Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, provides a great deal of research on human emotions. Her research suggests that the path to mental and emotional wellness is through vulnerability.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It 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.” Brene Brown
VIDEOS ON VULNERBILITY
Here is a short in which she describes vulnerability:
Here is the longer version:
Since all humans have emotions, we all have the potential to be vulnerable.
Dr. Rochelle Perper describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It is the core of all emotions and feelings. However, vulnerability is not weakness. In fact, to be vulnerable is to have the strength to acknowledge and experience natural, human emotions.”
A picture I like to provide is of persons risking emotional exposure to other persons, knowing those persons may accept or reject them. Even if they are rejected, they have the confidence of self to believe they are still good enough and lovable, just the way they are. Like Brown suggests, understanding you are worthy.
It’s amazing we are inspired by vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity, but often too afraid to share our own with others. However, the good news is that vulnerability can be learned.
So how do you learn to become vulnerable?
Practice being vulnerable by:
- Share an unpopular opinion
- Stand up for yourself
- Ask for help
- Say ‘no’
- Initiate sex with your significant other
- Reach out to a friend in need
- Say “I love you”
- Share something you wrote or a piece of art with others
- Try something new
- Introduce two friends who don’t know each other
- Introduce yourself to a stranger
- Admit when you are afraid