Even the utterance of the word can create a visceral defence response internally, whereby our emotional senses get ready to baton down the hatches and prevent leaking or escape of this all so weak and frail emotion.
Dare not let it be seen by others. Dare not they sense our limitations and exposed hearts. For one is to keep themselves strong and capable in the eyes of others otherwise one opens themselves up to being rejected/disrespected or un-admired.
And who wants that?
But this is the great fallacy of man: the belief that vulnerability makes you weak. And the second greatest fallacy is the assumption that it isn’t common to all man.
All humans feel vulnerability just as naturally as they feel happiness.
Without vulnerability there would be no creativity or success. To show your creativity you must first be brave enough to expose yourself to the discrimination of others and to be successful you must put yourself on the parallel chance of failure.
Every successful venture could have failed and still can. Every creative pursuit is open to as much admiration as it is ridicule; so to step out of our cocoon of fear and trepidation takes courage. Great, grand, internal strength to get past our first hurdle: ourselves.
We get in our own way.
We are own harshest critic or, alternatively, our greatest ego inflation. But they are two sides of the same coin; self-deprecation and narcissism are both an inflation of the idea of self and how solid our self seems to others. In other words: we care more what other people think.
Sadly, what we miss is the empathetic realisation that everyone has this going on. Everyone is stifling there creativity and creating barriers to their heart because we have an image in our minds of what people think of us and we continue to try to live up to this absolute fallacy that is mind made.
It’s all a matter of perspective; from our mothers to our friends, to our colleagues, to our partners – they will all see us completely differently. So which one is us?
None of them.
Because if they could just hear what goes on in our heads they wouldn’t see us in the same light! Or that’s what we tell ourselves. So we wear masks for different occasions…one minute the lover, the next the mother, the sister and so on.
We build formidable barriers around our sense of self which prevents courage because first must come vulnerability. We cannot possibly have one without the other.
So speaking our truth when the possibility of being rejected is there is courageous.
Exposing our talents to the criticism of others is brave.
Expressing our weaknesses that are ‘out of character’ is honest.
Admitting we are afraid is noble.
And feeling the fear and doing it anyway is absolutely integral to growth.
So next time we feel vulnerable, we can embrace it, not reject it, meeting it like an old friend – giving it the space to express itself so it can transform into courage. We can lean into it.
And next time someone shows us their vulnerability we can give it the respect it deserves! We can think ‘how brave’ and be totally rooting for them regardless of whether we like what they say or offer; we can simultaneously have a preference and reverence. Vulnerability then becomes our role model, we can idolise it.
Idolising vulnerability, creativity and truth has to be far more encouraging than the assumption that the successful have something we don’t.
Success is being able to fail. And we all have that of course!!
Let’s just play the game for the love of it…