This piece originally appeared on Your Bella Life
…And not just because Brené Brown told you to!
Ever opened up to a friend about something difficult going on in your life? Been on an interview? Said, ‘I love you’ first in a relationship? Put yourself on the line for a new project or experience? If you’ve answered yes to at least one of the above then congratulations! You’ve been vulnerable! Brené Brown has been everywhere these days especially if you’ve turned on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday or are one of the eight million viewers that watched her TEDx Talk.
Brown, a Ph.D., LMSW and professor at the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work, has built her career studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Let me tell you, she’s the real deal. She understands that this vulnerability thing isn’t easy, but oh so worth it, even outing herself as someone who once had a hard time embracing it.
Putting yourself out there is scary! It’s uncomfortable to take emotional risk, but as someone who has made the commitment to embrace vulnerability I can attest that there are some great reasons to take the leap:
1. People like you when you’re just being yourself
When you’re authentic you encourage those around you to be more of themselves and people want to be around people who make them feel good. Plain and simple. Having confidence in who you are makes others feel relaxed. No one is striving to meet expectations or trying hard to impress anyone. An added bonus: there’s nothing more attractive or sexy than someone genuine. All anyone ever really wants from you is to be yourself.
2. You are whole no matter what you share with anyone
Putting yourself out there for an opportunity and not getting it. Saying, ‘I love you’ in a relationship and not hearing back. Reaching out to a friend and getting turned away. There are tons of reasons why vulnerability is scary, but even when you share with others you are still whole. Sometimes things don’t align and you don’t hear what you were hoping to, but it does NOT affect your overall worth. You are still whole. You still deserve love. There is nothing wrong with you, no matter how badly the rejection hurts. Everything you want is already inside of you and nothing can take that away.
3. People earn the right to hear your story
In Brené Brown’s Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah she stated, “People earn the right to hear your story.” Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. we have a million social media options to vent our feelings, but saying something behind your computer doesn’t allow you to fully be seen. You have the power to choose those you entrust with what’s going on in your life so choose carefully! Real intimacy is not shared behind a computer, so think twice before you hit send.
4. Being vulnerable helps you connect to something bigger
We associate being vulnerable with being weak and that’s really untrue. Opening your heart to others regardless of outcome takes strength. We are all striving to connect to others and when you allow yourself to be vulnerable you do exactly that. The love inside of you reaches the love inside of them even if you don’t get the desired outcome. Isn’t life so much sweeter when you share it with others anyway? You might even be happily surprised.
5. Wholehearted living exponentially helps you grow
Part of Brown’s bigger message is being a wholehearted person, or as she defines it, as someone who has a deep sense of deserving love, the courage to be imperfect and the ability to have compassion for themselves and others. Most of all they find connection as a result of being authentic meaning they aren’t scared of being themselves. When you live wholeheartedly you get so much more out of life. You are able to experience things differently always knowing that you deserve love no matter what. This helps you take leaps of faith and shapes every opportunity into one of growth and gratitude. Be thankful for all your messy experiences just as much as the beautiful ones because they make you who you are.
So let’s keep throwing this vulnerability word out there. Take the emotional risk to be yourself. Live a wholehearted life and see just what all the fuss around Brené Brown is about for yourself!