Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Strength in Vulnerability

Strength in Vulnerability

When you first hear the word ‘vulnerability’, what comes to your mind?
Many people would associate it with weakness. Even by just mentioning the word itself, it invokes thoughts or feelings of fear. This is understandable because to be vulnerable means to be at risk of getting hurt.
Being vulnerable is not a choice, it is inevitable. No one is or can be invulnerable, no matter how much effort we put into hiding our vulnerabilities. Everyone cannot escape from being vulnerable because it’s part of who we are. Our body’s natural response to a stressful situation is the ‘fight or flight response’. So based on this survival instinct, we would want to get rid of whatever makes us feel this way.
We are naturally programmed to feel like wanting to belong somewhere, which also brings out the fear of rejection in us. We have this unrealistic image of who we should be so people can accept who we think we are. Social relationships became an essential part of our life that we fear being humiliated for our vulnerabilities. We then start to become our less authentic self to accommodate other people’s perception of us.
However, don’t let this trick your mind into doubting your capabilities. One can become stronger and successful, even when vulnerable. According to Brene Brown, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think”. There is strength in being vulnerable. It shows that despite the risk of getting hurt, you are brave enough to go through it. You are taking an intelligent approach to overcome your fear. In being able to risk getting hurt, you allow your most authentic self to come out and be free. You are also letting yourself go through the process of self-growth.
There is no use putting up walls around you while hoping for other people to see you for who you truly are. We must learn to embrace our Vulnerability as it will become one of our greatest strengths. Putting up a façade will not teach us any good as we will stay in hiding. We get to decide whether the pain we experience from being vulnerable will strengthen us or break us. The wounds that we survive will speak for itself. Just because we have wounds, doesn’t mean we are damaged to the point of being dysfunctional.



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