And Why I’m Letting Go of It
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
— Brené Brown
I’ve spent most of my 46+ years on this earth begin afraid. I’ve been afraid of pursuing relationships, going after jobs I thought I wasn’t qualified for, and putting myself out there for the world to see. Fear has been a constant companion — and he would never let me do what I wanted. And the fear of getting hurt is on top of the list.
I was afraid of getting laughed at, being judged, or feeling hurt, and I kept my emotions in check because I believed the pain of releasing them would be far worse than holding them in. I thought if people got to know the real me, they wouldn’t like that person.
Because I didn’t like that person.
I know now that fear has controlled me and I understand I’ve squandered many opportunities in life and in relationships — because of that fear.
I’ve been afraid of the known, and the unknown. I’ve been afraid of judgment, failure, success, and getting hurt. That last one especially. So I ended up always being closed off to others — because if you let no one in, it’s easier to not get hurt.
But I will not let fear control me anymore. I’m done living in fear. I’m done not pursuing what I want and I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable. If I get hurt, then so be it. Because everything that comes before the hurt is worth it. The love, the good times, the laughter. It is worth the journey. And it is worth much more than the fear of getting hurt.
If I get hurt, that’s okay. If I fail, that’s okay, too.
I may get shot down, I may get ridiculed, I may get torn to pieces. But you can always put the pieces back together and try again. And the next time, I may do better than I ever thought I would. I may exceed my wildest dreams. The only way to know is allow that vulnerability to seep in. Because each time you try, you build confidence. Each time you do something you are afraid of, you realize it is really nothing to fear. It’s mostly in your mind.
We are so used to worrying about what could go wrong. Our brains are wired to focus on the negative — like that hurt we all don’t want to go through. But hurt is a part of life. It’s how we grow.
But when we are so worried that something bad may happen, we fail to see all the good that’s likely to happen.
So I’m no longer going to be afraid. I will not live my life in fear anymore, and I’m putting myself out there for all to see. I’ve decided it is worth the risk of getting hurt to have a chance of something greater. Like a flower reaching for the sun, I’m opening up and allowing myself to grow and be a little more vulnerable.
You should join me.