Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
~ Brene Brown
I grew up in a small town. My dad, aunts and cousins were teachers back then. He was the head of a local school and changed many problem teenagers’ lives.
He was my role-model. I wanted to be just like my dad and touch people’s lives.
Despite all the great stuffs I had achieved as a teenager, I missed one thing that I didn’t know about until many years later. During my early years in school, I observed a phenomena that crying was not appreciated. Crying in front of public is almost as bad as a crime.
“Crybaby” has a relative translation in Mandarin. And the word was usually said as a mockery than affection. Crying was commonly treated as an embarrassment to the family and friends. It was seen as a sign of weakness.
Slowly and surely, I built up a thick wall, brick by brick, around my heart. I locked my feelings of hurt, shame, and fear away. I did not allow myself to cry. Strength became my forefront that has fought with me through very bad times. This strategy has been working like magic for me until last Monday and my vulnerability defense had a total meltdown.
The feeling I had afterwards was amazing. It taught me the power of vulnerability and why you should allow more vulnerability in your life.
1. Vulnerability gives you unlimited power and strength
Welcoming vulnerability means welcoming uncertainties in your life. I used to have a rule with my friends. I was afraid of telling people I do not like their presents.
Eventually, I would tell everyone not to give me surprises. I chose to reject others first before I have to reject others. Can you imagine when this logic happens in a relationship?
When you are friends with ‘uncertainty’, you will start to get used to this little thing called change. Imagine that you have a vulnerability muscle. The more your work the muscle, the better it functions.
Therefore, the more you welcome uncertainties in your life, the more you go through uncertain changes in your life and use it to create results. You gain power and strength when go through changes in life.
2. Being vulnerable makes you real
The key to accepting vulnerability is to first accept flaws. This is one of my lifelong challenges: to accept flaws. When you accept flaws, you will care less about many things that do not matter and focus on the things that matter. There is less of hiding. There is more of showing up.
Let me tell you about the one thing the power figures in your life have in common with you. Both of you are not perfect. You are right. Nobody is perfect.
Accepting this is not easy. When you accept yourself, you are directly acknowledging “It is ok to be vulnerable and flawed. Everything is ok.” If you can accept that, you will become more engaged in your life. You become you.
You will experience the true you and attract like-minded that appreciates who you are. You will attract true friendships that can only survive in openness.
3. Vulnerability brings you endless emotions
Joy is a fleeting emotion. Do you remember when you have something you want very badly as a child. One day, your parents came home with that as a surprise. That immense joy is what fuels our body and mind.
You can create joy in your life by being vulnerable. Being vulnerable unlocks a stream of meandering river. At times, it may flow slowly.
When it rains, it will drown you. When you are vulnerable, you will welcome joy, happiness and love in your life. When you open the door, be ready for everything else that comes along with the good stuffs.
You will get everything, happiness, joy, anger, sadness, disappointment, and more. It is amazing. Vulnerability creates the flexibility for us to be in different states of emotions.
It allows us to be in charge. When you master change, you will be able to face many challenges in your life.
When was the last time you allow yourself to feel vulnerable? How do you feel afterwards?