you. Authentic vulnerability is not about sharing your failures to the world to gain attention. Sharing lessons learned from such failures is different. Your attitude towards yourself is sufficient. In simple words you need to be vulnerable to yourself first or simply speaking be honest with yourself! In what way you like to be vulnerable is your personal choice. 

And that is where the concept of taking off your mask and be who you really are comes to surface. Infact it is often only the armour of ego, that does not let us crack beneath its surface. But hey, I just feel that we owe it to everyone in that state to help them come out of it.


 What does vulnerability do to us?

Simply said when you are vulnerable to yourself you allow to connect within yourself.  In another online article from the Jordan Harbinger show, I came across his very amusing story about being vulnerable. He states how vulnerability is not something that somebody has to force you do it. You need to want it and allow it for yourself to happen.

A strong reason is your own motivation. Vulnerability needs to be authentic: You do not need to necessarily share things in a setting where you do not want to. Think of this as the phenomenan where people strategically try or even force you to open up.

My emphasis aligns with what Jordan said  about how vulnerability needs to come from within, from wanting to open about something as opposed to being put in a scenario where you have to suddenly speak about intimate, personal, weird things  in front of a group of people and not naturally allowing it to happen.

The Status Quo MindSet on Vulnerability 

Vulnerability is experienced by different people of different status differently. If a world renowned business tycoon or an influencer with massive follower speaks about their failures or what brought them to where they are , people mostly are appreciative . But when ordinary people start sharing their intimate or personal failures, this often is critically judged.

This has been interestingly summed up in an article by  New York Times bestselling author and founder of iwillteachyoutoberich.com Ramit Sethi , he mentions how excellence precedes vulnerability.

But we are talking about reaching into your best self before we talk about success and vulnerability as a tool to let go of any subconscious negative emotions that may block you from realising who you are.

Metaphorically speaking,  vulnerability is like a door to our souls and mind that you need to firstly reach and crack open beneath your own ego before passing through if you truly want to connect with yourself at a deeper level. 

So lets look again at what vulnerability does:

#1.  When I was in a state of denial, I thought that my negative emotions will fade away on their own because what you cannot see is not there, right?

Contrary to my belief, these emotions made me feel more and more uncomfortable and with every opportunity to grow, I felt that I am being paralysed from taking the next big move. Being vulnerable , removed  my resistance to letting my emotions flow and helped me become more aware of myself. 

#2. Every emotion needs to be processed by our body and the best way to do so is through expression. Your body is like a vessel, and emotions keep filling it up. Negative emotions need to leave your system for positive ones to enter. If not expressed in a proper manner, emotions, like fear and negativity, are toxic to your body and hinder you from personal development. Embracing Vulnerability is a way of expressing these emotions and discover your real painpoints. 

#3. Embracing vulnerability requires you to be aware of what you really feel, why you feel what you feel and understand what is causing you trouble. Addressing our pain gives birth to feelings like hope, gratitude,  compassion, excitement and joy connecting us with ourselves. It is said that we all give off a vibe from how we feel and if that vibe or aura is a positive, we tend to connect with positive people which is simply crucial for self development.


What should Vulnerability not be about?

The true difference as mentioned by Jordan, is the clear line between being and getting!

Again, I refer to one of his quote:

 “The right motivations for opening up are about being: being ourselves, being connected, being authentic. The wrong motivations for opening up are about getting: getting sympathy, getting friendship, getting approval. “

My whole point is on authenticity and being your true self. If vulnerability allows us to be connected and authentic, it allows us to discover our true potential. 

 How to use vulnerability to being your best self?

It starts with your personal goal and motivation, but since this article emphasizes mainly on vulnerability as a prerequisite to helping you discover your best self, I am sure your goal is to focus on achieving exactly that.

Moreover, to embark onto the process of self discovery, you need to make sure that every negativity standing in your way to realize your true potential is an obstacle that you need to remove.

However, before I share with you how you can become vulnerable to yourself , I also like to share that alot of people have trouble understanding the difference and meaning when we talk about  natural gifts, values, skills and purpose  (which in other words is your potential to be your best self) So here is a little light on it.

What is your natural gift?

