By Krupa Balasubramanya - April 14, 2019
I’m going to share something with you that might totally blow your mind: your vulnerability is actually your biggest strength.
I know—I was shocked when I first learned this too. But set your skepticism aside for a moment, while I explain. See, vulnerability is one of those BIG WORDS. You know the kind I’m talking about: words that, when we hear them, bring up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings, past life experiences, insecurities, and unhealed wounds. This is, in part, because vulnerability just isn’t valued in our culture. (Especially not for men, although plenty of women struggle with vulnerability as well.) In fact, all too often, we associate the idea of vulnerability with weakness, heartache, betrayal, or failure. To be vulnerable is to be under siege, or to have put oneself at risk. To be vulnerable is to be not enough.
Except, this isn’t true at all. Not one single word of it. Or, at least, this isn’t the full story.
In fact, your vulnerability can be your biggest asset, your greatest strength, the nexus of your life’s force.
But first, let’s start by getting one thing straight: whether you’re willing to accept it or not, you’re already vulnerable. Every single time you step out into the world, you’re making yourself vulnerable to critique, hurt, loss, betrayal, and rejection. At the same time, you’re also making yourself available to praise, healing, abundance, relationship, and acceptance. You can’t experience one without being open to the other. You can’t open your heart to joy without accepting the risk of pain. You can’t open yourself to praise without accepting the risk of critique. You can’t be available for abundance if you haven’t accepted the risk of loss.
And, you can’t showcase your strength without accepting the vulnerability that comes with it.
See, it’s both okay and necessary to be vulnerable, because it is only in being vulnerable that we share our authentic selves with the world. But, contrary to what you might think, being vulnerable actually requires superhuman feats of fearlessness. Being vulnerable requires you to be bold. After all, if you approach the world with nothing but your truest, most honest and authentic self, what happens if you get rejected? What happens if you look deep inside yourself, give all that you have to offer, and you’re still rejected by someone or something? What happens if you discover who you are and share that person with courage, and the answer is still no?
In a nutshell, that someone or something simply isn’t part of your journey.
Rather than accepting the vulnerability that comes with being your most authentic self, if you’re always focused on mitigating the ways other people might react to what you say, do, or feel, you are spending your life thinking on someone else’s behalf. You’re spending your energy acting on someone else’s desires and interests. You’re refusing to stand as yourself—and if you don’t spend your life standing up as yourself, who will? What if being your most authentic, vulnerable self is the greatest, boldest, most courageous act you can take in your life? (Hint: it is.)
Being vulnerable requires you to go deep into yourself. Vulnerability demands that you to ask yourself tough questions, explore who you are, challenge your preconceived notions, and accept your authentic self. It demands a fearlessness in becoming the person you are supposed to be—and then sharing that person with the world, at the risk of being rejected. (Ask yourself, instead, what if you’re accepted? What if your true self is celebrated beyond your wildest dreams? Isn’t this a possibility, too?) Being vulnerable forces you to explore your limits, figure out what you like and value, and listen to the most innate messages of your soul.
Because here’s the biggest secret of all: if you aren’t open to accepting rejection of who you are, you aren’t really open to being loved for who you are either.
There’s this expression: why would we judge an elephant by how well it can climb a tree? Compared to a monkey, it’s no contest who can climb the tree the highest. If you’re the monkey, great—climb that tree and live your best life. But maybe you’re the elephant; and if you are, it’s time to stop staring at that tree and figure out what it is YOU have to offer. Even if it makes you vulnerable.
So listen to your big, wild, beautiful, vulnerable heart. Be bold in your expression of yourself. Be fearless in sharing what magic only you can bring to the world. The world needs you to be YOU, not anybody else. Only in accepting and embracing the vulnerability of who you are, can you let the light of your most authentic self shine strong and bright.