Vulnerability is/does

May 23rd, 2011  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  16 Comments

Great post on vulnerability from Brene Brown. (If you aren’t reading this woman’s works, you should be.)

“Sometimes the toughest part of embracing vulnerability is recognizing vulnerability. There are so many secondary emotions that spring to the surface and grab our focus…

It’s always so helpful to be reminded of the many ways that vulnerability shows up in our lives. Leave a comment telling us how you fill in the blanks (on one or both)…

Vulnerability is __________________.

Vulnerability feels like ___________________.”

I’ll start.

Vulnerability is putting myself out there on Vulnerability is living publicly, warts and all. Vulnerability is admitting that I’m an “expert” who fucks up.

Vulnerability feels like I want to run and hide. Vulnerability feels like crawling under the desk. Vulnerability feels like I want to eat the world.


  1. Robert Dorf says:

    May 23rd, 2011at 3:20 pm(#)

    Vulnerability is admitting who and what I am.

    Vulnerability feels like the tsunami is coming in, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it, or to protect anyone at all.

  2. Edna says:

    May 23rd, 2011at 3:21 pm(#)

    Vulnerability is putting my words to paper and believing anyone would want to read them

    Vulnerability is trying new things

    Vulnerability feels like my stomach is being burned by acid.

    Vulnerability feels like sticking a finger in an open wound.

  3. Roland Fisher says:

    May 23rd, 2011at 3:38 pm(#)

    Vulnerability is revealing that of me which I fear judgment for.

    Vulnerability feels liberating at times, and like I cannot breath at others.

  4. Becca ( says:

    May 23rd, 2011at 4:52 pm(#)

    I am a huge Brene Brown fan. Love this.

    Vulnerability is being authentic and truthful in my writing. Vulnerability is “going for it” in everything I do. Vulnerability is declaring what I truly want.

    Vulnerability feels like vomiting, anger, excuses, frustration…and then when that first wave passes it feels like opportunity and possibility, connection, and love.

  5. Sara says:

    May 23rd, 2011at 6:18 pm(#)

    Vulnerability is doing something that terrifies me and leaves me out there naked and alone.

    Vulnerability feels like that horrible feeling in your stomach when you’ve had too much to drink.

  6. galaxie says:

    May 24th, 2011at 5:52 am(#)

    Vulnerability is revealing truths about myself for which I might be judged. It is making an attempt that might fail.

    Vulnerability feels like jumping off a cliff and not knowing whether I can fly or not.

  7. Dana says:

    May 24th, 2011at 6:51 am(#)

    Vulnerability is admitting what I’m afraid of, and why.
    Vulnerability feels like going for a really heavy weight without a spotter.

  8. Trishy says:

    May 24th, 2011at 6:02 pm(#)

    Vulnerability is being powerless in preventing bad things from happening.
    Vulnerability feels like taking a step off a cliff.

  9. jane3 says:

    May 25th, 2011at 6:02 am(#)

    Vulnerability is not knowing what is going to happen next.

    Vulnerability feels like my body is being turned inside out. In front of a hundred people. And we all just watch.

    Vulnerability is being the complete opposite of cool.

    It feels like a have a boog in my nose – that everyone can see – and I know its there – and I keep talking anyway. Not to make a point – or be weird – but just cause noses have boogs in them.

  10. Patti says:

    May 25th, 2011at 9:59 am(#)

    Vulnerability is speaking my truth.
    Vulnerability is facing challenge rather than avoiding it.
    Vulnerability is admitting my weaknesses.

    Vulnerability feels like going out on a limb.
    Vulnerability feels like guilt, frustration, embarrassment, blame.
    Vulnerability feels like hiding in a corner.

  11. margs says:

    May 26th, 2011at 12:02 am(#)

    Vulnerability is realising I will never be or know all that I need to or all that I am meant to. Vulnerability is never, ever having the perfect plan. Vulnerability is lack of control.

    Vulnerability feels like swamping anxiety, like defensive anger, like being frozen in time, like failing. Vulnerability also feels like laughing hysterically, like cliff diving, like freedom.

  12. Amazon says:

    May 26th, 2011at 9:45 am(#)

    Vulnerability is letting people get to know who I really am past first imprecisions.

    Vulnerability feels like I’m being cornered by multiple big guys intent on beating my up and no matter how hard I fight I’ll never be able to save myself.

  13. Sasha says:

    May 26th, 2011at 11:28 am(#)

    Vulnerability is admitting to myself what I am afraid of.

    Vulnerability feels like I am small and insignificant and ashamed.

  14. Cathy Mitchell says:

    May 26th, 2011at 12:05 pm(#)

    Vulnerability comes from honesty, from saying what it is you really mean, making the conscious effort to not take your true thoughts and opinions and soften them, change them, in that unconscious, insiduous way that many women have been socialized to do. Vulnerability is putting aside the gloss and saying what it really is you feel.

    Vulnerability that comes from honesty so expressed then feels like sudden fresh air, in that flash when you realize that you’ve done it, you’ve said it, damn it, come what may. And you know you can take it, whatever comes, because you have spoken from your heart, your core — your true self. Vulnerability then feels like you have stepped forward and grown a little more.

  15. SungaiKecil says:

    June 4th, 2011at 3:34 am(#)

    Vulnerability is food.

  16. Marianna says:

    June 5th, 2011at 4:05 am(#)

    Vulnerability is not being in control, speaking my truth and loving deeply.
    Vulnerability feels shaky, being raw like an open wound and groundless.

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