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Vulnerability: Complete Guide & Explanation [Best Tips]

Vulnerability: Complete Guide & Explanation [Best Tips]

What is vulnerability and imperfection? Why is it so important for a full and rich life? This article can be seen as a complete summary of vulnerability. Here you will find all the tips to show yourself vulnerable.

The quick answer: what is vulnerability?

Vulnerability is: the courage to show up when you cannot control the outcome. In other words, you are doing something with complete dedication, while it is uncertain what will happen next. You give something, but it is not certain what you will get in return.

So with a vulnerable act you dare to put your fate in the hands of someone else. This is a gigantic gift that you can give to someone else – also creating a great chance that you will get a beautiful gift in return .

Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

Some examples of this are:

  • Open your arms and offer a hug .
  • Someone in a sweet way interrogate .
  • During a date, lovingly draw the other person towards you for a first kiss .
  • Say “I love you” first.
  • Stand on a stage and your talent to the public giving .
  • Asking for a job .
  • Sell by asking if someone wants to purchase your product.
  • Immediately offer to put  an arm around someone if they feel nauseous.
  • Offer to put an arm around someone just because you can. Just to feel connection and give love.
  • Compliment someone .
  • Show interest and invite someone to share more. For example, if a stranger says, “I’ve had good news!” Then say, “Oh, nice, tell!”
  • Pat with your hands on the spot next to you and invite someone to sit next to you and / or to sit closer to you.

Vulnerability is not talking about your fears, but actually overcoming your fears with actions. That is where the greatest happiness resides: transform your feelings into action.

Vulnerability is therefore mainly in actions . Vulnerability is therefore not that you just open up through your words and tell all your fears and details about your private life.

Show, never tell.
– Billy Eilish

Why should you learn and apply vulnerability?

Why would you show vulnerability? The answer is simple: your life will be more fun, fuller and more adventurous because you no longer hold yourself back. You give more and you receive more. You are in the middle of life.

Vulnerability is what gives life its beauty.

Do you ever feel inadequate? That others are better? And did this feeling stop you from taking opportunities and stepping into ‘the arena of life’ because you are afraid of failure? Later on, you will regret being sidelined ! Now is the time to change this, and you can do that with vulnerability.

Vulnerability is scary and feels dangerous. But it’s not nearly as bad as not showing up all your life and wondering, “What if …”

When you apply the power of vulnerability, you seize the opportunities again and you are back in the middle of the arena of life. How vulnerability further helps you to seize opportunities and what it brings you, you can read in this article with all the tips from Brene Brown ( known from the book ‘The power of imperfection / vulnerability’ ).

Unfortunately, we often avoid real connections with people because we don’t think we are worth it.

This comprehensive article will help you realize that we are simply not bulletproof. Precisely because people realize this and can be vulnerable, they can communicate trust and safety to others.

How can you show vulnerability? Let’s start at the beginning …

An Introduction to Vulnerability: Roosevelt’s Metaphor from ‘The Power of Imperfection’


Ultimately, it’s never about the person standing on the side and naming how the brave person stumbles … or how the performer of the brave acts could have done them better … No. The credit goes to the person actually standing in the arena, whose face is branded with dust, mud, sweat and blood; who makes mistakes and falls short again and again, but nevertheless always gets up and tries to achieve something.

The credit goes to this person who has great dedication and enthusiasm, who gives himself fully to the cause, who may even taste the triumph of a great achievement, and who, if things go wrong and he has failed, in every case has shown courage.
– Theodore Roosevelt

Risk and exposure seems dangerous. But there is nothing more dangerous than staying on the sidelines of our lives and wondering what would have happened if we had stood there, in the arena. It will never be perfect in the arena: you will be kicked around sometimes . You will be hit in the arena anyway . It will be challenging at times. You will wobble . But there is no better gift.

