When you think of the word vulnerability, what runs through your mind? Fear, weakness and exposure. It is very rare to come across a person that is proud of their vulnerabilities. In my sixteen years of existence, I have met many who have concealed their thoughts and dreams because they would rather be accepted and meet society’s norms instead of being in a situation in which failure was a possibility.
Many are afraid to state their opinion, try something new or even be themselves because they would rather stay on the safe side of things. Were you ever put in a situation where you were asked to share your thoughts but didn’t because you thought you would sound stupid? Or have you visited a new place and avoided an activity because you thought it would be difficult and humiliating. Everybody has. Many crawl back into their shell and would try to avoid these situations. By constantly saying no to new opportunities, a habit is built; we begin to get comfortable, this is why they call it the “comfort zone”.
Countless people do not understand that our vulnerabilities are our opportunities for growth. By taking chances, making mistakes and admitting to them we learn something new. We then excel as a person, we become stronger and after awhile we turn invincible. Imagine if you took that job in the new city you always wanted to visit, but didn’t because you were afraid. Imagine if you went to that party you wanted to attend, but didn’t because you didn’t know anyone. Imagine if you gave that public speech about your million-dollar idea, but didn’t because you were shy. These are the decisions that shape us and create us. Failure should never be feared; anyone who is now successful has once failed. Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Oprah Winfrey are all famous failures. Imagine the world without any of them and if they were too afraid to speak up and peruse their most outrageous dreams and ambitions.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of every positive emotion in our lives; if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable we allow empathy and love to enter our lives. When we speak of our fears, we can access comfort and reassurance from the people we love. If a friend were to come and tell you about an embarrassing situation she experienced, instead of replaying with a bunch of “I told you so’s” be comforting and present, accept what he/she are saying. This will eliminate the shame with this feeling and make the person feel more accepted, she would be willing to continue on with whatever brought her this negative feeling.
It is important as parents, siblings, friends and spouses to support each other positively, especially when dealing with someone’s delicate thoughts or doubts. The last thing you would want to do is break the person’s self-confidence. Push them and comfort them, try and eliminate the feeling of fear.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, change and creativity. Without breaking out of the box there would be nothing new, life would be boring and repetitive. Next time you seem hesitant about making a decision, say yes before your mind creates a list of things that could go wrong. Even if you failed, it would be better than not trying.