How to Cultivate Vulnerability

by Tammy Strobel on January 24, 2011

What does it mean to be vulnerable? And what does it mean to tell your story online? How does living simply relate to vulnerability? These questions have been on my mind lately and I’ve been searching for answers.

Dr. Brené Brown answered a number of these questions in her recent TED Talk. Brown shares why vulnerability, authenticity, and shame are key parts of the human story.

As Brown pointed out, you can’t numb out all the hard feelings because in the process you numb joy and happiness too. For example, when I worked in the investment management industry I felt like I was suffocating under a sheet of bubble wrap and didn’t know how to pop-out of the packaging. So I started numbing my depression through food and alcohol. But that didn’t work out so well because I wasn’t dealing with my underlying problems, including fear, shame, and low self-esteem.

We’re all striving to be real, authentic people and one way to do that is by learning to be a little more vulnerable. Cultivating vulnerability in your life doesn’t have to be so difficult.

Try some of these ideas on for size:

1. Be yourself.

2. Remember you are worthy of love, affection, and belonging.

3. Lean into the discomfort of life.

4. Connection is why we are here.

5. Everyone experiences shame and fear.

6. Let yourself be seen.

7. It’s okay to be imperfect.

8. Let go of who you think you “should be.”

9. It’s okay to take risks.

10. Stop trying to control and predict everything.

11. Practice gratitude and joy.

12. Embrace vulnerability.

Last word . . .

Simplicity relates to everything I do, including where I live, my small business, relationships, travel, and more. That’s why my writing here is so broad. But as I move forward into 2011, I want my writing to be vulnerable. Don’t worry RowdyKittens isn’t going to revert back to my old personal journal. Rather, my aim is to help you through storytelling, tips, and tools.

Micro-action: Brainstorm ways you can cultivate vulnerability in your own life and start reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brené Brown. I purchased the book this weekend and so far it’s fantastic.

 

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