Vulnerability is Power

One of the most powerful tools for communicating is vulnerability.  Without it, honesty and boundaries are not possible.  I cannot possibly let you see the real me if I am not willing to take the risk of getting real.

Each and every one of our words is a prayer.  If we want to live a life of dignity, honesty, and integrity, our words and non-verbal communication must reflect those qualities.  We are not bad or wrong when we speak outside of our desired realm; however, we are ignorant of our choices.  Once we become aware that our words must reflect our highest good and potential, then we become responsible.

 God hears every prayer but the change happens in us.

–Yogi Bhajan

When we express ourselves fully, we are allowing for vulnerability.  When we get real with people, we are building intimacy.  We allow others to see all of us, the lovely and the gritty.  This is uncomfortable, especially when we have built up a wall of self-reliance.

Vulnerability is not to be confused with sacrificing oneself safety or integrity.  I used to vacillate between doormat and bulldozer.  Neither of these states are empowering.  When I can get really real, without expectation of any result, I can be vulnerable and not worry about the consequences.  This allows for space and the miraculous to show up.  I have lived this over and over again.

When I was in doormat or bulldozer mode, I was acting from a place of fear.  I was trying to control an outcome: either for people to like me, or to be left alone.  If I acted with force, at least I had predictable results: I would have a moment of control of my environment. 

But really, what kind of control is that?  It does not work, it drives others away and keeps me isolated in a shell.  I now see that if I can be vulnerable, I have access to a  larger power or a bigger picture.  I can serve the highest good, not just my temporary cure for discomfort.

Now I can go to my husband and say, “I am going to get really vulnerable right now.  Can you actively listen to what I have to say?”  The objective is to set us both up to win.

Your Assignment:

Look for ways that you can be vulnerable in a safe way.  Where can you appropriately get really real with a friend, partner, or family member?  How can you set both of you up to win?  Do you need to let them know ahead of time and ask for what you need? 



4 Responses to “Vulnerability is Power”
  1. Lubna says:

    Nice piece. But, I don’t think I would use the term vulnerable, I would call it, being comfortable and confident with myself.

    Let us take a work place scenario. If I am confident enough to show what I really am, to be honest of what my strengths and weakness our. With such transparency, provided I have opened to people who understand, it can be possible for the entire team to achieve great success. Each person in that group can then take up such work for which he or she is a best fit. The same would also be applicable in the larger context in society.

    Have a nice weekend.

  2. JenRene says:

    I believe Vulnerability is power. It can be the same as being comfortable with yourself. For instance, using the same workplace instance, with a problem with a co-worker and having to resolve a conflict at hand – I allow myself and my pride to be less of importance, I am showing through the strength of vulnerability, and by initiating the strength of communication that I am stronger than someone else, because I choose not to handle and deal with problems in a way that’s ignorant, discouraging or damaging to the relationship. The problem is that others don’ t always respond to vulnerability in a way that’s receptive, nor do they see it as a strength. Thank You. This was a very refreshing perspective. Those who have a desire to have postitive relationships will hear the humility involved.
    JenRene Owens

  3. Debra Zimmer says:

    I was just having a conversation about this yesterday with a friend. When I came home and told my husband, he had a very negative reaction. I knew he was thinking that being vulnerable would make me appear weak and I was like “NO” it’s about letting people in. Then today I found your article and another in my inbox. I call it a sign. Thanks for the confirmation that “vulnerable” or “being human” instead of perfect is the right journey.

  4. Sarah,
    You’re right on! Vulnerability is really what binds people heart to heart! Without it, there is no bonding or connecting!

    Coach Theresa Ip Froehlich

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