To be vulnerable takes courage. You’ve probably heard something along these lines before.
And, to be courageous takes vulnerability. This is likely something you’ve heard less often, but it is also true.
What I love about this — and what is also challenging for many of us — is that these truths go against what many of us learned as we were growing up.
While I know it’s not true for everyone, speaking broadly I learned and integrated very deeply that those who were courageous were strong and bold and brave and daring and leaders and fearless.
I also learned and integrated that vulnerability was weak and docile and unsafe and made you an easy target. I “get” the definition of vulnerability and consider it useful when it comes to talking about objects or beings that are not able to care for themselves. But I believe when people make a choice to be vulnerable that a whole new perspective is in order — about what vulnerability actually is and who it shows them to be.
It’s in the choosing that vulnerability becomes courageous. Choosing something that is not easy, that leaves you feeling wide open. Choosing something that may leave you out on your own or without a safety net or open for criticism or ostracism. That is brave. That is vulnerable and it is courageous.
So too, those who show courage (real and true courage, not bragging, unthoughtful pride) step into a place of vulnerability to be open and seen and heard. To stand strong and be brave is vulnerable, it opens you up to the world, not knowing what you will get in return.
These messages that we learned along the way — about what it means to be courageous or what it means to be vulnerable — can keep us from thriving.
To well and truly thrive in our lives requires immense courage and vulnerability, together.
For courage and vulnerability are both necessary ingredients in a life well-lived.
How are you showing up to your life with courageous vulnerability and vulnerable courageousness?
It’s what both you and the world need more of.
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