Choosing to Be Vulnerable: Why it’s Worth the Risk

Vulnerability. When you say or hear this word, what feelings does it bring up in you? For most, it stirs up feelings of exposure, lack of safety, or being at risk in some way. But what is vulnerability really? What does it mean to choose to be vulnerable?

Throughout our lives we learn from society and those closest to us, that we need to protect ourselves from anything that may cause us harm, that we need to reduce the risk of exposure to anything that would create pain. And while the foundation of this belief has good intentions, coming from our human nature and instincts to survive, there is much more that we add to this need to protect that comes from the experiences we have along the path of living our lives. The way that we carry this out permeates all areas of our life, not just the protection of our physical being, but we fiercely guard our hearts, our souls, and our minds. We begin to open our hearts to love but then place barriers between us and who we love, we work on creative endeavors privately but then only share our creativity on a superficial level, we have insight and knowledge about something, but we keep it to ourselves. We do all of this because we fear that sharing and showing these parts of us exposes us to the potential for rejection, judgement, criticism and pain. Avoiding these risks seems to be the logical best choice, or at least on the surface that’s how it appears, but in avoiding these risks we also deny ourselves the opportunity to develop a deeper connection with others and with ourselves.

The Desire to Connect More Deeply

Most of us have experienced the beginning stages of a romantic relationship. When we are in the stage of getting to know someone and discovering who they are there comes a transition point that we reach where in order for the evolution of the relationship to happen we need to open ourselves up a little more, share more intimate things about ourselves, let the other person see more of who we are on a deeper level. When we reach this transition point, the imaginary step into the abyss, we can play it safe and continue to keep the relationship at a lower more superficial level, or we can choose to step forward, accept the risks, and move through our fears with the intention of connecting more deeply to that person.

Such is the case in all areas of our life. We reach the transition point where we can choose to move into a more vulnerable space, step into the abyss, seizing the opportunity to experience life more fully and with a deeper connection and higher level of self expression, or we can retreat into the safety of superficiality where the fullness of connection and self expression in life is limited, the choice is always ours.

Embracing Being Vulnerable

Being vulnerable is not limited to relationships. The choice to be vulnerable manifests throughout all areas of our lives. When we choose to open ourselves up and show parts of us that have been kept hidden or private, we are embracing being vulnerable. When we stop waiting for our confidence level to be high enough in something to warrant the “risks” of what may happen, we are embracing being vulnerable. When we feel afraid, but we listen to the voice of our higher self prodding us show our souls, we are embracing being vulnerable. Every time we make the choice to be vulnerable in our lives, we create an opening for more depth of connection to others, ourselves and the universe to unfold. Being in this more connected state, we are energetically empowered by the courage of our vulnerability to expand and to have inspiration come to us. One of the definitions of courage is: “Being afraid and doing it anyway.” When we have the courage to be vulnerable, it does not mean that we do not have apprehensions, fears, or concerns about the results, it means that what we stand to gain by being vulnerable matters more to us.

Although the choice to be vulnerable is not an easy decision to make most of the time, by becoming more aware of when we want to pull back and in those moments choosing to move towards our vulnerability instead, we are able to shift our pattern over time. We begin flexing our muscle of vulnerability, building our strength in this so that so that it becomes our natural way of being. By paying attention to when feelings of fear and apprehension surface in us and deciding to take even a small step towards those feelings, instead of retreating or pulling back, we create an energetic opening that will give us the strength to take bigger steps towards vulnerability in our future.