Don’t hide your vulnerabilities for the purpose of appearing strong. Do the work to be strong by leaning into your vulnerabilities. Then you can do the hard work of addressing them head on. Society would have you believe that showing vulnerabilities is weakness and is in some way inviting people to take advantage of you, but that really hasn’t been my experience. Knowing ourselves well enough to know what they are and being honest enough to admit it is strength.
I know that I like control. I dislike surprises that are open-ended where I don’t know the destination, activity, or purpose. I don’t like not knowing what’s for dinner or what’s happening this weekend. I used to hide this facet of myself because I thought that’s what society needed: someone that was easy going and that would just go with the flow. But you know what? That just made me uncomfortable. As soon as I admitted to myself that I liked control, I was able to make small adjustments that allowed me to interact with others in a more harmonious way. It sometimes takes a few additional conversations, but expressing my vulnerability out loud allows me to address it and remove the anxiety of any unknowns.
Whatever your vulnerability is, lean in to it. It will look different for everyone, and chances are it isn’t as bad as what you’re conditioned to think it is. When you are able to lean in fully, you are being more authentic to your true self, and in doing so, you will find strength.
Think about what vulnerability means to you. What emotions does it trigger in your body? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Think about your experience with sharing this vulnerability in the past. For example, did your parents ever shame you for feeling this? Maybe you were conditioned to think it is weak to expose yourself to emotional uncertainty. If you didn’t grow up in a family that was comfortable expressing feelings and talking through how certain situations made you feel, there will be more work to be done to get to a place of comfort. But as long as you are willing to do the work, you can get there.
The result can be electrifying. When you are no longer trying to hide facets of yourself from the world, you can step boldly in the direction of your journey, whether that may be relationships, work, or friendships. And when you are being genuine and authentic, you inspire people around you to vibrate higher as well. Subsequently, the open dialogue you have with yourself will translate into higher levels of emotional intelligence, compassion, and interdependence as you interact with the people around you.