Real talk: Sometimes life just comes at you fast and knocks you straight on your butt. None of that, “it knocked me off my feet” romanticized feeling of change. I’m talking a swift kick to the hiney kind of change.
For me, work has been crazy. My personal life has been crazy. Blogging and relationships and everything else? Yup, you guessed it. CRAZY! And when the crazy starts to hit all at once… well, I tend to get overwhelmed. I get stressed, and the stress turns into anxiety, the anxiety turns into self-hatred, and the self-hatred turns into me completely stalling out.
And while I’ve been working on trying to find balance in those moments, sometimes I just need some help.
And trust me, being the fiercely independent woman that I am, admitting that I need help – that I’m struggling, stumbling, and sometimes just outright failing? That can be really, really hard.It’s ok to struggle. It’s ok to fail. And it’s also 100% ok to be vulnerable about that process. - via @adventureswasha Click To Tweet
And that’s totally ok. It’s ok for me to struggle. It’s ok to fail. And it’s also 100% ok to be vulnerable about that process. And here’s why:
Vulnerability = Validation // Starting off with this hard-hitter: your feelings 100% matter. Regardless of what they are, where they came from, or how you express them. They matter. And so do you.
Sometimes that can be hard to see when you’re keeping the feelings bottled up inside. I have a trickster mind that likes to take all of my thoughts and turn them into something negative. She’s a real sneak that one.
But by being vulnerable and getting out of my own head – I give myself the chance to evaluate the feeling away from my tricky mind. Whether it’s telling a friend or even just writing it down, having a moment where I say, “hey, look I’m struggling” provides instant validation of the feeling. And sometimes just knowing that my emotions are ok is enough to help me work through it.
Vulnerability = Clarity // Other times, I need to be reminded to even let myself feel my emotions. I am a chronic emotion hider. I will smile and say everything is fine, even when I feel the panic exploding inside of me.
Frankly, I lie about my feelings – to other people and to myself, and at the end of the day, that hurts my mental health. I don’t address my emotions and triggers, and I have to spend all day feeling like I’m slowly dying inside. Not fun I tell ya.
By making the choice to be vulnerable, it means that I have to be in tune with my own thoughts and feelings. I have to actually be present in my mind and in the moment, so I can know how to handle the problem. Do I need to power through my to-do list, because my anxiety is caused by feeling overwhelmed? Or is my fast beating heart, because I’m over-caffeinated and need to a 5 minute meditation break?
Being honest with myself and vulnerable about why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling provides me with better insight on how to handle the emotion.Being honest with myself and vulnerable about why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling provides me with better insight on how to handle the emotion. Click To Tweet
Vulnerability = Compassion // I think the scariest part of being vulnerable with other people is not knowing how they will react. Especially when the only comparison points are the negative thoughts that go on in my own head. Being misunderstood and feeling alone – those are valid and frankly terrifying feelings.
The way I work through this is by promising myself that I will find compassion in the moment of vulnerability, regardless of how the other person reacts. If they welcome me with open arms, are willing to talk me through my struggle, and hold my hand through the fire of my own fears, well then the compassion is provided by them (and I know I’ve got a good friend by my side)!
And if they don’t do any of those things? Well, then I supply the compassion! I thank them for listening. I thank them for their honesty (Because hey! Now I know who not to go to with my problems). And then I thank myself. For being honest. For being open. For being vulnerable. I throw some compassion up in the air like confetti, and let it rain down all over me.
Because even if someone else doesn’t pat me on the back for reaching out, I’ve got two hands and can do it myself.5 Reasons Why Vulnerability Is Important Click To Tweet
Vulnerability = Connection // I’m known in my friend group as the “maybe” person. On all of our group events and invitations, I respond as “maybe” 90% of the time. And for a while, I hid the real reason (which is that I’m an anxious mess and 9/10 times I don’t know how I’ll be feeling that day and if I’ll be in a stable enough state to go out). We joked about it, I poked fun at myself, and they would push me to come out.
One day I started telling people. All it took was a, “hey, I’m anxious tonight and would rather stay in”. Or a, “Yeah, sorry I didn’t realize that many people were going to be there and it’s kind of triggering me”.My one small moment of vulnerability lead to a greater, deeper connection. Click To Tweet
And you know what happened? They got it. They offered to stay close to me in large groups to make me more comfortable. They invited me to more small gatherings instead of big ones. They check in on me, but know to give me space sometimes. And even better? They opened up to me, too! They told me about their struggles and demons. That some of them also deal with anxiety, and that I’m not alone.
My one small moment of vulnerability lead to a greater, deeper connection.
Vulnerability = Improvement // Have you ever had the fight where each person says “I don’t care, what do you want”? Yeah. That’s what not being vulnerable gets you – left at a standstill. The only way to move forward is to acknowledge the things that aren’t working and then change them. You’ve got to admit the mistakes, recognize your fears, admit your problems. That’s the only way that positive progress can be made.
And yeah, that kind of sucks. But it’s all about doing it in bite-sized chunks.
I don’t make a list of all the things I want to improve about myself and then post it on Facebook for the world to see (but if that works for you, then by all means do you, girl!). But I can make a list of one thing that I want to improve that day.
Do I know that I have a full to-do list and don’t have time to chat with a co-worker? Maybe my vulnerable moment will be opening up to them about how much I have to do, and asking for a little quiet time. Is the apartment a wreck and it’s causing me anxiety? My vulnerable moment could be to ask my boyfriend to do a 30-minute clean-up with me because it’ll help.
Give yourself one vulnerable moment a day, and I promise it’ll get easier and the improvements will come!