When we are kids, we learn that being vulnerable hurts. We say what we think and are criticized or corrected. We exhibit our joy and are told to tone it down. So, we learn that being vulnerable is a weakness. All things go in a circle if you ride the wave long enough, so we can eventually learn that vulnerability is sexy.
Yes, it can hurt to be wrong, rejected, or not fit in. And everything has two sides. The other side of that is integrity. When you have the courage to be who and where you are, you radiate with self esteem. You may not be right or appreciated, but you are wholly yourself.
When you’re wrong, it gives you a chance to see those errors and fix them. You don’t go around with blinders on, hopelessly ignorant. When you’re rejected, you can stand in your integrity knowing that it was done with the full knowledge of who you are, not some facade that you could never maintain anyway. And you know what? It’s okay to not fit in. Every place isn’t a good place for you to be. So, you can either hang out and accept it to see what you can learn, or you can move on. No biggie either way.
The big pay off is that vulnerability opens the door to intimacy, growth, and confidence. Not cocky arrogance – real confidence. When you share your inner self with others, it invites them to do the same. How do you connect with someone without that?
You can’t just be true to yourself in secret. We don’t live in secret. We live each moment as the days unfold. I assure you, you’re not as freaky or weird as you think you are. If every closeted weirdo just showed what he was hiding, you may even find you’re a bit mainstream.
Still afraid to show your feelings and be yourself? Let me give you a skill to help. It’s two little words. Ready? They are, “So what.” That’s right.
So what if someone doesn’t see your beauty. Beauty comes in many forms, doesn’t it? Do you appreciate everything you see? Honoring others’ opinions makes it easier for you to honor yours!
So what if you’re the big name, big wig expert. It’s okay to have a wrong conclusion, controversial opinion, or doubt. Being on a pedestal allows you no growth and no intimacy. People can’t reach you when you’re so far above them. Pretending to be perfect adds another barrier. If you’re human, so what? You’re more interesting and warmer than a flawless statue.
So what if someone laughs at you. Laugh back! I can’t tell you how many people have said to me that they want someone to laugh with. We all do funny things. If you don’t take yourself so seriously, you might have a better time. (However, you might draw the line at abuse).
Vulnerability is sexy. It encompasses childlike innocence with very grown up confidence. I know there is something inside us all that wants to keep us safe. That safety squashes our greatness. So, which will you choose?
I have a dare for you. For just five minutes today, I dare you to be mindfully unguarded. Feel your feelings. Laugh with all your heart. Say what you think. This isn’t a license to be abusive. It’s just permission to be you in all your glory. Then tell me how it feels.