Six Reasons Vulnerability Scares Us

Vulnerability has been a recurrent theme in my life for the last few months and in 2013 I gave myself to it entirely. I vowed to be brave, even and especially when it scared me. Can I just careful what you ask for. Ever since I've had opportunity after opportunity to become comfortable with discomfort, to push forward despite my fears, and I'm not even a month in!

Vulnerability is about so much more than opening up. It's about confronting dysfunctions and long held beliefs, moving forward despite those, and taking risks. We're all a little scared of being vulnerable, and below are six reasons why.

  1. It pushes us toward consistency. Most of us, if we're honest, change parts of ourselves depending on what groups we're with. This is not to be confused with the wisdom to know how open we can be with a given group of people. Jesus had his inner circle.  But to be vulnerable here would be to remain consistently ourselves and accept the reaction.
  2. It forces us to confront co-dependency . Co-dependency says, "I'm not okay if you're not okay."  If there's one thing I struggle with the most, it's this. Somewhere along the line I accepted the lie that being myself would come at the cost of others happiness. I was owning their reactions. Co-dependency says I have power over you and vice versa. The reality is some people won't like our  vulnerability, some will be envious, and others simply bothered by a change in status quot. That's their choice, which leads me to....
  3. It makes us own our choices.  It's so much easier to play the blame game when it comes to choices, hiding behind care-taking and people pleasing, blaming others for unmet goals or dreams. Being vulnerable means opening up about our struggles and owning the choices we've made, for better or worse.
  4. It might mean failure. Not every venture, dream, or relationship will work out, no matter how vulnerable or risky we are. Thomas Edison proudly proclaimed, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Most of us believe that if we fail, it will say something about who we are. Not trying says more.
  5. It might hurt. To be vulnerable is to put ourselves at risk of all that we've previously protected ourselves from. The lie is that if we are hurt, we won't recover. The truth is, we tend to underestimate both our strength and resources. Hurt and pain are a part of life, as are joy and love. Without risking the hurt, you can't get the others. 
  6. It's uncomfortable. We're taught from birth to seek comfort. When we're hungry, someone feeds us, when we're dirty we get changed. And as we get older we learn to seek our own comfort, but a life lived vulnerably is not always comfortable. In fact, quite the opposite! Vulnerability and discomfort go hand in hand as we push ourselves past our fears and anxieties, into the people we were created to be.

Just typing these made my hands all cold and clammy.  But like I said in an earlier post, I'm letting fear guide me, and it's saying 'move forward anyway.' 


Here goes everything...


  1. These are all really good but point 1 really resonates with me...that's partially what inspired my Bold word for the year. I'm really trying to work towards not being ashamed of being a writer and critiquing the church somewhat, and having people I know know that. It's so much easier to hide behind my anonymity, to be my true self when people don't know it.

    What I'm wrestling with now is how much of it is my desire to hide, and how much of it is actually having healthy boundaries.

    1. Yes, your last sentence is where I sit too. What are healthy boundaries, and what is people pleasing, and where's the line? If I ever find the answer, I'll let you know, but I think it lies somewhere in the messy middle with discernment and much prayer. If you haven't read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, in the latter part of the book she's got some good pointers about how and when to be vulnerable.

  2. identified with so much of this. thanks for laying it out there! :) *to being brave!!* cheers...
    also, i havent read brene brown yet... do you know where she got the title for that book? cause i just read a quote from teddy roosevelt that had that phrase in it! let's do it - dare greatly!! :)

    1. She cites the quote by TR in her book, so I'm thinking that's probably why she chose the title. It's a great book, worth a look-see! It really opened me up to this whole vulnerable/brave journey I'm on! *to being brave, huzzah!*

  3. Are you someone who kick yourself in the pants and get things going, even when you don’t want to do them? If so, you’re perfect to work at home!
    If not, you’re like me. Unless it involves chocolate chip cookies, wine, or arts and crafts, I’m going to avoid real work like the plague. Which means that you don’t get paid. And then you feel terrible because you’re not doing your work. And not making money. Because why? Netflix and Hulu and cookie dough ice cream? Will your landlord accept that as a reasonable excuse?
    Online jobs without investment
    Part Time Jobs From Home


Post a Comment

Popular Posts