How do you want to be in your relationships? This is a question that I have been intentional about asking myself. Lately, I have been longing for building stronger and deeper relationships with people that are in my life. This pertains to many relationships – family, including my fiance’, and my children, coworkers, and even with YOU! Yes, YOU too! With all the things that one could want for their life, having deep relationships is super important for me in my life right now.
One of the keys that are essential to building these deeper relationships lies in vulnerability. Vulnerability is something that almost sounds like a buzz word, and no one really takes the time to really clarify what it means. Whenever someone is asked to be vulnerable, the thoughts that people first come to think are, “That is a weakness,” Vulnerability is for women,” “You don’t have to be vulnerable to get work done,” “It takes too much energy trying to do that vulnerability stuff,” “If I’m vulnerable it will be used against me.” All these thoughts only pull people farther and farther apart. Instead of creating relationship, you create barriers.
“Instead of knowing someone more, you know them less.”
Humans are made to connect and the lack of it actually leads to isolation, sickness, depression and even death. A phrase I like to say from time to time is, “Death can kill you.” Have you ever wondered why when one member of a couple passes away, the next one seems to pass away not to long after. It is because we need relationships. It should actually be the first need in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
There are ways to show up more vulnerable and role model the person that you want to be in your relationships. Once you do it, it will give permission for others to do the same. Brene’ Brown is a well known author and the thought leader on vulnerability, and gives us 10 guideposts in her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection,” that help us when we are trying to cultivate vulnerability in our lives. These are:
- Cultivate authenticity and let go of what people think. This means that we let go of being perfect, we set boundaries, and we allow our selves to be vulnerable.
- Cultivate self-compassion and let go of perfectionism. We should treat ourselves kind; understand that we are all human and struggle with similar things; and practice mindfulness by allowing ourselves to actually feel deeply and learn how to move forward and through it.
- Cultivate a resilient spirit – letting go of numbing and powerlessness. How do you bounce back? Know who you are and don’t try to be any other way.
- Cultivate gratitude and joy and let go of scarcity and fear of the dark. Be thankful for all things good and bad. Fear of the dark is when we are more concerned with what we may lose, than what we have and are thankful for. Incorporate gratitude in your life daily.
- Cultivate intuition and trusting faith; letting go the need for certainty. Trust in the many ways that you’ve developed knowledge and insight including instinct, experience, faith and reason. Trust in your heart, head and soul – they give you information that is important.
- Cultivate creativity and let go of comparison. Comparison keeps us from being creative. We are all creative and should practice being creative all the time.
- Cultivate play and rest and let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth. Play is essential to our health and functioning as rest.
- Cultivate calmness and stillness and let go of anxiety as a lifestyle. Stop trying to numb what you’re going through and go through. Be comfortable with moments of silence.
- Cultivate meaningful work; let go of self doubt and supposed to. Do the work that actually aligns with your purpose. Let go of, “supposed to,” and just do meaningful work.
- Cultivate laughter, song and dance and let go of cool and always in control. Go look in the mirror and strike a pose and tell yourself that you’re cool and in control of the situation that you are in.
These guideposts allow us to navigate becoming closer to vulnerability. Do you see how when you let go of perfection or let go of what people think, how you can show up just a little more vulnerable? I hope you have, because these guideposts sure has helped me be more deliberate, intentional and equipped to go deeper and build stronger relationships in my life.
Now it’s your turn. How do you want to be in your relationships? Comment below and let me know.
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