Relationships—Counselor’s inspirational on being vulnerable

“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.”  --Brene Brown

Allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable for the greater good is not always easy. There are many feelings that can come up.  You can have doubt, worry, and can even be terrified—especially when the remnants of old wounds are still lingering in your past, tainting your view of what could be. 

But, what if you allowed yourself to be open?  What if it did work out? What if it didn’t?  No matter what we go through, there are lessons to be learned in going through the process of moving forward, and being open to new things or people in your life.

In the movie Good Will Hunting, Will (Matt Damon) has a lot he is holding onto from his past that is holding him back from being vulnerable in a new relationship. He then meets our beloved Robin Williams (Sean) that plays the role of his therapist.  Sean helps Will move forward, past all he has been holding onto, that is not his fault. Will then is able to change the direction of his future. Will allows himself to become vulnerable and leaves to, “…see about a girl.”  It was a long process for him to go through, which usually takes longer than a two-hour movie in our real lives, but the message is that he made it through. No matter where we’ve been, we can move through things in order for the greater good-- to get what could make us our happiest.

Here are some ideas, examples, and some motivation on what we can do to help ourselves move forward:

It starts with you.  Being vulnerable is easier when you love yourself.  When you don’t love and accept ALL of you, you might be scared to show people the, “less than perfect” parts of you, and becoming vulnerable might feel like the biggest fear in the world.  If you can move towards acknowledging and accepting all of you, you most usually will move towards less concern of rejection.  When you then become less concerned with rejection, you can move towards becoming more open to show who you are.  It is a leap that has to start somewhere.


Identify what you fear.  Have you taken time to identify what it is that scares you?  Maybe you already know.  Maybe it is one thing, or maybe it’s more. If your fear of being vulnerable is not clear to you, taking time to think things over can get you started. It does not matter what your fears are, realistic or fact, because it is real to you.  What you then see can give you a place to start.

Do you want to let people in?  Once you know what your fear is, it is your choice what you do with it. You have already acknowledged it. If you then do choose to let people in, it is about being able to share what is going on inside--opening the door so someone can see what you are all about.  When you become self-aware, communicating what is going on to yourself, you might find it easier to move down a path of being open and communicating with someone else. 

Start small.  Can you place trust in one person?  Is there someone that you know will not judge you, so you can practice being vulnerable with them?   Are there small things you can do to open yourself up more?  I believe we all need a way to open up and feel heard in a safe and healthy space.  Can you try placing your trust in one person, and see how it feels?  Believe that you can get on a path to being more comfortable outside of your comfort zone.  Realize there will be bumps in the road, and it is okay to feel them. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to move over those bumps.  Try looking at this blog post about making it through the process of change.

We do not learn when things are easy.   I personally entered into a two-year long situation where vulnerability was very much involved, more than any other time in my life--and I would likely make the same choice again.  It took time to heal.  But, the end result was that I learned patience where I’d never had it before. I was reminded how to appreciate what was instilled in me growing up--the small, simple things in life. I got back to my love of nature due to appreciating the small, simple things again. I started to travel more.  I realized how good my life actually was, and became truly grateful for it every day. It also reaffirmed how comfortable with myself that I really am. They were good lessons, although hard to get to.  But, I am extremely grateful to have learned them, and to be able to live in a different mindset now.

If I did not go through that situation, I can confidently say that, even if I still somehow ended up learning all of the above, it would have taken an even longer time than that one experience.  Can you find a way to be grateful for life lessons, and allow yourself the time and space it takes for your own journey—in order to fully experience what life could offer you?

Reap the rewards.  When you have allowed yourself to be vulnerable, the rewards are immeasurable.  When you show your authentic self, people are able to see it, and it can attract like others. You may even inspire others. When you are open, you are then able to experience true connections.  It is a journey to get there, but it can help you connect with pretty much anyone you meet.  I can say that since I have opened myself up, others have opened up to me.  It feels right and real, and it has been a wonderful feeling!

1.  It starts with you. 

2.  Identify what you fear.  

3.  Do you want to let people in? 

4.  Start small. 

5.  We do not learn when things are easy.

6.  Reap the rewards.  

Suggested reading:  Rising Strong—Brene Brown

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