I’m proud to begin the Strength Series, a collection of entries meant to offer insight into my personal struggles so that I can hopefully help someone else who is struggling with a difficult situation in his or her own life. I believe that by sharing and reflecting on our experiences (whether with ourselves or others), we can find empowerment and turn these struggles into strengths.
To open the Strength Series, I’d like to focus on vulnerability, a very intimidating, yet powerful state that can help us grow. Vulnerability is all about being open to injury or appearing as if you are. It might be emotional, like admitting that you're in love with someone who might only like you as a friend, or it can be literal.
Recently, my incredibly inspiring husband, Adi, and I shared our personal story on addiction, sex, authenticity, and growth with Sophie Venable on her “Make Your Life Fabulous” podcast (you can take a moment to hear it below). It wasn’t easy, but it felt good to be so vulnerable, raw, and honest.
I know that there can be many things in our internal and external environments that make us feel vulnerable. To help you find clarity on what those might be for you, I’d like you pick up a pen and piece of paper, reflect on your own fears and vulnerabilities, and jot them down:
____________ makes me feel VULNERABLE. When I think about this situation, I FEEL the vulnerability in this part of my body: __________. I would describe the FEELING as ___________. Other emotions or situations that make me feel this way are: ______________________________.
Use this “directed storytelling” exercise to highlight three instances of vulnerability in your life. Now - when YOU feel vulnerable, how do you treat the people around you? ________________, ________________, ______________________.
Are these responses logical? Yes, no?
Oftentimes we have a tendency to punish those around us when WE feel vulnerable. I urge you to write down the people in your everyday life that have been affected by your response to vulnerability.
Go to each one, and explain HOW you act when you feel vulnerable. APOLOGIZE. Then scrounge up the courage to ask them to hold you ACCOUNTABLE for the behavior in the future.
It's truly amazing what we are capable of changing when we let people in on our patterns of destruction, so I recommend exploring your own vulnerabilities and being open about them with those closest to you and most importantly—you.
How has being vulnerable helped you in your life? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and be sure to tag #myphilosophie and #strengthseries.