This process of Project:Unleashed is teaching me so much.
It takes a conscious, persistent effort to resist old habits; daily gentle reminders to yourself to ignore that voice that whispers you aren’t good enough, to release that feeling of fear or guilt, or to have the courage to take a risk. Some days I am better at diligently listening to these reminders, others I am not. Some days I feel like I have more motivation to tackle the world, other days feel like a regression into the safety of old emotions. And I realized recently why it is so easy to succumb to some of those negative emotions. It all comes down to vulnerability.
I first learned of Brene Brown several years ago through a blog somewhere that spoke of her studies on authenticity. Recently I was exploring her website again reading more about her research when I stumbled across her newest book, Daring Greatly. I was instantly drawn to it — with a name like that, how could I not? I was checking out the preview of the first few pages when I read the mention of her TED talk on vulnerability. As it was the catalyst to the project, I decided to listen in.
Wow. I felt like she was talking directly to me.
“We numb vulnerability. We try to numb the bad emotions, but then we numb everything. Joy, gratitude, happiness. Then we are miserable and looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable. And it becomes a vicious cycle.“
Oh how I can identify with this cycle. I spent such a long time trying to numb the bad emotions, trying to ignore the grief, the pain, the fear, the guilt, the loneliness, the unworthiness, that I ended up numbing the good emotions. No wonder I ended up feeling like I was emotionally cold, incapable of any sort of extreme and always ‘middle of the road.’ Boring. Numb. Because I was. That is what I had forced myself to become by closing myself off. And it all comes down to vulnerability.
“Let yourself be seen. Deeply seen. Vulnerably seen. Love with whole heart, even though there are no guarantees. … And believe you are enough.”
To allow ourselves to truly feel our emotions, let go of the negative ones and encourage the positive ones, and open ourselves up to new experiences, we must embrace vulnerability. We have to fight the unconscious, instinctive need to protect ourselves. We have to fight the need to do everything ‘right’.
Brene talks about her moment of breakdown when she realized that she really had never allowed herself to be vulnerable. I think I had a similar one after listening to her talk. Hearing her words was a culmination of many moments and experiences that were telling me let go. How can I really live out a project titled ‘Unleashed’ if I am not willing to be vulnerable?! How can I ever expect to let go and live fully, deeply, *presently* in a constantly shifting world if I cannot embrace that I am not in control? If I cannot take risks? If I cannot be vulnerable?
I encourage you to listen to Brene’s presentation. I hope that it sparks a fire in you like it did in me, and that you are inspired to make another crack in your shell toward becoming truly open to everything life has to offer. I also recommend reading her book, Daring Greatly. I’m not finished with it yet, but am enjoying it so far. I hope it helps you along your journey to living life unleashed.
Project:Unleashed check in — if you are participating, how is it going? Have you made any big discoveries lately? I love receiving your emails, but would love for you to share in the comments as well so everyone can be as touched by your stories as I am. Keep striving <3
*This is not a sponsored post, Brene Browne has no idea who I am. I just really want to share this inspiration!