“Vulnerability Is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and
creativity. Is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual
lives, vulnerability is the path”
– Brené Brown
Being vulnerable requires revealing courage in embracing our true feelings and who we genuinely are. It is okay to bare our insecurities, fears, and weaknesses to other people. When we stifle our negative emotions, it can cause more emotional harm to us over time. Instead of learning to process our emotions we burry them to protect ourselves. We wear our emotional armour at times as a defense mechanism. This is used to portray a version of ourselves that we feel others expect of us while protecting ourselves from uncomfortable emotions.
In our culture we have historically viewed vulnerability as a sign of weakness; or attached to feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and embarrassment. We fear we will be judged or looked down upon up by others. If a friend or family member came to us in a vulnerable state, would we judge them? We would lack both empathy and compassion to neglect supporting someone when they are struggling with difficult emotions.
Learning to soften ourselves towards our own struggles and others can reduce stress, decrease feelings of anxiety and depression, and inspire change. Withholding vulnerability in therapy can delay or prevent you from learning and growing during therapy sessions. Being vulnerable in therapy can help you trust to share vulnerability with others outside of therapy. It is a process, it takes practice, and it is not something everyone can jump into. Begin small with gradual exposure if needed. Being vulnerable does not require oversharing. It is a step towards expressing yourself authentically.
Why Embrace Vulnerability?
Brown, B. (2015). Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Avery.
Written by Jenny Lyons-Mouyios, Clinical Social Worker with Wildflowers