It is perfectly okay for you and I to be afraid of being stripped of all covering and exposed. Vulnerability feels like that sometimes.
No matter how many times we have been open and honest about our flaws, deepest darkest secrets, and colossal failures; it still feels a bit uncomfortable.
I am fully convinced that this fear is fuelled by every human’s inherent base need for community and love. The fear of ridicule and rejection, of judgment and censure, or of complete abandonment has caused us to wear masks and walk around pointing haughty fingers at the ‘less-than-perfect’ unmasked people.
That little voice in your head that keeps asking, “What if they reject you?” or saying, “They’ll think you are a fraud!” just might be keeping you from the best thing you could possibly do.
No one likes a superficial story or person. We like real stuff (even if we shy away from the discomfort of it). While I have no bone to pick with social media, I am concerned by the superficiality it encourages and normalises.
No one is perfect all day, all year round…and I say this with no malice at all! I know I am not.
It is okay to have a few slip ups and talk about them (in a safe space preferably). In all honesty, this safe space is better drawn from the inside out. The fickle nature of the human being is a wily adversary that shreds trust and stains hope with the fear of pain.
Learn to love, forgive and accept yourself; flaws and all.
This is the beginning of a true and genuine safe space. Draw the strength to do this from God; the only Being in your life that has your best interests at heart. Be so steeped in your identity in Christ that the howling winds of insecurity and fear cannot do you any harm.
VULNERABILITY ACTIVATES YOUR POWER.
Once you find your safe space, you will be even more powerful than you are now. Exposing your weaknesses does not take away from your power; rather, it taps into it more and more.
The healing brought on by unconditional self-acceptance opens your life up for infinite possibilities. Shame and guilt will no longer weigh you down. You will feel more like yourself than you have ever felt in a while. And as a bonus, you will understand the reactions of those around you better.
This subtle but gargantuan strength will help you sync and flow with the life forces of the people around you. They will feel safe, loved and understood and thus open up to you opportunities to help them.
I know you are probably wondering, what’s in it for me? The unrivalled feeling of satisfaction and affirmation you will get from helping another person reach their potential, realise a dream, let go of a grudge or any other pursuit they had. Even the simple act of believing in a person’s ability goes a long way in helping them realise their dreams. You have the power to activate the world’s greatest inventors, doctors, authors, musicians, tech-gurus and heaven knows who else by being open to being vulnerable.
VULNERABILITY HUMANIZES YOU AND INCREASES YOUR INFLUENCE.
No one ever really liked the fire and brimstone preachers of old who got lost in their cups while preaching sanctimonious sermons every Sunday.
Everyone loved the Cinderella and Hercules zero-to hero stories, however!
They felt like they could identify more with them.
Your flaws are not a disfigurement that should be concealed. They are your weapons of change.
Sometime last month I was feeling particularly hopeless about my weight. The swell of panic washed inadequacy and insecurity to the shores of my life again and again. My cartilage (left) and ligament (right) in both knees were recovering from partial tears when I saw Isabelle Weall, a quadruple amputee on Chloe Ting’s videos whose attitude towards life is truly awe-inspiring.
You can catch more of her inspiring story here.
The knowledge of my fitness accountability Instagram page nagged at me. I could finally do one good push-up! (It may not sound like a big deal but it really is). My muscle tone was increasing and I felt like everyone would just jeer and unfollow me.
The weirdest thing is that I initially started that page as a motivational tool for my fitness and it was working…until it wasn’t. I had become so consumed by appearances that I could not for the life of me imagine posting nasty (in my opinion) pictures of bloated tummies, belly flab and my chair workouts.
I had completely forgotten how Chloe’s vulnerability had inspired me to begin posting in the first place. Not only does Chloe have a killer physique, she is also incredibly fit. However, she gets bloated and gains weight from time to time. She also had serious coordination problems. I love how vulnerable she is about it and so do her 15+ million YouTube subscribers!
Yes, her workouts work! But so does her transparency and vulnerability.
VULNERABILITY INCREASES YOUR CREDIBILITY.
Vulnerability increases your credibility rather than diminishes it. Think back to the time you had that super uncomfortable talk about sexual purity and sex generally. I can feel you cringe even now!
Now, think about your reaction to this haughty adult who shared all the facts but none of the story.
Just another thing to keep you from living life, right?
Wrong! (Just a by the way: Don’t go frolicking about. What they shared was probably true…they might have needed just the right amount of vulnerability to make it easier for you to accept.)
When I attended a relationship themed fellowship at Trinity Chapel Kampala, various couples shared about they had worked at remaining sexually pure as they dated. This had a greater impact on me than any of the school talks I had attended.
I am also continually astounded by Michael Todd’s openness about his shortcomings as a man even as he shares the Word of God with his congregation. He has more credibility in our eyes because he is vulnerable enough to tell us stuff that we would never associate with a pastor.
You are a person before you became president, chief justice or mom. Remember that and share it with the people you are trying to help and watch your credibility sky rocket and their response to your advice become more and more positive.
Be you, flaws and all. And allow this freedom to transform your life and the world around you!
Until next time,
PS: Thanks for reading! I really appreciate YOU.