‘Damn, that hurt. Get up, carry on and again! ‘ What a badass you are then! Be that badass ! Then what’s not so badass ? Living with pain and disappointment instead of acknowledging, feeling, talking about, and risking negative feelings, pain and disappointment. So I want to hear from you, “I want to be in the arena!” Let’s explore this metaphor of the arena further …

Fall seven times, get up eight times.
– Japanese saying

I have a lot of respect for people who make mistakes, but can always give their full 100%.
– Johan Cruijff

Do you want the secret formula for success? Double the number of mistakes you make
– Thomas J. Watson

What is Vulnerability? The meaning from The Power of Imperfection …


Vulnerability is when you show courage . When you accept the uncertainty . You are open to the truth. This can be scary because it is an emotional risk you are taking. However, this is not a weakness at all! You take off your mask, only to see that the real me is not that disappointing at all! It’s very human, and you feel alive. It may be surprising, but in the end you feel freedom and liberation.

Vulnerability is putting yourself in a position where you can be rejected, and where deep connection and love can arise. Telling a joke that couldn’t be funny … Sitting at a table with people you don’t know … Telling someone that you like them and that you want to date them …

If we dare to have those difficult, sweat-producing, authentic conversations with people – and get really good at them – we have fantastic relationships.

Many people want both: they want to avoid getting a painful rejection, saying something stupid, or making a fool of themselves. You cannot have them both. You cannot play it safe and be attractive, play it safe and win … The two go hand in hand: vulnerability and growth.

“If you want to progress, you have to take a risk. You can’t steal a second base and keep your foot on first.”
– Freddie Wilcox, English footballer, active from 1901 – 1909, who remarkably used a baseball analogy

“Anyone who is afraid of rolling the dice will never roll a six.”
– Chinese proverb

Why vulnerability seems difficult … but is actually very powerful!


Vulnerability can be challenging for many people. If we are vulnerable and brave enough, and if we are brave enough, we will also fall regularly  . These are natural laws of vulnerability. You can’t go back to where you stood before you were brave or fell for you. You have lost a piece of ego. That is part of the game and that may be challenging …

But because you fall and have lost that piece of ego, you also have a new level of consciousness! You know when to be brave and when to hide. You can no longer fake it or fool yourself. We now know when we are there (in the arena), where we live our values ​​(and falling is part of that), and when we hide.

Vulnerability is thus: exposure, insecurity and an emotional risk such as grief, sadness or disappointment. This is not a weakness, but rather it is the birthplace of love, joy, reward, creativity, innovation, empathy and belonging. This vulnerability is a form of power ! A deep form of power. “This is how I am and I refuse to be anyone else or to please people!”

A vulnerable person stands up, looks straight ahead, looks you in the eye, says what he thinks, expresses his emotions (even if that means he can be rejected) and does not depend on what the other would think of it.

Scarcity & vulnerability, what about that and what is the better alternative?

shame and vulnerability

Scarcity is the ‘always not {fill in} enough – problem’ … For example, not enough time, or not good enough, not sure enough, not successful enough, not smart enough, not special enough, not slim enough, not slept enough … Always complaining and worrying that we do n’t have enough

We start with it in the morning, when we do not have enough time to have a quiet breakfast and change clothes, and are immediately behind. And when we go back to bed at night, we have n’t done enough today . Or we do n’t feel enough acceptance .

What does that have to do with vulnerability? A vulnerable person knows, “But it’s okay not to be accepted, and it’s okay to lack self-confidence sometimes.” Because scarcity is the big lie.

We have convinced ourselves that ‘being constantly busy’ is good, and that it allows us to hide from the truth. We often believe, ‘if you’re not busy, you’re a loser’. Practice relaxation: don’t see exhaustion as a status symbol, and don’t see productivity as a measure of self-esteem. Bring calm and tranquility to your life. Make letting go of stress your lifestyle.

If we don’t have to live in scarcity, then how? You would think the opposite: abundance. But that is also too much of a good thing. Better: enough . “I am enough.” This is wholehearted life. You then live in gratitude and joy.

