Why are so many women afraid of being vulnerable? Indeed, many worry that if they show who they truly are, they will be rejected. Or they fear someone will use revealing information to manipulate. Either reason will keep a woman from being her authentic self and cause her to live life closed and disconnected.
Vulnerability involves a lot of uncertainty and emotional openness. What can you do to embrace being vulnerable and still risk revealing your courageous self? Here are some steps to take:
1. Allow others to see you as you are so you know they are loving the real you.
2. Any rejection or NO leaves you open to an eventual YES. The growth and lessons that come with this are priceless.
3. Admit your weaknesses and ask for help — Pay attention to how this feels. The support and encouragement is very empowering.
4. Understand that you may have unconscious blocks that hold you back. While “hiding behind a mask” may seem necessary to protect your well-being, it can do the opposite and close you off to being loved and giving love.
5. Think about the risk you take when you love someone and realize the other person is thinking and feeling the same thing. Together you can share your fears which offers you greater intimacy and bonding.
6. Set boundaries, and only let in those who have earned the right to know the TRUE you.
7. It’s OK to fear being judged, questioned, or rejected. Does he like me? Will he understand me? Can he be trusted? These questions are valid, but should not keep you from living, loving and laughing your way through the relationship.
8. Know that the connection you feel with your partner depends on how much you reveal about yourself. If you’re afraid about what you can say, do or think or your message is misunderstood, any meaningful connection will be lost.
Vulnerability shows strength. When you are vulnerable, others can hurt you, disappoint you, rely on you and especially love you.This may make you appear weak if you give up your strength to others, but it is really indicates the opposite. You are putting your heart out there. How courageous is that!
Amy Sherman is a Relationship/Dating Coach and co-founder of http://www.womendatingafter40.com. She is the co-author of “99 things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org