Vulnerability isn’t weakness

We all have our moments in life. Sometimes we’re more centered in our careers, other times we focus on our personal lives. We move through life trying to strike a balance between both.

It’s a tricky business because both are intertwined, and one affects the other and vice versa. Life is a constant struggle to get this right. To make sure we’re happy in all fronts. It’s not easy, even though for many it might look like it.

Within that struggle, there will be moments where we’ll feel strong, empowered, capable of achieving anything. Other times, we’ll feel hollow, empty and our strength will leak away.

The truth is, it’s impossible to be ok all the time. It’s unrealistic to believe that you will feel great forever. Still, this is what’s expected of us. If you’re someone people look up to, if you’re a leader, if you’re someone that inspires others, that’s not an option.

You have to be there for others, always. You have to be strong, all the time. You need to lead, to motivate those around you, with no exceptions.

That’s why, sometimes, in rare occasions, even leaders falter, struggle and need to break down. You let go of everything and just show your most vulnerable side.

Being vulnerable, letting go of any pretense and just admitting, that you don’t have an answer for everything, is liberating. It’s showing you’re human too. That you fuck things up, that you’re not right all the time. It’s a moment where you wonder why people even look up to you, why they like you. It’s that place where you can truly be yourself and feel afraid, and be scared.

And you know what? We all need that. Because we aren’t perfect. Because we’re held to so many standards that you need your personal refuge to cry in. In a way, home is where you can be vulnerable and know everything will be ok.

Still, being vulnerable is misunderstood by many. For some, showing and sharing your vulnerability is a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you’re not capable somehow.

Letting yourself be vulnerable is tough to do, but it’s not done in isolation. We only let ourselves feel like that when we’re around someone that is safe. Someone that we know, we can trust with our self, with our fears, our inner demons.

And not everyone can handle that.

Can we see someone we admire open up and share their fears? Can we do that without judging? Most people can’t. It distorts the image they have of the other person and in a way, instills an image of fragility that’s not always true.

Letting yourself be vulnerable isn’t a sign of weakness, or of fragility. It’s a sign that you’re human, that you, like anyone, need time to be afraid and imperfect.

This doesn’t mean you’re broken, or powerless.

Like the willow or the bamboo, real strength derives from knowing yourself; from being able to adapt, to let go and become one with the forces around you.

We feel sorry for the lanky Willow when the wind blows him apart, scattering its branches, like mad whips. And at the same time, we gasp and get surprised when those same branches come back, at full force.

Showing our humanity doesn’t make us weaker but stronger. It doesn’t make us smaller, but bigger.

People that judge, that feel pity that feel sad for someone that entrusts their most sacred self will never get it. They tend to draw the wrong conclusions and get surprised in the process.

I like getting things wrong. I like messy. I enjoy imperfection. I don’t want to have an answer for everything. I don’t care. I cherish those rare moments where I can look at someone and tell them: I am scared, I have no fucking clue what I’m doing, but it will be ok.

Can you deal with it?

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.