We live in a world where we are constantly given messages about how we need to be strong.In fact we lionise and almost deify the perfect ideal of someone who manages to possess almost superhuman strength that they can use to rise above every challenge. We are held to a standard that is expecting us to never doubt, never waiver and never show any signs that we are struggling. This is irrespective of whether you are a man, woman or child.
Now don’t get me wrong there is a true power in embracing the challenge of getting up after you have been knocked down.
- As Vince Lombardi once said “Winners never quit, quitters never win”
- Or what about Confucius who said “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”
- Or even Rocky Balboa who said “Don’t give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don’t listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself”
So all of this is great and inspirational. It gives us hope that we can rise above but what about taking a moment to be vulnerable?
Being vulnerable, feeling vulnerable even allowing the thought of vulnerability into our minds has become synonymous with weakness or a lack of personal power. According to the Oxford English Dictionary vulnerable means:
“Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally“
Even the raw definition of the word lends itself to seeming weak. However let’s face it there are times in our life where a little bit of vulnerability is actually a good thing.
Why shouldn’t we feel scared
Why shouldn’t we take a moment to be uncertain
Why can’t we just be in the moment and not charge headlong into overcoming the challenge
For mine this is one of the great characteristics of being human. We have doubts, we have fears, we let ourselves be exposed to risk. There may be no greater example of this than love. When you love somebody you expose yourself to absolutely everything that could go wrong. You open up your heart and life completely to someone else but to do this you need to be vulnerable.
If the other person doesn’t feel the same way or even worse (perhaps) does love you back but then that changes you are totally exposed and vulnerable. Still you wouldn’t change it for anything. You need to expose yourself to the chance of being hurt because without that risk you will potentially miss out on the greatest joy there is and that is worth being vulnerable for. That is also real strength.
So I say stuff the overcoming challenges straight up like a superstar. Give yourself the chance to be vulnerable. After all if you don’t go through the challenge you can’t achieve the greatness on the other side.
As author Chris Jami said: