As a writer who blogs about being highly sensitive, it is very cathartic to write about emotions, feelings, thoughts, struggles, eccentricities, phobias and anxieties. It feels so good to get them out. Finishing the pieces and editing them for publication, they become ready to be released into the world. Then, as easily as they come, those cathartic feelings soon dwindle down to just traces that quickly get absorbed by…vulnerability. What a word. It doesn’t look nice, it doesn’t sound nice, and it sure doesn’t feel nice.
However unappealing the word is, vulnerability becomes somewhat of an uninvited but inevitable friend to a writer. It’s not something we set out to do, like a new year’s resolution.
1. Make wise food choices.
2. Unplug as a family and spend more quality time together.
3. Feel vulnerable, exposed, and uncomfortable every day.
We can’t help it, this feeling. It’s an icky, lingering emotion sitting right under the surface. All the time. If we look at the art of writing and study what skills make up a great writer, we will discover a lot of valuable information out there. Many experts and influencers share different theories and thoughts about what it takes to create content that resonates with readers. Research shows a common thread running through all this advice. The ability to be vulnerable is what sets a writer apart.
“Vulnerable is the only way we can feel when we truly share the art we’ve made. When we share it, when we connect, we have shifted all the power and made ourselves naked in front of the person we’ve given the gift of our art to.”
Vulnerability is what makes us believable. It’s what builds trust between us and someone else. When a writer lays everything out on the table, exposing the deepest parts of themselves, the reader begins to feel a sense of honesty and authenticity. They start to trust that we are telling our truth. However, feeling vulnerable is awful. It feels uncomfortable. Raw. Exposed. It pulls us WAY out of our comfort zone, and into a place of fear. It’s one thing to write for ourselves. But when we send all of our weaknesses, struggles, and confessions out into the world, we are letting strangers see the deepest parts of ourselves. It feels like rejection waiting to happen.
Reader #1: “Wow, this one is a real nut job.”
Reader #2: “There is no way I would put this stuff out there, and neither should they.”
Reader #3: “Uh…no thanks. I would rather read about plumbing.”
It comes down to this. Writers don’t write to be read. We write because we have a message. And as uncomfortable as vulnerability is, it’s worth it in the end. As long as we are allowing vulnerability to flow through our creative process, we will always be able to connect with our audience. Though our fears of rejection may be real, we can take comfort in knowing that the “stories” we make up in our heads about how others will receive us, are not real.
Being vulnerable is appealing to others. Think about it. When someone has opened up to us about something very personal, we probably didn’t tell them to stop talking and walk away. It most likely made us feel closer to them. Maybe we felt some empathy, or maybe, it compelled us to open up and share something about ourselves. Vulnerability encourages connection. It feels inclusive. It makes other people feel like they can relate to us. It exposes messy truths which everyone likes, because everyone has messy truths. It makes us feel normal.
“The Magic Is The Mess.” -Brene Brown
As writers, being vulnerable is very beneficial. It allows us to build trusting and authentic relationships with our audience. But are there any other times when being vulnerable is beneficial? If you are Brene Brown, the answer would be…always. Brene Brown is a leading researcher and influencer on the subject of vulnerability. She is most known for her popular TED talks series. Brown encourages us to embrace our authentic selves. She believes owning who we really are, and letting go of who we think we should be, is the only way to truly be happy. Brown wrote the book ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.’ Her massive success is an indication that we are ready to start changing the way we perceive the world, and ourselves.
Whether we are Seth Godin, Brene Brown, a writer, a CEO, a plumber or a monk, it doesn’t matter. Vulnerability will make us successful. It opens the door for a myriad of opportunities to connect. To grow. To evolve and to conquer. It invites success in love, compassion, fortune, happiness, and freedom. Even more, it invites us to just be…us. How good does that feel?
My name is Nicole Taffs and I started The Sensitive Life blog because I wanted to share my knowledge of how to turn sensitivities into advantages. I am also certified in holistic nutrition, reflexology and reiki. Connect with me at http://thesensitivelife.ca/. You can follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/nicoletaffs12 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thesensitivelifeca