By being vulnerable and authentic we can actually heal ourselves.
Some weeks ago I put the word out there that I was challenging myself to have at least 20 coaching conversations before Christmas (on me, no selling, just authentic listening, undivided attention and unconditional love).
I have received many responses (you can still contact me if you are interested), but one particular girl made me think about the importance of vulnerability and authenticity.
She messaged me that she could really use some support. Then she canceled, canceled again and canceled for the third time. By now, I know that it is a sign of hesitation due to fear.
Eventually she set up an appointment and showed up for the conversation. But for 45 minutes she was tiptoeing around how life was great, how grateful she was and so on. One would assume she had no problems and no need for help.
But then why did she even sign up for a coaching session?
The answer is easy: she needed support but she was hesitant to ask for it. She was afraid to be vulnerable. She was not used to being authentic. She was afraid to take her mask off.
Eventually she felt safe enough to share. Tears were pouring down her face. I knew she felt some relief. The power of coaching lies in empowerment: clients feel empowered to find their own answers within themselves. She realized how much she missed being in nature, how much she needed this sort of connection with the universe and created her own action steps to follow.
She experienced a powerful transformation within 90 minutes all because she let her guard down and became vulnerable.
Vulnerability is not encouraged in our society. We must be strong. We must act according to the social norms. We must be like others and seek acceptance from society. We must hide our feelings and true selves. But that just brings on a long list of issues from physical to emotional health problems, loneliness and isolation.
Vulnerability leads to healing, but the lack of it brings disease.
Being vulnerable and authentic brings on the risk of being misunderstood, labeled, judged and rejected. One of our biggest fears is to be rejected and unloved. But if we are not vulnerable we cannot be loved, we cannot be helped and cannot be supported.
Trust me, I know this. I have shared my authentic stories all over the internet through my blogs and articles. I speak my truth in person. I have cried my eyes out at workshops, retreats, coaching calls and during conversations with friends.
Yes, I have been judged, rejected, and to bring up a 21st Century fear, I’ve been deleted from Facebook for sharing my truth. But I have received enormous amounts of support. Crying my eyes out and sharing my deepest fears has allowed me to heal from a long list of issues, including chronic headaches and trauma from abuse.
Vulnerability is simply the first, yet most important step to healing.
But you may ask how to get vulnerable.
Love yourself. When becoming vulnerable we fear rejection deeply. But our biggest fear is perhaps rejecting our own self. We question what’s deep inside of us, we reject it and we assume we will get rejected by others too. But realize that you are a beautiful inside and out as an entire whole being. There is no good or bad, those are just judgments we place upon ourselves. Everything is needed and works together. As you learn how to approach your entire self lovingly you will be less afraid to share your truth and vulnerably with the outside world.
Reinforce vulnerability. When you become vulnerable a whole new world opens up to you. You will likely receive some form of support and love from others. Accept their love and support. Show them your gratitude. But also show yourself some gratitude. Be proud of yourself for getting vulnerable. Be thankful to your openness. This positive reinforcement will simply encourage you to be vulnerable again. When others show their vulnerable self to you, be encouraging, supportive and loving. You will pay it forward and help the entire world to get down to their vulnerable, naked self.
Practice. Vulnerability takes practice. It is a muscle. Keep challenging yourself. Look for situations where you can be vulnerable. Don’t get discouraged: do it again and again. The beauty of it is that life will always give you new opportunities to be vulnerable.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kat Gal
Editor: Travis May