So get out of that hiding place, into the arena. Ramses Shaffy also taught us this.

For the one hiding behind glass …
For the one with the slammed windows …
For the one who thought he was alone …
Need to know now, we’re all together …

For the one with the sleepless night …
For the one who cannot confirm happiness …
For the one who does nothing, who just waits …
Need to know now, we’re all together …

For the one with his immeasurable pride …
In his risk-free high tower …
On his risk-free high rock …
Now must know, we were not born that way …

For the one with the open face …
For the one with the naked body …
For the one in the white light …
For the one who knows, we’re coming together …

Sing, fight, cry, pray, laugh, work and admire …
Sing, fight, cry, pray, laugh, work and admire …
Sing, fight, cry, pray, laugh, work and admire …
Sing, fight, cry, pray, laugh, work and admire …

– Ramses Shaffy

Perform vulnerable acts more easily? Believe in enough and even abundance, rather than scarcity

abundance in stead of scarcity

Don’t go for the feeling of scarcity, but go for the feeling of ‘ enough ‘. Let’s even go one step further … Maybe you heard of the word ‘abundance’, or abundance .

The whole point is: there is enough. There is no need to compete, argue, and compete. All we have to do is share.

Unfortunately, we often think:

  • Not enough time in the day.
  • Not enough money in the bank.
  • Not enough food in the world.
  • Not enough love in my life.

And that is why you barely make it. With that mindset we just get around and get that little bit of love in our lives …

Logically , you could indeed say that there is not enough. Therefore, pretend  there is abundance. Put into practice the idea that there is enough – and suddenly there will be enough!

How would you behave if you believed there was enough time in the day and if there was enough love? Then you would crave it less, turn it around and give more of it because you have so much of it . Even to everyone you meet. As a result, you will live completely differently.

This is the great secret of life: if you want to experience ‘pleasure’ in your life, give away what you want more of. You have more than you thought you had and you only discover that when you give. That shift in your attitude produces the relevant experience that you want.

The rule is: whatever you want to experience more of in your life – such as love, patience, understanding, abundance or time – make sure that another person experiences it in their life. Love, understanding, time, patience, financial abundance … Make sure that someone else experiences that in his / her life.
– Neale Donald Walsch

The energy of Life itself flows through you – and through you to others – so don’t let that flow stop you thinking you should get it from others . Think of yourself as the source rather than the seeker of what you thought you weren’t having enough of.

Shame & vulnerability, what about that?


Shame is the painful thought that we are unlovable, that we are unworthy to belong and to feel connected. Shame is extremely dangerous and destructive. It’s about who you are. You say with shame, “Sorry, I’m a mistake.”

Shame is fear of disconnection. This happens when you don’t feel well enough. It is normal to have.

Shame syndromes are the same as trauma syndromes. So they are trauma. They are mainly acquired in the period of high school. So we decide: close , and then we are safe, but miserable.

Everything we miss in life comes from filling up vulnerability. We are no longer open to feeling. We are no longer open to the risk. We have to open up all those things that we closed for success, and to become the person we want to be.

The brokenhearted are the bravest among us: they dare to love.

In addition, shame is the fear of disconnection: the fear that we do not belong and that we cannot be loved. You are ashamed to show your fear and shame to show yourself vulnerable. Shame is also ‘having to be perfect’, ‘not being enough’, ‘never enough’ and finally, the imperfect parts of yourself that you actually want to hide have been revealed.

To avoid criticism, you have to say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.
– Fred Shero

Are you afraid of shame? Then you don’t take chances. Then you don’t dare to play big. Because you don’t want to take the criticism. You don’t dare to play big, but in reality you are not playing at all.

If you play it safe, you don’t play at all.

Fortunately, you can do a lot against shame!

