Power and vulnerability

Two words that are not often used together. Let alone connected with each other.

I find, both in my personal journey and in the people around me, that there is huge power in vulnerability.

Old paradigms prescribe not to show weakness, or insecurity, or doubt. Or even tenderness, openess or love. Maintaining a strong facade is important, and potentially life and status saving.

Nowadays there is so much talk about showing your vulnerability, letting your guard down, taking your mask off. I train and coach people in this. Yet even with a huge wish and desire to do so, it can (and often is) terrifying to drop your guard and simply be – and show – who you are.

It is terrifying, laying your heart and your soft spots on the line. To let down the wall that you have built up so carefully (if not always consciously) to protect yourself against the world. The guard that you have mistakenly confused with power and control, when it was just a shield. To keep the world out and, sadly, to keep you from the world.

Power lies not in posing or shielding. True power lies in honesty, sincerity, truth, connection. If you are wielding your power old-school style it is a pretty solitary business. It gets very lonely behind that shield, because you are not being true to yourself, nor are you actually connecting with others.

Many of us are done with that and are looking for new ways.

Yet the letting down of the guard, the breaking down of the walls, the slowly lowering the shield so you can peak over and others can see you, is terrifying. Especially in the beginning.

And yet, this terror is something to befriend. It is just an old friend who thought he was protecting you. It is the walls you built when you got hurt. When somebody stepped on your vulnerability because they did not know better, or because they were challenged by your show of bravery.

There is so much beauty and power in vulnerability. I find it very current in my life at the moment: the more I let my hardness soften, the more powerful I feel. My real power, not the fake shit.

But be mindful, pick right. Choose well who gets to see these parts of you, when you start practising. You will be clunky at first, and that is o so fine. But that clunkiness, those attempts at reaching out must be received well, otherwise it is easy to withdraw back into your shell. Pick the friend, the lover, the neighbour who is suited to this unfolding of beauty. Do not let your tender little kids run out into the world all by themselves without you being right by their side.

And see, slowly but steadily, your heart unfolding, your vulnerability blossoming and your capacity growing, day by day, step by step.

And see your power unfolding as well. Because showing the real you is where your true power lies.



PS: Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability has been a huge inspiration for me in this. If you do not know her video yet, I highly recommend watching it.

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Coach, trainer & lover of all things human and relational. Supporting you in finding a deeper connection to yourself & others, so you can truly lead, wherever you are.

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