Your natural gift is simply your ability of doing something that comes easy to you. It could either be generalized such as communicating with people, strong imaginations, organizing stuff, writing, selling or more specific such as music, designing etc. Everyone has one or more  natural gift(s). Do not worry if your gift is not stage material because it does not change the fact that you have a gift.  😉

A skill, on the other hand  is developed, and does not come natural to us but can complement our natural ability. So, if playing music comes easy to you even if you are not a master, once you acquire higher performing skills , people will instantly realize the difference between you as the naturally talented musician vs someone who just learned it as a side hobby. See, what I mean?

What are your values?

Your values are characteristics and attributes serving as your code of behaviour and moral principles that are important to you in how you think, act and live. Your values are your motivators and help you take decisions.

What is your purpose  and why finding it is just BS?

For a long time I thought I was born to do something great and live a core purpose that will come down to me in a divine revelation 😀

On the other hand, I started questioning myself: If at the age of 33, I was still trying to find my purpose , what the heck have I been doing for these past 33 years??? Sounds familiar?

It just struck me , but I tell you what: We are just too hard on ourselves sometimes . The believe that we are born for the ultimate single purpose or cause is BS because we are multi faceted. It just stops us from being every day the best we can.

Instead of thinking to find your purpose, I started  writing down things that I already actually am/was doing. Something that you can do right now as well:

For example start with

I exist to be ……….(and fill in the blanks)

My list looks like this:

I exist to be a good mother.

I exist to be a compassionate friend…

I exist to communicate to others that life is short and the time for their dreams is now.

I exist to show families there is another way to parent than neglect and violence.

I exist to show children they are valuable and have a voice.

I exist to support others in their quest to live authentically and to their full potential

I exist to be an example in empathy and compassion.

I exist to show others that life is not one-dimensional.

I exist to have fun, to be courageous, to make mistakes and to help others do the same.

I exist to share each of my gifts so I can live up to my full potential.

(I found the inspiration for these statement on another blog , so a due credit for it´s author is here)


So how does vulnerability help you here again?

Vulnerability is the first step in self discovery and self examination. You need to sit down with your self  and inquire why and how you react when your pain buttons are triggered.

What triggers you is a broken little part of your complete masterpiece. It is as if you are looking through a magnifying glass to focus only on the shattered pieces instead of your wholesomeness.

I suggest doing the following:

a. Shut your ego up and show compassion towards yourself by telling your brain and heart that embracing your vulnerability is not a weakness as it takes courage and bravery to do so.

b. List down your triggers. Think of what made you feel and react negatively, aggressively or defensively and why did you feel so. Be honest with yourself. It is Ok to face your demons because you need to let go of them.

c. Stop Labelling your emotions and just try to think of the energy you feel. Tell yourself that it is ok the way you feel and that mistakes happen. Most importantly – please STOP judging yourself on how others will judge you.

d. Forgive yourself. The failures and mistakes are your treasure and a true gift of experiences to draw on when helping others.  It is through forgiveness that we heal.

Bonus Tip: 

Forgiveness, just like gratitude, is something great if done daily before going to sleep because it allows our body to detoxify from the negative emotions and relinquish the idea that we can create a different past. It is a conscious decision on stopping our mind from  the what if situations.

Forgiveness helps us to remove most of the root cause of what contributes to our negative feelings we have subconsciously at times inside of us. Tell yourself what happened, why it happened and what you learned out of it. Try to let go of the grudges you hold towards something or someone. Imagine the impact of doing it daily:) I guess we owe ourselves that favour.;)

What is your take away?

Authentic vulnerability is a way to discover your true self by simply being honest and addressing your pain points.

Vulnerability allows you to flush your negative emotions associated with any pain points you have.

Vulnerability and acceptance to your own self  is also the first step to increasing and enhancing your emotional intelligence  which in turn is simply knowing and managing your own emotions to connect better with other people. Emotional Intelligence is a gateway to  reaching, realizing and optimizing your potential of being the best you.

At the end of the day becoming your best self is not a phenomenan that is bound by time . You start doing it by becoming a true best version of yourself everyday. 

So quit thinking and start doing!

This article was first published originally on http://www.jessideterra.com

 

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