Vulnerability as an Asset

Photo by Hayden Humphrey Photography.

For a very long time, I viewed being vulnerable as a weakness and as something I was incapable of.

To protect myself growing up, I shut down emotionally. I repressed the urge to share because people had taken advantage of it. I built walls that eventually became so ingrained in my psyche, showing vulnerability wasn’t even viewed as an option – I forgot how to do it.

This did help in certain ways. In college, with no emotions to get in the way, I was free to focus on achieving and having fun. I became a machine for four years. At one point I was juggling a thesis, classes, three part-time jobs, and was still going out almost every night. I was so overloaded with work, I would often stand at my counter to eat because sitting would’ve taken too long.

Things generally felt normal, but there were moments I felt like something was off. I would find myself deeply envious of my friend’s ability to connect with others emotionally and every so often I could feel myself on the brink of an anxiety attack. But I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone; I didn’t know how to fix it. So I pushed through.

After school, I moved across the country. I thought it would be easy. I felt like my comfort zone was pretty large, and that this would be just another day. But being 1,000s of miles away from friends and family immediately laid bare the lies I’d been telling myself for almost a decade. I realized I couldn’t do it by myself. The only way to get help was to be vulnerable and openly admit I needed it.

Slowly, the walls started to come down. I saw a therapist. I started to journal consistently. I let people in. Sharing became therapeutic and stimulated an immense amount of self-growth and development.

Vulnerability’s now one of my greatest assets; it’s something I can’t live without. I’m still learning how to use it, but it’s helped eliminate nearly all of my anxiety and deepen every relationship in my life, ten-fold.

And as with anything, there’s always a balance to be struck. But given the choice, I’ll gladly risk temporary pain for a more permanent happiness.

Posted by HaydenHumphrey

Leave a Reply