  • Empathy  is one of the antidotes to shame. Assume everyone is doing their best.
  • Awareness: know when and why you have shame, and what triggered it.
  • Shame draws its strength from the fact that it is unspoken. Shame survives on secrecy, silence and judgment. So don’t practice secrecy, silence and judgment anymore!
  • It is easier to do it together: ask for help. Let the topic of conversation with a close friend be “shame”. “I recently read an article about shame, do you want to talk about shame together?”

“Perfect” is the enemy of “good” – Vulnerable people know that


A lack of vulnerability has a lot to do with perfectionism. Stop perfectionism: just being there is enough, you are enough! Giving up on perfectionism leads to love, joy and belonging. You will stumble, fall and be kicked around, but it is worth it to be brave and dare!

I don’t regret anything in my life except what I haven’t done.
– Coco Chanel

Your heart will also be broken. You will also fail. You will also experience periods of blood, sweat and tears. That is … if you are brave in your life. Choose courage over comfort and the ‘protection’ of the sidelines.

It sucked … but I was brave. And I won just because I was in the arena.

As you already read in Roosevelt’s metaphor:

“The credit goes to the person who actually stands in the arena, whose face is stained with dust, mud, sweat and blood; who makes mistakes and falls short , but still gets up and tries to achieve something.”

Indeed, you will – if you take a vulnerable position – fall on your face, get up again, fall again, go completely wrong, totally fail, be laughed at, be made fun of, flop, fall to pieces, get stranded, go down, being ridiculed, even being crucified and losing what you thought you were (ego).

Jeff Foster also responds to this:

Go for it. Make a mess of it. Got it completely wrong. Go completely wrong.

Embrace how perfect your beautiful imperfection is. Let’s toast to embracing that total mess. Let’s come to love its perfect imperfection. Let’s open our hearts wide.

Because then we can say, ‘I showed up. I was actually there. I was willing. And I showed that. I lived.’

Let your need to be special or perfect disappear. In the ego’s perspective you may be very ordinary, but your true extraordinaryness is hidden in your normalness.

– Jeff Foster, from ‘The Free Fall in Life’, free translation

Always remember: the secret to perfection is imperfection! This is discussed in detail in the article on perfectionism. Read on there!

Share your doubts with me. Open your tender heart. Allow me to your struggles. I will meet you there. There we can really meet. Your imperfections are so perfect in this light. I don’t want you to be perfect. I want you to be real.
– Jeff Foster, from ‘The Free Fall in Life’

All you have to do is show up. Whether it goes right or wrong does not matter, as long as you are there – in that arena. Be seen. You can be seen. That’s why you live! Live from love! Put yourself out there. Show yourself. You can’t get love and pleasure if you don’t show yourself.

Success is thirty centimeters. A step on the podium – or not. A step forward to address someone – or not. A step to be there for someone – or not. A step to stand on the judo mat – or not.

Whether you win or lose, the fact that you hit the mat is everything. You are a champ.

– Roy Martina

Are vulnerable? Go from ‘survive’ to ‘surrender’


Not being vulnerable is survival . But we want to do more than survive. We want more than the ‘basement of Maslow’. We want to be able to surrender ourselves too ! What a liberation!

Don’t play safe but play true.

Bring more play into your life. However, what a lot of adults do is justify play, “Oh, then it’s good for me, it helps me work better, it’s change, it’s exercise.” Not everything has to be done for a serious reason! Life is one big party! Surrender to that party! To live in this way is to awaken.

Risk is the medal. The outcome doesn’t matter much anymore.

Congruence is key to embracing imperfection

A great way to embrace imperfection is to develop congruence.  For example for…

  • Being congruent with making mistakes.
  • Being congruent with not knowing.
  • Being congruent with you want and think.
  • Being congruent with not having to meet the demands and expectations of others or your role.

If you have a certain opinion or desire, just speak your deepest truth. And yes, this vulnerable act means that you run the risk of losing everything: your pride, status, self-image, all fake things … but this risk is actually strength! Weakness is a life of lies, half-truths and unspoken things …

See giving up your status, self-image and pride as the ultimate sacrifice … for a full life!

