Published in  
Self-care
   on  
November 25, 2020
 edited by  
Janet Escobar

The Power of Vulnerability

A similar society trap is set for women. Women are known for being emotional, strong, loving, etc. However, when women express their emotions to whatever extent, she is viewed as “over the top”, dramatic, or a bitch, even. For both men and women, there is an ongoing cycle where others do not accept people who are authentically themselves. This leads to people altering who they are to fit the societal norms to feel welcomed and accepted by their peers.

The word vulnerable can bring up several different feelings and emotions. One common reaction to this particular word is feelings of fear. Most people are afraid of what will happen once they reveal a version of themselves. For some people, the fear is based on getting hurt. For others, the fear is based on being judged or not accepted by others. It could also be based on a past event that made them feel uncomfortable being their authentic selves.

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The word vulnerable can bring up several different feelings and emotions. One common reaction to this particular word is feelings of fear. Most people are afraid of what will happen once they reveal a version of themselves. For some people, the fear is based on getting hurt. For others, the fear is based on being judged or not accepted by others. It could also be based on a past event that made them feel uncomfortable being their authentic selves.

I learned that we can connect with people differently when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Vulnerability opens many doors and allows people to connect on a much deeper level. Sounds uncomfortable, right? Well, the uncomfortableness behind being vulnerable is one main reason why people prefer not to let it happen.

   

However, if I never allowed myself to be comfortable in the uncomfortable space of vulnerability, then there would be many things that I wouldn’t have done. For instance, I wouldn’t have been able to write articles for my fellow female hustlers in a genuine and authentic way. I wouldn’t have been able to share my story with the world. I would have still been hiding behind the mask of fear, uncertainty, doubt, comfort, and every other feeling that I’ve allowed to hold me back in the past.

Society shapes men to follow the identity of masculinity and manhood to the point where they are not accepted if they’re anything other than that. As soon as a man releases his true thoughts, feelings, or emotions, his manhood is questioned or challenged.

A similar society trap is set for women. Women are known for being emotional, strong, loving, etc. However, when women express their emotions to whatever extent, she is viewed as “over the top”, dramatic, or a bitch, even.

For both men and women, there is an ongoing cycle where others do not accept people who are authentically themselves. This leads to people altering who they are to fit the societal norms to feel welcomed and accepted by their peers.

To be honest, all of us seek the approval of someone in our lives. The first step to remove this unconscious habit is becoming one with who you are, especially if you’re not completely sure of yourself. If we are not sure of ourselves, it can lead to us looking for ourselves through someone else. You have to accept who you are before you can set the expectation for someone else to do so. Giving yourself permission to be who you are and being okay with that person is very essential when discussing vulnerability.

Vulnerability is something that is often looked at as a sign of weakness. I will never be able to understand why being your true self fully is viewed from such a negative perspective. In my opinion, anyone who shows themselves to the world is both strong and brave.

People allowing themselves to be vulnerable should be normalized and encouraged. It should inspire other to be everything they have been afraid to show the world. It should serve as an opportunity to let go and let loose.

If you are not comfortable with who you are or not accepting of yourself, then there is more work that needs to be done on the inside. Who you are should not be based on someone else’s opinion, perception, or perspective of who they want you to be. It is about discovering who you truly are, how you want to present yourself to the world, identifying what you like & do not like, and figuring out your purpose.

You should be okay with being your authentic self, no matter what the next person thinks, says, or feels about it. So what if you’re emotional? So what you have a different opinion than your peers? So what you secretly like to do something that nobody else knows about? Be yourself! Be yourself because you deserve better. You deserve to be able to show your true colors despite someone else’s opinion or perspective about it. If they cannot love and appreciate you for who you are, they do not deserve to be a part of your beautiful life.

The real power and courage come from being your true self, regardless of what others might say. It lets go of the fear of who may not approve or who may decide to leave—welcome vulnerability and authenticity into your life today and every day after. Stop limiting yourself and keeping yourself in a box of fear. You deserve what’s on the other side of fear.

If there are people in your life who have ridiculed, judged, disowned, etc. because of something about your beautiful self, they’re not meant to stay. On the other side of that, you would be surprised at how many people would love to see that hidden side of you. They would love to learn who they have been missing out on this whole time. It is time to show them!

Allowing yourself to be who you truly are is far more refreshing than hiding behind the mask of fear. In my opinion, attempting to maintain a mask daily takes more work than actually allowing the real you to be revealed to the world around you. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Take a leap of faith!

Article written by Kristen Richardson and edited by Janet Escobar.

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