The Real Face of Vulnerability.

Photo by Shuto Araki on Unsplash

“Authenticity” and “”vulnerability” — two qualities that will apparently make you a crowd favourite if you display them today.

I know the practice well. I have been displaying these traits in my writings and social media platforms for years, and I advise my clients to do likewise. This practice reaps awesome results. “Want to be popular and well loved by your fans and readers? Simply be “authentic”. Simply be “vulnerable”. Tell a sad story that reveals a fear or ugly past. Appear with no makeup. Or take a selfie of your less-than-perfect body. They will love it.”

But even then, I found that these buzzwords easily become storytelling handles that one uses without batting an eye — all in the name of getting engagement, virality or popularity.

I came across this talk by Brene Brown (which you can watch on Netflix), who talks about vulnerability as it should be. “Vulnerability is not measured by the amount of disclosure….” Rather, she invites us to consider this instead:

Vulnerability is the act of “showing up when you have no control of the outcome” and “allowing yourself to be seen”.

Brene Brown

Tell me, would you still talk about it online if you had no idea if people would even like your post, or share it? Would you show up if there was even a fraction of a possibility that you might lose or be shamed?

But that’s true vulnerability, you see.

I can be selective about the stories and parts of myself that I choose to disclose. But true vulnerability is actually really scary, because it could reveal to you that in reality, “no one cares”. Or, “everyone hates you now”.

Will you be able to go ahead then?

Allow me to give a few ideas of what I think true vulnerability is:

True vulnerability is not dependent on the response of others. In fact, true vulnerability is not dependent on outcome. True vulnerability is surrendering control over the outcome, and allowing yourself to trust in the hand of the One who knows best and works things out for good.

And even though that is a high chance that you might not get more likes, follows, or fans; or you might get overlooked for promotion or praise, there is so much more freedom when you choose to put your security in the One who is doing all the work. It takes the pressure off your need to perform or look good, and gives you the opportunity to shine and soar as who you really are.

It is counter cultural, but this true vulnerability might just be what the world needs today. Are you ready to live it?

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