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Vulnerability as described by Brene Brown in her bestseller Daring Greatly. “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both, it’s engaging. It’s being all in”.

This wonderful research helps to shed the light on what ties up us in knots and it’s largely shame. Shame is such a painful emotion, like no other and it is cloaked in Perfectionism is the message Brown’s research informs, as Perfectionism allows Shame to go unnamed… well because then we, life, this or that wouldn’t be – well PERFECT!

As time poor, high achievers running the “Not Enough” race and destined to lose, mind you, not because you aren’t enough, just because perfection doesn’t exist and continuing to be it’s slave will take every moment and make it unbearable sooner or later.

Finding the courage to claim your vulnerability and allow it to become a stable, safe place that guides your life is an empowering solution, as with darkness it disappears when light is shone upon it. For change to happen though first we need a few tools like:

Awareness – What is it I believe about allowing myself to be vulnerable?

Maybe for you it’s a perception of weakness, let’s say this is true for you i.e Vulnerability = Weakness.

So what happens when you feel this way?

What story do you play out in your mind chatter?

What are your fears?

Acceptance – Vulnerability is a natural experience for all, Yep, it’s true, ask those that you feel closest and most trusting of.

Has there ever been a time when you felt vulnerable?

Affirmation brings opportunity – Ok, so I now know I can feel vulnerable at times and yes so can those close to me, now what? And No I still don’t like it!

Practice makes permanent – How many heard practice makes perfect in your head?. Whatever we continue to practice becomes reinforced and commits to memory, not because it’s necessarily true only that we believe it to be so due to the rehearsal and recall habit cemented by unconscious conditioning.

Habits are changeable – Just like anything else, the habit of feeling shame, not enough, less than etc etc that is reinforced by a conditioned perception that Perfection exists can be changed to ENOUGH. Giving permission to self and others that enough is well enough frees you to embrace your vulnerabilities, fears, worries and allow them to become information that better informs your life choices. This is not to say that support isn’t required as that’s oversimplifying a complex pattern and well just creates more shame and unrealistic expectation.

Getting support – Asking for help is a really important step for facing vulnerability beliefs as it goes against the patterning, ensure you source appropriately skilled people to assist, seek support from trusted family and friends, healthcare providers or start building awareness and read some of the great work of Brene Brown if that’s ENOUGH for you.

Vanessa Auditore

Human Development & Well being specialist.

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