Vulnerability Is A Requirement For Self Growth
Start writing a post

You Can't Seek Self-Growth Without Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Being Vulnerable

Standing in those moments of weakness takes strength, and allows us to grow a thicker skin.

Girl with bare shoulders posing for a shoot

Vulnerability is an action that is easier talked about than done. We all hear about the importance of vulnerability, being open with ourselves and those whom are close to us, and embracing the unknown while eliminating fear. Yet, what exactly do we picture at the mention of being vulnerable? How are we expected to let go of all apprehension associated with admitting our insecurities, feelings, or anxieties to the point that we feel comfortable with baring our skin? How and when are we expected to do this with our loved ones? How and when are we expected to do this with people we don't even know? What if, after being open and finally making the decision to stand in total susceptibility, we aren't accepted?

Yet, without these leaps of faith and stepping outside of our comfort zones, there is literally no self-growth. Being vulnerable can be scary, especially if we are not used to exposing ourselves. Maybe, as younger kids (because I'm pretty young still) or throughout our childhoods, we didn't encounter or see a lot of vulnerable and sensitive moments regularly. That doesn't mean we have to allow that kind of environment to hinder our ability to stand in "moments of weakness," because the times where we are most prone to getting hurt are the moments where you're actually being strong. Just think about it: if it were that easy to simply bare our skin and allow everyone to see us for who we are, then everyone would do it.

Standing in those moments of weakness takes strength, and allows us to grow a thicker skin. There are far and few people that have the capability of ignoring everyone's comments, opinions, and whispers of our true selves. How else would they have obtained this kind of thick skin without being completely honest with themselves, their loved ones, and other people they barely know?

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Being unaware of the future and the outcomes of certain situations or opportunities can be eerie. Whether we're not used to placing ourselves in circumstances that seem foreign or are not the most outgoing by nature, it can be a good idea to participate in activities that make us self-conscious. The scenarios that caused me to grow up the most were those that made me feel extremely nervous and uncomfortable. I'm only 19, my life experience is limited, but judging from the ways that I did or did not surprise myself in those situations… I can honestly say that if you do succeed, it only serves as a self-esteem boost. If you do not, then those vulnerable moments will have you learn something new about yourself.

Vulnerability starts in doses, not all at once

Baby steps, you don't need to bare your skin completely and in one situation. Becoming comfortable with yourself takes time. If your anxiety levels are increasing from bearable to mentally impacting, then stop. There isn't a need to continue opening yourself up to others if it is giving you an unprecedented amount of headaches.

I learned that becoming more open is actually a process in which you eventually develop… well, I nicknamed it a "no fucks" mentality. (Unless you're able to just wake up one morning and literally not give any more fucks about what anyone else has to say about you or your sensitivities. Kudos to you, too.) Maybe there are a few things you'd like to work on before deciding to go emotionally streaking throughout the world. Are you timid or outspoken about everything that you feel? Are you able to admit all of your flaws to yourself and others? Are you able to own each and every single one of your mistakes before someone else has something to say about them?

Baby steps, like I mentioned before. Personally, one thing I've understood is that working on each of these little inabilities helps to build that foundation for standing emotionally or mentally transparent.

Growing thick-skin

In my mom's words: Put your big girl pants on. Grow a thicker skin and toughen up, because life isn't easy but it can be made easier if you aren't that readily affected by every mishappening. We will always hear that it's required to be strong, but if we are always unconsciously susceptible to every little thing that another person says about us, then we'll always be stuck in the same place mentally. Taking everything as an attack and/or too seriously are all defense mechanisms that we employ when we aren't comfortable with ourselves.

What I do understand is that through self-acceptance along with moments of social exposure can help with developing a thicker skin. If we are vulnerable and shown love, then our anxiety subsides and we can realize that many of our inhibitions were fictional. Or, if we are met with a lot of rejection or disagreement, then a bunch of negative emotions can occur. Respond to it and move on without just allowing yourself to be attacked either because people's words can only dig so deep if you allow it. Being vulnerable should not make you weaker, after all. Only stronger.

Embracing yourself means that others will embrace you, too

The more you love yourself, the more others will love you. The more you embrace your inhibitions, feelings, and "real self" (whoever that is) other people will start to embrace that person, as well. If you are always afraid of being authentic and honest, then you will never discover the people that will genuinely relate to and vibe with you. There isn't a reason to hide. Own who you are and other people will either fall in love with you, or just have some respect for you. Learn to call the people who don't like you irrelevant, because anyone who aims to make you feel like less for being who you are should not be your problem.

At 19, I'm still discovering my own definition of vulnerability, and understanding the value of when someone either welcomes (or rejects) my authenticity. From starting college and moving out of my mom's house into my off-campus house, I started to discover a bunch of different ways that not being vulnerable can hurt me in the end, and a bunch of ways that being vulnerable at the wrong moments can hurt me, too.

I have realized that I can surprise myself in some very big ways and that when I disappoint myself being self-deprecating will not help. I have realized that I can be super mature for only 19, and act my age, too. I have realized that vulnerability for me is finally becoming easier, and it's a process that I've been enjoying.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, nurturing business school grad Anna gravitating towards bubbly extrovert Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Ultimate Guide To Being A Latinx And Hispanic Community Ally

Educate and celebrate their culture to lift the community up.


It's well known that the Gen-Z and millennial generations are more passionate about social justice and conscious about their decisions as consumers as any other generation to come before us.

For these generations, making mindful decisions about where we like to allocate our money, who we choose to follow on Instagram, and even the books we like to read are extremely important to us. With the rise of the digital age, we are constantly consuming media and content, and so there's no longer an excuse for being uneducated if we want to be educated on a wide range of cultures.

Keep Reading... Show less

With fall 2020 already around the corner, it's time to bring out the flannels, thermals, button-ups, and sweaters that have remained untouched for almost a year. Fall 2020 is all about individuality and authenticity, so style these clothing items in whichever way you please.

That being said, I also included a few styling tips for each item to help you get some inspiration and create a mental lookbook. The following fifteen sweaters range from neutral, color block, stripes, cable knit, cashmere, cardigans, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments