Why Vulnerability is Important

This speech, “Why Vulnerability is Important,” was written and presented by my 17-year-old daughter, Adelynn, for a high school IMG950639class. She is my Guest Blogger today.

Can anyone tell me what vulnerability feels like?  How about an example of when you’ve felt vulnerable?

Brené Brown, an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure” and I think, for the most part, in our society, we have been raised to fear those things. But I’m here to tell you why you should stop.

Since the beginning of our existence, human connection has been what keeps us alive. It drives us, it motivates us, it comforts us, and it makes us happy. We have associated vulnerability with weakness when it is actually quite the opposite. Opening yourself up to others requires immense strength. And even if you don’t get the desired outcome, you have still connected with that person. And that’s what we’re all striving for, isn’t it?

But, like most things, I realize this is easier said than done. You will make mistakes. You will embarrass yourself and you will be exposed. And it’s going to be far from perfect. But that’s okay. Because most of us don’t trust perfect for a reason. In fact, perfectionism is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis or, as I like to think of it, missed opportunities.

But once we let go of this fear of being anything but perfect, our lives, our experiences, and our connections will l grow exponentially. Once we are no longer afraid of making mistakes, our opportunities are endless.

So I encourage you all to be exactly who you are and fear nothing and embrace vulnerability because, as Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is the glue that holds all relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.”