Once you are congruent about a certain theme of yourself, you will never encounter that incongruity again! However, you will continuously be faced with new challenges from which you can learn lessons and with which you can develop congruence.

Vulnerability is the only authentic state of mind. Being vulnerable means being open to injury, but also to pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life also means being open to the abundance and beauty of life.
– Stephen Russel

The ego considers vulnerability a weakness

imperfection vulnerability brene brown2

Your ego, or your ‘little me’, does not want to give or receive love and thus builds a wall around it. To ‘protect’ … from what? Protection of the ego, something completely unimportant. However, that protective wall around you also means that the good things can’t get near you either.

If you want to show vulnerability, it is therefore important to give the ‘little me’ less space. Fortunately, that’s okay: if you apply vulnerability, you don’t even need the ego defense mechanisms anymore. You become very real !

However, the ego says, “That is dangerous, you will be hurt. You become vulnerable. ‘ The ego believes that it is a weakness, that it is dangerous. What appears to the ego as strength is weakness. But only by letting go of resistance, by becoming vulnerable, can you discover your true and essential invulnerability.

The ego takes,  and thereby repels everyone. A vulnerable person gives . You give a lot of happiness, love and value when you are vulnerable.

Know that the hardest part will be when you are just starting to release the shield. It is your own process. You are then completely in the dark for a while. It is non-negotiable, you have to bite through it for a moment to let go of that piece of ego, that piece of shield.

The heart is locked by a personality – the ego.

It’s part of the process. You have already left but there is no light at the end of the tunnel yet. It’s the hardest, the dirtiest part, but it’s also where the magic happens, because you are being released from the ego, so stay on track!

Vulnerability is not a weakness. It is just strength. The ego wants to avoid “protection” and the difficult conversations, but with vulnerability you are Divinely protected.

To the world, vulnerability seems wrong, but it’s in your head. The fact that it is in millions of other heads does not change the fact that the ego is an illusion. The question we need to ask is: Can we and do we want to open up the vulnerability of our emotions and stand in our truth? Can we be open to the initial awkwardness of curiosity and creativity so that we can be more brave with our lives?

Since distance and separation (ego) is the root of sickness and pain, all healing begins with the dropping of your defenses, walls, masks and shields. Healing begins with giving up your secrets, asking for help, reaching out your hands, receiving, letting others in, being intimate, and joining yourself with others.

Vulnerability is also about celebrating your strangeness and making mistakes


Never lose your idiosyncrasy, strangeness, and silliness. Your unique and irreplaceable taste. Celebrate your unique expression and never apologize for it.

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like all other people.
Margaret Mead

Moreover, vulnerability has everything to do with daring to make mistakes. You can’t do life wrong, so do it wrong. Fail gloriously.

Fall in love with that perfectly divine, oh-so-human mess that you are. You are just a ‘complete mess’ compared to some secondhand image of perfection.
– Jeff Foster

So don’t try to be untouchable. Be fragile. Then you are powerful and you can give your love and also receive it in abundance.

Vulnerability: a lot to lose, but a lot to gain as a result

Open yourself to the risk of rejection . It is precisely by creating the possibility of being rejected, and perhaps actually being rejected very often, that you can gain a lot.

You have to shoot or you can’t score.
– Johan Cruijff

Try and fail, but never fail to try.
– Tyra Banks

You can only be vulnerable when you get hurt.
– Roy Martina

To love is to be vulnerable. It is a risk, but it comes with a big reward. On the other hand, there is also great loss – all the more so if you have received love from someone. Because sooner or later you have to say goodbye to everything you have …

Loving and winning is the best. Loving and losing is the next best thing.
– William Makepeace Thackeray

Security is for the doubters.
– Loesje

Realize that great love and great achievements also require and involve great “risks.” Loving something means knowing the loss of love too. So vulnerability is courage. Courage to be willing to take that loss. Showing yourself and giving to the other: going all in!

