Dr. Alex Gard, PhD, LMFT
Why Vulnerability is the Key to Living Whole Heartedly
Why is it that vulnerability has a seemingly negative connotation in today’s society? The concept of vulnerability can instantly evoke emotions such as shame and fear. But why is that? Brene Brown is a world-renowned researcher and storyteller who took a journey in deconstructing the relationship between vulnerability and shame. And while it may have taken her six years and thousands of pages of qualitative data, we can learn valuable insights from her results enabling us to start much sooner toward a path to joy and fulfillment aka whole-hearted living. Brene’s research proved that vulnerability allows us to live life more fully and experience a deeper connection with ourselves and others. If you haven’t already seen one of her TED Talks, watch The Power of Vulnerability. Here’s why vulnerability is the key to living wholeheartedly.
Although it can be uncomfortable, letting our guard down creates space for transformative experiences both individually and relationally. Instead of seeing it as an anxiety-provoking or excruciating process, view it as a brave and courageous one. Connecting with vulnerability is freeing because it enables us to live more authentically with ourselves and others creating greater fulfillment in life. It takes courage to accept yourself as you are while embracing your imperfections. It takes compassion to love oneself and others wholeheartedly. It takes courage to say I love you first and bravery to do something meaningful where there are no guarantees of positive return.
Brene’s findings also release us from the burden of perfectionism. The courage to accept oneself is a powerful experience. Acceptance doesn’t mean that things have to stay the same whether we like it or not. It means that we acknowledge and accept who we are in this moment, not who we are supposed to be deemed by others. When we release the burden of perfectionism, we begin to demonstrate a sense of compassion and worthiness, because we believe we belong, just as we are and where we are in life. Brene’s findings encourage us to shed any misconceptions we may attempt to live up to.
Brene challenges us to live life fully, accept ourselves as we are, and love deep within our relationships. Take time this week to check in with yourself and gauge whether you are living wholeheartedly. By living with a whole-hearted approach, you will experience new perspectives, deeper connections, greater peace, and overall fulfillment. If you desire to live wholeheartedly but need support in becoming comfortable with vulnerability, contact us at Info@BayviewTherapy.com or 954.391.5305.