Vulnerability is hot.
You have seen it a lot around the blogosphere lately: Transparency. Authenticity. Vulnerability.
And so it has become that being open and authentic has gotten a bad rep, because we all think we have to share all that we don’t like about ourselves to be vulnerable. But vulnerability is not only about raw emotions – the loneliness, insecurity and depression. Vulnerability is also about love, joy and excitement. To illustrate, I’ll share a little story with you.
I’m sitting in Starbucks and it’s a bright sunny morning. I got myself a table with access to power (important!) and the café is full of people like me. Freelancers, students and others who just need some alone time out of the house. People are working.
The barista’s are busy taking orders to give people their morning caffeine fix. The hustle and bustle is energising and exciting.
And then a really catchy song comes on on the café speakers. Yeah! I’m in a good mood and start singing along. I add some nice moves. I’m feelin’ gooood!
And then I realise what I’m doing. My face instantly turns red. Oh, my gosh. Did I just do that!? Did I just sing? In public? And to this song? I quickly look around the room to see if anyone noticed. The song is currently on the top 10. What will people think? That I actually like pop music? I’m horrified.
To explain, I don’t like popular music. Not officially. If it’s on the list – I’m out.
Because I’m too cool for that kind of mainstream music.
Or am I?
This little (true!) story illustrates something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. That vulnerability is not only about the parts of ourselves that we dislike. It is also about what we think is really, really nice.
Like a catchy song.
Because when you care about something, you are revealing a big part of yourself.
And so, when I show people that I actually like a pop song, I am showing them a part of who I am. And that’s a part of me that I’m insecure about. Will people still like me even if I love mainstream music? Even when it doesn’t really fit the image I have created for myself? Will people still like me when I’m being absolutely one hundred percent goofy and silly?
Being vulnerable is not only about being open about what we struggle with. Being vulnerable is also about being open about what we love.
Being open about what ignites us.
What makes our hearts stir.
And the more you’re excited about something, the more dangerous it is to be open about it.
Like your dreams.
Because how often do you really share your innermost secret dreams with anybody?
Not very often, you say?
But I’ve found that practising openness and vulnerability when it comes to being open about our dreams and passions has the power to change the whole game.
Because when you are open about your dreams – your wishes, your hopes, your love for something – you are giving people the space they need to rise up to support you.
And so, if you are ready to start practising this new vulnerability thing, you might want to start in the opposite end from what you thought. Start with sharing what you love. Start with sharing your dreams. Start with showing people the parts of yourself that you’re really proud of.
And sing with me:
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete
Falling from cloud 9
Crashing from the high
I'm letting go tonight
I'm falling from cloud 9
(From Wide Awake by Katy Perry)
Marthe Hagen (Hello, that’s me!) is a soulful and adventurous writer and imagemaker. I live in Norway and am passionate about writing, reading and exploring the world. I write, inspire, aim high, ask hard questions, crash and burn (I live life much like a phoenix) over at The Freedom Experiment.
A Freedom Experiment is about giving yourself the freedom to be you. It’s about making tough choices, taking control, and following your dreams. I am a collector of dreams and would love it if you want to share your dream in my Dreambank. You can also connect with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’m excited to meet you!