Self-rejection means: the good intention is to remain accepted, in order not to experience the real rejection. That is why we block ourselves.

For example, if you get married, one thing is certain: you will hurt each other at certain times, but those are the risks for something so beautiful. Vulnerability is risky but necessary for connection, and not nearly as dangerous as giving up love and feeling of belonging. So have the attitude: “I want to be in the arena!”

You are vulnerable if you are willing to fall. Because you know that life is going to let you down on a regular basis anyway. You are not afraid of this, but you put yourself in full vulnerability, knowing that you can fall, creating a precious experience and memory. And knowing that after that you will get up right away.

This is how you show yourself vulnerable: through honesty & your own imperfections

imperfection vulnerability brene brown2

  • Instead of hiding in your roles, show: this is really me! “If you really knew me … These are my fears and secrets … They led me to these needs … That’s how I learned how to regain my dignity.”
  • Communicate something about yourself, such as that you are afraid of the dark, or that you used to be the last to be chosen when choosing teams. Realize that these are just words – a very small start – and that this is not yet the real vulnerability that can only manifest itself in your actions.
  • Talk about your (negative) emotions.
    For example: in a relationship you can talk about fear of losing the other.
    Also name the trigger, what the behavior was on it and what you actually felt. Ask the other person this too. Also remember to ask, “How’s that for you?”
  • Honesty: “It’s hard for me to say this,”
    “that I want you to show love for me.”
    E.g. “That I want certainty.”
    E.g. “That I want to be close to you.”
    E.g. “That I want to invest in us, in our connection.”
    E.g. “I want you to feel that you can count on me, although I find it difficult to tune in to other people’s feelings.
    E.g. “I don’t want you to feel alone or scared.”
  • Explain how specific (small) things the other person does / did touch you and are important to you.
  • Vulnerability is: offering help and asking for help!
  • Have limits: ask and indicate what you need.

The power of imperfection is expressed through courage


Vulnerability means that you are brave. There is no courage without vulnerability. So be brave and go for uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Take risks, be vulnerable and be willing to enter and discover the unknown.

All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
– Walt Disney

We don’t dare because things are difficult. Because we don’t dare, things are difficult.
– Seneca

Courage is a love affair with the unknown.
– Osho

You need that courage, because vulnerability is not comfortable. The second it gets comfortable it is no longer fragile.

Have the courage to  first go to. For example, be the first to show your affection and love. Better take one step too much than too little.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important. And those more important things take courage.

The doors will be opened to those brave enough to knock.
– Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

Courage is the price that life takes for the granting of peace.
– Amelia Earhart

If I can’t win, let me be brave in my effort.
– Motto of the Paralympic Games

Success is the child of courage.
– Benjamin Disraeli

Luck favors the brave.
– Virgil

Courage will take us out of the mud .
– Keorapetse Kgositsile

Immediately declare self-confidence irrelevant: it doesn’t matter if I have self-confidence, I am doing it anyway. True courage is the willingness to be afraid – and then to do it. The pride you feel then leads to a much deeper self-confidence than you ever get in any other way.
– Successful 365 days

The biggest risk is that you don’t dare to take any risks.
– Mark Zuckerberg

Vulnerability is the way to measure courage.
– Brene Brown

Now also read this beautiful piece by Jeff Foster:

Courage is the willingness not to know, to speak the truth, to walk your path, to be willing to face rejection, to keep going despite the voice in your head and the judgments of others. And there are no guarantees that you will achieve it. There are no promises, just the excitement and the prospect of being completely free, no longer paralyzed but fully alive. And the scent of love you can smell everywhere, and the warm tears that run down your cheeks. And this beautiful vulnerability makes you completely unbreakable. ‘
– Jeff Foster, from ‘The Free Fall in Life’

So maybe from now on you will be the one who dares to make a rapprochement with another – with courage – instead of waiting for the other to make a rapprochement.

