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Overcoming a Fear of Vulnerability and Love Your Imperfections

https://www.verywellmind.com/fear-of-vulnerability-2671820

verywellmind.com

Overcoming a Fear of Vulnerability and Love Your Imperfections
The fear of vulnerability is arguably one of the most common fears of all. Through my clinical experience, here are some of the ways that I have come to understand this central emotional challenge. As small children, we are open and free, sharing all of ourselves with others.

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From Openness to Closing Yourself Off

From Openness to Closing Yourself Off

From a young age, we learn that not everyone is on our side, and not all situations are going to go our way. 

Over time, we build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from these hurts.

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Protecting Yourself with Destructive Behavior

Building walls create a safe space into which you can quickly retreat, but it also leaves you trapped behind your own emotional defenses, unable to give or receive positive emotions as well as negative ones. 

This, in turn, leaves many people feeling isolated and alone.

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From Protecting to Forgiving Yourself

The fear of vulnerability is ultimately a fear of rejection or abandonment. To combat it, you must first learn to love and accept yourself with all your flaws, embarrassing stories, past mistakes, insecurities and awkwardness.  

Realize that everyone feels like this, regardless of how successful they are.

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Embracing Imperfection

We understand that people that we admire are imperfect, but don't find their flaws unforgivable. Yet, when it comes to ourselves, we beat ourselves up for our own imperfections.

Do not judge yourself more harshly than you judge them.

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How to Love Yourself

  • Acknowledge yourself as a whole human being, flaws, imperfections and all. 
  • Own and embrace your past mistakes.
  • Apologize to anyone you feel you have significantly wronged, and then move on. 
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Stop trying to prove your value. You are important.

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Brené Brown

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Being vulnerable

Vulnerability is a double-edged sword. Those who protect themselves to avoid getting hurt, fail to appreciate intimacy and close relationships.

Everyone is vulnerable, no matter how much they try to avoid it. We are born vulnerable and stay that way for our entire childhood. Our relationship with vulnerability is something we are acquainted with, yet abandon as we merge into adulthood.

Vulnerability = courage

Vulnerability is an act of courage because you merge with your authentic self, instead of hiding behind a facade to appease others.

To embrace vulnerability as your greatest strength, you will need to become aware of your pain points. The paintings of Rembrandt are no less beautiful because of its flaws. It is upon examining it up close that you recognise the defects, while ignoring the complete picture.

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Emotional Regulation

It means having the skills to control your behavior, emotions and thoughts in the pursuit of long-term goals.

Emotional regulation skills enable us to live a healthy and well-bala...

Applying The Power Of Choice

You have to recognize that you have the choice in how you react to situations.

This will empower you to work with the challenges that you face in your life: you'll have clarity, focus and a purpose.

The STOPP Technique

... to control your emotions:

  • S – Stop
  • T – Take A Breath
  • O – Observe – your thoughts and feelings
  • P- Pull Back – put in some perspective – what is the bigger picture?
  • P – Practice What Works – Proceed – what is the best thing to do right now?

Causing unintentional harm

We all cause harm to our partner and the intimacy between us. We make mistakes that are foolish and unintentional and sometimes launch attacks on purpose.

When you wound another, apologi...

How to give an apology

A good apology takes two people: the giver and the receiver. An apology that heals is based on kindness, generosity, and compassion. 

The recipient accepts it with grace and, in turn, offers forgiveness. Without forgiveness, it cannot heal.

The mindful apology in practice

  • Repair: An apology that rebuilds intimacy should have three parts: you need to own the mistake, and then you need to repair the damage. Lastly, you need to vow to improve.
  • Forgive:  If you have been hurt, you may never completely forget, but you can choose to forgive. To decide to forgive means that you don't relive something that belongs to the past.
  • Begin again: Unfinished business will accumulate. Let go of the small and the large wounds, so they don't pile up.