Vulnerability can be a real challenge for some of us. I know it has been and still is for me at times. Here is an example of the crazy thought cycle that can dance around in our heads and enable us to fear the future and clam up.
It goes a little something like this:
“If I get excited about something good happening, if it doesn’t happen, I will be super disappointed. So, I’m going to think of the worst case scenario and imagine that to be true so I won’t be let down.”
Okay. This is nuts. Let me please speak to this.
First off, I get it. If I’m totally open and real with you, I will admit that I struggled and lived in this way of thought for a long time. Perhaps I still do every now and then. There was one specific incident that happened to me when I realized that blocking my vulnerability and not putting myself out there actually really worked against me. (I’m sure it worked against me time and time again prior to this Ah-Ha, but I just remember the very specific time when enough was at stake that I was pushed to really change something.)
Besides going into the depths of that experience, I am going to do my best to extinguish the above belief…. because it’s no good. It’s a belief that tricks you and convinces you that keeping yourself safe protects you from the worst case scenario. Reality check: It sure doesn’t.
Here’s the deal: Being vulnerable does mean that you’re putting yourself out there to be shot down, but who is to say that being shot down is a negative thing for you and your life? I know many people who have learned the most and have taken huge leaps in their lives because they got "shot down." Feeling down and out is what created the want for them to change. Sometimes it’s the perfect formula of pain and push that creates drive and change.
Another pitfall about focusing on the negative, besides the fact that your focusing on negative, is that it doesn’t allow you to be fully vulnerable and present to the current experience. When you have a possible situation ahead of you that can be great, focusing on the bad that “could” happen keeps you from basking in the fabulousness and excitement of what could be. Your reality is half in the horror story in your head about the scary scenario that could go down paired with tinges of excitement that you quickly push aside because that is what can make you feel disappointment, right?
Living life fully means FEELING. This means feeling really excited, disappointed, neutral, then fill in the blank with any other emotional reaction from the feelings rainbow. When you’re truly living life you should be experiencing a range of emotions, which is not bad. It’s living! It’s your story and your way of thinking that is going to dictate how you feel. Here is where I also want to say, LET GO. Learn to let go of control, which means letting go of believing that you know how a situation “should” be. Let life take care of that. Stop trying to be a mind reader. Perhaps grab onto the thought that if it didn’t work out and happen, it's because plan B is way more where it’s at.
Finally, holding back can also change the result. If you don’t give an experience or person your ALL, then your result is going to be altered based on that fact. If you give 80% you will get 80%. You get what you give.
I’m sure I can rant on about why it’s a win/win to be vulnerable. With that said, I think that being vulnerable can be really intimidating and hard. I know it is for me. So, if your not ready to take it all off and run into the darkness naked, that’s okay. Go at your own pace, but aim for challenging yourself with opening up and letting go. You and your life will be better for it.....what do you have to lose?