“May I have a picture with you.” “No. I want to take a picture with you .”

Vulnerability means daring to ask for help: let go of your independence

Let go of your independence. So ask for help. Even Robinson Crusoe had Friday, Superman had Lois, Barack had Michelle, and Batman had Robin. Ask yourself: When did you decide to become so independent? What are you so afraid of? Who ever hurt you? Who disappointed you? What are you defending against?

Do not answer these questions yourself, because that is again independent, but ask for help! Imagine that perhaps the whole universe is there to support you. Drop your cynicism. It’s an old wound. Open yourself to life. Let people in. This is true power.

However, not everyone deserves your vulnerability

Some restraint is certainly in order: keep it within the limits. Do not create ‘too much information situations’. And certainly not with someone you just know or with whom you have no connection. Talk about shame with someone who has earned the right to hear our story. Is the sharing reciprocal? is there trust?

The same goes the other way around: you shouldn’t care what others think of you, except the people who matter. These are people who love you not despite your imperfections, but because of them! People who pick you up when you go down in the arena confirming the fall was painful and shitty. Then they remind you that you are brave, and they will be there again next time to wipe the mud off you. Then with a lot of criticism from the wrong people you can say: Yes, that hurts, but he is not on my list.

Moreover, you have to distinguish clearly to whose criticism you do and do not listen: if you are not in the arena, I am not interested in your opinion / criticism about me. There are millions of people in the world with cheap seats on the sidelines, criticizing those in the arena. You shouldn’t assume anything about that. It’s poison.

And then ask for feedback from people in the arena. And to people who love you for your vulnerability – not even despite your vulnerability.

How can I show even more vulnerability? More tips and insights

You can find more tips and insights below. Brené Brown found in her studies that the people who have the strongest connections with other people do or have the following things:

  • They have a strong sense of self: “I’m worth it!”
  • Courage (to be imperfect). Dare!
  • The willingness to be the first to say “I love you.”
  • The willingness to do something that gives you no guarantees.
  • Not wanting to control and predict.
  • Compassion (kindness to oneself first and then to others).
  • Authenticity: show yourself! Let yourself be fully seen. Let go of what people think of you. To make a connection possible, we must allow ourselves to be seen. Really to be seen. You do that by being authentic.
  • They believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. So it is necessary to be vulnerable.
  • Letting go of perfectionism.
  • Resilience: let go of powerlessness.
  • Gratitude and happiness.
  • Let go of scarcity.
  • Dare to believe. Develop intuition and trust in fate, instead of certainty.
  • Creativity.
  • Let go of comparing yourself to others.
  • Play: Laugh, sing and dance. Let go of the idea that you should always be in control and ‘normal’.
  • Let go of ‘Being cool and always in control’
  • Believe you are worthy of: love, belonging and happiness.
  • Have a willingness to be involved.
  • Be there. That’s enough. In fact, your presence is more than enough. You don’t have to do weird antics on top of that.
  • Open yourself up to pain and rejection.
  • Willing to be vulnerable, through courage, compassion and connection.
  • Authenticity: let go of what people think.
  • It’s not good or bad, it is what it is.
  • When you step out of your comfort zone, everyone will benefit greatly! You are a beautiful, self-aware person with the capacity for so many good things, and you will feel fantastic and make others laugh when you come out of your shell.

