Let’s talk about vulnerability

I’m scared as hell right now. The fact that I have Word open and am typing sentences for people to read, scares me. I’ve been in private practice for 4 years and blogging is something I always knew I “should” do. It’s been that nagging voice in my brain asking “so when are going to start that thing you’re afraid of?”.  It has so many pros: it allows me to connect with potential clients, get free content out there to people who need it, is a creative outlet for me and the list goes on. The one con that has tripped me up for years is that it’s scary. Do I actually know what I’m talking about? Will anyone read it? Will it be something that I start and don’t finish (I have a problem with that, too sometimes). The one thing that boosts my confidence around this, and I’m totally serious, is that when I worked in an agency I was always chosen to write the notes for our meetings. I was told that I was a good writer and could succinctly and (humorously at times) piece together a coherent document that made sense of our manager meeting. So I’m running with it.

I recently stumbled upon Dr. Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability. If you haven’t seen it, immediately go here after reading this post. Dr. Brown talks about how vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and the struggle for worthiness, but it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity and belonging. The thing about vulnerability is that we will usually do so many different things to numb it. We use distraction to take ourselves out of that uncomfortable place. We start scrolling on our phones, buy something on Amazon, turn to food, alcohol or drugs. It’s hard to put yourself out there at the fear of being rejected or disconnected from someone. The work is done when you breathe through waiting for a call from your doctor, when you tell your boss your overwhelmed and need to cut back, or when you ask for help from your spouse. The crazy thing is is that when you numb out vulnerability or difficult emotions, you numb out positive emotions, too. You can’t say I’m going to selectively only feel joy, excitement or love without having felt despair, grief and shame. So we get to a point where we’ve numbed our negative emotions and we want something deeper with more purpose. We go for it and step outside of our comfort zone, but we start to feel those negative emotions ala vulnerability and start to numb again. It’s a vicious cycle.

I was very productive during my blog writing. I took a break because I figured my website needed an overhaul, so I talked to a web developer (seriously). I folded my kid’s laundry and got some shopping done. But it is finally done. So ask yourself, do you allow yourself to be vulnerable? What do you numb or distract when that feeling creeps in? Thanks for reading.

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