“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.
Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW has spent the past decade+ studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.
She has shown how the “whole hearted”, the people who LIVE TRULLY, who enjoy most the sense of love, connection and their whole life in general with all of its emotions, have just one common characteristic that all the other people, who are struggling, do not have. This one common characteristic is the sense of WORTHINESS.
The whole-hearted’s feel they are worthy for all these! They had made the decision at a point in their life that they are trully worthy of being loved, connected, and ejoy their life. And they live that way.
All the other people who are struggling, they -consciously or uncosciously, usually both- feel that they do not trully deserve these kind of things. They think that their life is “just the way it is” because they don’t know even their own worth. They don’t believe in themselves in general, and in their potential and worthiness in particular.
And if that’s the only thing that keeps them from having all that they want, the answer to them is simple enough:
1) DECIDE that you are worthy!
Find reasons to support this theory! This belief, like any other is neither true nor false because you can support any side with enough evidence to convince yourself that it’s real enough for you!!
People who think they are worthy, because of their belief, they constantly (and effortlessly) find things to back up their theory. And they do. And they get in a vicious circle, like in the picture in the right, where their beliefs are just self-fulfilling prophecies.
Note here: That’s what happens with any belief. Your MOOD is what determines what evidence you will look for and which side you will support! Always. No exceptions. If you have a good enough mood, even the most terrible things can get the most heavenly meaning.
The sense of worthiness can happen when you begin to think WHY could you be worthy? What did you do that makes you worthy?? Think! Something you will find. And if you try to live from this place the rest of the day (or week or month or year), you will see that you will find more things to support this idea.
The sense of worthiness is as I said, just a belief. And as any other beliefs, it’s just a habit. Change the habit, and your life instantly changes. But you must face your fear first.
Because as Brene says, what keeps us out of connection with others, is our fear that we are not worthy of connection. This FEAR and his ugly face will keep showing up as long as you try to avoid it. The best that you can do is just face it and start fighting it.
2) Have the COURAGE to “start being vulnerable and tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
It’s a way of living, a lifestyle and a mindset.
A tip to make it easier to do it, is to find a positive meaning to whatever happened to you in your life up until now. It’s the sum of all these experiences that brought you here, made you what you are and give you the starting point, NOW, to change and start to travel to your “wanna-be” destination/goal.
As a stupid example: I was trying for years to find a positive meaning WHY the hell I was playing video games for the past 18 years non-stop and I was ADDICTED to them, and what I gained from that experience. I found a trully great reason recently and I can now proudly say “YES I was an addicted GAMER too and I’m f*cking proud of it!”. (I ‘ll have a post on that 😉
I have the core belief that whatever happens to us, happens for a reason, and the MAIN reason, is to LEARN from that experience. Every experience, either “failure” or “success” has its meaning and lesson to learn. If you learn, you move to the next “class” or “lesson”. If you don’t learn, the lesson will constantly repeat itself and you will constantly live a dejavu-like life, where the same thing will keep showing up. Until you learn and move forward. In fact there are is no such thing as a failure. You fail only when you don’t learn and keep repeating the same mistake over and over. If you learn something, ANYTHING, then you have NOT failed.
One lesson is to accept your own vulnerability and the vulnerability of this world. We all are, either youu believe it or not. You just have to accept that as neither good nor bad. It’s just the way we are. We decide if that’s good or bad (and I’ll explain below how).
But you must first show compassion to yourself and stop beating yourself up! Why do it if it only harms you? Why show compassion to others and not to yourself? On the contrary, the FIRST person you should be compassioned about is your OWN self. When you begin to accept, know and love yourself, then you will be authentic.
Connection is the result of that authenticity. You connect to others and to yourself when you let go of who you “have” to be and begin to be who you “want” to be.
3) Understand that Vulnerability is a NECESSITY and a MUST!
As Brene says, not even the “whole-hearted” people say that being vulnerable is easy! They understand that it’s difficult and uncomfortable, but they do it anyway because they think of it as NECESSARY to experience the whole wide emotional spectrum and variety. If you can’t be vulnerable, then you can’t feel neither “bad” emotions nor “good” emotions.
Remember, the part of the brain that controls the emotions is the SAME for BOTH good and bad (the amygdalas)! This means that when you choose to shut off the bad emotions, you shut off the good ones too. And your life gets miserable. And then you feel more vulnerable. And then you shut it off more. And another vicious circle begins. You have to BREAK this circle, and start exploring your own vulnerability.
Being Vulnerable means to try things even if the result is uncertain. The point is to TRY eitherway. You won’t know the result any other way. You prefer living a life of “what if’s” or a life of “oh well’s” ? 🙂 Vulnerability is the second. Shame and regret is the first. It will help you to just think “what’s the best that can happen? – What’s the worse that can happen?”. Usually the worse is not as bad as we think, or in most cases is just staying where we are and not moving backwards. But there is always something to gain:
A new experience. A new possibility. A new way of being altogether.
In most cases people have “Nothing to lose and Everything to Gain”, but they don’t realise it, and tend to make the matter a “life or death” decision.
And some food for thought: Our fear of Vulnerability pushes us to make the uncertain, certain…
Religions, politic views etc, are just OPINIONS, translations and Views, meaning uncertainty (!), and not hard-facts. We now tend to make them and act like they are certainties, just to hide our own vulnerability.
Don’t fear vulnerability; fear what happens when you don’t accept it instead.
Brene has 3 books devoted on the subject and backed up by her research, but I think the best is:
Her webpage is here:
This post is based on the following video which is one of the Must-See TED vids:
This trully remarkable talk inspired me to write this post. And it is a must-see especially for all perfectionists.
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