“Some people think that being vulnerable is being weak. That if you’re emotional, or you’re bold, or you’re honest, then you’re irrational, or you’re intense, or you’re fragile….We are who we are because of the extreme emotions we feel….I think, that being vulnerable is being strong. And, if all we have is our story, I wanted to tell mine, Unapologetically.” – Kelsea Ballerini
It isn’t easy to be vulnerable. Actually, it’s very easy to be vulnerable. This feeling comes naturally. What’s difficult is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It’s difficult being okay with being vulnerable. A lot of people think being vulnerable is a bad thing. They think vulnerability is a weakness. Much like Kelsea Ballerini, I disagree. I believe vulnerability is a strength. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Or maybe it does…but it makes you the good kind of crazy. If you’re wild enough to be vulnerable, that means you’re wild enough to be open and honest and real. You’re strong because you open yourself up to life. The good, the bad, the ugly, the downright painful, the completely beautiful.
I am a firm believer of putting yourself out there in any and every way. Whether it’s in your professional life or your personal life, it doesn’t matter. I believe in throwing myself out there and taking risks every chance I get.
While I follow this practice in all aspects of my life, I find myself mostly applying it to my personal life. A lot of my friends are often in awe of how often I “put myself out there” so much. I’ve been known to lay it all on the line, tell a guy how I feel, make the first move. It’s not 1950. Women can make the first move, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think sometimes guys find this fascinating. Why should guys always have to make the first move? Sometimes, they’re just as scared as us girls. I’ve asked out more guys than I can count. Why? Because I’d rather give it a shot than sit in a corner and wait around for someone to fall at my feet. Yes, I know effort has to go both ways, but there’s no law written in stone saying the woman can’t be the one to put herself out there first.
As human beings, we must know what rejection looks like. Rejection isn’t fun. For anybody. I think it’s fair to say some of us have faced more rejection in our love lives than others. But I also think those of us who face the most rejection are sometimes the ones who have the strongest understanding of love.
I have told a guy how I felt many times in my life. These were usually guys I was friends with or friendly with whether through school or work. One way or another, I revealed to the guy that I had feelings for them. For me, a lot of times, this is my way of letting go. It’s my way of being able to move on. I find it difficult to move on without 100% confirmation that my feelings aren’t reciprocated, or maybe they are reciprocated on some level, but for whatever reason, this isn’t something that’s going to happen.
I’m not good at letting go. I’m not good at saying goodbye. Who is? Who actually likes saying goodbye? Who likes letting go of the idea of being with someone they have strong feelings for? Personally, I find that telling someone how I feel is the way for me to finally let something go when my heart stubbornly persists and refuses to let it go.
There are times, however, when it is not for the best to straight up reveal your feelings for someone. There are various factors that may not make it the best idea to tell someone how you feel about them. For example, if they are married or engaged. It isn’t going to serve any kind of purpose other than cause trouble. You have to find another way to let it go in that case.
Another example, if you work with this person and will have to continue to work with this person in close quarters, it may not be the best idea to reveal you like them. In this case, however, there are other ways to put yourself out there. Such as, you can ask them to hang out in an out-of-work setting. If they do hang out with you outside of work, there are ways to approach the general idea of “is there something here?” without being blunt to the point where it’s awkward if they don’t reciprocate. If they don’t wish to hang out with you outside of work or they hang out with you and make it clear in some way that it’s platonic, then you know where you stand. This isn’t the easiest maneuver, but there are still ways to “set yourself free” so to speak.
Ultimately, that’s what it’s about. Setting yourself free. You need to do what is best for you. You can’t always be trying to please everyone. What about you? You aren’t selfish for wanting to be happy. For the longest time, I thought I was selfish for wanting what was best for me. Yes, sometimes you need to look out for other people you care about, but at the same time, you can’t go through life only living for them. What is going to help you sleep at night? Because it’s not holding everything inside. I promise you, that’s not going to help you sleep at night. You shouldn’t have to apologize for doing what is best for you.
That’s why I believe in putting it all on the line. Is it terrifying? Absolutely. Are you going to get rejected? Probably. But at least then you know. I would so much rather put it out there and get rejected than live my whole life wondering what could’ve been. Because even if you think you know, you never really know until you know.
So put it out there. Take the risk. At the very least, you will be a tougher person because of it. It takes a lot of strength to put yourself out there. Feel your emotions…wear them on your sleeve. Wear your heart, wear you rejections, wear your scars for everyone to see. I’ve been burned more times than I can count. But I’ve learned that in the long run, I only regret the things I haven’t said or done, not the things I did say and do. I’m proud to be vulnerable. I’m proud to be bold. I’m proud to be someone who lays it all on the line. I live my truth, and I tell my truth. I’m proud to be me…unapologetically.
How about you?