When you think of vulnerability, what comes to mind? For many individuals, vulnerability is viewed as a sign of weakness. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. When we’re vulnerable, we may experience fear or courage, often simultaneously. When it comes to relationships, vulnerability is essential for growth and honesty. Vulnerability is uncomfortable and often messy. In her book, “Dare to Lead”, Dr. Brene Brown discusses “rumbling with vulnerability.”
“A rumble is a discussion, conversation, or meeting defined by a commitment to lean into vulnerability, to stay curious and generous, to stick with the messy middle of problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary, to be fearless in owning our parts, and as psychologist Harriet Lerner teaches, to listen with the same passion with which we want to be heard.”
So, what does vulnerability have to do with health and wellness? Everything! Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is the first step in developing a healthy mindset. Recognizing that we all struggle, but being open to the possibility of positive change, takes vulnerability. It’s difficult to accept our faults. It doesn’t feel good. However, when we take the personal failure component out of it, and look at the fault as a challenge that can be overcome, growth begins.
When we start a health and wellness journey, it may involve having hard conversations with those closest to us. Making healthy, lifestyle changes impacts more than just ourselves, especially if there are multiple people in the same household. Developing healthy habits involves shifts in diet, food preparation, activity, and sleep. If other members of the family are not on board with the changes, tensions can escalate, making success difficult. Having tough conversations involves vulnerability. In this case, it may require courage asking for what we want. This may feel selfish. However, if the conversation is loving, open and honest, the other person is more apt to be receptive.
Being vulnerable may also require making hard decisions about who and what you surround yourself with. If your mental wellbeing is compromised by negativity and drama it may be necessary to do some pruning. I stopped watching the news years ago. I found it difficult to maintain a positive mindset. I’ve also become selective on how and with whom I correspond with on social media.
How would your life be impacted if you allowed yourself to be vulnerable? Would you look at goals differently? Would your relationships be different? How would your health and wellness be impacted? It might be time to find out.