What’s the Big Deal about Being Vulnerable?

attitude communication Apr 12, 2020

If you’ve struggled with the idea of being more vulnerable, so did I.

There is a lot of talk about it. Honestly, when I first started reading books and blogs on it, it was confusing to me.

Here was this growing trend of people being more open with sharing personal life experiences. To me, this was a little terrifying. I thought “That’s so not me!”.

But I discovered with some of my coaching clients and retreat participants, there were times I needed to be more open so I could encourage them.

Over the years I’ve come to understand more what vulnerability means to me. It wasn’t wearing my heart on my sleeve or divulging everything about myself.

I’ve found vulnerability has its place and can be a powerful tool in helping someone connect with others at a deeper level. While I don’t consider myself an expert at it, I find asking myself questions prior to sharing has helped me to know when and what to share. Here’s a few:

Will my story benefit others? 

Am I sharing this to truly help someone or to get their validation?

Do I have a clear purpose on what I want to pass on through my sharing?

Am I  challenging people to think differently and step towards their own calling?

Although it’s sometimes easier to share when you’ve been successful at something, it’s really your stories of how you overcame that will inspire others to grow. 

People need to know that even during a setback, they have what it takes to get through it.

They need to know they will come through the other side of broken relationships, a lost job, a health crisis, or their own fear and doubt.

Natalee Champlain, current host of The MENTEE Podcast, interviewed me just before my book was published, and was quite vulnerable. She ended up encouraging me as well as her listeners.
I was taken back her courage to be open about deep pain from her past and how she wanted to help others become their best self.

Even if we struggle with being open, we can still be intentional about planting seeds of hope through sharing parts of our experiences and lessons we’ve learned.

What are your thoughts on being more vulnerable? I’d love to hear them.

If you’re going through a challenge, feeling overwhelmed or wanting a change in your life, you can download two free chapters from my book Permission to be BOLD.

Barbara Gustavson is an author and Founder of Discover Next Step Coaching, who leads purpose-driven people to discover their strengths, create alignment in their lives and live boldly.

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