When we open up, express our emotions & allow our vulnerabilities to be seen, it has a direct impact on others. It allows others to feel comfortable to fully express themselves too.
It’s something I’ve become extremely aware of in the last couple of years. There is such a powerful ripple effect when we truly expose all parts of ourselves & how in doing so helps others to do the same.
Vulnerability creates connection.
Why is it in the UK there’s this sense that we need to just get on with things & have a stiff upper lip? What this potentially portrays is people feeling like they cannot ask for help, as though it’s a sign of weakness in doing so.
I spent many years “getting on with it” & “portraying a tough exterior”, & it’s taken years of personal development to undo that…. being willing to look at myself & in places I really was scared of going.
The reason for this topic this week is that I’ve been feeling pretty vulnerable lately & been expressing my emotions more than ever. What I’ve noticed in doing so is that lots of people around me have then shared their own vulnerabilities, fears & worries. It really has had a ripple effect, which has been interesting & enlightening to see.
Last Friday, I spent the day at The Festival of Female entrepreneurs in Bristol, it’s a yearly event run by Enterprise Nation, I go every year, & love the atmosphere in the room. (last week’s event did not disappoint, I came home buzzing, & super inspired & excited about my day…oh & just to say if you’re an entrepreneur I highly recommend joining enation, it’s a great support for small businesses across the UK ). One thing I noticed & continue to love about this event is the “realness” of it, all the speakers really shared from the heart, not only sharing their success stories but their vulnerabilities too, it made me realise however successful they are, they still have times of challenge, struggle & difficulty, & how we keep going in these times is what gives us strength, allowing us to grow. It also helps us to really & truly inspire others, allowing them to shine brighter.
One of my favourite quotes from Marianne Williamson’s book, Return to Love, epitomises all of the above…“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So why is it we so often avoid exposing our fears, worries & emotions?
Why do we avoid vulnerability?
Why do we cover up & try to be something we’re not?
Why do we suppress stuff about ourselves & try to pretend it’s not there?
Well here’s the thing, it takes courage to really open up & be vulnerable.
Being vulnerable is not a weakness in fact it’s completely the opposite. When you show yourself fully to another person you experience being more of yourself. They benefit from knowing all of you, not just the glossed over, flaw-free parts.
One of my favourite authors, Brène Brown, (who has written many amazing books including The Power of Vulnerability). She talks about how vulnerability as a necessity to be “whole-hearted” & to really have a strong sense of belonging. She also discusses how when we numb vulnerability, we numb other emotions too, like joy & happiness. When we deny our emotion it owns us. When we own our emotion we can rebuild & find our way through. You can listen to her world renowned Ted Talk The Power of Vulnerability where she shares her research & findings….one of the biggest messages that comes through for me is really owning our story & feeling “good enough.” Allowing yourself to be ok with imperfections, & embracing the flaws, so that we can be truly authentic, helps us heal & grow.
So what is it we need to feel like we can fully express ourselves?
For me I feel there has to be trust, the feeling of safety & to not feel judged. I’m heading to a Mastermind retreat on Thursday with two amazing coaches, (Chris Kenney & Kate Gerry), I’ve been working with for some time which has been life changing. Not only will I get the chance to hang out with a positive & inspirational group of business owners at the gorgeous Champneys in Tring, but also it’ll be a chance for me to take a deep dive into my vulnerabilities, & one of the things I love about these retreats is that it feels like such a safe place to share without judgement. I cannot wait to see what opens up, & know whatever triggers that deep emotion will be the thing…
If you are feeling like you don’t really feel yourself right now? Fancy a chat to help reveal how you can be more of you? I’d love to help…ping me an email if you’d like a 30minute complimentary call, [email protected]