Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Five Benefits of Vulnerability

I was a hot mess, and folks seemed to like it.

Oh, hail! Was in the middle of a portrait session to update
my head shot when the heavens opened and  . . . 

News flash: What you see on personal blogs and social media IS NOT real life—it’s the highlight reel someone wants you to see. 

I've always been a fairly personal person, but as I mature, I’ve learned it’s okay to like yourself, and it’s okay to let people see the real you, not just the reel you.

Life isn’t always pretty, easy, or neat. 

Last week, I put a post on social media showing the results of running through hail and rain after a portrait session was cut short due to weather.

I was a hot mess, truly. In the process of sharing my post I had more interaction than usual. Not only did many people like my dilemma, many commented.

I had spent a good amount of time selecting my wardrobe, styling my hair, and putting on my makeup only to have the outcome be a big waste of time and a bigger disappointment. 

Or so I thought. 

I've been thinking about the response to my post, and I realized people like to see other people show vulnerability. It's not that they want to feel superior to someone's misfortune, but rather they enjoy being able to relate to someone's less-than-perfect moments. 

One of today's leading experts on vulnerability, BrenĂ© Brown, defines vulnerability as ". . . being honest with how we feel, about our fears, about what we need, and, asking for what we need." And furthermore, she says, "Vulnerability is a glue that holds intimate relationships together."

I've done some research, and here are five benefits of vulnerability: 
  1. Being vulnerable means you accept yourself, totally: your quirks, eccentricities, fears, etc. That's incredibility freeing.
  2. The type of honesty that goes hand in hand with being vulnerable attracts people to you. 
  3. You have to give up the myth that you're perfect when you choose to be vulnerable. That realization allows you to step into your true self, discarding masks that you've hidden behind.
  4. Vulnerability takes courage. It's not a sign of weakness, but one of strength.
  5. Vulnerability helps to create and sustain intimate relationships.
Step out, and give it a try. Plastic, air-brushed people are a dime a dozen, be you as only you can be!