How Vulnerability Can Be Your Greatest Strength

J.Lo‘s meltdown during her “It’s My Party Tour” concert in Las Vegas was a cause of distress when she accidentally dinged herself with a microphone during a performance of “Medicine.” There were videos of the aftermath that included a clip of her expressing to boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, how badly she was feeling about the mishap. Emotional and teary-eyed she is heard saying “I’m not happy with myself.” At that moment, she morphed into a human. I instantly connected with her genuine vulnerability. You can’t help but empathize with the woman.

Ariana Grande‘s recent confession in a Vogue interview was equally heartwarming. In it, the ”Thank U Next” singer expresses how little she remembers about the writing process of the Sweetener album which struck a chord with many of us. The artist shared being very sad and drunk for most of the time during its creation. The candid conversation includes the ugly truth of her relationship struggles with now-deceased Mac Miller. It was enough to get fans to flood the songstress with overwhelming support for such an honest and unguarded admission.

Both women are known for their celebrity status, flawless appearance, confidence, talent, success, and strength. Empowered female figures in pop culture displaying the beauty of owning one’s vulnerability. They are human too, experiencing pain, doubts, and fears like everyone else. All feelings that help us connect with one another. Natural empathy is formed when emotions are shared. Overcoming life’s challenges promote individual growth, as well as, inspire others to keep pushing forward in their own personal journey.

Plenty of men and women believe vulnerability is a weakness. There was a time, I would have agreed with the statement. Today, my mentality has shifted to thinking the opposite is closer to the truth. Being vulnerable not only takes courage but can be your greatest strength.

You are not required to be strong and stoic all the time. Letting your guard down carefully and in moderation can be an asset. The ability to connect is valuable. Intense human connection plays a key role in our development as human beings. It encourages empathy which helps us understand each other better.

Readers ask, why do I choose to share personal stories on AW? What drove me to write a book chronicling the debilitated state of my emotional heartbreak? The idea that people could be a witness to my vulnerability has always been terrifying. Honestly, it still scares me a bit to openly discuss some of the topics I take on. So why put it out there? More and more, I’m finding other women share the similar fears, insecurities, and concerns that I’ve been living with too. We are not alone in the journey of womanhood. There are millions of us confronting our own struggles.

We frequently use the phrase ”courageous as a lion.” Recently, someone described ”A Journey to Becoming the Best Self” as courageous. Writing a book about my heartache left me completely exposed. It details a pivotal time in life showing major vulnerability. I did not feel brave while going through this painful exercise. To the contrary, the notion of defeat was swallowing me whole for a long time. But opening up about what I went through and how I came out on the other side of the ordeal strengthened me. It is proof of my will, demonstrating I’m stronger than I believed myself to be.

It takes guts to show your authentic self. Allowing imperfections to be seen is not a simple task but gets easier the more you do it. Having courage does not signify being unafraid. Doing the things that scare you most is what truly defines bravery. Don’t let yourself be cornered into suppressing your true colors. Everyone has a unique story, what you’ve been through is part of yours. None of it defines you or makes you less worthy. Real strength comes from standing firm on the conviction of who you are with no apologies.

I am stronger for sharing a tale of love and loss. The fabric of my life is unlike anyone else’s, as is yours. It’s pushed me to build character and resilience, slowly gaining a comfort level with the woman I am. Displaying vulnerability can inspire others to share their own stories with you. It also increases fortitude as you become more self-assured. Start small, share something trivial about your day with someone you never thought possible. Tell them about a bad day. You might be surprised at how people respond. The least expected person could identify with what you are experiencing, it may give you some hope and sense of power.

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Photo by The ABView Photography.

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