The Power of Vulnerability

A Smudged Image of a Face
'Distortion Focus' by Jaeha Park

Vulnerability - we equate it with being naive, gullible and worst of all, weak. All throughout our lives, we are taught that the opposite state of being vulnerable is not only preferable but virtuous. The reality is that not only are we all vulnerable no matter how hard we try not to be, but we are actually approaching vulnerability with a completely twisted and muddled mindset. In reality, it might be our most powerful weapon; we have to learn the power of our vulnerability.

Believing in the power of your vulnerability is believing in yourself, phenomenally, unapologetically, and wholly. Vulnerability is the driving force of our strength and connection. It’s brave, It’s tender. It’s our might and driving force. But, we’ve turned it into a weakness. Vulnerability is openness to experiences, people and uncertainty. It’s terrifying at times but always courageous, and this is the power that we need to realize.

Taking examples from the eminent change-makers Malala, Oprah Winfrey, and Elon Musk, it is unlikely to come up with how they are akin to each other; however, what these figures have in common is a sense of courage and this is because they fully embraced their vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them extraordinary. They didn't talk about adversity being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating. They just talked about it being necessary. They talk about the willingness to do something where there is no guarantee. Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it's also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of innovation, of love, of self-acceptance. This is what allowed them to connect with themselves, and, of course, with the rest of the world.

How do we find the power of our vulnerability and dare to connect?

  1. The first step begins with cultivating your personal confidence through dissatisfaction.

One of the biggest reasons why we may lose our personal confidence is because we let our dissatisfaction overtake us - leading to uncertainty and questioning. Whenever we’re in a foul mood or things just seem off, because of dissatisfaction from a particular result or when things aren’t that great, we let ourselves numb our vulnerability – thinking of it as a weakness, when in fact it’s the opposite. The more self-realization and understanding you cultivate, the more confidence you have in yourself and thus the easier it is to embrace vulnerability. Sometimes, sometimes we have a negative feeling about things. We're not happy about the way things are going. We feel dissatisfied, and we feel frustrated. We can change that negative into a positive. If you believe that things can be better, then you have the option to do something rather than to do nothing.

  1. Embracing your Vulnerability!

Vulnerability is an immense asset, and yet our current values and ideals portray it as undesirable and dangerous to our well-being. Practicing non-resistance is difficult, but an essential life skill. There’s no one who can understand what’s going on in your mind at that particular moment then you. When we neglect vulnerability instead of embracing you, we don’t realize the larger implications it has. Our vulnerability empowers us to grow stronger. When you’re most vulnerable – embrace it. Understand where your mind is during those times. To acknowledge and accept your imperfections and let go of the need to control are essential parts of self-care and finding that dissatisfaction.

  1. Understand that Dissatisfaction

Sometimes though, uncertainty or discomfort is exactly where we need to be. It’s here that we often find clarity and insight and a readiness to move forward or pull back. Don’t be too quick to move out of uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes they’re the richest source of growth and information about what’s right. Ask yourself, where is this dissatisfaction stemming from? What have I done/not done to think these thoughts? Who am I feeling this towards? Why am I feeling like this? What can I do now?

  1. Finally, turn that Dissatisfaction into Powerful Action!

Your next big step! Move towards what you want and be vulnerable to the risk – it’s the bravest thing you’ll do. What would you do if you could act without fear of shame? You can’t trust that there won’t be rejection and disappointment, but you can trust that you’ll embrace it. What’s harder to live with is teetering around the edges of something that feels important, wanting more but never dropping the guard enough – being vulnerable enough – to let it in. What could happen if you open up, take a chance, let yourself be vulnerable? The result is powerful action!

Embracing vulnerability allows you to feel more connected with other people, and thus build more satisfying bonds. Embracing vulnerability allows you to be more authentic and honest with yourself, and others. Embracing vulnerability opens many doors to you that would have otherwise remained shut if you had closed yourself off. Embracing vulnerability allows you to be challenged and thus grow, learn and be strong. Embracing vulnerability teaches you how to stop comparing yourself to others and start working on building yourself and your impact, more about yourself and how to positively deal with adversity. Embracing vulnerability makes your more prepared to take on challenges that challenge you and brings out your passion!

To me, being vulnerable is still a terrifying experience. But I know that once this becomes a habit, it’s easier to identify and vocalize anything that feels not quite right. It’s in these moments that we figure out which of our needs aren’t being met and how we can be better, even if we already think we’re the best. We can take risks to make a difference. If we can unite behind the power of dissatisfaction, the world will be a better place.

What is your definition of vulnerability?

When do you find yourself to be the most vulnerable?

Are you ready to find the power of your vulnerability?