Vulnerability is not a weakness

Being courageous

This post is part of a series based on the personal development work I have been doing in Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. To read the previous posts in the series, click here.

Thank you to all of you who commented on my last post on abundance and shared how it impacted you. I know that this series is a bit different than the recipe posts I usually share, and to be honest, I was hesitant about sharing it. The internet can be a scary place sometimes and being a blogger means that I am constantly putting my personal life out into the public. (The thing that lets me sleep at night is imagining that this blog is still only being read by three people and possibly a cat!)

Thinking about this willingness to be vulnerable inspired me to write today’s topic on courage and vulnerability. I recently watched Brené Brown’s TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame. (If you haven’t seen these before, I definitely think they are worth watching. The first time I watched them I was so memorized by her message and her presence that I watched them twice.)

After working through my Desire Map, I realized that one of my core desired feelings is courage. I desire to feel courageous and bold. I desire to stand in the face of fear, push past it, and continue to grow. I desire to speak my truth, even when it’s not easy.

I think where some of us go wrong when thinking about courage is thinking that courage is the absence of fear. Being courageous doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. Being courageous means that you have the inner strength to embrace being afraid and still move forward.  

Being courageous means you must be willing to be vulnerable. Actually, let me rephrase that: being courageous requires being vulnerable. It requires requires feeling completely in over your head, but going forward with it anyway. I know I am being courageous and bold when I feel my stomach drop, my throat tighten, and I want to run away, but I continue on.

One of the things that struck me the most about Brené’s talk is when she says that vulnerability is not weakness.  It’s amazing how easy it is for me to look at someone else’s act of vulnerability and label it as courageous, but turn right back at myself and call that same act of vulnerability weakness. We’re always hardest on ourselves, right?

As I’ve continued to work through my Desire Map, I keep seeing a theme of growth: I always want to do more, be more, and create more.

I want to show up in this world as the best person that I can possibly be. 
I want to inspire those around me to be the best people they can possibly be.
I want to create beauty in this world and share it with others.

None of these things can happen without small acts of courage every single day. And courage requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s strength.

So let me end by saying this:
Being vulnerable may feel uncomfortable and downright icky sometimes, but it is in those moments that you are most authentic and most courageous. Be bold. Speak your truth. And know that you deserve to live a life that fulfills and excites you… and that requires courage and vulnerability.

What does being courageous and vulnerable mean to you?  Where do you need to be bold in your life and speak your truth?  

Please leave me a comment below and join in the conversation!


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  1. says

    this is exactly what i needed to read today! i’m beginning a new chapter in my life that is making me feel very vulnerable. it’s so comforting to know it’s not a weakness.. that everyone feels this way when they are opening themselves up for change. thanks, sonnet!

    • says

      You’re absolutely not alone on that one! Change can be really scary and times of transition are always the hardest. I always like to remind myself of how much stronger I’m going to be when I get through it. So glad to hear this resonated with you. :)

  2. Rachel Tomczek says

    I so needed to read this today!! Feeling very upset, angry, afraid and sad at the moment and reading these words made me realize my strength is in these vulnerable moments, acknowledging them and continuing forward. Headed to watch the TED talks right now! Thank you for your openness and honesty.

  3. Anonymous says

    This is perfectly aligned with what I have been focusing on these past few weeks. Loving your Desire Map series!

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