Not Being Vulnerable and How It has Held Me Back

vulnerability quote

I’m afraid of being vulnerable. This realization didn’t happen overnight, however.  It took me some time to figure this out.  A long time. My husband, my biggest cheerleader, has encouraged me to start a blog for a while. I’ve done everything a person can do prior to starting a blog without actually starting it. Yet, I never budged beyond planning.  Trust me, I had lots of valid excuses. First of all, what do I know about starting a blog? (The answer to this is zero, by the way. Just getting this far has taken me days on end.) As I was lost in thought about my blog one day and how I “should” get going on it, an epiphany! Finally, it occurred to me. I was afraid.  Fear was paralyzing me from moving forward!

It seems like an obvious answer but sometimes, I don’t always get a home-run on the first swing.  It’s not as if I haven’t tried new things before. I’ve started three businesses in my life.  I obtained my Master’s degree and I took on parenthood! Most noteworthy, I’ve plunged into a career where people trust me to help them in some of their darkest moments! In summary, I’m not known to be a person that is afraid of “going for it,” yet, I was stuck.  I believed my excuses and they prevented me from getting to the root of it all.  What was I afraid of?

  • People knowing a lot about me. 
  • People being disinterested.
  • I don’t have anything to offer other people.
  • Failing
  • Losing credibility.

My fear centered around other’s opinions of me and whether I might be “unacceptable.”  If I follow the rabbit trail, I can sum it up this way:

I’m afraid of being vulnerable. 

I’m not comfortable exposing myself to a judgmental world.  Most of all, what if I’m not interesting enough, smart enough, entertaining enough and in general, just not being enough? It’s one thing to expose myself to friends and family and it’s quite another to expose myself to the world. The world is full of people that are just like me.  Do I have as much as the next guy?  So, do I have something to offer?

Ultimately, the answer is, “I don’t know. ” If nothing else, I will have a lesson in becoming more vulnerable and authentic.  And who doesn’t need that lesson? This might be a humiliating “bust,” a huge disappointment, or a dream come true.  How will I know without trying?

How ‘bout you?  Are you afraid of being seen?  Afraid of putting yourself out there?  I hope I’m not alone.  What makes you feel vulnerable?

Leave a comment and let me know! And if you want to read more about vulnerability, researcher Brene Brown’s blog is a great place to start.