Practicing vulnerability is crucial if we want to get the most out of our everyday lives.
We can only gain confidence in something by taking action and giving it a go. If we do not feel confident in our artistic ability (this is very much me!), then we have to make practicing art a priority. The same goes for feeling good about ourselves; we need to practice self-care and self-love every single day.
Self-care can be as simple as treating ourselves to a cup of coffee when it is raining outside, closing our eyes for a minute and breathing deeply, or writing for five minutes in our journal. Creating a list of joyful and relaxing activities we can engage in on a daily basis is a great way to keep focused us on our goal of practicing self-care.
But the biggest act of self-care that needs to be on every person’s list is this: being vulnerable with others – letting ourselves be seen.
As you know, since listening to Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability, I have had an epiphany of sorts. I now know what it is that I need to be doing to push myself forward into a better future. It all boils down to practicing vulnerability.
There is that word again, practicing or practice. Practice practice practice. Practice makes perfect. Yet, perfection is not the preferable ideal here. Practicing imperfection is more of what we need to be striving for. That is what vulnerability really is: having the courage to show off our imperfections to the watching world without criticism.
In order for others to see us, we must first see ourselves for who we really are, imperfections galore.
When trying something new, we can often launch ourselves in head first, with a gung-ho attitude: I’m gonna rock this vulnerability crap -yeah! When it comes to practicing vulnerability, it may be tempting to try it with everyone around us and we may over indulge ourselves with those whether it is appropriate or not. Basically, we make an ass of ourselves.
Let’s not do this peeps because it won’t help us in the long run.
I am giving you permission right now to take this vulnerability stuff s l o w l y. It’s all good! Yes, we want to be more vulnerable with others and with the world in general, but we need to practice vulnerability and take it step by step. This is the way we learn -we have to be able to walk before we can run just like we have to have a basic vocabulary before we can read sentences, paragraphs and eventually whole books.
It is the same when learning to be vulnerable with others. First, we must learn to be vulnerable with our own selves before exposing our true selves to those around us. If we can’t be honest, open and authentic with ourselves then how can we expect to be that with others?
Your journal is the perfect place for you to practice being vulnerable with just you.
When we take a blank page and pour ourselves onto the page, we are partaking in an act of vulnerability: we are asking ourselves to reveal our true feelings and thoughts, our beliefs and our judgments, our strengths and our weaknesses.
Creative Exercise: Revealing our true selves
Take a piece of paper and divide the page into four boxes and label them with the following headings:
- My feelings and thoughts
- My beliefs and judgments
- My strengths and weaknesses
- My vulnerability goals
Within each box write (or draw!) what is true for you.
What are the feelings and thoughts that you most identify with? What beliefs and judgments do you hold about yourself and about others? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Be honest! At this stage, your job is not to hold further judgment about what it is you write, your job is simply to put your honest answers onto the paper – period.
Next, circle or highlight anything that truly stands out for you. You may be surprised by an item on one of your lists, or you may feel really guilty that you hold a certain belief. If so, that is OK but make sure you acknowledge it!
Work these surprising items into your fourth list: your vulnerability goals. Where in your life do you want to practice vulnerability? What negative beliefs and judgments could you turn around? What positive feelings and thoughts could you focus on expanding? What actions could you take to practice vulnerability?
TIP! What we judge ourselves and others for most is likely to be an area where inner growth is needed.
PS: Share your pages with us in The Soul Circle facebook group! Join up here.