guest post // The other side of vulnerability: share what you really, really love

Vulnerability is hot. 

You have seen it a lot around the blogosphere lately: Transparency. Authenticity. Vulnerability.

And shame. 

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? 

Me neither. 

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.

Be uncool. 

And sing with me: 

I wish I knew then 
What I know now 
Wouldn't dive in 
Wouldn't bow down

Gravity hurts 
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! 

♥♥ stay in touch! ♥♥ follow this blog ♥♥ twitter ♥♥ facebook ♥♥ shop ♥♥


  1. Awesome post! I am listening to 'wide awake' on spotify right now for the first time (yes I really am that disconnected!) and it is fun!

    It is so liberating to break free from what we think people expect of us and to embrace ALL the things we love, however goofy.

    Fyi, I am an avid weekly reader of Grazia magazine - cover to cover ;)

    1. Thank you so much, Suki! It is a nice song, isn't it? :)

      And I love that you read Grazia, it' so entertaining!

  2. Lovely as always Marthe! Hehe, super cute story too :P its like when someone sees you singing & dancing along in your car when stopped at the lights!! I've been there for sure...

    Being open, honest and vulnerable is endearing because its true. And truth rocks.

    Rock on! xx

    1. Haha, it's exactly like that! Like that Hugh Grant dancing scene in Love, Actually! :D

      Truth rocks, you are so right.

      You too! Let's rock together!

  3. Great post! Just what I needed this Monday morning.

    1. Thank you so much, Manda! Happy to write just what you need! :)

  4. A wonderful post! It's amazing how we try so hard to build a portrait of ourselves just so people would think about us in certain ways we'd like them to. While at the end of the day all we want is to be ourselves. :)

  5. Thank you so much Amalia. All we want is to be ourselves, and all others really want is for us to be ourselves too. I think we are just a little bit afraid of our own greatness, huh?

    1. it took me a long time to realise that it was ok to be me, and that everyone else just wanted me to be too

  6. ooh I love this Marthe! just yesterday i started dance-walking to a Beyonce song in the supermarket and my boyfriend was like, "Oh dear..." Hahaha. he doesn't really mind, he just thinks i'm a little nuts. but i FELT LIKE DANCE-WALKING! i was in such a good mood and there's no law against dancing in public, right? i don't mind being vulnerable and the best part is that it put smiles on other people's faces. :) LOVE this post. I always love your posts.

    1. Thank you Heather!

      Haha, I can imagine you dancewalking! Even the thought of it makes me incredibly happy!

      "You're right", says my inner law student.

      "There is no law against dancing in public.

      In fact, it should be compulsory!"

  7. Bless you beautiful soul, hope to jam with you soon! x x

    1. Thank you, sunshine! I will contact you as soon as I have even made the first idea of a London trip! :)

  8. Oh wow...I absolutely love this blog post...I am actually in the middle of trying to make a personal playlist of songs that have deep meanings for me and who I am...but because they're in song, it's king of like a code. Strange? Oh well...I'm embracing the <3 end of the spectrum of vulnerability...

    Thank you for this post!

    1. Thank you Amber! Making a list like that is such a great idea! In fact, I think I might write about something similar.. ;)

      Make sure you hop on over to The Freedom Experiment and get on my list, I have a little something for you there.

      Sending love,

  9. So very true. I sometimes find it harder to share the things I love and the things I dream about than sharing the dark and ugly stuff. Maybe because I've practised sharing the dark stuff more... Anyway, sharing my loves is truly something I need to work on (I'm having a hard time sharing my dreams with my (understanding, open-minded and generally awesome) boyfriend... it's bad, I know...), so thanks for the reminder!


Hey! Thanks for leaving a message. I read and appreciate every one :)