The Power of Vulnerability
Vulnerability. For many it is a nebulous concept, often a romantic one—a desperate woman begging her man to “be vulnerable” and open up to her so that she can be everything he’s been looking for. For others, it’s considered a weakness—something that needs to be fortified or hidden in order to maintain security.
Vulnerability is power. It is the ability to be without barriers.
It is not weakness, it is a choice. The one who is willing to be without barriers is able to have 360 degree vision, receive information and awareness from any and everywhere, and retain 100% of their energy to put to whatever they choose, rather than being hindered by a barrier or a limited point of view, or expending energy to maintain a defense of any kind.
The power of vulnerability comes from the confidence that is required in order to be it.
Vulnerability is a choice--about how to be with the world and other people. The choice to lower barriers and be willing to receive anything takes an incredible amount of confidence. Basically, in choosing vulnerability, one is also committing to knowing that they will be able to face and rise to meet whatever comes their way.
Have you ever met someone that is truly vulnerable?
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The experience is often a little unsettling. There is something different about the person, but something that you can’t describe. You might even feel a little naked or inadequate around them.
The reason for these feelings is the energy dynamic created by the willingness to be vulnerable and have no barriers. When one is vulnerable, there is nothing to resist or push against--the person is not taking a “stance” on anything, so energy just flows through and around.
Yet, even if you don’t agree with a word they are saying or what they are doing, you are more fascinated than frustrated or angry. They inspire curiosity.
What leaves us feeling “off” after being vulnerable is that we are so used to “friction.” In fact, most of us create and define relationships by the quality of the friction. We are taught, even encouraged, to take a stand on an issue, on an idea about who we are, about something. Those who don’t are often labeled as unintelligent or ignorant. And, when the friction isn’t there, we feel “off” because we are unaccustomed to space.
Uncomfortable as it may be, the space created by the choice to be vulnerable invites curiosity and may be the “thing” that gets someone to question the rigidity of their position and be more willing to give you what you are asking for.
That alone is powerful.
However, the choice to lower our barriers and be willing to receive any and all awareness opens us to KNOW that who we are and what we are offering has value, regardless of whether another can receive it.
We can KNOW another’s behavior has nothing to do with us and that we don’t have to take it personally; we can KNOW that we can handle the discomfort of any experience and that it will pass; we can KNOW there is no need to work so hard to avoid or protect ourselves from anything.
KNOWing all this is inspires CONFIDENCE. And confidence gives us the courage to keep going and moving in the direction of our dreams. It is more often the lack of perseverance and the judgment we inflict upon ourselves that keeps us from the picking up and starting again that is required in order to have success.
If you are not where you’d like to be, maybe it is time to do something different…
Lower your barriers and let “it” in (whatever “it” may be). Let yourself be afraid. Let yourself be great. Let yourself be criticized. Let yourself be. Experiment with the audacity of confidence, knowing that “it” will pass and that you can handle “it.”
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