When I first shared my story about dealing with anxiety, the main reaction I got was from people who really appreciated me for being vulnerable about my own struggles. That going me thinking.
I believe we need to be more open with each other about what we are going through.
Sharing your feelings is a scary thing to do, one that doesn’t come easy to many people. And when you work by yourself, it’s especially important that you make the effort to open up to others. While this process might be hard, it is without a doubt going to be worth it in the end.
For those who are wanting to be more vulnerable or at the very least wanting to learn more about how to be more open, I’ve put together three steps to follow that can help us all become a little more vulnerable.
Step 1: Find Your VP (Vulnerability Partner)
This step is all about finding that one person you can always be open with. It really doesn’t matter who it is, as long as you are comfortable sharing your feelings.
Having a VP will help you a lot when it comes to practicing sharing your emotions. Your VP should be someone you know will listen without any judgment, no matter what. Telling this person what problems you are facing isn’t going to be a huge deal, because you know at the end of the day, they will always have your back.
Think about it like learning how to become a better public speaker. You don’t just get up to speak in front of 50 people when you are starting out! First, you practice in front of people (or a person) who are close to you, so you aren’t scared of their judgment.
My VP is either my fiance or sister. With these two people, I know I can be my most open self and experience no judgments. Whenever I am going through something, I talk to my VP first.
Step 2: Schedule a Vulnerability Break
Like anything else in your life, it is important to make time to be vulnerable. I am not saying that you need to make time each day to talk to your VP (although if you can, that’s awesome), but you should at the very least set time once a month for you and your VP to check in.
When you are first learning how to do something, practice makes you better. Making time for a vulnerability break, and setting it on your calendar each month, is room for you to practice opening up and sharing what is going on with your life.
The first break probably won’t be the easiest. It might even be a bit awkward. But as you get into a rhythm, it will begin to feel a lot more natural. You might even get to a point where you don’t even need these scheduled breaks anymore, because you are already sharing on a regular basis.
Step 3: Reflect Regularly
The final step in this process is to regularly reflect on your experiences with being vulnerable. Some common questions you can ask yourself might be, “How does sharing make me feel?” “Is this getting easier or am I struggling opening up?” “What topics are a no-go for me to share? Why?”
Reflecting on your experience is key in your learning, because it’ll remind you what you enjoy and don’t enjoy about the process. It can also reveal new ways for you to share deeper with more people, or it could show you that you need to find a new VP.
The goal of this step is to create more self-awareness around what you are feeling. This will remind you that sharing isn’t as scary as you’d originally thought, and that you can even share more confidently with other people without worrying about being judged or labeled as “weak.”
Think of these steps as a guideline in your process of becoming more vulnerable, but if you find other strategies that work better for you, use them!
Being vulnerable is not the easiest thing to do, but once you open up and share more, not only do you feel less pressure/stress, you will see that your story connects with so many more people than you would have ever guessed. It really is a beautiful thing.
Thanks for reading & sharing!