Have you ever felt really, really vulnerable in life?
It’s an intimidating feeling right?
What did you do when you experienced those feelings of vulnerability? Did you own them, or did you wrap them up in a façade of fake optimism?
How many times have you said ‘I’m fine!”, when really deep down all you wanted to do was come clean and admit that everything in actual fact, is not OK.
We are taught that it’s not cool to be vulnerable. It shows weakness and just won’t do. Instead we must embrace the stiff upper lip and pretend that everything is A OK.
Vulnerability provides inner strength
What nobody told us is that there is actually a deep inner strength in vulnerability. This may sound contradictory at first – but vulnerability is actually strength in disguise. You know why? Because to be vulnerable you have to be honest; you have to be the REAL you.
At times it may feel like the safer option is to hide your inner feelings in favor of an inauthentic, more confident exterior, but the truth is; people respect vulnerability so much more than faux-confidence. Plus, let’s face it – playing pretend doesn’t ever really make you feel that great on the inside; it only leaves you feeling like a fraud.
Perfection is not the answer
The point is; no one likes a perfect person. In-fact they are kind of irritating right? You know, that person who is always happy, no matter what happens and never seems to have any problems; they are just plain annoying. If you’ve ever wondered why, it’s because at a subconscious level, we don’t trust people who appear to be perfect, because perfection doesn’t actually exist.
The moment we start to embrace ourselves with all of our flaws and for all to see, the moment we truly come alive. As the visionary Apply founder, Steve Jobs once said:
“You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
It’s true: whether we like it or not, we are already naked and the sooner we learn to accept who we are and give ourselves permission to be vulnerable; the sooner we free ourselves from the chains of pretend-perfectionism.
Vulnerability breeds great leaders
In my opinion, the greatest, most effective leaders are not afraid to be vulnerable. In-fact they use vulnerability as a hidden strength. Take Mahatma Gandhi as an example; he fought for a whole nation with his mind alone. Gandhi chose to practice non-violence and truth in all situations and used these unconventional methods to activate immense change in India. While the Indian government attempted to use brute force, he simply fasted to get his message across. It was this vulnerability, this gentle approach that led India to independence. As Gandhi said:
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
Simple Life Strategy: 7 Reasons to Be Vulnerable
1. Grow as a person. If you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable, how will you ever grow and develop as a person? Vulnerability is a vital component of self-development.
2. Let go of perfection. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to be perfect all the time? When you’re vulnerable, it’s OK to be imperfect.
3. Leave the fraud behind. Instead of constantly feeling like a fraud, openly express your vulnerability and say goodbye to those feelings of inauthenticity.
4. Connect with others. There’s something endearing about vulnerability (like the kitten at the top of this post!) When you are vulnerable it’s easier to connect with others because you’re coming from a place of truth. Plus Why not even ask for help? You’ll be surprised how valuable it makes people feel when they are asked for help.
5. Increase your emotional intelligence. If you are constantly burying your feelings, then you won’t grow emotionally. By facing your vulnerability head on, you will naturally increase your own emotional intelligence.
6. Keep good company. Join other global leaders like Gandhi and Steve Jobs by embracing your vulnerability with open arms.
7. Be yourself! As Steve Jobs said “You’re time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Take this moment to be true to who you are and leave the mask behind.
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