1. Let your guard down
Letting your guard down is basically the definition of vulnerability.
But in many ways, letting your guard down is an act that with time allows you to be vulnerable. It’s a bit of a Catch-22: you can’t embrace vulnerability if you refuse to let your guard down, but to let your guard down you must be vulnerable.
Head hurt yet? lol
A simple way to do it is make conscious efforts to let your guard down, but don’t think of it as being vulnerable.
Converse with strangers in the checkout line; put your headphones away and chat with the person next to you on the plane. Talk to the homeless person who frequents your intersection. Give yourself casual opportunities to have positive exchanges.
Experiencing the joy that is being shown a piece of someone’s inner self, and in turn showing them a piece of you, slowly begins to build a fondness for these exchanges.
Just ask me, I’m obsessed with them ;)
Initiating these exchanges becomes easier and easier as you start to see vulnerability as less of a threat to your livelihood or security, and as more of a tool for creating more meaningful interactions. I think you’ll find over time that living vulnerably becomes your preferred method of living; I know it’s mine.
Once you’ve grown used to the quality interactions, meaningful conversations, and pure genuineness that flow through these exchanges, communicating without vulnerability just won’t cut it anymore. It becomes boring and comes off phony. You begin to crave the depth that you felt in the interactions you had on a vulnerable level.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve grown to hate small talk.
I’ll go back and forth with you about the weather, if we must…but I’d rather talk about our goals and passions. I think some of the greatest conversations and new ideas come from a foundation of vulnerability–and there’s no reason we can’t interact like that every day, all the time. It’s a choice.
One of the biggest problems surrounding vulnerability is that it’s associated with weakness; in fact it is a sign of strength.
To let your guard down in a society that rejects vulnerability is to take a risk with no guarantee. That takes tremendous strength. But I’ve yet to see a case where it didn’t work out for the better.
So make the choice. Embrace vulnerability. Speak your heart and change the world.