How to Be More Vulnerable (I'm Not One to Talk But I'll Try My Best to Speak Up)
The topic of vulnerability has been coming up in my life pretty often lately.
I don't know if you've had this experience, but for me when something keeps showing up over and over again, that's usually a sign that I need to start paying attention. And I know vulnerability is a trendy topic, especially with the queen of vulnerability herself, Brene Brown releasing a Netflix special recently. Yet - it still seems like something I should be listening to.
I'll be totally honest here (aka how to be vulnerable), I'm not great at practicing vulnerability. By not great I really mean I usually try to run far far away in the opposite direction from being totally open and honest about the things that are closest to my heart & hardest for me to talk about. It's true, ask any of my friends.
Sometimes it's because I don't have the words, and I don't know how to express myself. Sometimes it's because it takes a lot of emotional energy that I don't always have (blame it on the introvert or the wing 5 or who I am as a person). Sometimes it's because it's WEIRD and HARD and AWKWARD. Right?!
My ambitions and dreams for this blog were to make it a space where I was vulnerable and open, even when it was extremely difficult. But in reality, I share only enough so that I can feel like I've done my due diligence, but not enough to make it actual vulnerability.
Even here, this space I create especially to find connection with others & share myself, and even through writing which has always been a way for me to express myself better - I can't be truly vulnerable.
A few days ago I was talking to my friend Kiersten and she called me out on my lack of vulnerability.
Because Kiersten is an amazing friend & human she did this in the kindest, most inspiring way possible. But she saw right through my half-hearted attempts at comfortable honesty on the blog, and challenged me to go deeper.
"Imagine how much more you'd be able to connect with other people if you were honest about what you were really going through."
Those are some of the words she shared with me, and I honestly did feel extremely inspired and motivated.
So here's the main thing I know about vulnerability: You just have to do it anyways.
I'll preface by saying this, some things aren't ready to be shared. I'm not saying you need to share everything, not at all.
If you haven't processed it yourself, or if it's not safe for you to share, or if it's going to just be triggering or harmful to you - then maybe don't share, or share it in a way that you know is safe.
With that being said, when you are ready to share something but you're not sure how, you just have to bite the bullet and do it.
Even just typing that out freaks me out!
But here's the thing you probably already know. When we share our vulnerabilities with others, we give them an incredible and sacred space to be able to say, "Me too."
If you've ever been truly open with someone about something you were struggling with and heard them say, "Me too," in return -- you know it's one of the most powerful things that can happen. Suddenly you know you're not alone, and the other person knows they too can find the courage to own their story.
You've freed two people.
We need more people that help us say, "Me too."
We need more courage & honesty.
I'm fairly confident that I'm not the only one operating in comfortable, false vulnerability. Like I said earlier, it's trendy to be vulnerable sometimes. How many times have I seen influencers on Instagram being #vulnerable in a lengthy post with a perfectly edited photo?
I'm not saying this to bash the practice at all, but I do wonder how many of those posts end up being only half of the truth? Or how many of those influencers are sharing the parts they are very comfortable discussing, and shielding us from the parts that they would struggle to discuss?
I know I've been there.
So here's my challenge to you, and to myself: Let's all be better about sharing the things that are truly vulnerable. Let's create space for our friends and strangers on the Internet to say "Me too."
You would probably be shocked to know the things you could share about yourself that would be absolutely life changing for someone else.
Here's a few Brene Brown quotes to inspire you:
Some things need to be said. Some things need to be shared. Some burdens are too much for you to carry alone. Some things just need to be spoken aloud to bring healing, restoration, and freedom for yourself & others.
This is for me as much as it is for you. But, I do hope you'll join me in a journey to be more vulnerable.
Social Media Challenge:
Social media can be a place to hide from being truly vulnerable, but we're going to reclaim that this week. To take your first steps towards being vulnerable, I'm going to challenge you to share #ThreeFierceTruths on your social media accounts this week.
I'll be posting on @emilyamartinblog and on my personal account my Three Fierce Truths & sharing things that are actually vulnerable. I hope you'll join me.
Use the hashtag #ThreeFierceTruths and tag me in your post. You never know who you'll be setting free with your willingness to be brave and vulnerable.
Also to reiterate again, don't share anything it's not safe for you to share whether emotionally or physically or both. Be wise, but when you're ready, be brave.