I believe that our relationships are crucial to our growth, and vulnerability is essential to having healthy, strong and supportive relationships. It is not easy to be vulnerable. Many of us were not taught how to have clear boundaries and how to get our needs met most effectively.
You probably found ways to cope with not getting your need met by your original caretakers to help you to survive. Unfortunately, these coping mechanisms serve us up until a point, usually allow us to be successful in a career, but not successful in love.
When we are in survival state, we are guarded, and less willing to be vulnerable. Without vulnerability you do not have intimacy. When you can't show up and be vulnerable in your life and relationships, you can't be yourself. It also means that you are not feeling safe. When you don't feel safe to be you, feel loved, supported or accepted, you move into a state of protection (fight/flight), and this state can trigger others, especially your love partner, to react in the same manner. It is a recipe for conflict, hurt and dissatisfaction, not only in your relationship but in your life.
Taking the risk of sharing your vulnerable side can create softness and open you and the other up. So much more can happen when you are open. I know it can feel scary, especially if you don’t believe you are not feeling safe in that relationship. So be open in a smart way.
Create healthy boundaries to protect yourself from further wounding. Boundaries can create clarity in your life and relationships so that you are clear about what it is you will accept in your life, what you need and when it is not yours to take. You can learn how to create healthy boundaries and move out of that fight or flight reaction in your relationship interactions.
I want to challenge you, however, to take a bit of a risk and be vulnerable. The holidays are here and this is a perfect time to be grateful. So here is my challenge to you:
Start with something easy. We do not need to add more stress to your life right now so start by choosing someone that you are close with, that you feel pretty safe to be open with.
Share one thing you are grateful for about them, and share it with them in-person and face-to-face. This act alone is vulnerable and may bring up some discomfort.
Make note of how you feel and come back and share with me.
Keep me posted by sending me an email, commenting below or posting on social media with the hashtag #vulnerabilitychallenge