brene brown vulnerability

  • Someone can thank you and say thank you for being so brave.
  • Why we don’t want to be vulnerable: it hurts too much.
  • An adult can love another adult, not despite his vulnerabilities, but precisely because of his vulnerabilities.
  • We rehearse negative scenarios in our heads to outsmart vulnerability. But there is no certainty at all.
  • 100% enjoyment is required for a lot of vulnerability.
  • Shyness is inherently narcissistic because it is based on a ludicrous belief that everyone is paying attention to you. How selfish !
  • Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who come to life.
  • We don’t want to feel joy, happiness, and love because we fear it will hurt us too much if we lose it. But then we miss a lot of things.
  • Encourage others to share their vulnerability as well: ‘How are you feeling? Why is that? What would you like most? ‘
  • Self-doubt prevents us from sharing our gifts and talents with others.
  • Intuition , belief and trust in fate: letting go of the need for certainty.
  • Believe: I am enough!
  • Dance, play, song, laughter!
  • Let go of exhaustion as a status symbol, and be cool and be in control.
  • Let go of the need for security.
  • Let go of comparison with others.
  • Calm instead of fear as a lifestyle.
  • Feel free to ask for help. Don’t feel too proud or inferior for it. Feel free to open yourself up to another person.
  • Receive and lean. Receiving is a beautiful thing. You don’t always have to give and let others lean on you.
  • Let intimacy and commitment be familiar and normal to you.
  • Connect yourself with your feelings.
  • Don’t compete with others, but be on the same team.

“Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.”

Malcolm X

The role of self-love in vulnerability


You have experienced people who feel loved, to love, to love and to ‘belong’. And you have people who struggle with it. There is only one thing that distinguishes those two types of people: they simply believe that they are worthy of experiencing love, of belonging and of having joy.

Joy is the most vulnerable of all emotions. Don’t be afraid that someone will take it from you.

You can only love others as much as you can love yourself. Love yourself. Then you can be vulnerable, and then Your relationships become much deeper. If you own the story, you can determine the ending. ‘I am loving. Imperfect, but to love. ‘ Belonging happens when we reveal our authentic selves to the world. So the level of belonging can never exceed our level of self-acceptance.

The books of Brene Brown (Recommended)

We recomend Brene Brown’s main releases. All her books are full of tips, cases and insights about vulnerability.

What are other ways I practice vulnerability?

There are many ways you can manifest your vulnerability. For example, you can give your warmth to other people by giving them compliments or making rapport . Even flirting testifies vulnerability, especially if you dare to make mistakes.

Indeed, especially making mistakes. Because who said it would be easy? It is not easy to stand in the arena and give and receive unconditional love. There will be havoc and no part of you will be spared. But I’d rather die than stand on the sidelines and not know that love.

We never rehearsed this. We are a mess.

We shake and sweat. We step on each other’s toes.

Sometimes we cheat. And we forget our text.

But at least this is real. At least we’re not half alive.

Buried under the weight of a statue. Which we didn’t believe in anyway.

I will always prefer this imperfect dance. No dance at all upstairs.

– Jeff Foster, ‘The Dance’ from ‘The Free Fall in Life’.

Do you accept the invitation to be vulnerable in your actions?

you dare to be vulnerable

The Invitation By Oriah Mountain Dreaming

… I want to know what you crave and if you dare to dream of fulfilling your heart’s desire.

I want to know if you want to risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

I want to know if you have connected to the core of your own grief. Either you have been opened by life’s disappointments or you have been shriveled by them. I want to know if you can tolerate pain; mine and yourself, without hiding or covering it up.

I want to know if you can feel joy, mine or your own. Or you can dance wildly with abandon, until your fingertips are filled with ecstasy. Without urging caution, realism, or reminding us of the limitations of being human.

I don’t care if the story you’re telling is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another by being true to yourself, or bear your suspicion of betrayal without betraying your soul.


I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the shore of a lake and shout YES to the silver of the full moon.

I want to know if you can get up after a night of despair and grief, tired and hurt to the bone and still doing what needs to be done for the children.

I don’t care who you are or where you come from. I want to know if you can stand in the middle of the fire with me and not flinch.


– By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming, from the book The Invitation, 1999

Be sure to let us know your experiences in the comments. And above all: fully enjoy every moment. These can be small things. Be grateful for what you have and share what you feel with others!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!