Vulnerability provides connection to others and helps to develop the person you are trying to become.
Many would define vulnerability as a weakness or something to be ashamed of. Vulnerability isn’t a weakness. Nor is it something to be ashamed. Vulnerability exposes you to the potential of being hurt. Hurt could be a number of things including rejection, disrespect, emotional pain or physical pain.
One thing that hurts when it happens is asking for help. So few things are as humbling or maybe even demeaning as asking others for help. This may be more so when the person who can assist has historically failed to provide you with “warm fuzzies”. Nonetheless, receiving help from others is rarely a reason to downgrade or cheapen yourself. Asking for help can have a pretty decent return on investment; it all depends on how you look at it.
Maybe these 6 new perspectives will shed some fresh light on understanding how being vulnerability can be a more of a strength than a weakness.
Knowing Your Limits: Those who ask for help are those who know themselves and their limits. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are incapable, quite the contrary, actually. It means you are honest with yourself. It means you are not above learning from others no matter the perception they may have of you.
Admitting Your Weaknesses: Having limits is not a bad thing. Limits are areas to push yourself when you are ready. Even your favorite superhero has her or his limits and why? For every one of your strengths there is an equivalent weakness; however, the real weakness is not having the strength to recognize it.
Using Logic Instead of Emotions: Asking for help is not an emotional decision but a logical one. We are not a world of gladiators with bulky muscles looking fabulous in spandex. To feel bad or to lower your self-esteem by asking for help is a red flag that you are not asking for help often enough or you have a depressed self-esteem. If others encourage you to feel like a burden when you ask for help you are not asking the right people or it is time to evaluate your effective resources.
Leading by Example: You set a positive example when you seek assistance from others. This example might be for your children, your best friend or a family member. It could be a complete stranger. Often times, we need permission to ask for help and there is no greater permission than LEADing by example. Even the greatest leaders know when it is time to ask for direction or guidance.
Accepting Support: “I would like to thank myself for this award,” said no acceptance speech presenter, ever! There is no prize for never asking for help. In fact, not asking for help makes for a lonely road in life with a lot of self-loathing and truncated self-confidence. So few, if anyone, make it through this life without support of some type.
Allowing Others to Help: Finally, and maybe most importantly, giving others the opportunity to help you provides them with the link they need to connect with you. Maybe there are several links already and maybe there are none. The relationship you create with others is only as strong as the opportunities you provide to connect with them. “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” ~ Brené Brown.
Being vulnerable is not fun nor it is desirable. It can be terribly uncomfortable. We tend to feel guilty once we realize we have exposed ourselves to vulnerability. There is a feeling of being silly or stupid for putting ourselves in a situation where we can be hurt or used. Unfortunately, we can’t predict every scenario we will find ourselves in. There is no sure-fire way to know who to trust or keep at a distance because some people are incredible actors while others are fairly lousy at it.
Sometimes we think using our emotions and other times we might favor our instincts (or logic). Regardless there should be no self-inflicted shame when offered a hand as we find ourselves standing on the edge. There should be no guilt when we turn away from our fear and embrace the offer from those that want to lift us up. We shouldn’t reject those who care, regardless of why they care, because we are too proud to admit we could use a helping heart. The only one to hurt when denying the proposal from others is you.
Be vulnerable. It is okay to be vulnerable. It pays to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable provides connection to others and helps to develop the person you are trying to become.